Brone Stundzhiene

The parallel of the tree and the man in songs is usually apprehended as a wholly typological common trait of the poetic folk tradition. At the same time such a reasoning of the image of trees orients for its interpretation at a concrete level, in the frame of a single poetic tradition. In Lithuanian folk songs the analysis of the image has recently become extremely acute for the withering away of a vivacious tradition of folklore, the difficulty of its adequate comprehension and with the increasing majority of publications on song heritage. Later on, the main features of the portrayal of trees in Lithuanian folk songs will be reviewed in reference to the analysis of work, calendar feasts', wedding, war and historical songs (approximately 100,000 variants).

The essential feature of man's isomorphism, striking the eye in Lithuanian songs, is the division of trees according to the gender of their names, adequate to the dividing of people's world according to sex (it comes from the implicative bond of sex and gender, common to a language in general; sex =) gender). This feature, evident in comparisons of man and nature, was revealed in Lithuanian songs by R. Meulen, the genesis of the image being linked with the animistic attitude (Meulen 1919). V. Sruoga perceived only the style of the poetical language (Sruoga 1957:234), thus the phenomenon was evaluated mainly from the point of view of its artistic function in the text. Nevertheless, its being not only the feature of poetic style, is attested by a distinct distribution of trees of masculine and feminine gender in folk beliefs, rites and customs of various countries (Ruke-Dravina 1986:30-31; Roux 1966:360).

It is interesting that personified trees in Lithuanian folk songs are oriented socially. Trees are marked members and comprise a unique and 'detailed code of plants' in parallel images of nature and man. Trees of masculine and feminine genders define the members of a small social group - a family (father/mother, son / daughter, brother/sister) accordingly. Such a comparison of trees and people as though associates with the transference of features of a society to the world of living beings and plants, common to archaic religions (Zelenin 1937:69). A similar implication of the world of plants had been looked for in Lithuanian folklore as well (Zemp 1979). By the way, Lithuanian folk songs usually have only the trend of such comparison. Naturally the oak or some other tree of masculine gender is compared to father, son, or brother. The connection of concrete sorts of trees to members of a family is not finally settled though a more defined position is clearly marked: the oak / father, the apple tree/mother, the maple/brother, the red dogwood (the cornel) / sister, daughter. Attention must be drawn at once to the expansion of a poetic tradition of Lithuanian folk songs in separate periods of their development while in widespread songs and their versions a variety of the same motif of the tree images and their synonymous usage is more revealed. The variation of tree images (and such allogisms) in parallel constructions was caused by the peculiarities of poetic language, especially by the specific character of the nomination of gender and type in folklore (the linden is not simply a sort of a tree, it is easily identified with other representatives of a class of trees) (Khrolenko 1979:148). On the other hand, on the ground of not only poetical but linguistic data as well, it has been supposed that the name of an oak, for example, originally indicated a class rather than a specific sort of trees. In other words, its name must have signified a tree in general (Friedrich 1970:140-141 ; Portsig 1964:218). There fore, the social orientation of sorts of trees in folk songs cause a well-founded interest. In this respect the Latvian poetical image of trees is particularly interesting. In Latvian folk songs trees are not only compared to members of a family (the oak / father, the willow/brother), separate sorts of trees are connected with different periods of man's life: the linden / a girl, the bird-cherry/a woman, the apple tree/a mother (Ruke-Dravina 1986:17). Besides, the tree image in Latvian folk songs is commonly used figuratively, a tree substituting the exact name of a person.

This peculiar orientation of the simile of the tree and man is even more distinct in the background of folk songs of other peoples. For example, in Russian songs the researchers into symbolics reveal not only the tree / man according to the category of grammatical gender. The same tree is often metaphorically applied to a lad as well as to a maiden, etc. This semantic position is not strictly defined, not a few indications of levelling are also evident. The ethical and emotional content of a symbol of a tree is far more distinctly emphasized, the emotional interpretation of a tree prevails. Sad/ merry meanings of symbols of trees are considered to be especially characteristic. This part of the tree image being the most urgent is demonstrated by the regularities of the poetical system of symbols shaped by researchers (the meaning of a symbol depends on a genre, there is a large amount of emotionally oriented symbolic situations based on psychological parallelism, i.e. a flower fades - a maiden grieves, etc.). These and other poetical peculiarities of Slavic songs, though briefly surveyed, reveal evident differences of the tree images in the traditions of separate nations. All this grounds the orientation to analyse the image of trees in Lithuanian folk songs according to the nomination (names and sorts) of individual trees, their dissemination and connotation in the artistic system of a song.

The tree image is well-known in folklore, as well as in individual poetry. For this feature only, the preliminary anticipation of the bent of the tree image for poetical connotation in folk songs is possible. In the broad sense the poetical connotation of the tree image is generally close to connotational understanding of the so-called nominative unit. It is the original semantic essence of a linguistic unit, having sprung up from the tradition, and, in some cases only, with the help of which the emotional-estimatory stylistically marked communication with reality, also revealing the effect of expressiveness, is passed (Telia 1986:5). Such an interpretation of linguistic connotation can be soundly parallelled with the symbolic essence of a tree, acknowledged in the folk poetical system, which, in its turn, is linked, first of all with the emotional content of a symbol of the tree. On the other hand, the tree as a poetical element possesses special semiotic potentialities; some levels of its connotation exceed the bounds of linguistic and poetical semantics.

