Songs My Mother Taught Me – Track 14

November 21, 2013 — 58 Comments

Songs My Mother Taught Me It is the fourth of seven songs from Dvorak’s cycle Gypsy Songs (Czech:Cigánské melodie), The Gypsy Songs are set to poems by Adolf Heyduk in both Czech and German. This song, in particular, has achieved widespread fame and has been recorded by many famous female singers.

This is my interpretation of the song which I sang at this year’s Kathleen Ferrier Bursary Competition in Blackburn. George Todica accompanied me during the competition and I hope that you like the performance.
I loved preparing this song and tried my best to get the correct feeling and colour into the Czech lyrics and to my Czech friends that listen please let me know how I could improve my pronunciation 🙂

The original Czech lyrics

Když mne stará matka zpívat, zpívat učívala,
podivno, že často, často slzívala.
A teď také pláčem snědé líce mučím,
když cigánské děti hrát a zpívat, hrát a zpívat učím!
The English transalation of the lyrics

Songs my mother taught me, In the days long vanished;
Seldom from her eyelids were the teardrops banished.
Now I teach my children, each melodious measure.
Oft the tears are flowing, oft they flow from my memory’s treasure.


58 responses to Songs My Mother Taught Me – Track 14


    Hi Charlotte, a beautifull interpretation, puissance , douceur et lumière……
    Merci !!


    Absolutely beautiful, Charlotte! 🙂


    Absolutely stunning! 🙂


    Beautiful! I am not Czech so I have no suggestions for improvement 🙂


      Ha ha ha, it’s quite hard to sing in Czech because there are lots of different sounds to what we have in English, but I love singing in the language lots of colour to explore 😉
      Best wishes


    A lovely present for my ears. Thank you.


    nice! love it!


    superb! :0)


    Nice interpretation of the poem in song, Charlotte. Beautifully sung!


    This just makes me miss being a vocal performance major more. Beautiful singing. Such a talent.


    This brought back lovely memories of me and my parents at a wedding when I was a kid, back in the ‘fifties, when mum got up and played the piano, nothing classical, but I just remember people singing “You made me love you”. My mother was musical and loved dancing, but my father was very jealous and wouldn’t let her go and do the things she loved. Such a pity, different times then.


    Beautiful lines and I always love to listen you voice. 🙂 keep up the good work 😀


    thanks for Your email:). You ve chosen extraordinary piece and one of the most intepreted song from Dvořák. Song itself has old czech folk characteristic, so lets focus on clear czech. It has pretty unusual rhytmical structure, which is making difficult to find accent in words….

    So, some people are singing “zpívat” rather like “spí:vaat” Z is changed to S and there is no pressure on the beggining of word.
    In “podivno” i dont hear N which is making word difficult to understand, its like you r singing “podivo” (N is basically one of hard consonants- CH; K; R; D; T; N; and there must be stress on that)
    “A teď také” – you put words correctly together, but there is should a stress on both T, same as above.
    Pláčem I believe i hear you sing E as english [i] “pláči:m” which is incorrect. Its more like “plá:čeem”
    “Děti” maybe little more stress on T, even in high note

    I am not so certain about the rest, but I believe it has mainly correct pronunciation. You’ ve got my sincerest admiration on ď, č, ě – these difficult letters sound very natural from You.

    I believe people may disagree or add something to my feedback so You can get more opinions. And by the way, You ve got gorgeous and very cultivated voice.

    With regard and respect,


    I enjoyed listening to it. I’ve never heard music like that. What is it called?


      Hi Krishnan, I’m pleased I introduced the song to you 😉 in English it is called ‘Songs My Mother Taught Me’ it was from a folk/art song genre. Lovely to sing.
      Best wishes


    That voice of yours is one lovely instrument. A true gift that I’m grateful you share with us.


    Thank you, Charlotte. Your performance has a lovely, golden feeling in it that matches the nostalgic poignancy of the lyrics.


      Hi Mary Ann, I love the term ‘golden feeling’, my friend Katie is all about auras and she says I have a ‘golden’ aura this week so that’s a coincidence 😉
      Best wishes


    I think you’ve just added one more to the list of famous female singers that have recorded this! 🙂


    Absolutely beautiful! You have an amazing voice!


    Hi Charlotte
    It has been a pleasure watching you grow up and being able to follow your progress into what is becoming a wonderful talent. Both Gill and I are very proud to know you. Love always, Terry


      Ahhh that’s really lovely, thanks Terry I’ve always enjoyed your support and people like you and Gill that truly believe in me, it’s like fairy dust it’ll help me to fly.
      Charlotte x


    A stunningly beautiful performance. Even without the translation, I can understand from your performance the emotional content of the lyrics.


    Fantastic. Beautifully performed. You have a lovely voice and great stage presence.


    Always enjoy reading your blog and listening to you sing


      Thanks Alex, going to go help a friend to move flat shortly and I’ve just asked my Dad to send me some old video for a post tomorrow, hope you get chance to pop back to see 😉
      Best wishes


    Quite wonderful. I’ll post one of my older poems on my blog soon.


    Dramatic voice, strong interpretive sense.


    Your voice is brilliant as always. Please let us know when you will be back in the states (NY in particular). Would love to see you live 🙂


    Astonishingly amazing!!!


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    understand what you are talking about! Bookmarked. Please additionally talk
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