Sto lat

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"Sto lat" (One Hundred Years) is a traditional Polish song that is sung to express good wishes, good health and long life to a person. The song's author and exact origin are unattributed. The song is sung both at informal gatherings (such as birthdays or name days) or at formal events, such as weddings. At state events it is not unusual to hear it performed by an orchestra, a military band. It is also noted for being an integral part of Polish immigrant culture even long after assimilation.

Similar songs[edit]

The song serves the equivalent function of "Happy Birthday To You" or "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow". Although a secular song, its message is similar to that of the Ukrainian song "Mnohaya lita" (Многая літа, Many Years), derived from a Byzantine liturgical hymn.[1]

Lyrics[edit]

Sto lat, sto lat,
Niech żyje, żyje nam.
Sto lat, sto lat,
Niech żyje, żyje nam,
Jeszcze raz, jeszcze raz,
Niech żyje, żyje nam,
Niech żyje nam!

This translates roughly into English as:

A hundred years, a hundred years,
Let him/her live, live for us.
A hundred years, a hundred years,
Let him/her live, live for us.
Once again, once again,
Let him/her live, live for us,
Let him/her live for us!

Use as a phrase[edit]

The phrase "Sto lat!" is also often used to wish someone longevity or good fortune, or as a toast, without the song.[2] However, the use of "Sto lat!" in this manner will often lead to the song being sung by those present. The phrase is also sometimes used to acknowledge someone's sneezing - similarly to "God bless you", though for that particular occasion a simple na zdrowie ("To your health") is more frequently used.

See also[edit]

  • Ten thousand years, translation of a phrase used in many East Asian languages to wish leaders long lives

References[edit]

External links[edit]