It is not questionable at present that a category of the tree is linked up with the ancient perception of culture as a system of values. The data of archaeology and paleobotany prove the ancient communication of man and his surroundings, the role of trees in his economic and social life and religious and poetical connotations of trees, formed for these or other reasons (Friedrich 1970). Thus, except for the mythical tradition and the cognition of the religious cult of trees and its rites, for the generalization of the implication of the tree in folk songs, it is expedient to encompass as much ethnographic information and dendrological data (on prevalence of families and sorts of trees, the geography of their origin) as possible. Besides, interpretations of the etymology of dendronyms are primarily linked with the essence and practical use of trees in a poetical text. They obviously display semantic connections of the names of plants to the most distinct features of trees and wood (very often being the cause of their old technological usage) and partly to their ritual purpose (Friedrich 1970; Gamkrelidze-Ivanov 1984, etc.). Linguists have revealed several peculiarities of the nomination of trees caused by the influence of ecological and cultural factors: the change of the name of a denotant (an ordinary term takes to signify another tree); polysemy (not a single type of trees is called by the same name) and synonymy (the tree has got several names) are characteristic of denominations. As the further analysis proves, many of these aspects were to be taken into consideration.

     Genres      Types1      Types with trees in figures      in per cent
     Work songs      909      181      19.9
     Calendar feast songs      367      156      42.5
     Wedding songs      2,106      470      22.3
     War and historical songs      767      258      33.8
     Sum total      4,146      1,075      

Such nominated tree images as (agrastas)2 'goosberry bush', (amalas) 'mistletoe', alyva 'olive/lilac', allksnis 'alder', aviete 'raspberry', qzhuolas 'oak' ,berzhas ' birch ',(bukas) 'beech' ', egle' 'spruce', epusz e' 'aspen', ershke'tis 'blackthorn', gluosnis 'willow', grushnia 'pear tree', leva 'bird-cherry', jovaras 'poplar', kadagys 'juniper', karklas 'osier', klevas 'maple', lazdynas 'hazelnut', lipea 'linden ',obelis 'apple tree ´, pushis 'pine´, patinas 'snowball tree', radastas 'wild rose', sedula 'cornel', serbentas 'currant', (skroblas) 'hornbeam', (shaltekshnis 'buckthorn', shermukshnis 'mountain-ash', (topolis) 'poplar', uosis 'ash', (verba) 'yew tree', (vynmedis) 'vine`, vyshna 'cherry tree', zhilvitis 'willow tree'. In the background of all songs linden prevails. The poetical tradition of oak and birch is popular and widespread (they are followed by spruce, maple, snowball tree, poplar, and pine). Applying only to the images of nominated trees, according to the criterion of frequency, fruit-trees happen to appear slightly rare. The poetical tradition of apple tree and, partly, cherry tree is the most common among them. By the way, such statistic data hold not only quantitative aspect (on the conclusion that almost half of calendar feasts' songs possess tree images and other things). Further review of nominated trees is given with reference to the intensity of their poetic tradition in songs.

Liepa / liepas 'linden' (Tilia). The common name for 'linden', used by the Balts and the Slavs, is linked with the words belonging to the family of the word lipti 'to climb' / to stick to'. Besides, the older name of the tree is considered to have been lenta 'a board', having today a different meaning (Urbutis 1981 : 14-15). The linden is of great technological and economic importance: its soft, deciduous wood is a favourite with carvers; the blossoms have medical uses and yield on oil that is valued as food; the bark fibre was a major item in the material culture of the eastern European peasants (Friedrich 1970:89). The poetical connotation of this tree, formed in Lithuanian folk songs, is inclined to be linked to the above mentioned peculiarities (softness, whiteness, colour, etc.). Linden appears to become not only the main component of parallels of a woman and a tree, it must be considered a dominating and generalizing symbol of femininity. For the prevalence of the poetical image of linden in folk songs, it is difficult to estimate the influence of a religious meaning of the tree, which at present is only fragmentarily defined and which has been formed by various magic beliefs of curative power of the linden, the distinctness of the tradition of things made of its wood and assigned to women, etc. A. Greimas has made a mention of relations between the deity Laima and the linden (Greimas 1979:98, 157,242). The image is also familiar in Latvian folk songs, while in the Slavic songs the poetical tradition of the linden, growing in their territories by itself, is almost uncharacteristic. For a long time this fact caused the amazement of researchers in poetical symbols. The conclusion seems to be connected with the statement that the linden had never had any significance to Slavic, especially eastern, beliefs.

So the linden is the most common tree in Lithuanian folk songs, possessing the features of different subjects and diverse semantics. The parallel of the linden / mother, sister, a maiden is extremely distinct. By the same semantic copula differently arranged images are connected:

     Stok, mergele.      Stay, young maiden,
     po zhalia liepele.      under a green linden,
     O ash, jaunas bernelis —      and I, a young lad,
     po azhuoleliu.      under an oak tree.
     JLD 536.      

Perhaps for the significant prevalence close paradigmal relations of the linden and other trees have been established in the whole background of tree images. On occasion a paradigm is formed on formal grounds, in any more widely spread motif of a tree, the variant of a linden appears, in other cases a paradigm indicates deeper essential relations. In this respect, of the motif: the linden grown in the depth of a sea and two white sisters (sitting) under it. The linden here varies only to 'oak' and 'poplar', also possessing an original poetical tradition. It is not very easy to exactly differentiate the character of relations of such varying trees.

In songs the description of actions or situations taking place under the linden is very common. Under the linden (growing on a hill, on the edge of a field, at father's gates, by the road, in the forest, in the garden, in the middle of a courtyard) the maiden sits, twines a wreath, combs her hair, talks to her mother, waits for her lad; under it young people dance, the bed stands, the lad sleeps. The linden image prevails in more disseminated motifs of original semantics:

     Ir prijojau zhlia liepa      I rode up to a green linden,
     girios vidurely.      in the middle of the woods.
     toj liepoj, toj zhaliojoj -      On that linden, on the green one -
     vario lopishelis.      a copper cradle.
     O tarn vario lopishely -      And in that copper cradle –
     Grazhi merguzhele.      a pretty maiden.
     LTR 272 (8).      

