31 July 2022

Once There Was a King - A Polish Lullaby

This is a rather startling animated version (by Tytus Majerski) of an even more startling Polish lullaby.  Once There Was a King tells the story of a monarch and his two companions, all of whom meet rather grisly deaths.  You begin to scratch your head about how exactly this was designed to allow children to get to sleep without nightmares (and possibly years of therapy) until you get to the third and final verse and then things are (fortunately!) set straight.

The lullaby itself was written by Janina Porazińska, a famous Polish writer who was born in 1882 and who died in 1971. The writer was enamored of Polish folklore and created her own stories which drew from this rich seam of literature. Her books have been translated into many languages. The song is performed by Maria Peszek.