Karaim song “Merry people”

Karaim language belongs to the northwestern group of Turkic languages. In 2020 throughout the world there are only 30 persons living in Lithuania that can speak the language. It is included in the UNESCO list of endangered languages. Lithuanian Karaim community and Karaim people seek spreading the knowledge about this language and promote its learning. The recent Community project is introducing a possibility to learn the Karaim language by singing (we thank the Lithuanian Department for national minorities for its support). Four traditional songs of Lithuanian Karaims are presented in a new musical setting for instruments and several voices. You can now listen to these songs, sing along, learn the melodies and their words in a usual and karaoke adapted way. These are “Kybyn”, “Utrulamach”, “Širiń ėľ”, “Ijisi baraśkiniń”.

Lyrics of the Karaim song “Širiń ėľ” are composed by Mordechaj Sultanski (1772-1863).

The melody was adapted for instruments and voices by ©Audronė Vakarinienė, ©Rytas Lingė. Soloist – Audronė Vakarinienė. Other singers and musicians are members of Vilnius music band “Nalšia” – Audronė Vakarinienė, Rimantas Dulkė, Jonas Kuklys, Asta Pereckienė, Miglė Ivaškevičienė. Rytas Lingė is playing the piano.

More on Karaim musical heritage in Polish and in English.

Širiń ėľ

Širiń ėľ, syjba kieľ,
Kiusiańsiej čahyrny,
Tiuziumia, kiotiurmia
Kobuzlej avazny.
Bijańč, kuvanč arttyra
Ašyrma bu vachtny.

Ičmia, ičmia, siuviar dostlar,
Bolsun siźgia jarych kioźliar,
Siuviarliar sarnarlar,
Dušmanlar jylarlar.
Jylarlar, jylarlar,
Čiopriani ičiarliar.

Mallylar, jarlylar
Kačtylar čalmachka,
Byrhyha, kobuzha
Da čiebiar jyrčechka.
Tiuśliu, tiurliu čozmachlar
Ojatadlar džanny.

Ičmia, ičmia, siuviar dostlar,…

Achčaly dar jarly
Bir bavha košulsa,
Okšalat, tień bolat
Ojunčoch bašlansa.
Tadžly, jarly siekirir
Ėšiťsia kobuznu.

Ičmia, ičmia, siuviar dostlar,

Merry people

Merry people, come with honour
When thirsty for vodka,
When you wish to compose songs and sing
With voices resembling the pitch of a violin.
While increasing joy and happiness
In spending this time.

Don’t drink, don’t drink, dear friends,
Let your eyes be bright!
Let our beloved sing,
The enemies will cry.
They will cry, will cry,
Will drink sour wine.

The rich and the poor
All gathered at the festivities,
When they heard trumpet and violin,
And merry songs.
Many different songs
Revive the soul.

Don’t drink, don’t drink, dear friends…

The wealthy and the penniless
When they come together
All become equal
When the party begins.
The royal and the poor would dance
When they hear the violin.

Don’t drink, don’t drink, dear friends…

Translated by Karina Firkavičiūtė