In addition to them, other images also remind of ancient customs, survived mainly in poetical tradition:

     Po zhaliu liepu zhirnelius kuliau,      
     Ish po to liepo upelis teka.      
     Under a green linden (I) threshed the peas,      
     from under a green linden a streamlet flows.      
     LMD III 124 (17).      

     Atjodami sveteliai      The guests, while riding up
     per zhaliu gireli,      through the green woods,
     kaip shove', kaip dave'      they fired, they shot
     kresnojoj lieplej.      at the stumpy linden.
     LTR 2052 (26).      

In the majority of linden images a tendency to convey the picture of it extremely poetical and deferentially depicted can be noticed: the top like a crown of gold, its trunk like silver. This, by the way, is expressed by the linden's stable epithet baltoji 'white', which is to be associated not only with the colour of its wood, but with the meaning of whiteness in the symbolic of folk colours.

Due to the review of the implication of the linden in Lithuanian folk songs the tradition of goods made of linden is well evident. Even in sutartines, where such motifs are rare, the applied purpose is noted, cf. a bed made of linden planks, a linden granary, linden arrows. Besides the other subject themes of the linden, characteristic to sutartines, some other images, noticed as peculiar to this genre exclusively, should be mentioned: bees buzz about a linden, a bee gathered nectar from lindens in blossom, what was in full bloom - a linden was.

After the revision of the implication of the linden in folk songs a distinct orientation to depict it as being very close to feminine sphere must be considered the semantic dominant of this implication.

Azhuolas. arzhuolas 'oak' (Quercus). The name etymology of 'the oak' characteristic to the Baltic languages is obscure, but its innovatory nature causes no doubt. Suppositions for the disappearance in the Baltic languages of the old Indo-European word signifying the oak (a stem perku-) are connected with some taboo restrictions for the usage of this term for the tree implying a certain ritual purpose (Gamkrelidze-Ivanov 1984:618). As V. Portsig notes:

     Having in mind the role of the oak in Indo-European ritual worship and economic activities, it is not strange that its name could signify a tree in general (Portsig 1964:218).      

Besides the ordinary form azhuolas, a more rare variant arzhuolas, possessing an inorganic, which must have appeared under the influence of other words (e.g. arzhus 'bitter'), is noted in Lithuanian folk songs (Fraenkel 1962:28).

The subject of the religious purpose of the oak caught researchers' attention. By many nations, Lithuanians among them, the oak is considered to be a symbol of the world-tree and one of the archaic (dating back to the Proto-Indo-European times), fundamental cultural elements.

In Lithuanian folk songs poetical images of the oak and the man prevail, where traditionally father, brother are linked to the tree with exclusive qualities. In this respect any oak / man image is similarly connoted (the connotation is based on the idealized meaning of the tree, which is partly due to its objective characteristics). Such a semantic link is obvious in these laconic images: two brothers - two oak trees; a lad fell like an oak;

the floor in father's house is made of oak, etc.

On some semantic basis (by various interpretations of characteristics, features, and peculiarities) more developed oak motifs are modified:

     Oi, aukshti aukshti gireles      Large, large are maples
     kleveliai,      in the forest,
     oi, nebus, nebus aukshtesnio      but they would never be
     per uzhuoleli.      higher than oak.
     LTR 627 (299).      

By the way, the same estimating attitude is expressed by the implication of an oak-wood in songs. Cf.:

     Nujoja brolalis, nuvandravoja,      A brother rides off,
     per zhaliu girliu per uzholiju.      through the green forest,
           through the oak-wood
     LTR 3011 (51).      

All stylistic organization of the text is inclined to the purpose of elevation (a neutral expression nujojo 'rode off and semantically marked nuvandravojo; neutral per zhalia giria 'through the green forest' and the marked per azhuolija 'through the oak-wood'). Even the images are oriented to the exterior form of a song (stylistic equivalents of parallels, rhyme, etc.), include additional semantic charge of the oak-wood, increasing suggestiveness of the image (cf. when the strength of the father-in-law as that of a stout oak tree in an old oak-wood is compared to the weak position of the daughter-in-law):

     Uzhia uzhia pushis uzhuolijoj,            
     verkia verkia sesuo dieverijoj.            
     A pine murmurs in an oak-wood,            
     a sister cries at inlaws.            
     LTR 1924 (108).            

Besides this semantic aspect of the implication of the oak, the tradition of psychological image, more emotionally backed and above all metaphorically created is plain to see (especially in songs of parallel construction). In this respect the semantic deferential features of the oak image and that of other trees diminish to a minimum (cf. semantically close addresses: uzhuol uzhuoleli zhaliasai, grazhusai 'the oak, my little one, the green one, the nice one'; liepele grazhioji, liepele baltoji 'my nice linden, the white one'; oi tu kleveli, garsus medeli 'you, little maple, the famous one'; oi tu jievareli, dimnasis medeli 'you little poplar, the nice one'; eglele aukshtolele 'you, high spruce', etc.). Synonymic relations interlace them, therefore, the oak traditionally functions as synonymic substitute for the images of other trees (cf. analogous poetical traditions of the linden). In the motifs of a largely disseminated song one can come across the oak image, shown up more or less formally. The formal development of the intensive poetical tradition of the oak image is illustrated by the song Vai uzhkit, uzhkit giriros medeliai 'Let you murmur, forest trees' (V 1700) - in father's courtyard an oak grew, with nine branches, with golden buds; on top of it a cuckoo called, till the girl left (approx. 40 variants), which makes up the same paradigm with the linden (approx. 100 variants), the spruce (approx. 60 variants), the cherry tree (approx. 30 variants), Majorana chortensis (approx. 20 variants), the poplar (approx. 20 variants) and some more plants. On the other hand, the oak emerges as the tree image signifying stability. For example, there are types of songs in which the oak hardly varies: either remains completely the same or dominates. Stable are also these motifs where practical purpose of the oak is revealed: the oak will be felled, a sledge will be made, a bridge will be built, a cradle will be made of its branches, and a bed from its trunk, an oak switch will be cut off.

