The traditional Latvian folk song is known as a Daina. In Latvia, it is called a tautas dziesma. To the Latvian ancestors, the Dainas are folk songs that reflect a world view that connects the person to the world around them through their own understanding. The Latvian folk poetry and the collection of songs has grown to over 1.2 million songs. This includes over 30,000 different melodies. Latvian Dainas are written about all different aspects of life including life, birth, death, love, the fields, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, daughters, animals, the sun, the moon. All aspects of early Latvian life can be heard through the songs of the Dainas.
What are the Latvian Dainas?
Since the 6th century, Latvian farmers and the people of Latvia have been singing songs about every aspect of life. This short form of poetry was passed down from mother to child and shared amongst campfires in this deep literary tradition and key element of life in Latvia. The ancient poetry of Latvia makes the country a country of poets. Learn more about the Latvian Dainas and the mythology and folklore of Latvia here at Baltic Creators.
The Mystery of the Trochaic Meter
About 95% of Daina folk songs written are written in a Trochaic Meter. What is a Trochaic Meter? There are many beautiful songs that are written in this form.
Ligo is one of my favorite Latvian Dainas and though in Latvian Dainas, they do not intentionally rhyme sometimes you will find moments of rhyme happening naturally.
Examples of a Latvian Daina
Examples of Latvian Dainas are varied as there are over 1.2 million songs to be song. Here are some of our favorite Dainas from the last 300 years. These are the songs that were passed down from our fathers and mothers.