“Hey, Falcons!” — Folk Songs

European folk songs: each nation has songs that sometimes date back centuries. Here, we looked at an ancient Latvian hymn “The Sun, the Thunder, and the River,” performed not for, but by a thousands-strong stadium crowd.

“Hej Sokoły” or “Hey Falcons” is a Polish/Ukrainian song written the early 19th century. The video below features the Winged Hussars of the Siege of Vienna fame in dramatized battle scenes. Mild NSFW for brief nudity.

The song varies in tempo in this arrangement. Another thing I find common in folk songs is a contrast between sorrowful lyrics and a spirited melody, or vice-versa. The lyrics:

Longing, longing for my girl,
Back in my green Ukraine,
Sorrow, grief, the heart is crying,
I will never see her again.

Refrain x2:
Hey, hey, hey falcons!
Fly past the mountains, forests, rivers, valleys
Ring, ring, ring, the bell
Across the steppes, ring, ring, ring.

She stayed back alone
My nightingale
And here I am in foreign fields
Days and nights I miss her

[Ref. x2]

Wine, wine, give me wine
And when I die bury me
In the fields of green Ukraine
Next to my beloved girl.

[Ref. x2]


8 thoughts on ““Hey, Falcons!” — Folk Songs

  1. Ace, definitely. Colorado native Josephine Foster has an intriguing album called “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.” Euro ballads, all done in German and reticulated with hyper-sharp electric guitar slides. Ideal for the boat/plane early in the am.

    The lyric element in art folk I find less liable to distort “thought,” instead setting it off even stronger. Not so much for folk punk or folk metal, although it stands in as great beer music — and who hasn’t had some private revelations while drinking summery lager to some diehard street fiddlers or early Pogues.

    Bartók briefly heard a peasant lady sing a little folk while passing by and ended up collecting/notating more than a thousand songs from tiny Euro villages. There’s something there, without question. Make sure to tip those gypsies wailing on their washtub basses or mandolins, gentlemen. An unheralded few might be the true prime movers of larger shifts in wholesale musical direction.

  2. Pingback: “Hey, Falcons!” — Folk Songs | Reaction Times

  3. Speaking of songs, the new Miranda Lambert album, “The Weight of These Wings,” is spectacular. She’s the best. A major talent.

  4. Though one of the most brutal films ever made, the first half hour of the recently released “Wołyń” is also some of the most beautiful filmmaking I’ve ever watched. A wedding scene. It’s a melancholy reminder of the “Kresy” culture that was lost due to the war. If I remember correctly they sang “Hej Sokoły” at one point.

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