The characteristic of the place of an action and the background, linked with the oak distinguishes itself neither in original subjects nor in individuality of semantics. The general stereotype form of a song (in those of parallel construction especially) cause the similar content of different tree images. The implication of the oak, as well as some other tree in songs was caused not only by its individual peculiarities but by the regularities of the poetical system of Lithuanian folk songs (cf. in one song type the maiden is under the linden, in another one, one is sure to find the lad under the oak, etc.). The truth is that some motifs reveal the linkage of the oak with deeper layers of semantics, signifying its ritual purpose (cf: po azhuoleliu, po garbuoneliu dygo rutele ir lelijele, o virshum bego bistri upele 'under the oak, under the honourable one the rue and the lily sprouted, above them the quick rivulet flowed' (D 1573)), or having some other meaning (cf. the motif known in Zhemaitija (a region in Lithuania): Vaikshto panos juru vingiais ir pamete nerineli. Ar bernelis jo nemate? Tepapurto azhuoleli, ishkris nerinelis 'The maidens have walked along the seashore and lost a lace. Hasn't the young lad seen it? Let them shake the oak and the lace falls out' (V 525)).

In sutartines like in other songs one comes across well-familiar oak images (the most typical being: mums azhuolas ne tevelis 'the oak is not father for us'). A generalizing feature, a tendency for poetizing of this tree is marked in them. Such a purely poetic and exaltated implication of the oak can hardly be directly connected with its concrete religious connotation.

Berzhas 'birch' (Betula). The name for this tree is a classical example of the Indo-European lexicology of ancient botany for its distinct etymology (the stem means shviest, buti baltam 'shine, be white' (Friedrich 1970:26-3; Gamkrelidze-Ivanov 1984:620).

The researchers in Slavic culture distinguished the function of this tree as of old linked with customs and rituals. The existed cult of the birch can be traced out in spring-summer cycle's archaic rites, customs and in poetical folklore, where the role of this tree is special. Poetic and religious connotations of the birch are characteristic to the rites and folklore of other Indo-European nations (especially Germans). Here this tree for long has been a symbol of the maiden and the woman (Friedrich 1970:27). Such a symbolic implication of the birch and great popularity of this image in songs is noted by J. Avtomonov, N. Kostomarov, V. Vodarsky, and others. The comparison the birch / the woman is not characteristic to Lithuanian folk poetry.

     The discrepancy of gender in the common name for Beltua alba L. in Baltic, Slavic and German is plainly revealed in the difference of poetics: in the folklore and literature of eastern Balts it implies quite a different character than that in Slavic or German verbal art. (Nepokupnas 1983:162).      

The birch motifs, spread in Lithuanian folk songs, do not form an entire stable image. First of all, for the mentioned grammatical word structure the birch is a typical element of the constructions for the parallel of trees and men. It is the truth that the images where the birch prevails (in a parallel, as well as in creation of a different composition) are not very popular, save some plots only. It is interesting to note that in parallel images those of the birch, maple, ash vary for, most probably their close phonologic and morphologic structure (the same number of syllables and the same suffix cause similar word sounding): ant kalno berzhelis (klevelis) stovejo, berzhelio (klevelio) lapeliai mirgejo 'on a hill the birch (maple) stood, its leaves flickered'. By the way, the birch image often seems to be more motivated semantically, considering its whiteness and traditional statements that this tree symbolizes special radiance and sparkling (Toporov 1982:369). Cf. the image developed in this aspect:

     Ant aukshto kalno - berzhelis,      On a hill a birch stands,
     o po tuo berzhel' - bernelis.      under it a lad stands.
     Ber zha lapeliai tviskeje,      Birch leaves flickered,
     shirma kepurela blizgeje.      a motley cap (the lad's) sparkled.
     LTR 3111 (39).      

The motifs of the birch switch and birch grove happen to be the most common for the traditional birch images. Contrary to the oak-wood, the birch grove does not possess any special valuable status, with respect to it, an attitude of aesthetical character is being expressed. The birch grove usually implies expectations for an ideal and sweet life:

     Vai nenunduoki      Do not give me away,
     manes, tevuli,      father,
     uzh Perlojos bemelio.      to the lad from Perloja.

     Bernai negrazhus,      The lads aren't handsome,
     laukai nekygus,      the fields are uneven,
     palaukeme eglynai.      fir groves outline them...

     Tiktai nuduoki      Give me away,
     mane, tevuli,      father,
     uzh Merkines bernelio.      to the lad from Merkine'.

     Tai bernai grazhus,      The lads are handsome,
     tai laukai lygus,      the fields are plain,
     palaukeme berzhynai.      birch groves outline them.
     LTR 205 (693).      

Bright and serene emotion cause these motifs that reveal a typical picture of a wood of father's courtyard in our country (and which involves no other connotation):

     Per berzhynaici      Over the birch grove,
     per alksnynaici,      over the alder scrubs
     tai shviesiai, giedriai      brightly, clearly
     Saulele teka.      the sun is rising.
     LTR 374 (894).      

