Lie, ciocârlie

Not unlike Mr. Shelley, Romanians have always admired the skylark, a small bird often found nesting in cornfields and famous for singing while in flight. This song is a great example of a doina, a weeping, monophonic tune which Wikipedia can tell you more about.

Melancholy is brought to you by “the Gorj Nightingale”, Maria Lătăreţu (1911-1972).

Lie*, ciocârlie,
ce ţi-a venit ţie
de cânţi pe câmpie
singură pe lan,
fără ciocârlan?

Mie mi-a venit
de anul trecut,
cuibul mi-am făcut
sub brazdă de plug.
Plugul n-a ştiut
cuibul mi-a stârnit,
puii mi-au murit.
Şi mi-am pus în gând
ca să zbor în vânt,
să dau de pământ
să mor mai curând.

Lark, oh, skylark,
what has come over you?
Singing on the plains,
alone in the cornfield,
without your companion?

It’s come over me
since last year,
when I made my nest
in a furrow made by the plough.
The plough didn’t know,
it tore up my nest,
my chicks were all dead.
So I set out
to fly in the wind,
so I can hit the ground
and die sooner myself.

* “Lie” is just an onomatopoea.

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