24 lut 2010

Patriotic and soldier songs

Chopin motivated me to write something on Polish traditional music. Today I'm presenting you my favourite Polish patriotic songs.

1. "Szara piechota" - "The Grey Infantry"

Probably it was created during the WW I. It's about the experience of ordinary soldiers. The performance of the Polish Radio Orchestra is perfect. A piece of military vocabulary for you:

bój (old) - fight, battle
karabin - gun
maszerować - to march
salutować - to salute
strzelec - shooter
szereg - row, line

BTW this white eagle is the Polish national emblem.

2. "Czerwone maki na Monte Cassino" - "The Red Poppies on Monte Cassino"

Lyrics and music written by soldiers of the Anders Army during the Monte Cassino battle in 1944 (in Italy). Lyrics are as drastic as this long battle was but I like the metaphor of flowers red of blood. Polish superheros are praised for their honour, bravery and committment. Two older battles in which Polish soldiers took part are mentioned here: Somosierra (1808 - I'm not proud of that but it remains a Polish legend) and Racławice (1794).

In Warsaw in Park (Ogród) Krasińskich you can find a monument in remembrance of the Monte Cassino battle. It's quite new and unfortunately looks like a ghost what makes people laugh.

You can sing with karaoke version:) The man on the photo is general Władysław Anders who lived in London after the war and is buried at the Polish War Cemetery at Monte Cassino.

I'm curious if you like it or it's bearable only for Poles:)

3 komentarze:

  1. Strzelec - rifleman, a better translation.

    Czerwone Maki always gets me weeping. A few months ago, the Orkiestra z Chmielnej pitched up in the underpass by the Rotunda; their medley of these songs (which I'd learnt in my West London Polish childhood) had me standing there, tears unashamedly streaming down my face, and realising where my heart really lies.

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