It is especially evident in those motifs where from the essential point of view birch grove image is hardly actualized:

     Leliumoj skrido sakalelis,      
     Leliumoj, per berzhynu, leliumoj.      
     Leliumoj, a falcon flew,      
     Leliumoj, through a birch grove, leliumoj.      
     LTR 1138 (10).      

On the other hand, the widespread poetical tradition of this tree also caused unstable birch motifs, varying in their subjects, lacking more semantic features of the tree, cf:

     Un berzhliu, epusheliu      On birches and aspens
     lapeliai geltoni,      the leaves are yellow,
     na gailuj u ashareliu      for the sorrowful tears
     viedeliar raudoni.      the cheeks are red.
     LTR 2537 (17).      

In folk songs literary theme of the weeping birch is used and developed. The image of the birch rather than of other trees exposes a larger variety of themes in sutartines, too. (Cf.: lauke, kalnuose du berzheliai, jouse dvi gegutes 'In the field, on the hills two birches stand, in them two cuckoos sing'; ko berzhelis neaugo, kas valeles nedave' 'Why didn't the birch grow, who didn't let it do that'; palydi liedzhia beneliai sesle per lygius luakus, per berzhynelius 'Brothers see their sister off, give her away along plain fields, through birch groves'; audzhia drobeles kaip berzho tosheles '(the maiden / mother) weaves linen (as white) as birch barks', and others). All this forms rather a generalized but widespread birch image in Lithuanian folk songs, though marking no distinct individual poetic connotation. The prevalent emotional aspect of its essence (i.e. the tendency to declinate the impression of brightness with the help of the birch image)" is to be considered an ancient poetical tradition (cf. the etymology of the tree name based on 'whiteness, brightness').

Klevas, medzhliepis 'maple' (Acer). The etymology of the maple is obscure despite the ancient character of this dendronym (Radzevichiute' 1988:91). The synonymous name of the maple me dzhliepis (V 1009), known in northern and eastern parts of Lithuania, is a compound word, the first component being medis 'tree', the other one liepa 'linden' (Fraenkel 1962:424).

The maple is one of the most popular tree images in Lithuanian folk songs. Its poetical implication is partly proximate to the tradition of the birch for elevated and cheerful maple images in songs:

     O ash ir josiu      I will ride
     I ta kiemeli      into the courtyard,
     kur rimst mono shirdate.      where my heart calms down.

     Kur aukshti butai.      Where houses are lofty,
     kur shievs us langai,      where windows are bright,
     kur zhalios pavartates.      where gateways are green.

     Tarp vartu - klevai,      Maples (grow) at the gates,
     po langu - berzhai,      birches (grow) under the window,
     ant kiemo - dobileliai.      clovers (grow) on the yard.
     RD 41.      

The maple is a sonorous, ringing and clear tree, which rings when felled, rolled, when carted; the maple grows to be the highest, spreading its leaves, the largest ones; on the maple shuttle golden rings shine, and etc. Short (only an epithet - klevo, klevinis), though later on more developed motifs, describing in one way or another the universal usage of maple wood: of felled maples a mansion or a guest-house are built; a floor, a ceiling are made or a boat and a maple oar for sailing in the sea, a bridge across the Nemunas is made, a flower garden is often fenced round with maple stakes, a lad promises to make a maple bed for his maiden to sleep in, of maple branches a cradle is wattled, a hook to hang up a cup or a sword, a rake, a shuttle, a plough, a maple rod are made, more seldom one comes across a battledore, an easy chair or a cart. The maple leaf image is also rather wide spread:

     Zhirgeli pasigirdzhiau,      I watered my steed,
     burneli nusiprausiau,      I washed my face,
     pasiskyniau klevo lapeli,      I plucked a maple leaf,
     burneli nusishluos chiau.      to wipe my face.
     LMDI 364 (120).      

Besides the above discussed cases of implication of the maple, this image is the most typical for the man / tree comparison among other tree images of masculine gender. Some motifs imply extreme stability of the maple image, i.e. some other tree is hardly formed in their variations.

     Ant kalno - dvarelis,      A mansion stands on the hill,
     Tam dvarely – klevelis.      a maple grows in the yard.
     Po tuo klevu klevuteliu      Under it
     Gul' jaunas bernelis.      a young lad lies.
     LTR 1529 (9).      

It is worth noting that the maple image can be come across in various genres of songs, e.g. in sutartines.

Egle 'spruce' (Picea). The Lithuanian name for this tree is regarded to be an old one and it originates from the stem, meaning adyti, durti 'dam, prick' (Fraenkel 1962:117-118; Gamkrelidze - Ivanov 1984:633).

This tree image is quite frequent in our songs. First of all, one aspect of poetical romantics of the fir is to be substantially interpreted with reference to the dichotomy of trees, evergreens and those turning green in summer. Such a spruce implication, as well as the images of an evergreen pine are very much alike.

     O kas ti zhalias-      What is green
     zhiemu vasareli?      in winter and in summer?
     - Eglala zhalia      - A spruce is green
     zhiemu vasareli.      in winter and in summer.
     SIS 1442.      

In songs of a parallel construction the fir (spruce) is a typical poetical element of its comparison of the woman, like other trees of feminine gender (linden, pine, aspen, cornel, etc.). Notwithstanding the unified purpose of the fir and other trees, original, emotionally and psychologically grounded, as well as suggestively arranged images have the linkage with this tree mainly. The motif of spruce, drooping its branches and the maiden folding her hands, is very common in laconic parallels. Such, though only psychologically grounded, a comparison borders on another essential aspect of the spruce image. In the background of analysed songs the spruce image sometimes implies gloomy mood, causes oppressive impression, sorrowful emotions (cf. the interpretation of the spruce in Lithuanian narrative folklore (Velius 1987:73).

