Music of the Week: February 3, 2023:  Lec, Saulite!

Lec, saulite! with English subs [Dziesmu un deju svētki 2018]

Lec, saulite! with English subs [Dziesmu un deju svētki 2018]

Every five years, something incredibly beautiful happens in Latvia, which is one of the three Baltic countries along with Estonia and Lithuania. It is the celebration of the great and awe-inspiring Song and Dance Festival that brings together tens of thousands of singers, dancers, musicians, and proud and united Latvians. The first full-scale festival was organized in 1873, but most natives are convinced that this wonderful tradition goes back much further than the 19th century.

Each of the Baltic nations has that same tradition, with folk music and song playing a profound part in their national and political histories. Watch for our Movie of the Week tomorrow, which will tell more.

The song we chose is from the final concert of the 2018 Vispārējie latviešu Dziesmu un Deju svētki (Song and Dance Festival) and has 40,000 Latvians singing a magical piece by famous Latvian composer Raimonds Tiguls.

The next nationwide Song Festival happens to be planned for July 2023.

Rise, O Sun!
I am the womb of the earth,
You are my sun,
Father Thunder [Pērkons] himself has ruled
The great Daugava, river of Destiny flows.
Teach me the clear mind,
Teach me the strength of the ground,
Great goddess of Fate, Laima, herself has ruled,
Writing the book of my Life.

Rise, O Sun, and shine bright!
Adorn the cornfield, bless the yard,
Rise, O Sun, cut through the darkness,
Make sacred our land.

I am the dome of the sky,
You are my sun,
Thunder [Pērkons] himself has ruled
The great Daugava, river of Destiny flows.
Teach me the peace of the soul,
Teach me the strength of the sky,
Great Laima herself has ruled,
Writing the book of my Life.

Rise, O Sun, and shine bright!
Adorn the cornfield, bless the yard,
Rise, O Sun, cut through the darkness,
Make sacred our land.

Rise, O Sun, and shine bright!
Adorn the cornfield, bless the yard,
Rise, O Sun, cut through the darkness,
Unite all the people of Latvia.

Related:

Raimond Tiguls website

Website of the Festival

The Latvian Song and Dance Festival on Wikipedia

Short documentary on the Latvian Nationwide Song and Dance Celebration

Other songs from the 2018 music festival

The Lord’s Prayer

The Way of the Stars

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