Music Monday: Nationalistic Latvian Rock

From the 1960s on, rock and roll was extremely popular in the entire Soviet Union. Much like the themes in the West, Soviet rock had themes of anti-authority. These sort of lyrics soon had the Kremlin ban rock, thus creating another underground culture. It was only under Gorbachev, in the 1980s, that they could officially release albums.

The hard-rock band Līvi, was formed in 1976 by members Ēriks Ķiģelis and Juris Pavītols in the far western city of Liepāja, then in Soviet-controlled Latvia (now independent Latvia). Their first song, embedded below, was released in 1976. It is strongly pro-Latvian, emphasizing national identity. Even the band’s name hints at this. The Līvi are another name for the Livonians, the ancient Baltic people who fought against foreign control and oppression. Clearly, under Soviet control, the message is not lost.

The lyrics, with translation:

Vienā valodā raud visi ļaudis,             In one language all people weep,
Vienā valodā, valodā tie smej.            In one language, they laugh.
Tikai dzimtā valoda dzēš sāpes,         Only a native language deletes pain,
Prieku dziesmas dod, atdod pasaulei.  Songs give joy, return to the world.

Dzimtā valodā ir māte, māte,           In a native language a mother is a mother,
Dzimtā valodā vīns vēl saldāks,       In a native language wine still is sweeter,
Dzimtā valodā pasmejies pie sevis pats.  In a native language he laughs to himself.

Kad nespēsi ne dziedāt, ne raudāt,    When you will not able not to sing or cry,
Kad tu nespēsi vairs it nekā                 When you will not be able anymore in no way at all
Ar debesīm, zemi tu klusēsi,                With the skies, you will silence the land,
Tas būs tavā dzimtā valodā.                  It will be in your native language.

Dzimtā valodā ir māte, māte,           In a native language a mother is a mother
Dzimtā valodā vīns vēl saldāks,       In a native language wine still is sweeter
Dzimtā valodā pasmejies pie sevis pats.  In a native language he laughs to himself

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This entry was posted in Culture, Current Events, epilepsy, Languages, Latvia, Soviet Union and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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