     Svyruoj tau galvela      Your head sways,
     kaip aglas shakela,      like a fir branch,
     kukuoj tau shirdela      your heart sings
     kaip girios paukshtela.      like a bird in a forest.
     LTR 626 (692).      

Mainly negative and ironical estimation is a characteristic feature of such a poetical connotation of the spruce, cf.:

     Ne po egle augau,      I grew not under a fir,
     Ne vaivuoru valgiau,      I ate not bog whortleberries,
     ne skarota dieviejau,      I wore not a shawl,
     ne mozhek noriejau.      I looked not for a peasant.
     LTR 2367 (10).      

In Russian poetry the symbolic gloomy meaning of coniferous trees, namely, the fir and the pine are similarly underlined (Kostomarov 1845:59; Avtamonov 1902:77-78). In Latvian songs beside such spruce implication, one can notice it being considered a wild tree and compared to cultivated ones (Ruke-Dravina 1986:7). Scarce spruce motifs in sutartines had not formed themselves into any original image of this tree.

Pushis 'pine' (Pinus). The Lithuanian name for the pine is considered an ancient Indo-European word, even though its etymology is not as far generally accepted (Radzevichiute 1988 : 45-46).

In songs the pine must be interpreted in the image context of evergreen trees firstly. With respect to the known dichotomy of conifers and deciduous trees, the fir and the pine images are numbers of one paradigm, bearing some poetical meaning (cf. motifs: pine (spruce) branches are forage for winter; pine (spruce) are green throughout the year). The meaning of the pine (spruce too) as that of a wild tree, "off limits of cultural space" (Greimas 1979:82) and for that rendering a negative aspect, is very distinct in songs (cf. traditional night's lodgings under trees, as well as the motifs of other themes).

The pine forest image, much appreciated in songs, is usually apprehended in its nominative, direct meaning, i.e. the place where plenty of pines grow:

     Altoja raitas,       (One) comes riding,
     per pushynu graitas.      (one) gallops through a pine forest.
     SIS 432.      

By the way, connotation is generally less common to forests rather than images of separate nominated trees (cf. semantically insignificant variations of a pine forest, a birch grove, a lime grove, an alder grove, and others). It is especially evident in the context of the same variant, where groves are being compared synonymously. Only in less spread songs the pine grove image has no variations (cf. the motif of a pine grove in Vidury lauko pushinas augo 'In the middle of a field a pine grove grew' as having no synonyms). The paradigmal function of the pine image is peculiar only to separate, individual variants of parallel constructions. The pine prevails in motifs, signifying the utilitarian purpose of this tree (the pine is felled, the boat is made; pine fences, guest-houses, rods, and others).

Contrary to the poetical implication of the spruce in songs, independent parallels with peculiar features have no association with the pine image. Besides this, it must also be remembered, that comparatively scarce pine images in sutartines are not remote from its poetical tradition reviewed here in songs in general.

Putinas. putelis 'snowball tree' (Viburnum)3. It is a plant with round bunches of white flowers and red berries. E. Fraenkel associates this Lithuanian dendronym with the word pusti, puta 'swell, foam', others - with puti 'putrefy' (Fraenkel 1962:677-678). By the way, linguists often distinguish the semantic motivation of the tree name, common to several types of trees (and rather than to them only) with distinct common features. Completely coherent semantic ties are supposed to bind the meanings of the Latvian dendronym putenes (paukshtis, putinas, shemurkshnis 'bird', 'snowball tree', 'mountain ash'): both trees bear red berries, one lived on by birds. The Lithuanian putinas is similarly interpreted (Radzevichiute 1988:232, etc.).

The snowball tree is known to be one of the most distinct symbols in the Slavic poetics (Kostomarov 1845 : 42-47; Jeriomina 1987:110-111). The researchers into its semantics reveal two main meanings, the original being erotic and associating itself with red berries (i.e. girlhood). The other interpretation of this symbol is based on the contrast of the bitter taste of snowball tree berries rather than of white flowers and red berries (the association with womanhood). Taking into consideration the initial meaning of this symbol, B. Sruoga noticed quite a few common traits in Lithuanian and Russian folk songs (Sruoga 1957:312-315). Not a one snowball tree image are indeed close to such an interpretation (cf. the image of breaking a snowball tree) and B. Srouga's elucidation; to break a snowball tree - to lose a wreath (ibid. 1957:313):

     Pucineli lauzhiau,       (I) broke a snowball tree,
     pas breneli klausiau:      (I) asked a lad:
     - Kada mudu zhenysimes,      - When will you marry me,
     ar rudenio lauksim?      shall we wait for the autumn?
     LTR 631 (194).      

In addition to this semantic aspect of the snowball tree extremely characteristic to Russian folk songs, there are more common motifs of this tree (cf. versions of the wedding ballad O ash viena dukrele 'I, the only daughter' (V 2857), beginning with Putina su aviete vanduo paseme' 'A snowball tree and raspberry were scooped by water') or rare motifs:

     Putinas, aviete —      A snowball berry and a raspberry—
     tai grazhi uogele,      (these) are nice berries.
     bernelis, mergele-      A lad and a maiden –
     tai grazhi porele.      (they) form a nice couple.
     LTR 225 (1728).      

The implication of the snowball tree in songs as a component of parallel images is, in some aspects, rather remote from the Lithuanian poetical tradition of trees. In songs, as it is known, the tree and the man usually go together on a gender category. However, in a case of the snowball tree the parallel with the lad, as well as the maiden is implied. The line, comparing the maiden to the snowball tree even prevails in the original (but possessing analogies elsewhere) motifs especially in respect to Lithuanian poetry (it is enough for the snowball tree to stand in a lawn for the birds to pluck its berries, nightingales rather than birds, it is enough for the maiden at her mother's stay...; a pretty snowball tree sprouted up in a wrong place, among oven stones and bitter nettles, Onyte'le' was married off to a good-for-nothing lad..., etc.).

