Recordings of Post-WWII Resistance Fighters’ Songs

A large and continuously updated collection of magnetic sound recordings is housed at the Lithuanian Folklore Archives (magnetic tapes and audiocasettes amounting to around 8,500 hours). The first sound recordings were made on magnetic tape in 1952 when fighters of the national resistance were still hiding in Lithuania’s forests, and were persecuted by the secret service of the Soviet Union. At that time, a new style of song was being sung in Lithuanian villages, created by the resistance fighters themselves as well as their supporters  — village poets. These songs told of the fate of the resistance fighters, their battles and deaths. The notebooks in which these songs were recorded were hidden away because any contact with resistance fighters, uncovered clues, or any compromising materials, risked the threat of imprisonment or deportation. The folklore collectors were unable to record these songs as well, because if the Management of the Institute found out, they would be fired. However, in the later Soviet years some of the songs “slipped through” and wound up in the archive (some of the first recordings of these songs were made in 1978). Once the national independence movement started, the resistance songs were sung in public and documenting them became a priority. Thus, an especially large number of these songs were recorded in the 1990s. Drawing on the underground resistance press and the newly gathered material, a volume of resistance fighters’ songs was compiled and published: 

Book of Lithuanian Folk Songs, vol. XXI. War-Historical songs, vol. 6 - Resistance songs. Compiled by Kostas Aleksynas, melodies were prepared by Živilė Ramoškaitė. Vilnius: Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore, 2009.

From 2012–2014, together with other academic institutions, the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore executed the project supported by EU structural funds “Development and Providing Access to IRT Solutions and Content Helping to Preserve the Lithuanian Language in Public Space”. As part of this project, folklorists of the Institute began compiling the digital card catalogue of songs of the post-World War II armed resistance movement , as well as digitizing the magnetic tapes and cassettes on which these songs were recorded. In the Lithuanian Folklore Archives database, a collection of sound recordings of post-war resistance fighters’ songs was created (1,197 items). We invite you to listen to the archival recordings.

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Fondas: LTR
Signature:LTR 6524
Originali antraštė:Tautosaka
Song title : Renatos Urvakytės ir Ramunės Malinauskaitės tautosakos rinkinys
Inventorinimo data: 1998.05.11


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