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Showing posts from October, 2013

Basket of Songs 6

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Rudzu pukes - Cornflowers
In this series, I have been posting pages from a hand written song book left to me by my father.  The book is titled Bakset of Songs: Let our Songs Ring out, Brussels Prisoner-of-War Camp December 1945It is also labeled with my father's initials J Č. Click on the following link : Basket of Songs to view the rest of the series.

Ilze, who has been doing an incredible job of translating the Letters from Latvia series has been kind enough to provide a translation of the song titles and a summary of the themes involved. The songs individually over the coming weeks and where I can, I will link to a performance of the melody. At this time, I won't be posting full translations for most of these songs -the Leters from Lativa series will be taking priority.

Song 6 in the book is titled: Rudzu pukes- Cornflowers


Cornflower blue is the sky of my country, cornflower blue are my girl's eyes.
There are other songs by the same name on Youtube however the lyrics d…

Letters from Latvia - Nica 27th of January 1948

Janis CIRKSIS was a displaced person (DP) after the Soviet union annexed Latvia and the Baltic states during WWII. This is a continuation in the series of letters that he received from his homeland, translated into English. To see the other letters in the series clickHERE.

For more information on Latvian translations please see the Latvian Translations page.

This is the 14th Letter in the series. 


Nica, 27.1.48 We greet you with lots of love, Janis, Lidija and Ilmars!
Yesterday we received your letter written on 25.11 with namesday greetings for mum and me and a few days ago, your greeting for Christmas and the New Year. Thank you so very much for these greetings. We had been waiting for some lines from you for quite a while and had almost begun to worry, but we still thought they’d come. And now they have come! The letter written on 25.11 had taken two weeks longer than usual and came later than the greeting written on 9.12. But now we are so very happy again that everything is well with …

Basket of Songs 5

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Lietus Lāses - RaindropsIn this series, I have been posting pages from a hand written song book left to me by my father.  The book is titled Bakset of Songs: Let our Songs Ring out, Brussels Prisoner-of-War Camp December 1945It is also labeled with my father's initials J Č. Click on the following link : Basket of Songs to view the rest of the series.

Ilze, who has been doing an incredible job of translating the Letters from Latvia series has been kind enough to provide a translation of the song titles and a summary of the themes involved. The songs individually over the coming weeks and where I can, I will link to a performance of the melody. At this time, I won't be posting full translations for most of these songs -the Leters from Lativa series will be taking priority.
Song 5 in the book is titled: Lietus Lāses - Raindrops
When raindrops knock on your window, that will be like a quiet greeting from me.
The renditions of this song found on youtube seem too Jazzy to be likel…

Letters From Latvia - Nica 24th December 1947

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Janis CIRKSIS was a displaced person (DP) after the Soviet union annexed Latvia and the Baltic states during WWII. This is a continuation in the series of letters that he received from his homeland, translated into English. To see the other letters in the series clickHERE.

For more information on Latvian translations please see the Latvian Translations page.

Christmas time in Latvia, 1947: The tree decorated is decorated on Christmas eve with candles, the temperature is -15 degrees, the church bells are ringing and snow blankets cover the land. 
Christmas time in Australia 2013: Christmas decorations are on sale in supermarkets starting in October already! No one would dream of attaching a candle to tree outside let alone inside your house and Christmas is characterised by 30 degree + temperatures and total fire bans.
Despite all of the differences, I remember reading Latvian poetry at christmas time, a tradition that connected me (as much as possible for a non-latvian speaker) to the cou…

Basket of Songs 4

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Mirdzot šķēpiem - Gleaming SpearsIn this series, I have been posting pages from a hand written song book left to me by my father.  The book is titled Bakset of Songs: Let our Songs Ring out, Brussels Prisoner-of-War Camp December 1945It is also labeled with my father's initials J Č. Click on the following link : Basket of Songs to view the rest of the series.

Ilze, who has been doing an incredible job of translating the Letters from Latvia series has been kind enough to provide a translation of the song titles and a summary of the themes involved. The songs individually over the coming weeks and where I can, I will link to a performance of the melody. At this time, I won't be posting full translations for most of these songs -the Leters from Lativa series will be taking priority.

Song 4 in the book is titled: Mirdzot šķēpiem - Gleaming Spears


Latvian Riflemen enter a town, the girls’ eyes gleam, next morning they go to battle, and the girls then weep and tend the graves.The L…

Letters From Latvia - Nica 16th of December 1947

Janis CIRKSIS was a displaced person (DP) after the Soviet union annexed Latvia and the Baltic states during WWII. This is a continuation in the series of letters that he received from his homeland, translated into English. To see the other letters in the series clickHERE.

For more information on Latvian translations please see the Latvian Translations page.

The 12th instalment of the Letters from Latvia series is a little soapy. It deals mostly with Janis' breakup with Vera (the girl at home) and his decision to marry Lidija. This appears to be a little less scandalous now that Janis has apparently explained the circumstances of their breakup. 
The themes to the letter are interesting but even more interesting to me is the subtext. If we look at this letter, and the other letters more broadly we may notice that Katrine's language is deeply philosophical and somewhat poetic. I can't help but think that the original Lativan would be even more so.

Sincere greetings to you, our d…

Basket of Songs 3

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Laša kundze - Mrs SalmonIn this series, I have been posting pages from a hand written song book left to me by my father.  The book is titled Bakset of Songs: Let our Songs Ring out, Brussels Prisoner-of-War Camp December 1945It is also labeled with my father's initials J Č. Click on the following link : Basket of Songs to view the rest of the series.

Ilze, who has been doing an incredible job of translating the Letters from Latvia series has been kind enough to provide a translation of the song titles and a summary of the themes involved. The songs individually over the coming weeks and where I can, I will link to a performance of the melody. At this time, I won't be posting full translations for most of these songs -the Leters from Lativa series will be taking priority.


Song 3 in the book is titled: Laša kundze -Mrs Salmon. It is a humorous song.


Great excitement in the deep because the eel is going to marry the salmon.



A rendition of this song can be found on Youtube: