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Traditional Polish folk music by the bonfire! Posted by on Jul 14, 2017 in Culture, music, Nature

Summer is here and my favorite thing to do is sitting by a bonfire with my family, singing songs and roasting marshmallows!

I still remember those wonderful nights in Poland, with my family and friends…I remember singing traditional Polish songs that everyone knew by heart:)

The Poles have always been a nation fond of singing. Singing was an indispensable part of the feasts and accompanied their most dramatic moments of the history. Songs described the fortunes and misfortunes of the villagers, encouraged soldiers for fighting and sustained the nation’s spirits during the partition, when Poland was absent on the political map of the world. During the People’s Republic of Poland songs served for propaganda purposes or were an expression of opposition against the socialist system.

Themes of Polish folk songs cover all aspects of daily human life: love,  work, play and rituals. Accordingly, they are divided into ritual songs (wedding, harvest), moral songs (love, flirt, soldier’s), chants accompanying dance melodies, ballads and religious songs. For centuries they were handed down orally from generation to generation, without notation or verbal.

Here is a list of few popular Polish songs to sing with friends by the bonfire, at a wedding or at any other party!

“Hej Sokoły” – is a traditional Polish song that was popular among soldiers during the Polish-Soviet War. The title translates roughly as “hey falcons.” The lyrics exist in several versions about a Ukrainian girl to whom her betrothed, either a cossack or an ulan says goodbye for the last time. Although its exact origins are unknown, the song was believed to have been written by the Polish-Ukrainian poet-songwriter Tomasz Padura in the first half of the 19th century. It is representative of what is known as the Ukrainian school of Polish literature. The song also became popular in Ukraine, with a slightly different text in Ukrainian. The tune was popular among Polish soldiers during the Polish-Soviet War, and was also sung by the Polish Home Army guerrillas during World War II.

“Płonie ognisko w lesie” – This is a scouting song in which scouts are advised to always stay alert.

“Szła Dzieweczka do Laseczka” – 

“Płonie ognisko i szumią knieje”

“Pieśn pożegnalna (ogniska już dogasa blask)”

“Gdzie strumyk płynie z wolna”


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About the Author:Kasia

My name is Kasia Scontsas. I grew up in Lublin, Poland and moved to Warsaw to study International Business. I have passion for languages: any languages! Currently I live in New Hampshire. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. My husband speaks a little Polish, but our daughters are fluent in it! I wanted to make sure that they can communicate with their Polish relatives in our native language. Teaching them Polish since they were born was the best thing I could have given them! I have been writing about learning Polish language and culture for Transparent Language’s Polish Blog since 2010.