"How's your Polish?" I said. "It's alright," he replied. "Why do you ask?"
I was a worship leader at my first multicultural church in Chicago area, and it was Advent season. I had found a Polish Christmas song on Global Christian Worship and was getting ready to transcribe it, but first I needed to see if a good friend, musician and friend with a Polish background could sing it accurately (I knew I couldn't).
"Yeah, I know that song. I can sing it," he said.
"Awesome," I replied. "I can transcribe it and get the worship team to accompany you."
"No, I'll do it all myself," he suggested. "I'll use my accordion."
He played accordion? I had no idea. According to his family, he hadn't played in 10 years. But, he dusted it off, practiced the song, and surprised the whole congregation with his skill, singing praise to God in a language many had never heard.
Leading multicultural worship involves having teachable conversations. I was planning to have the song be band-accompanied (like everything else). But, instead, a congregant brought out some long-lost musical worship that pleasantly surprised everyone, even his own family. We all got to hear God praised in Polish, and He was glorified.
The song is called "Lulajze Jezuniu" and lyrics, video and an English translation are below.
Lulajze, Jezuniu, moja perelko, Lulaj, ulubione me piescidelko. Lulajze, Jezuniu, lulajze, lulaj! A ty Go, Matulu, w placzu utulaj. Zamknijze znuzone placzem powieczki
Utulze zemdlone lkaniem usteczki. Lulajze, Jezuniu, lulajze lulaj! A ty Go, Matulu, w placzu utulaj.
Lulajze, piekniuchny nasz Anioleczku, Lulajze, wdzieczniuchny swiata Kwiateczku. Lulajze, Jezuniu, lulajze lulaj! A ty Go, Matulu, w placzu utulaj.
Lulajze, Rzyczko najozdobniejsza, Lulajze, Lilijko najprzyjemniejsza. Lulajze, Jezuniu, lulajze lulaj! A ty Go, Matulu, w placzu utulaj.
Lulajze, przyjemna oczom Gwiazdeczko, Lulaj, najsliczniejsze swiata Sloneczko. Lulajze, Jezuniu, lulajze lulaj! A ty Go, Matulu, w placzu utulaj.
1. Lullaby, Jesu, my pearl and my dear one. Lullaby, Jesu, my sweet, precious Son. There, up above You, God’s angels are winging; They, too, do love You; o'er You they are watching.
2. Lullaby, Jesu, like stars are Your eyes, – Lullaby, Jesu, now hush Your low cries. – ‘Round You the kind beasts and dear birds are standing; They, too, do love You; o'er You they are watching.
3. Lullaby, Jesu, my flower of beauty, Lullaby, Jesu, Thy Mother shall rock Thee. Near You the shepherds in rev'rence are kneeling; They, too, do love You; o'er You they are watching.