In general, in reference to subjects, the parallels of the Lithuanian snowball tree image are well-developed, especially the distinct implications of a poetical combination of the snowball tree and the mountain ash (cf. the relations of these trees in their etymological interpretation). For example, a ritual sutartine Putinas augo su shermukshniu, saduto 'The snowball tree grew with the mountain ash, saduto' (Kl 585) implies the simile of these trees and brother and sister of a family; by their content, similarly, wedding songs are arranged Augo putinas viduj girios 'The snowball tree grew in the middle of the woods' (V 48); Shile putinelis 'The snowball tree in a pine forest' (V 1000). In the background of the analysed songs a widely spread and traditional image of the snowball tree and a masculine line reveals itself:

     Tai grazhiai zhydi      Nicely blooms
     shile putinelis,      a snowball tree in a pine forest,
     tai grazhiai duzgia      nicely hums
     sode bitinelis,      a queen bee in an orchard,
     tai grazhiai joja      nicely rides a cluster of brothers
     broleiu pulkelis      
     LTU 96      

Such similes signify themselves in the variety and array of subjects (cf putinelis zhaliavo ant kalnelio, diemedelis - tarp ruteliu, ko bernelis rymo ant zhirgelio 'the snowball tree grew on a hill, the wormwood (grew) among rues, what for lad rests on his steed' (V 93), ko liudi putinelis, ko liudi broluzhelis 'what for the snowball tree sorrows, what for brother longs' (V 1668), pajureliais putinai zhydejo, kol bernelis (mergele) ne zhenotas, grazhus ir pratogus 'along a seacoast snowball trees blossomed, till a lad (a maiden) unmarried, handsome and fit was' (V 2238), ant kalnelio putinelis augo, pro jirekrutelius vare 'on a hill the snowball tree grew, through it recruits were driven' (K 444), kai bernelis jojo per girele, nusilauzhe putino shakele 'when the lad through a forest rode (he) broke a branch of the snowball tree', and etc ) Besides, in songs not only the similes of the maiden's face and the snowball flower are usual, cf.:

     Ugde tevas suneli,      Father raised up his son,
     kaip balta dobileli,      as a white clover,
     kaip namie putineli.      as a snowball tree in the courtyard.
     LTR 1824 (257).      

As a variety of contexts of the snowball tree image exposes the interpretation, proposed by V Sruoga, it signifies its only one semantic aspect and partially reveals the generally much broader and polysemantic poetical meaning of this tree It is even broadened by the subject lines of the snowball tree, characteristic to sutartines flowers of this tree, plucked off and carried home are compared to the glittering of father - like the moon in the sky, or mother- like the sun, high above (S1S 87, 88, 505, 506), daughter feels merry glittering like the snowball tree (S1S 440) Besides in the whole background of songs an original semantics possesses also these images that arrange a different connotational aspect of the snowball tree, implying magic, rites, and beliefs:

     Pastacyk sa zhirgeli      Let your steed rest
     po pucino krumeliu,      under a snowball tree,
     ba pucino krumelis -      as snowball tree
     tai shcheslyvas medelis:      brings happiness –
     senos bites spieciu laidzia,      old bees swarm,
     margos paukshtes vuogas geria.      motley birds berry.
     LTR 2618 (9).      

Drawing a conclusion on the snowball tree's poetical tradition, the absence of motifs in Lithuanian folk songs, featuring the usage of snowball tree wood (save some rare images of a bed or a birch made of snowball tree) must be stated.

Jovaras / jieveras 'black poplar' (Populus nigra). belongs to the family of willow trees; maple (Acer pseudoplatanus ); hornbeam (Carpinus betulus); hawthorn (Platanus); a wreath of rye wined for a harvest and carried home singing songs about black poplar (LKZh, 1957, vol. 4, I, 363-364). The word jovaras is a loan-word, taken from the Slavic languages, them having borrowed it from Germans (Buga 1958:347; 1961:761). The form v/ith jie- / jievaras has appeared on the analogy of ieva 'bird-cherry tree' (Fraenkel 1962:195). The semantics of 'black poplar' is unsettled not only in the Lithuanian language. In the Slavic languages it means a variety of trees (maples) in one case or a subgroup of them (Acer pseudoplatanus) in another. Afore-mentioned trees growing in our country are called jievaras in all Lithuanian dialects. Plane-leafy poplar is widespread in Southerner Europe, western Ukraine, the Caucasus; in Lithuania it grows in parks and gardens (Dendrology 1973:243-244). By the way, in songs a phonetic variant of jovaras-levoras is known. It might be of interest that according to J. Avtamonov, the black poplar image is not characteristic to Russian folk poetry (Avtamonov 1902:98). (V. Vodarskii does not mention this tree image, either). But in songs of southern Slavs this image is particularly widespread, where (perhaps for the variety of the meaning of its name) it is the symbol of mischief and sadness rather than of a tree (Kostomarov 1905:582, and etc.).

This image is also common to our songs, though the nomination of the tree referred to is obscure. Its flowering is featured contradictory: it appears to be in white (LTR 500 (22)), blue (LTR 3135 (71)), yellow (LTR 2405 (176)), queer flowers (LMD lll 32b (103)), bear black (LTR 413 (48)), golden (LTR 1254 (3)), or just sweet berries (LTR 627 (847)). It might be possible that the flower colour and berries of the black poplar are to be interpreted in poetical sense only as a poetical means, mainly implying a symbolic and connotational aspect, cf.:

     Po mano langu jievaras stovejo,      
     baltais zhiedais zhydejo.      
     Po tavo langu jievaras stovejo,      
     Joudais zhiedais zhydejo.      
     LTR 312 (75).      
     Under my window a black poplar grew,      
     all in white flowers.      
     Under your window a black poplar grew,      
     all in black flowers.      

