Hungarian Music in our Family
March 1, 2016
Categories: Learning Hungarian

Our family originally came from Hungary between 1890-1927. Three of our grandparents were born in Hungary but came to the United States as children. One of our grandmothers was born in the United States but most of her siblings were born in Hungary–she just happened to be towards the end of the line.

Naturally, my grandparents spoke Hungarian as their first language. They met and married one another and had children who also grew up speaking Hungarian first, learning English only when they went to school. My parents, each coming from a similar situation, met one another, fell in love, and went on to have their own family of four children. We always had Hungarian food, culture, traditions, and language around us. As the third child of four, I had a little less exposure than my older brothers to general Hungarian conversation since my dad died when I was six years old. However, there was still Hungarian folk songs, Hungarian events, and other Hungarian language opportunities like Hungarian Summer School in Ligonier, PA.

My brothers and I each have a different connection and expression of our Hungarian heritage. Charles (Karcsi) is the oldest and the most musically gifted. Here is a sweet photo of Karcsi and our dad @1959! They definitely started him out young!


Recently, Charles has started recording some Hungarian folk songs with the words and posting them on YouTube. These are songs that were sung in our home and they may be ones you also remember. You might even know a slightly different version of the songs. As with any recipe, song, or tradition there are some differences in each family. I wonder if my great-grandparents had any idea that the Hungarian heritage would still run strong in our family line over 100 years after they set foot in the USA!

Here are the songs he has recorded so far. They do have the words listed and for those of you who may have only heard these songs but never actually saw the words, it is interesting to see what you have been singing. Charles will continue to add new songs and I will add them here ~ Enjoy!

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