Sub o Salcie Pletoasă

from Izvora by The Nightingale Trio

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Sub o Salcie Pletoasă
Romanian Orthodox hymn, arranged by Ayanna Woods

We are honored to have recorded our first ever commission by our dear friend Ayanna Woods. Sarah learned this song from Irina Ivorciuc in Gura Humorului, Romania; it is a well-known old Orthodox hymn. Romanian songs are usually sung by only one voice or in unison—so it was Ayanna’s brilliant ear that drew out these gorgeous harmonies. We have had powerful moments singing it around the country, where the story rings too true: A woman weeps for a child taken by politics and greed. With branches in hand she rises to build the new day.


Sub o salcie pletoasă
Maica Sfântă se ruga
Şi cu vocea-ndurerată
Către salcie grăia:

Daca imi cunosti durerea
Şi vroiesti sa mi-o alini
Da-mi din ramurile tale
O cununa fara spini.

Fiul meu e sus pe cruce
Insangerat si-n mare chin
Si cu ea la el m-oi duce
Durerea sa i-o alin.

Atunci, salcia inalta,
Crengile şi-a aplecat,
Maica a facut cununa
Si-a plecat la Golgota.

Dar iudeii nu o lasara
C-o cununa fara spini
Caci vroiau ca el sa moara
Insangerat si-n mare chïn.

English translation:
Under a weeping willow the holy mother prayed, and in a soft voice to the willow she spoke: “If you could know my pain, and had heart to soothe me, you would give me your branches.” Then the high willow bowed its head and dropped its branches, and the mother gathered them and wove a crown with no thorns.


from Izvora, released September 9, 2016


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The Nightingale Trio

The Nightingale Trio is village harmonies, birdsong lullabies, and moonlit round dances. They reignite the flame of women's folk music from Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

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