Hungarian Folk Music

Hungarian folk songs are very rich in themes and tunes. Hungarian people sang and sing about their joy, their sadness, if it rains, if it shines, if they are in love or out of love, in luck or out of luck.

Here are some of the songs and folk performances we find really characteristic of Hungarian folk music.

Fly Bird, Fly, a traditional Hungarian folk song performed by Muzsikas Band. The pictures in the video show one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Hungarian village of Holloko (a short trip from Budapest)

If you knew what I know (Ha te tudnad, amit en) Hungarian folk song from Kukullomente performed by Agnes Herczku and Nikola Parov

Little Bird Hungarian folk song performed by Bea Palya Hungarian folk singer

Black Bird traditional Hungarian folk song performed by Hungarian folk singers: Szilvia Bognar, Agi Szaloki (Szalóki Ágnes), Agnes Herczku

Love, Love – a sad Hungarian love long performed by Marta Sebestyen

A sad Hungarian love song performed by Borbala Hanga Kacso: You are following me in vain…

Ivanovics Tunde singing Hungarian songs

Csik Band (Csik Zenekar) peforming Hungarian folk songs from Vas county in western Hungary: old Wedding Czardas from Szombathely

Probably the most famous Hungarian folk song is Spring Wind Brings Waters. Here performed in a nostalgic setting in a Hungarian film from the 1950s:

The most well known Hungarian Jewish folk song we currently know about: The Rooster is Crowing performed by Bea Palya with the Szefard Trio (also by Marta Sebestyen and Muzsikas here)

Cold Winds Blow performed by Marta Sebestyen and Muzsikas Band: a male dance music where slow and fast rhythms interlace, and the genre is called “rare and dense” (Ritka – Suru). The music was collected by Zoltán Kallos in 1969 in Ordongosfuzes in the Transylvanian region called Mezoseg (Mezőség) where Hungarian families live, Mezoseg is near the city of Cluj (today Romania). The lyrics are from Márta Sebestyén & Muzsikás.

Hungarian Folk Music Inspiring Contemporary Music and Vice Versa

Needless to say, traditional Hungarian music inspires contemporary genres, artists and there are many popular hits, which are well worth listening to.

Csik Folk Band (Csík Zenekar) performing a Hungarian indie rock slow love song from Quimby

Dance in the Snow by Ghymes Band playing world music takings its roots and motifs from Hungarian folk music

Lajko Felix, Magdolna Ruzsa: And They Say (Meg azt mondjak)

Star or Willow by Kispal es a Borz and Csik Band

Take One Way, I will Take the Other by Zuboly Beatbox singer performing a popular Hungarian folk song in beatbox style

Woods, Woods, Round Woods in Marosszek performed by Holdviola in a pop song style

Csango Boogie performed by Kerekes Band playing ethno funk folk music

Poems of Hungarian poets sang in folk music style / world music tunes. For instance the poem Little Dew Drop (Harmatocska) by Attila Jozsef sung by Sebo Band (Sebő Eggyüttes)

Bobita poem written by Sandor Weores sang by Ferenc Sebo and his band


I would need your help regarding 1,5 – 2 h engagement of folk ethno party band/dances – for dinner at medical meeting that takes place in Hotel Novotel City, Budapest – on 13 Sept evening (21.00 – 23.00 h).
Could you please provide me with the phone number on which I could contact you (in English) regarding this.
Thanks and regards – Branka

Hello Branka, I have sent you the contact details via email. Private folk dance shows can also be arranged.

Hello! I wonder if you can help me… I’m here in Budapest, studying Hungarian folk music for my Phd, and I really need to meet and interview as many musicians and dancers and organisations as possible for my research. Maybe you know people who would be willing to talk about their experiences with folk music? Please email me if this might be possible. Thank you!!

Hello Naomi, I am quite sure that there are many musicians and dancers happy to share their experiences with you. It would be best to contact the bands and ensembles themselves. If you want to reach as many as possible, it would be best perhaps to wait until a folk festival comes up, but the Christmas Market in Budapest will feature many Hungarian folk bands on both Vorosmarty Square and at the Basilica Advent Fair on St Istvan Square so you could ask them after their concert if they can give a contact, or answer a few questions. Another, and perhaps in winter better time to start your investigation is to go to folk dance houses: Marczibanyi Cultural Center, Fono Folk House, the House of Hungarian Heritage, Aranytiz Folk Dance House are all great places to start to build your interviews. I am also sure that your thesis consultant and teachers will be able to help you.

