As we lead up to February 24th, Estonia's national day, I find myself thinking of last years song festival, and one of the more beautiful songs in the incredible choral tradition of Estonia is a setting of a poem by Juhan Liiv, as follows:
Ta lendab lillest lillesse,
ja lendab mesipuu poole;
ja tõuseb kõuepilv ülesse -
ta lendab mesipuu poole.
Ja langevad teele tuhanded;
veel koju jõuavad tuhanded
ja viivad vaeva ja hoole
ja lendavad mesipuu poole!
Nii hing, oh hing, sa raskel a'al -
kuis õhkad sa isamaa poole;
kas kodu sa, kas võõral maal -
kuis ihkad sa isamaa poole!
I have tried to translate it:
She flies from flower to flower
and returning flies to the honeycomb
and as thunder clouds increase above
She returning flies to the honeycomb.
Though thousands fall on the road
still thousands may return home.
and forget their pain and worries
and they fly returning to the honeycomb.
So soul, oh soul, in hard times
as you sigh for your homeland
then you are home- even in a foreign land
as you yearn for your homeland
The performance last year was electric, and very beautiful, as you can hear and see here
30,000 people singing is a truly stirring sight