CD by the SIA Rigas skanu ierakstu studija ()
Aldis Ermanbriks, tel. +371-7225725, fax +371-7226407

Dedicated to our fatherland Latvia (1918-1998)
and its capital Riga (1198-1998)

We herald those splendid years with bugle calls and honour the Livonian people, the first founders of Riga.

Let us listen to these sounds and dwell in our minds with the people whose history is written in letters of blood, its survivors scarcely enough to embrace a large oak or linden tree, its language spoken by just a score in the whole world. But an entire family, the STALTI, still belongs to it.

The Latvians have assimilated the Livonians and produced very tall men and dialects tinged by elements of the Livonian language as a result. Julgi and Davis, the children of the Stalti Family are the last to speak the Livonian language as their native one.

The Stalti Family are beginners of folklore movement in Latvia. Armed with their folk songs, traditions and rites they have struggled to regain the recognition of their national identity, towards free and independent Latvia.

Dainis and Helmi Stalti have established the Skandinieki, group of folklore friends, November 11,1976 in Riga. A number of people who are nowadays leaders of Latvian folk groups have found their ways towards understanding and appreciation of folklore thanks to the Skandinieki. Through the years a lot of work has been done in expeditions across the country looking for folk narrators, exploring their inheritance. The characteristic resounding voices of the Skandinieki singers are easily recognizable, monumental and massive. The repertoire consists of a profound choice of songs, games and dances from all districts of Latvia. A vast variety of themes are covered. A special attention is paid to annual festivities, exploring and promotion of family celebrations. The Stalti family has cherished the legacy of the Livonians in particular and the Latvians in general. The European prize for folk art was awarded in 1993 for publicizing of the heritage of the Livonians and fostering of understanding between nations. The Stalti family and the Skandinieki have toured abroad to the U. S. A., France, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia and Lithuania.

Song is the sole language for the Livonian people to address the world's big and small nations in the future. It is the language the Stalti family is going to address You, dear listener, and tell you about the tight bonds between the ancient Livonians and the Sea, Nature and God. You will hear it in the shepherds' songs, lullabies, songs about the sea, annual rites, wedding traditionals. Those who will, will understand the message from the Great Song of the small nation.

Translation by Aivars Ginters

Livonian (Liv) Songs

1. Tt kutsimi / The Call of the Birch-bark Horn 0: 32

2. Kalme loul / Fishermen's Song (Composer unknown, words by K. Stalte) 2: 02
Who rocked me when I was little,
Who cradled me?
My mother rocked and cradled me.

3. Kas tndd m? / Do You Know the Land? (French folk melody interpreted by K. A. Hermann, words by Petr Damberg) 2: 48
How lovely is our Liv land,
Can you see?
From Slitere to the blue sea,
It brings together the Liv villages.

4. Srkadril / The Great Quadrille 1: 42

5. Ast, ve, tlpa pl! / Hurry, Brother, Step On Up! (Marriage song) 2: 46
Hurry, brother, step on up!
Blow your copper horn,
Wake up the mother's daughter
Wallowing in her pillows.

6. Lagggid, rimgid! / Make Way! (Marriage song) 1: 16
Make way,
The flower's being brought in,
The flower's being brought in
With all its branches.

7. Md szr ' / Our Sister (Wedding Song) 1: 19
Come out, sister,
From that bear trap,
Don't let the bears catch you
And tear your shawl.

8. Ilzn dat / The Dance From Ilzene 1: 52

9. Min pliz Jumlst / Prayer to God (Marriage song) 2: 03
I beseeched of God
Threefold fortune.
A good horse for the road,
A wise wife at home.
The third fortune I asked
Of God was health.

10. Lvd valts / The Livonian Waltz (Melody by Julgi Stalte) 1: 32

11. Mddn mierst vjgist aig / From the Sea Emerged 1: 46
From the sea emerged
Two yellow steeds.
One had a gold saddle,
The other a silver bridle.

12. Mis ni teb? / What Shall We Do (Two wedding dances) 2: 35
What shall we do, what shall we do,
The guests are coming in.
Who'll help,
Pants are full.

13. Kus sa ldo, lotkibr? / Where are You Headed, Crooked Cap? (Game) 1: 09
Where are you going, crooked cap?
I'm going to the tavern to drink
And dance with the young girls.

14. Suitd dat / The Suitins (Dance) 1: 26

15. Lliz iz, lliz puoga / The Father Sang, the Son Sang (Table song) 2:05
The father sings, the son sings,
Two servant men sing.
The father and his son sing more
Than the two servant men.

16. dn izn dks puoig / One Father Has Nine Sons (Family song) 1:33
One father
Has nine sons,
Each of the nine
Is an artisan.

17. Pg, t! / Blow, Wind! (Wedding song) 2:26
The autumn comes,
I'll take a wife,
And invite my wedding guests.
We'll celebrate for three days,
Let the bride's relatives dance.

18. lgamag ja Saljdat / Voice of the Bagpipes and The Thief (Dance, melodies by Raigo Stalts) 2:17

19. dg / Evening (Family song, Estonian folk melody interpreted by K.A.Hermann) 1:46

20. Eij, eij / Cradle Song 2:18
Small mice, big mice,
Bring the child some sleep.
Through the room, through the chamber,
Through the warm bread stove.

21. Unn rki / Where Are You Rushing, Sleepy Mouse? (Cradle song) 2:32

22. Pitk iga / Long time (Game) 1:48
Let's all hold hands and make a circle.

23. Rir, nda semdi / Give Milk! (Cowherd's song) and Cowherd's Weeping 1:37
Give us milk,
Full to the brim of my palm.

24. Jda, jda, pva joko! / Hurry, Hurry, Sun (Herder's song) and Dark Head, Motley Head! 1:39
Hurry, hurry, sun,
To where the spring water runs.
My shoes are shot,
My chunk of bread is small.

25. Titorlinkist / Little Bird (Easter song) 2:04

26. J loul / Midsummer (Saint John) Song 1:59
Oh, John, John of blossoms,
What do you have on board?
I'm bringing the lasses golden crowns,
And marten hats for the lads.

27. rmaz jem! / Dear Mother! (Vastlavju, or Shrovetide, song) 1: 55
Dear mother, let the children in,
The mummers' feet are freezing.

28. Kps et van tti ja Tik bok / The Hare Buried His Father and The Roebuck (Two games) 1: 21
The hare buried his father
At the edge of the field.
I wanted to take a look -
I laughed so hard, I couldn't.
The wolf jumped over the fence to catch the goat but broke his leg.

29. Kik broutiz Rg / The Rooster Went to Riga (Game song) 1: 38
The rooster went to Riga,
Three peas in his cart.
While he was in the tavern
The chicken ate his cargo.

30. Krakovjak / The Krakowiak (Dance) 1: 14
Oh, you crazy city girl,
All you dance is the Krakowiak.
Sasmaka's burning,
The Jews are screaming.
"I don't care, I want to dance!"

31. Kuolmkep / Three-Hands (Dance) 1: 39

32. Ak, tti, van Adrks! / Oh, Daddy, Old Andrks! (Dance) 2: 04
Oh, daddy, old Andrks!
What a nice little bird.

33. Su dat / Wolf Dance (melody by Julgi Stalte) 1: 42

34. Lvd meldi / Livonian Melody 2: 22

35. Min izm / My Fatherland (Livonian hymn, melody by Fr. Pacius, words by Krli Stalte) 2: 17
My fatherland,
You are dear to me!
Where waves lap against the native shore,
Where I hear my beloved mother tongue!

Translation by Rita Laima Krievina