Mother's Hands -- Matczyne ręce
From an email from Randy Koslosky 1/25/05, used by permission.
I'm not sure this message will make it to you since I'm not sure about the e-mail address, but I saw a post you made on the Google polka newsgroup and wanted to respond. You asked about the song "Mother's Hands."
I found that song in a book of Polish Soldier Songs. It listed the author, which others who responded to you identified. If I remember correctly the book gave a short blurb that said it was written between WWI and WWII or somewhere in that time frame.
In the book there were like eight verses or so. It very poignantly went through stages of a boy's life and how his mother's hands are always there. It starts when he was a little boy playing with paper soldiers and the wind blows them over and his mother's hands are there to stand them up again. It continues through the various ages and the mother's hands being there to dress the boy, etc. Eventually it gets to the point where the boy is off at war and the mother's heart is very sad. It reminds the boy (now a man) to remember to write to his mother so that even though she cannot hold him, she can at least hold his letter to her in her hands. The last verse is when he returns safely home and she can again be held by his mother's hands. We were only able to include two verses so we included the first one and the one when he was off at war. It is a beautiful story and beautifully conveys the heart of a mother and how she cares for her son.
A side note story of when we began doing this song (in case you are interested). I had found this song in a book and thought it was interesting and something that might be good for the Versa J's to do. So, I went over the Ogrodny's house and sat around the kitchen table with Ryan, who was about 12 years old at the time. Originally, I probably thought this would be like a "normal" polka with trumpets, etc. But, when I started playing and told Ryan to play along, we got very excited. He was just improvising on the melody all over the violin. We began stomping our feet to the beat as we played. Ryan really blew me away, and that led to the song featuring the violin in the way it does.
Thanks for your inquiry about the song. People have really enjoyed it over the years.
[Note from Nos: Thanks to John Gora, I was able to track down something
about the background of "Matczyne ręce." The song was written by Adam Kowalski, a Polish poet and
journalist who was interned in Romania with the fall of the Republic in 1939.
The lyrics are apparently sentimental but may have political implications, as
the song is included in several collections of Polish patriotic tunes. The
arrangement by Randy Koslosky and Ryan Ogrodny is neither sentimental nor
patriotic, but deliciously fiery and passionate.]