Many of the Hungarian folk musicians and bands live / perform in Budapest. Here are some websites:

You will find a phone number or email address to contact the bands for an interview date.
Thank you for researching Hungarian folk music!

Does anyone know a Hungarian song about bitter (sour) bean soup made by a woman named Mariska? My father used to sing it. All I can remember is the line, “olyan savanyu mint a biro” (as sour as a judge). I would really appreciate it if anyone can find this song for me! Reply to jeffk627 at gmail dot com.

I would like to get an English translation of all the lyrics to a Hungarian folk song: NINCSEN ANNYI TENGERCSILLAG AZ ÉGEN. The automatic translators return gibberish. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Thank you.

from : “Nincsen annyi tenger csillag az egen
Mint a hanyszor vagy eszembe te nekem.”

“There are not so many myriads of stars in the sky as
the number of times that my thoughts fly to thee!”

If anyone feels like translating the song from Hungarian into English please feel free to comment and add your version of song translation

In the Hungarian Folk Music Collection of Cimbalom you can find over 6000 melodies, both Magyar Nota as well as Népdalok

Anyone know the name of the song the vocals are from in this? been trying to find out
fora while. thanks.

The name of the song included in the Jennifer Rostock song is the Hungarian folk song called Regen volt soka lesz (It was a long time ago and it will be a long time), from the starting line. Here, the song is performed by the Muzsikas band. I think it is exactly the same vocal included in the Rostock piece:
The lyrics of the song goes:

Régen volt, soká lesz,
mikor az a nap lesz,
hogy galambom karja
két vállam takarja,
hogy galambom karja
két vállam takarja.

Régen volt vágyásom
igaz szeretőre,
megadta az Isten,
el kell válnom tőle,
megadta az Isten,
el kell válnom tőle.

Rózsavirág voltam,
de már elhervadtam.
Elhagyott galambom
árvája maradtam.
Elhagyott galambom
árvája maradtam.

Régen volt, soká lesz,
mikor az a nap lesz,
hogy galambom karja
két vállam takarja,
hogy galambom karja
két vállam takarja.

Where can I find the Lyrics of following folk songs?
1 Csak egy kislany…
2 Egy cica, ket cica…
3 Jo estet kivanok…

Dear Alex, hope you will find the lyrics of these Hungarian songs the ones you searched for:
Csak egy kislany
(Words: Elemer Szentirmai)

Csak egy kislány van a világon,
Az is az én rózsám, galambom.
A jó Isten be nagyon szeret,
Hogy én nékem adott tégedet.

Szép virág az égő szerelem,
Piros, miként ajkad édesem,
/:Hej, de annyi mézet nem terem,
Mint pici szád édes kedvesem.:/
you can listen to this song on video
Zoltan Maga performing (without words)

Egy cica ket cica
gy cica, két cica, száz cica, jaj!
Kergeti az ic-pici egeret.
Kis Teca, Nagy Teca, Katica haj!
Nem szeret mást, csak egyedül engemet.
Jaj, de szép kis állat a cica, a cica,
Hej, de még szebb lány a kis Teca, Katica.
Egy cica, két cica, száz cica, jaj!
Megfogta az ici-pici egeret.
Pal Javor video with this song (starting the song at the 30th second on the film)

Jo estet kivanok

Jó estét kívánok, megjöttek a fehérvári huszárok!
Jó estét kívánok, megjöttek a fehérvári huszárok!
Jöttek, láttak, győztek, sok kislányt megfőztek,
Jó estét kívánok, megjöttek a fehérvári huszárok!

Jó reggelt kívánok, elmentek a fehérvári huszárok!
Jó reggelt kívánok, elmentek a fehérvári huszárok!
Erre, arra jártak, selyemágyban háltak,
Jó reggelt kívánok, elmentek a fehérvári huszárok!

video with Janos Sardi singing the song

Many years ago when living in Hungary I heard what I thought was the most beautiful ballad ever. A man sang soulfully in his beautiful baritone voice with traditional Hungarian folk instruments and tore my heart out. I asked a Transylvanian friend to translate the words for the song as we listened and was devastated. It wasn’t a love song, it was the antithesis of a love song. To summarise it was ‘you say that you can’t love me because I am a skirt chaser. Pity, you are the same. If he has black, blonde or red hair, you will still lie with him.’

