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Have a musical memory that you’d like to share? Throughout the month we will post listener submitted recollections here and share a few on MPBN’s Facebook page. Send your memory to us at music@mpbn.net.CLICK HERE to hear a musical memory aired on Maine Public Radio and Maine Public ClassicalCLICK HERE to learn more about MPBN’s instrument donation projectOur listeners’ favorite music recollections:


My dad was originally from Poland, arriving in the US in the early 1950s. His journey was complicated — refusing to join the Hitler Youth he got thrown out of high school and ended up apprenticing with an electrician. Eventually he was pressed into service and dug trenches for the Germans until the front was advancing at such a rate they told the men to go home — my dad and his buddies jumped the border and were picked up by the Allied forces and given the option of sitting for a Radio Corps exam or going to a POW camp — my dad opted for the former and passed and ended up repairing radios for the allied troops until the end of the war, remaining in Italy for a few years, then England, and to the US in 1951 (his dream all along). — He did not see his parents or sister from the time he was pressed into service until 1961 when he took the next sister in line (I'm the oldest of 5) and I to Poland with him.

My mother was born in the US but raised in Poland (her father taking his wife and children back to a farm he had in Poland when the depression hit). While attending a business high school, she was "pressed into service" by a cousin who was active in the Resistance movement in Warsaw so my mother ended up functioning as a courier — they cut out sections of her high school books and put messages in them. The Nazis never caught this, but they went to my grandparents' village and insisted that my mother and uncle report to the Nazi headquarters so they could be sent to internment camps (not concentration camps) as they were both US citizens (my grandparents were not) and could be used as exchange prisoners if needed. My mother ended up in a camp in France and uncle in one in Austria. When the Allied troops liberated the camps, my mother and uncle found themselves in NY City while my grandparents remained in Poland until 1959.

My father promised to look in on my grandfather's farm while we were in Poland for those three weeks in July 1961. Transportation in the 1960s was train, trolley, or in the case of getting to the farm, a canvas covered truck much like army transport. We climbed aboard, sitting on wooden benches amidst villagers (farmers, farm hands, grandparents, etc.) — I was 6, Mari was 4. We were quite the novelty and our fellow passengers taught us some folk tunes. One that I remember (Had no clue what it referred to) was Szła dzieweczka. So much is woven into that song for me — not the meaning of the lyrics as I did not know what they meant until I started to write this, but the fact that I got to be part of my father's return home (and to this day recall seeing him encounter the electrician who protected him from being pressed into service for as long as he could, and that electrician being indirectly responsible for my dad working for allied forces and eventually getting to the US — he had not known that my dad was coming to Poland to visit — they embraced, tears streaming down their faces), see my grandparents (dad's parents) for the one and only time I'd ever get to see them, see where my dad had grown up, see where my mom had grown up; and feel the coming together of past and present, but to have it anchored/held with the international "language" of music — the people on that canvas covered truck were not English speaking and I did not speak but a few words of Polish but we "spoke" through the magic of music — bridging generations, creating a free space in a then communist run country — smiles, laughter, and tunes as we bounced on those benches going down the country roads...all woven into that trip and my memory (p.s., my cousin had to laugh when he learned the song they'd taught us saying that it is sung at weddings — Jozek is my only first cousin and remains in Poland — my dad was the only one who came over — he was so in love with this country — a true patriot)


Szła dzieweczka

This is a very well-known folk song from the early 19th century. It's sung at weddings and other special occasions.

Szła dzieweczka do laseczka
do zielonego,
do zielonego,
do zielonego.
Napotkała myśliweczka
Bardzo szwarnego,
bardzo szwarnego,
bardzo szwarnego.

Gdzie jest ta ulica,
gdzie jest ten dom
Gdzie jest ta dziewczyna,
co kocham ją?
Znalazłem ulicę,
znalazłem dom,
Znalazłem dziewczynę,
co kocham ją.

O mój miły myśliweczku,
bardzom ci rada,
bardzom ci rada,
bardzom ci rada.
Dałabym ci chleba z masłem,
alem go zjadła,
alem go zjadła,
alem go zjadła.
A young girl went to the forest,
to the green forest
to the green forest
to the green forest.
The young girl met a hunter,
a very cheerful hunter
a very cheerful hunter
a very cheerful hunter.

Where is the path?
Where is your house?
Where is the girl
That I love the most?
I found the path.
I found her house.
I found the girl
That I love the most.

My dear hunter, nice guy,
Very glad to meet you.
Very glad to meet you.
Very glad to meet you.
I would like to give you bread and butter
But, sorry I ate it already.
But, sorry I ate it already.
But, sorry I ate it already.