Welcome to the database of Estonian runic songs - regilaul !
The database offers an easy access to the Estonian regilaul legacy for everyone. The Estonian regilaul database contains 92134 regilaul (called also runosong, Kalevala-metric song) texts – that is more than two thirds of all originally collected regilaul texts preserved. In addition there are ca 6000 songs that represent the newer, rhymed folksong tradition. At present the database includes all the regilaul texts from the folklore collections of the legendary 19th century folklore collectors Jakob Hurt and Matthias Johann Eisen, from the collection of the Estonian Students' Society, and from the other collections from the beginning of the 20th century. Adding songs from other collections is an ongoing process.
Scanned copies of the original song manuscripts are available via internet, in the general digital repository of the collections of the literary Musem: Kivike. The repository is a work in progress, at the moment the manuscript collections of Jakob Hurt and the Estonian Students Society are accessible.
The work with the database of Estonian regilaul was started in 2003, following the example of the Finnish Runic Songs' Database; author of the prototype was the CSC IT-centre for science of Finnish Ministery of Education and Culture. The database has been developed in the Estonian Folklore Archives by Regilaul database workgroup, supported by the Finnish Literature Society and Estonian Ministry of Education and Research by programs „Estonian Language and National Memory“ (project EKRM04-31 Vana Kannel. Estonian runic songs (Monumenta Estoniae Antiquae l)); "Estonian Language and Cultural Memory" I–II (projects EKKM09-83 Estonian runic songs publication; EKKM14-327: Estonian runic songs database and academic publications, the latter administered by the Estonian Literary Museum since 2017); and by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (CEES, Centre of Excellence in Estonian Studies).
The Database is technically designed and developed by Piksel Ltd.
In 2006, in cooperation of the Folklore Archives of the Finnish Literature Society and the Estonian Folklore Archives of the Estonian Literary Museum was created the workgroup of Baltic-Finnic older folksongs, in the framework of which corpus-based research of runo-songs is developed.
Displaying of search results
You can either limit your search choosing some elements of a certain category – f. ex. limiting the search through choosing only one certain county / parish or the songs of a certain collector. You can search by the words in the song – choosing "words included in verses" – and by the genre or type of songs, such as pulmalaul (wedding song) or Loomine (The Creation) – choosing "words included in data" (not all of the names of the song genres and types are unified yet). If no categories are chosen, the search will automatically display all songs after pushing Go!
Every song has two versions - the original where the style of the collector is maintained, and the edited version, in which the modern ortography rules have been followed to make the search as efficient as possible. The dialectical details however have been preserved.
Currently the lists of genres and thematic groups are not complete and not translated into English.
Copying of songs
goes via export. Click the box at a song to choose it. After that either choose the txt- or xml-format to export the song to a new file.
When publishing songs in print or internet always refer to the Estonian Literary Museum's Estonian Folklore Archives as the owner of the materials and always add the reference code to the songs in publications! If a bigger amount of texts is planned to be published, please take contact with the Estonian Folklore Archives' regilaul database workgroup.