Lyrics for Voices from the Merry Cemetery. English Translation
From the original Romanian poems by Stan Ioan Patras and Dumitru Pop.

1. The song of Stan Ioan Patras; Woodcarver.
Ever since boyhood
I was called Stan Ion Patras.
Good people hear what I have to say,
And I will tell you no word of a lie.
For as long as I lived
I never wished anyone harm,
Only good, as much as I could
No matter for whom
Oh this poor old world of mine
It was hard to live through it
From the age of 14
I had to work for a living,
Heavy work, in the forest
with axe and saw.
My father left for the war
from which he never returned,
Leaving us behind, three small children,
in a world full of suffering.
Oh this poor old world of mine
It was hard to live through it
I would have liked to live longer
to see my dreams come true.
Until yesterday I have had visitors
from sixty-two countries
and visits from many Heads of State.
From this time
Those who come here will find me gone.
I wish you all only the best,
All you folks who came to visit.
2. The song of Stan Ileana; Mother.
Here I rest,
Stan Ileana is my name.
I lived 38 years.in this world,.
During my life I gave birth to six little girls.
They grew up without their mama,
and full of pity I was for them.
The smallest one
I held in my arms
My six daughters have grown up
without me, as orphans.
When I left this life
the youngest was just a baby.
In my arms I held her.
In my arms I held her.
3. The song of Dimitru Holdis; alcoholic.
The Water of life is pure poison,
She brings only tears and pain.
She brought only this to me
and put me on the road to death.
Those who like a good skinful
will come to the same end as me.
I died with her in my hand.
Herein lies
Dumitru Holdis.
He lived 45 years
Killed by death.
4. The song of Ion Lupatoc; Dancer.
Here you find me, George Lupatoc.
I was full of life in both work and play.
For as long as the world was good to me
I danced and played with merriment
For as long as I had the strength to work
I strove to build a fortune.
Much good that was
when I arrived at my grave,
Leaving this life in my 77th year.
5. The song of the Drowned Boy
On the evening of 9th June
I left to get some spring water.
My parents didn't know.
I was brought home drowned.
No one knows what happened,
They simply found me dead,
In Sapanta near a rock.
I leave the world sad behind me.
Oh, my poor short life,
How little of it I got to live,
How little of it I got to live.
6. The song of Ilie Persil; Musician.
Like green leaf of the chamomile bush
that becomes red in the autumn,
I am Ilie Petrenjel,
A traditional musician,
and the oldest man in the village.
The two Petreus brothers sang with me
when we went to play in Baia Mare.
I even made it to Bucharest
with my old-style routines.
I wish you all as much fun as I,
all of you who look at me,
and I wish you a long life too,
All ninety and six years of it.
7. The song of Tarasan Ioanna; Wife.
Tarasan Ioanna is my name.
With bees and beehives
I spent my days.
Oh, my dear husband, my companion,
Near my side your resting place awaits.
After your death, you will rest here beside me.
But there's no need to hurry,
Here we will have all the time in the world.
8. The song of Stan Mihai Patras; Soldier.
I was Stan Mihai Patras
and I'll tell you my story briefly.
It began in the year 1914
in a cold, cold war.
I left my house, three children
and a very sick wife,
And off to the front I went.
My enemies shot me
and buried me there,
in Italy, near a fir tree,
in Italy,
in Italy.
9. The song of the Mother - in - Law.
Below this heavy cross
Lies my poor old mother-in-law.
If she'd lived another three days
I'd be lying here and she'd be reading this!
For those of you passing this way
Try not to wake her up.
Because if she comes by the house,
Once again she'll be taking issue with me
Personally I intend to do my best
To see that she remains here
Safely in her grave.
10. The song of Pop Ileana; a sad life.
Pop Ileana is my name
Ileana with the limp,
I wasn't dear to anyone.
We were my mothers' six daughters,
and I the eldest.
I didn't have much luck with my man,
Maybe it was partly my fault too.
I loved my child,
He came after me.
I left this life at 37 years.
11. The song of Toaderu Persil, the Miller.
For my life in this world
I was named Toader of Petrenjel.
A good farmer and a good miller,
Maker of good flour,
exactly as each preferred.
I had three children,
and well I raised them,
Well I taught them
to be someone the village could be proud of.
Beautiful was my life,
eighty seven years of it.

12. The song of Stan Anuta Deloae; Farmers' wife;
Toader Holdis. Shepherd;
Husar Ion; Distiller.

Those who wish to get ahead
should take pleasure in raising their calves,
and wake up early in the morning,
That's how I lived my life.
La la la…
Those who wish to get ahead
Should wake up early in the morning
Holder Toader is my name
I enjoyed looking after the sheep.
I spent all my time tending them,
the best shepherd in the village
La la la…
Those who wish to get ahead
Should wake up early in the morning
Husar ion is my name
I make prune brandy by the barrel,
Prune brandy for your little hipflask
For you to bring to your sweetheart.
La la la…
Those who wish to get ahead
Should wake up early in the morning
Here is brandy made with prunes
for you to drink and make you merry.
Here is brandy made with cherries
A favorite drink for all the ladies.
La la la…
Those who wish to get ahead
Should wake up early in the morning

13. O Wind and Waves.
O Wind and Waves
O Waves and Winds

Of all the ships the ocean rolls
How many find untimely graves
Piled high by you upon the shoals,
O waves and winds, o winds and waves?

How many a bird that leaves its bower
And o'er the sky in autumn droves
You beat and blindly overpower,
O winds and waves, o waves and winds?

Should easy luck or high endeavour
Be our aim it little saves,
For you pursue our footsteps ever,
O waves and winds, o winds and waves.

Still, it is past our comprehending
What design your song enslaves,
Rolling on until time's end,
O winds and waves, O waves and winds.
O Wind and Waves,
O Waves and Winds…..
From the poem Dintre Sute de Catarge by Mihai Eminescu (1850 - 1889)
Translated by Corneliu M. Popescu

 
   




 

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