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.
Dziś do ciebie przyjść nie mogę ("I can't come to you today") or Kołysanka ("The Lullaby") is a World War II "partisan" song from occupied Poland. Both lyrics and music were written in 1943 by Stanisław Magierski (nom de guerre "Jacek II"), a pharmacist from Lublin and a member of the anti-Nazi resistance, the Home Army. The most widely known version of the song, however, differs significantly from Magierski's original version, as the song was passed around through word of mouth. The song describes the longing of a soldier in the anti-German partisans who is unable to come see his beloved because he has to hide out in the forest.
In the 1960s the song was a basis for a theatrical play directed by Ireneusz Kanicki. While the play initially opened up in Warsaw, when it was moved to Lublin, the region in which the song originated, it was put on one hundred and eighty times and was attended by more than one hundred thousand viewers, which set a record for attendance at the Juliusz Osterwa Theatre in Lublin - Wiki
* Zakazane piosenki (Forbidden Songs) is a 1946 Polish musical film directed by Leonard Buczkowski. It was the first feature film to be created in Poland following the six years of World War II.