Little Birch Tree

Singable English Lyrics

(Russian folk song)

1. See the lovely birch in the meadow,
Curly leaves all dancing when the wind blows.
Loo-lee-loo, when the wind blows,
Loo-lee-loo, when the wind blows.

2. Oh, my little tree, I need branches,
For the silver flutes I need branches.
Loo-lee-loo, three branches,
Loo-lee-loo, three branches.

3. From another birch I will make now,
I will make a tingling balalaika.
Loo-lee-loo, balalaika,
Loo-lee-loo, balalaika.

4. When I play my new balalaika,
I will think of you, my lovely birch tree.
Loo-lee-loo, lovely birch tree,
Loo-lee-loo, lovely birch tree.

Vo pole bereza stoyala

Lyrics - Transliteration

Vo pole bereza stoyala,
Vo pole kudryavaya stoyala,
Lyuly, lyuly, stoyala,
Lyuly, lyuly, stoyala.

Nyekomu byeryozu zalomati,
nyekomu kudryavu zashtshipati,
lyuli, lyuli, zalomati,
lyuli, lyuli, zashtshipati.

Paidu ya v lyes, pagulyayu,
byeluyu byeryozu zalomayu,
lyuli, lyuli, pagulyayu,
lyuli, lyuli, zalomayu.

Srezhu ya z byeryozyý tri prutotshka,
zdyelayu iz nyikh ya tri gudotshka,
lyuli, lyuli, tri prutotshka,
lyuli, lyuli, tri gudotshka.

Tshetvertuyu balalaiku,
staromu dyedu na zabavku,
lyuli, lyuli, balalaiku,
lyuli, lyuli, na zabavku.

English Translation - On the field there stood a birch tree

On the field there stood a birch tree,
on the field there stood the curly birch tree,
Lyuli, Lyuli, there it stood.
Lyuli, Lyuli, there it stood.

Nobody shall break down the birch tree,
nobody shall tear out the curly birch tree,
Lyuli, Lyuli, break down,
Lyuli, Lyuli, tear out.

I will go into the forest,
I will go, I will fell a white birch tree,
Lyuli, Lyuli, I will go,
Lyuli, Lyuli, I will fell.

I will cut off three little twigs
from the birch tree and make three little pipes of them,
Lyuli, Lyuli, three little twigs,
Lyuli, Lyuli, three little pipes.

The fourth thing I make is a balalaika,
to make my old grandfather pleasure.
Lyuli, Lyuli, balalaika,
Lyuli, Lyuli, for pleasure.
(source)

Russian - Во поле береза стояла

Во поле кудрявая стояла,
Люли, люли, стояла.

Некому березу заломати,
Некому кудряву заломати,
Люли, люли, заломати.

Как пойду я в лес, погуляю,
Белую березу заломаю,
Люли, люли, заломаю.

Срежу я с березы три пруточка,
Сделаю себе я три гудочка,
Люли, люли три гудочка.

Четвертую балалайку,
Пойду я на новые сени,
Люли, люли на сени.
(source)

YouTube

  (or available for purchase here)

  • Printable & Digital Rhythm visual
  • Song with chords – English & Russian versions, Lesson ideas for Dynamics & Harmony, Recorder part: Notes GACD’, Orff arrangement
  • MIDI file
  • Listen to the song

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4 thoughts on “Little Birch Tree”

      1. Hi Sam and Beth,
        I learned this song in Russian first, and then I came across a simpler English version my first year teaching general music.
        Those lyrics are
        Over there an old lonely birch tree. Tall and strong lonely birch tree. Loo li loo lonely birch tree (x2). When I teach it in November, I’ll use the Russian lyrics and the English version I already know.

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