Pūt vējiņi
"Blow Winds"

Latvian song Free translation Word-for-word translation
Pūt vējiņi, dzen laiviņu
Aizdzen mani Kurzemē.
Blow ye winds and drive my boat
Send me on to *Courland.
blow-2nd.p.sg.imp wind-dim.nom.pl. drive-2nd.p.sg.imp boat-dim.acc.sg.
away-drive-2nd.p.sg.imp me-acc.sg. Courland-loc.sg.
Kurzemniece man solīja
Sav' meitiņu malējiņ'.
A Courish womand promised me
Her daughter, a deft **worker, for my bride.
Courlander-fem.nom.sg. me-dat.sg. promise-3rd.p.pst.
own-(acc.sg.) daughter-dim.acc.sg. miller/grinder-(fem.acc.sg.)
Solīt, sola, bet nedeva;
Teic' man' lielu dzērājiņ'.
Promises, promises — but she broke her promise —
She said I was a drunkard.
promise-inf. promise-3rd.p.pres. but not-give-3rd.p.pst.
say-(3rd.p.pst) me-(acc.sg.) big-acc.sg. drinker-dim.(acc.sg.)
Teic man lielu dzērājiņu,
Kumeliņa skrējējiņ'.
She said I was a drunkard
And a reckless horse racer.
say-(3rd.p.pst) me-(acc.sg.) big-acc.sg. drinker-dim.(acc.sg.)
pony/colt-gen.sg. runner/racer-dim.(acc.sg.)
Kuru krogu es izdēru?
Kam noskrēju kumeliņ'?
Which tavern did I ever drink dry?
Whose horse did I race into the ground?
which-masc.acc.sg. tavern-acc.sg. I-nom.sg. out-drink-1st.p.sg.pst.
whom-dat.sg. down-run/race-1st.p.sg.pst. pony/colt-acc.sg.
Pats par savu naudu dzēru,
Pats skrēj' savu kumeliņ';
I drank on my own tab
And raced my own horse.
self-masc.nom.sg. for own-acc.sg. money-acc.sg. drink-1st.p.sg.pst.
self-masc.nom.sg. run/race-(1st.p.sg.pst) own-acc.sg. pony/colt-(acc.sg.)
Pats precēju līgaviņu
Tēvam, mātei nezinot.
And I married my very own ***bride
Without her parents' knowledge.
self-masc.nom.sg. wed/marry-1st.p.sg.pst. bride/fiancee-dim.acc.sg.
father-dat.sg. mother-dat.sg. not-know-inf.

* Courland (in Latvian: Kur-zeme; literally: the "Land of the Kur") is the westernmost province of Latvia. It has a very long coastline (on the Baltic Sea), and many parts of it could easily be reached by boat.

** The Latvian word malēja (or its diminutive (i.e. endearment) form malējiņa) literally means 'miller', that is, one who grinds grain. In this context, it probably refers to a young woman who has been trained in all the household arts, including grinding her own grain, which, of course, is very hard work.

*** The Latvian word līgava (or its diminutive/endearment form: līgaviņa) most often means fiancée, betrothed, or sweetheart, as well as bride. Interestingly, the word is not a Baltic word originally, but derives from Estonian or Livonian, which are Finnic languages. Perhaps this indicates a high degree of intermarriage between the original Baltic tribes that moved into the area, and the Finnic peoples who were already living there.


To see the explanation of the grammatical abbreviations used in the "word-for-word" translations, go to → Grammatical Abbreviations


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Last revised September 17, 2008