Polish folk music was collected in the 19th century by Oskar Kolberg, as part of a wave of Polish national revival. With the coming of the world wars and then the Communist state, folk traditions were oppressed or subsumed into state-approved folk ensembles. The most famous of the state ensembles are Mazowsze and Śląsk, both of which still perform. Though these bands had a regional touch to their output, the overall sound was a homogenized mixture of Polish styles. There were more authentic state-supported groups, such as Słowianki, but the Communist sanitized image of folk music made the whole field seem unhip to young audiences, and many traditions dwindled rapidly.
Polish dance music, especially the mazurka and polonaise, were popularized by Frederick Chopin, and they soon spread across Europe and elsewhere. These are triple time dances, while five-beat forms are more common in the northeast and duple-time dances like the krakowiak come from the south. The polonaise comes from the French word for Polish to identify its origin among the Polish aristocracy, who had adapted the dance from a slower walking dance called chodzony. The polonaise then re-entered the scene and became an integral part of Polish music.
Poland's five national dances (Mazur, Polonez, Kujawiak, Krakowiak, Waltz), as well as modern dance, contemporary dance and ballet are all widely performed today throughout the Polonia community.
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CLICK HERE to view photos and videos of Toronto's Polish Heritage Day.
CLICK HERE to pray the Rosary in Polish with Saint John Paul ll.
CLICK HERE to view Caribbean Polka Cruise photos and videos.
Polonia Music's mission is to provide an online collection of the most cherished Polish songs enjoyed by people of Polish heritage. It is hoped that the collection will serve as a resource for anyone interested in traditional Polish music, Poland, and Polonia. Whenever possible, video, audio, links, lyrics and chords are provided to enhance your visit.
Georgetown University Press has reprinted one of the most important books on World War II. This story jumps off the pages like a spy thriller documenting Karski's experiences in the Polish Underground and one of the first accounts of slaughter of the Jews by Nazi Germany. This is a must read for anyone trying to understand both history and the current landscape in Europe.
"Soft Kitty" is a lullaby made popular in America by Sheldon, a character on the TV show, The Big Bang Theory. The original title was (and still is) "Wlazł kotek na płotek". The melody was composed by Stanisław Moniuszko in the year 1849 at a party with his friends as three voice canon.The song's lyrics were originally written by Oskar Kolberg:
Wlazł kotek na płotek
ładna to piosenka niedługa
Nie długa, nie krótka
lecz w sam raz.
Zaspiewaj koteczku jeszcze raz.
CLICK HERE to hear an instrumental version of "Wlazł kotek na płotek" as performed by Bob Johnson of PoloniaMusic.com and baby granddaughter, Nora Johnson. (She's our latest "CD Baby").
Tradition is not to preserve the ashes but to pass on the flame.
- Thomas Moore
Each book is based on a certain moment in the history of Auschwitz shown from the perspective of those who took part in these events, as well as those who witnessed them. The books, recommended for readers 14 and older, were published In co-operation with The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim. If you are interested in finding out more about the collection, CLICK HERE.
Episodes from Auschwitz
Saint John Paul II Commemorative Porcelain Collector Plate