Sing Along with the Song Festival: Arise!

Take note – story published 6 years ago

In preparation for the 2018 Song and Dance Festival, a new Latvian Radio strand featuring traditional Latvian songs to fill the gaps within everyone's singing repertoire. LSM will publish the most popular songs along with lyrics and a sense translation so guests to the country can sing along with Latvia at the time of its founding centenary. 

Celies (Arise!) by Pēteris Barisons (1904-1947) is a men's choral song with themes of yearning for freedom and revival.

Lyrics by poet and political activist Jānis Gulbis (1885-1917). Composed in 1938.

Creative director and conductor of the Gaudeamus choir at the 2018 Song and Dance Festival Ivars Cinkuss tells more about the song.

"It's a song ... about the time when Latvia's fate as a country was decided."

"Jānis Gulbis, journalist and poet, is better known as a revolutionary and left-leaning young man whose poetical oeuvre is neither large nor well known ... It's difficult to say what made Barisons choose this poem by Gulbis, but it's a wonderful narrative about yearning for freedom of the soul, for revival. And these topics are always current ..." says Cinkuss.

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Recording: 1999. Gaudeamus choir conducted by Ivars Cinkuss.


Celies, mana dvēsele, balta kā dūja,
Celies un laidies mākoņu kalnā.
Ilgi tu raudāji, cieti un klusēji,
Vientuļa stingusi ledū un salā…
Tālajos sidraba zvaigžņu lokos
Aizej un bezgala mirdzumā grimsti;
Aizmirsti ciešanas, aizmirsti ciešanas,
Aizmirsti sevi un gaišāka dzimsti.
Celies, mana dvēsele, lepna un brīva,
Celies un laidies mirdzošā tālē.


Arise, my soul, white as a dove,
Arise and soar to the mountain of clouds.
You've cried, suffered, kept silent for long,
Frozen in the ice and frost, alone...
In the faraway arches of stars
Go and slip into the endless brilliance;
Forget your suffering, forget your suffering,
Forget yourself and be born again brighter.
Arise, my soul, proud and free,
Arise and soar to the brilliant distance. 

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