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Lyjo lelijo


“Lyjo Lelijo” is Sutartine, Lithuanian traditional multipart song, three voiced. Sutartine is polyphonic form of singing. From 2010 sutartine is inscribed in UNESCO list as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Sutartine can be two-voiced or three-voiced polyphony, also there are four-part songs that are performed by four singers or groups of singers using two-voiced polyphony.

Three voiced sutartine is performed by minimum three singers or three groups of singers. First group start singing, second group joins later singing in parallel, then third group joins while the first group makes a silent pause. And so all goes round. At any moment only two groups are singing together in parallel. For example, in Lyjo Lelijo song, second group joins after first group finishes refrain “Lyjo Lelijo”. Silent pause is after the main words part – “Kas ty gražiai žydėjo”.

Full text of song

Lyjo lelijo (refrain, no meaning)
Kas ty gražiai žydėjo (en: What was blooming there beautifully)
Lyjo lelijo
Liepa gražiai žydėjo (en: Linen bloomed beautifully)
Lyjo lelijo
Kas tų liepų nukirto (en: Who cut that linden)
Lyjo lelijo
Brolis liepų nukirto (en: Brother cut the linden)
Lyjo lelijo
Sesė žiedus surinko (en: Sister collected blossom)
Lyjo lelijo
Vainykėlį nupynė (en: She braided the wreath)
Lyjo lelijo
Jaunimėlin išėjo (en: Went out)

Versions of song

This is folk song, it means there are many versions of it. Lyjo lelijo part might be changed to – Lylio lelijo or Lijo lelijo. Also other lines are changed or new added. For example, Jaunimėlin nuėjo (Went out) – Šventyklėlėn nuėjo (Went to a temple)/ Bažnytėlėn nuėjo (Went to a church).

Let’s listen

Sutartine Lylio Lelijo performed by ensamble Rėda.

It was raining…

Lyjo version of this Sutartine is most beautiful for me. Lyjo sounds similar to Lijo, meaning in Lithuanian language – it was raining.

It is raining outside, I’m crocheting and humming Lyjo lelijo…

Further information

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