Spring Wind Blows the Waters

One of the most beautiful pieces of Hungarian folklore is the folk song from Székely Land “The spring wind blows the waters...” which has a number of variations.

Folk music is like the mother tongue. It is a common treasure which is unique in every culture. Béla Vikár initiated the collection of Hungarian folklore heritage which began in 1896. Two Hungarian world famous composers, Zoltán Kodály and Béla Bartók continued and carried out his work; they made their mark not only as collectors but also in systematization. Thanks to their work, Hungarian folk music research still ranks high the world over and through their tunes and works Hungarian folk music has become a part of universal civilization.

Zoltán Kodály made teaching of folk music a part of public education with the help of the method named after him which has since been taught in a number of different countries in the world. Thanks to this method, Hungarian children learn about folk songs early in kindergarden and one of the first pieces of every child’s repertoire is “The spring wind blows the waters...”. The very folk song whose secret and beauty lies in its simplicity which has since become a basic element of Hungarian culture.

Hungarian folk songs are characterised by their diversity. The lyrics of almost every song reflects a holistic approach to the world; the words touch upon the deepest human feelings; through these words the worlds of past ages which are past their prime come alive and with them world of has-been peasantry does so as well. “The spring wind blows the waters...” is no exception where water is used as a metaphor of the source of all life, i.e. of love. There are a number of adaptations of this popular folk song in contemporary culture as well. Thus we introduce some of them.

Performed by Erzsi Török and Sándor Tekeres

The singer Erzsébet Török decorated by Kossuth Prize (Kossuth-díj) and by Artist of Merit (Érdemes Művész) had been a popular and widely respected performer of Hungarian folk songs from the beginning of the thirties of last century till her very last performance. Her beautiful mezzo-soprano voice and characteristically authentic and clear reciting charmed not only her audience but also the critics. The grand lady of Hungarian folk singing performed this popular song together with another celebrated artist of folk singing Sándor Tekeres. 

Through the Piano of Béla Szakcsi Lakatos

One of the most outstanding performers of Hungarian jazz is the virtuoso pianist and composer Béla Szakcsi Lakatos. The artist was awarded both a Liszt Ferenc Prize and a Kossuth Prize is not only excellent in jazz but also in every musical genre. This particularly gifted artist has become known worldwide thanks to his American recording contracts and participation in international festivals. Please listen to the Hungarian folksong performed by Magyar Jazz Quartet with Béla Szakcsi Lakatos on piano.

As a Gesture of Freddie Mercury

Queen gave a concert in Budapest in 1986 and the Hungarian folk song, “The spring wind blows the waters...” has become internationally famous thanks to the kind gesture of Freddie Mercury. The peak of the fantastic concert was when Freddie Mercury walked up to the front of the stage and said: “This is a very special song, from Queen, to you.” Then reading the lyrics from his palm he started to sing in Hungarian: “Tavaszi szél vizet áraszt, virágom, virágom”. The lucky ones who were present in the audience said that the celebration was so enormous that the stadium (Népstadion) giving home to the concert nearly blew up. Then Freddie conducted the next verse which he sang together with the audience. Six years later the familiar tune was once again heard when Guns N’ Roses gave a concert in Hungary and as a tribute to the legendary singer performed the song. Please listen to the memorable Freddie Mercury performance:

In Modern Adaptation

The ensemble Holdviola (meaning in Hungarian Moon Violet) was founded in 2006 in Miskolc. The group interpret folk songs in a modern style giving them a special new meaning. Their spectacular performances are enriched with special choreography and settings and other visual experiences.