Sto Lat

Main Text: 

Sto Lat 

Background on Informant: 

My informant is from the United States of America, however identifies with her Polish heritage. While she has embraced her culture in several ways, one of her favorites is the traditional Polish song “Sto Lat”. 


She explains: 

“Growing up my mother always wanted me to embrace my Polish identity and one of the ways was through the Polish song “Sto Lat” 

It goes like this: 

“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!”

Which roughly translates to: 

“100 years, 100 years,

May they live!

100 years, 100 years,

May they live!

Once again, once again,

May they live!

May they live!”

Sto Lat means ‘one hundred years’ and my family usually sings it to me on my birthday every year as a way to wish me good health and a long life. 

I personally don’t speak Polish but I’ve loved hearing it every year and its become a tradition in my household so that we may prosper for next 100 years of our lives.” 


Before this interview, I had not heard of the traditions of “Sto Lat,” but afterwards I was intrigued. I love the simplicity behind the message and how while the translation may not directly say it, it is meant to be a blessing of heath and luck. 

I love how connected the person I interviewed was to her cultural identity, and how even though she doesn’t understand the language, it has remained an integral part of who she is. I love the subtle hint of proverb in the song and admire how it’s continued to be practiced in the culture as a form of wishing someone a long life and as a birthday treat. 


Here is a more modern version of the song: