Kitka: Wintersongs

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Our Wild Series Director, Natalie Bartlett, is off again singing with Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble for their Wintersongs concert season. They have concerts in the Bay throughout December and we wanted to share a tiny taste of this beautiful village song! Check out Kitka’s online calendar for their upcoming Wintersongs concert dates. We hope to see some of you there!

Listen to a wild Latvian Winter Solstice song from Kitka’s Wintersongs album:


TEC, PELEITE, ZĒRŅU ZOGTU

Run, little mouse, to steal some peas,
Kalado, kalado!
Bring them to me once you’ve stolen them.
Both pockets full,
One with beans, the other with peas.
“Why didn’t they capture you?”
“I fled into a burrow.”
“Why didn’t you freeze?”
“I built a fire.”
“Why didn’t you burn?”
“I pinned myself with needles.”
“Why didn’t you bleed?”
“I smeared myself with old butter.”
“Where did you get the old butter?”
“In the old mother’s pantry.”
“Where did the old mother get it?”
“From the udder of a spotted cow.”
“Where did the spotted cow get it?”
“In the green grass.”
“What happened to the green grass?”
“The Sons of God have mowed it.
The Sons of God have mowed it
While waiting for the Daughter of the Sun.”

A Winter Solstice song in the form of ritual questions and answers from the Latgale region of Latvia. The lyrics are in Latgalian, an ancient language still spoken in parts of Eastern Latvia. Dievs is the ancient Latvian fertility god of the heavens and the father of all other gods. Dievs is also the contemporary Latvian word for God. This song is about the heavenly courting and wedding of Dieva dēli (The Sons of Dievs, cosmic twins) and Saules meita (the daughter of the Sun Goddess).

From the repertoire of Ensemble Rasa. Thank you to Valdis Muktupāvels and Lita Pinter for text and translation assistance.

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