This video is intended to demonstrate the various guitar parts for the Polish folksongHej sokoły. It is also a demonstration of chord melody guitar technique whereby the guitarist plays the harmony, melody and bass all at the same time.
The tabs for this song are provided below. I hope they are accurate. I probably play the song a little differently each time, so don't be alarmed if you what you get is not exactly what you see. Have fun!
Hej Sokoły is a traditional Polish song that was popular among soldiers during the Polish-Soviet War. The title translates roughly as "hey falcons." The lyrics exist in several versions about a Ukrainian girl to whom her betrothed, either a cossack or an ulan says goodbye for the last time.
Although its exact origins are unknown, the song was believed to have been written by the Polish-Ukrainian poet-songwriter Tomasz Padura in the first half of the 19th century. It is representative of what is known as the Ukrainian school of Polish literature. The song also became popular in Ukraine, with a slightly different text in Ukrainian.
The tune was popular among Polish soldiers during the Polish-Soviet War, and was also sung by the Polish Home Army guerrillas during World War II. Here is a more complete version:
The old photos in this video once belonged to my grandmother who grew up in Podolsze near Zator, Poland. The wayside shrine in the video, although removed and hidden from invading armies during WWII, is still there. When I visited in 2012, I found family and much love in Podolsze, and there is a special place in my heart for its people.
Piaseczno, my paternal grandfather's village, is located near Sępólno Krajeńskie north of Bydgoszcz. I'll never forget walking through the woods on my way to the village and the special feeling I had knowing that I was walking along the same trail that my ancestors must have taken to get to church and to market.
Poland is a modern and vibrant country and well worth discovering in person, even if one is not particularly interested in its rich culture and turbulent history. This video ignores the modernity and focuses on a much simpler time; you know, before we had high-definition digital photography. I hope you like the music too.
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, Oberek), as well as modern dance, contemporary dance and ballet are all widely performed today throughout the Polonia community.