Boldogasszony anyánk (Joyous Lady our mother), folk song

Boldogasszony anyánk szűz Mária, népdal - Domján Gábor felvétele

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Török Erzsi, népdalénekesI heard this folk song from Erzsébet Török in the first years of the 1970-ies. This, or its variants are sung at rural parish-feasts, most likely in Transylvania too where she came from. The term ”Joyous Lady” for the Virgin Mary is a Hungarian speciallity as far as I know coming perhaps from the pagan times, referring to the pagan goddess of our predecessors, the phrase somehow surviving a millennium of christianity.

Erzsébet Török was a fantastic singer. I loved her singing very much. If my poor memory serves me well I sang this song at her funeral in 1973.


(continued below in the “Notes >>>” )

Boldogasszony anyánk (népdal)

Boldogasszony anyánk, mennyei pátrónánk,
Ha nem jössz, elveszünk, ha nem jössz, elveszünk.

Gyászba borult egek, háborgó tengerek
Csillaga, Mária, csillaga, Mária.

Nagy kiáltásokkal, könny hullajtásokkal
Hozzád kiáltozunk, hozzád kiáltozunk.

Hajnal szép csillaga, anyánk, szűz Mária
Hozzád fohászkodunk, hozzád fohászkodunk.

Joyous Lady our mother (folk song)

Joyous Lady our mother, our heavenly patron,
If you don’t come we perish.

Mournful skies, furious seas,
Thou art the star over them Mary.

In great cries, our tears falling endlessly,
we keep on shouting to thee.

Beautiful star of the dawn, our mother Virgin Mary,
to Thee we sigh.

(non-literary, verbatim translation)


copy built by Tihamer Romanek in 1999. The original instrument: Wendelin Tieffenbrucker (1551-1611, Padua), Brussels (M.I. No 1563).

ARCHILIUTO (olasz) – ARCHLUTE (angol)

ARCHILIUTO (olasz) – ARCHLUTE (angol)



The lyrics of this folk song is sung here the same way as my memory serves me today. I just couldn’t find the original. Should I find a publication of it later I sure will paste it somewhere here.

However, this might be an apt example of the nature of folk songs and of ”poetical themes wandering freely and being transformed locally” as I mentioned in the introduction. The singer remembers something, somehow, and sings it freely.

The lute accompaniment of this song is based on the chords of András L. Kecskés.

Some more personal addendum on the pretext of Erzsébet Török: Zsuzsanna Gedényi writes in her memoirs („Csillagom, révészem – Török Erzsi tükre”, <Püski Kiadó, Budapest, 1997>)

One of our acquaintances had a tumbledown old Tatraplan car. Far not everybody had a car those days, privately owned cars were rarities indeed. This kind gentleman offered to give a lift to the singer lady… … all in all, we had two more punctures coming home from the country so we arrived back in Budapest at haf past seven in the morning.

I believe this „kind gentleman”might have been my father. Not only had he a tumbledown Czech Tatraplan at the end of the 50-ies, but he also knew many artists of that age personally. I also have a memory of my mother crying and quarelling early in the morning why my father didn’t phone her (of course, there were no public booths on highways, nor did simple people like us usually have a phone at their homes in the communist era). It might have been this occasion I believe.

My father was a truly good father. I sing this song to him, to Erzsébet Török and to every soul who have already passed this transitional physical world – that is, to the community of saints – commending them and all of us still alive here into the mercy of God, using the symbol of parental love – the Joyous Lady Mother – for the love of God.

Domjan-Jenő,Édesapam, én: Gábor, Feri bátyám, Laci öcsém, 1957
My father, dr Jenő Domján, me and my brothers Ferenc and László in 1957