I don’t suppose anybody could help me track this song down?

My choir is working on the Three Hungarian Folk Songs by Matyas Seiber. They were very popular about thirty years ago but we cannot find any information on the sources (the original folk songs supposedly collected by Bela Bartok). The English titles are “The Handsome Butcher”, “Apple, Apple” and The Old Woman”. None of these titles are in the list at Can you help identify the original Hungarian titles and/or texts or tell us from what part of Hungary they come? Many thanks.

I have been trying to locate an old Hungarian folk song which is titled, I believe, Don’t Cry Little Girl, without success. Can anyone be of any assistance? I would really appreciate it :-)

Hello, I am looking for an English translation of the Hungarian folk song Sajo Kutyam. I’ve loved this song (even though I could not understand the lyrics), and the urgency with which it was sung, since I first heard it as a young boy in the 1950’s in Los Angeles, California. It came to my attention again today, and I’m wondering if I could express it in English. Thanks for any help. -Dave

Hi. I’m looking for what I believe is either a folk song or a children’s song, but google hasn’t helped yet. It was a lovely and catchy tune that my late hungarian grandmother taught me once. Luckily I’ve kept remembering the tune because I enjoyed it so much, but I’ve only been able to remember the chorus of it, and what I pieced together as the roughly translated version. I just have no idea if I’m right about it being a popular song or if she just made it up herself. I also never learned any more hungarian from her, so I don’t even know how to spell it properly. “Shay Hoy Denever” or “Oh You Naughty Bat”. I’d be forever grateful if you could help me at all, because I’d love to remember the whole song again. Thank you.

I would like the Hungarian lyrics to the song Andras sung by Marta Sebestyen. has potential, you can make your site go viral
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Hello, does anyone know who wrote the Hungarian song ‘Csak egg Kislany’ (Just a little girl in the world) – i’m trying to see if it’s still in copyright or not. thanks

Dear HM, the song “Csak egy kislány van a világon” was written by Elemer Szentirmay, and featured in the 1929 film with the same title. I am not sure how the copyright works for “folk songs” that were actually written by an author and popularised later on. But you could try to track the relatives of Mr Szentirmay to find out.

quote from Wikipedia (also pointing out the German influence in the song): Csak egy kislány van a világon címmel Szentirmay Elemér írt németes népies műdalt, amely népszerű, a cigánnyal gyakran húzatott magyar nótává vált. Magyar filmekben is gyakran felhangzott.

szia hello
i’m writing from montreal canada for an uncle that’s pretty sick and i’d like to find a song he told me about recently: 5 pengo egy honapban vigan futyul
i don’t know more than that but if someone has an idea please feel free to send it along to me
habshome yahoo com koszi
thank you

My Hungarian father-in-law is 90 years old, living with me in the United States. He has not been to Hungary since the start of WWII. I am looking for a CD of a collection of traditional Hungarian songs that he would love and remember. Any suggestions?

Hello Betty, that is very kind of you indeed. I think has several great CD options for quality traditional Hungarian folk music, such as the Meta folk band:
or collections like the Folk Music of Hungary
or the folk song collections from various regions of the Hungarian language community by Bartok and Kodaly:

Ernest G Bertha

Can anyone help find a song that my father used to sing to me as a child…? I believe the translation is something like “No one is as nice as your mother”… or along those lines.. I remember some of the words, (please excuse the phonetic spelling… I am an illiterate Hungarian!!) Neen shenkee oyon yo…? Thanks!!

Dear Ernest,
I think you might mean the song called “Nincs senki olyan szep”. There are several versions of the song available on youtube, for example:

I hope I could be of help.

My partner and I stumbled over here different page and thought I should check things out.
I like what I see so now i am following you.

Look forward to finding out about your web page repeatedly.

Pierron Mireille

I am look for the hugarian folk song that inspired Matyas Seiber to compose “apple apple” the second melody from Three Hungarian Folk Songs (1927)…
Could someone help me because it will be my song for the examination for my first conduting year !
Thank you
bests regards

Hello Mireille,

thank you for your email.

I am afraid, we cannot help you with your request.

Maybe you should contact Franz Liszt Academy of Music with your question.

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