By the way, the dominant motif of the discussed poplar images is revealed in the symbolic interpretation of this tree in songs, cf.:

     Po tavo langu jovaro krumas -
     Tai ma dids vargelis,
     Per tavo dvara upele teka -
     Ma galios ashareles.
     LTR 627 (847).
     Under your window a black poplar (grows) -
     it is my great mischief,
     a river flows across your estate -
     it is my sorrowful tears.

In the poetical connotation of such motifs a connection with a certain ritual ceremony can be easily traced: A. Greimas notes that a daughter-in-law's tears account for the metaphorical nomination of ritual beverage. It is drunk to certify a daughter-in-law's transition to the new estate, this transformation being splendidly expressed by afore - mentioned images (Greimas 1979:279).

Besides, images of calendar songs and rounds, i.e. a gate, or a bridge, a bench made of poplar, poplar people are undoubtedly linked with rites, cf.:

     Dunojau, kas tami dvari?      
     Dunojau, jievaro suolas.      
     Dunojau, kas an to suolo?      
     Dunojau, vis ponaichiai.      
     LTR 628 (1317).      
     The Danube, what is there in the manor?      
     The Danube, a bench of black poplar is.      
     The Danube, who is on the bench?      
     The Danube, young gentlemen are.      

Analysing a famous Lithuanian advent round Griskime, mergos, ievaro tilta 'Let's, maidens, deck a poplar bridge' researchers usually reveal its sacred character, stressing at the same time still obscure destination of the game.

An extremely original poplar image is exposed in harvest songs (Linko jievaras vartuosna 'At the gate a poplar bent' (D 520), Shalia kelio ievaras stovejo 'By the road a poplar grew' (D 521), Pakelej ieveras stovejo 'On a roadside a poplar grew' (D 522) and a version Stovi ieveras tarp vartu 'A poplar stands at the gate' of the song Oi, tamsu tamsu, ant dvaro 'Oh, it is so dark on the estate' (D 523)). Alongside harvest rites of ritual destination, the poplar is linked with the concept of a wild tree (Dunduliene 1979:35; Laurinkiene 1990). As a marked member with a separate connotational meaning the poplar is perceived in the images of wedding poetry of a different character (cf. V 70) (similarly implicated poplar image):

     Dai statyki zhirgeli      Let your steed rest
     po jievaro krumeliu.      under a poplar tree.
     Jievaro krumelis      A poplar tree tai
     shcheslyvas medelis,      (it) brings happiness,
     tai jo miklios rykshteles,      its branches are flexible,
     tai jo, saldzhios uogeles.      its berries are sweet.
     LTR 628 (1795).      

A rather abundant sheaf of poplar images is in close semantic proximity to the traditional poetical implication of many of trees (i.e. poplar image often functions as an absolute synonym for other trees):

     Mano tevelio didis dvarelis.      My father's is a large estate,
     aplinkui - jovareliai.      poplar trees surround it.
     LTR 73 (1205).      

Black poplar forests can also be met in songs. Poplar wood, as one of other trees, in the lyrical song context is featured as being of practical purpose. On the other hand, an eye is caught by such facts that wedding motifs with a poplar bed or wicker basket are only scarce and somewhat groundless variations in comparison to images of other trees. For example, in all three hundred variants of a 'putting to bed' song Oi tu kleveli, zhaliasis medeli 'Oh, you maple, you green tree' (V 1948), the maple image is peculiar save one, bearing the poplar image. Similar quantitative relations of the black poplar and other trees are attested in a popular song Nueisiu nueisiu zhaliojon girelen 'I will go to the green forest' (V 1953). A poplar boat, not seldom bringing mischief (a maiden drowns), is more common and frequent. Marked with sad emotion are motifs of a poplar stick / mortar/ other grinding utensils:

     Oi, eda, grauzhia mano viekeli      
     sierasis akmenelis,      
     vai baigia dyla aukso zhiedelis,      
     jievaro melynelis.      
     LTR 827 (113).      
     Oh, it eats away, nibbles my lifetime      
     oh, my gold ring grows used up,      
     a grey stone,      
     for the blue poplar.      

It must be noted, as done by L. Slaviunas, that not only the poplar refrains common to harvest songs are uncharacteristic to sutartines (cf. Oi jievar lievar zhaliasai 'Oh poplar, green poplar') (Slaviunas 1958:37), but in general the image of this tree is unfamiliar in the archaic genre of sutartines.

Sedula / sedule' / stadule' 'cornel' (Cornus) - a perennial decorative bush or tree with large white or pinkish flowers: red / white cornel. In Lithuania the red cornel / dogwood is considered self-growing and natural; it grows in deciduous forests, on hillsides, but is not frequent (Dendrology 1973:275-276). Its wood is as hard as a horn (ibid. 274). In examples illustrating the cornel in Lietuviu kalbos zhordynas this tree is featured as follows: not branchy, not easily chopped, bearing black berries, with delicate, thin, extremely exposed venation of leaves; the cornel is not a high tree, chopped with difficulty: it is impossible even for the devil to tear it in two; there is no tougher spindles than cornel (LKZh 1981, vol. 12:239). Alongside aforementioned forms of the word in songs saduolele, staudalele, stadava giraite 'forest' are met. The variety of name forms is probably due to its rareness and scarce knowledge of the tree (in songs connections between an image and a real tree is often somewhat forgotten, cf. the note: "Cornel is an already vanished Lithuanian tree" (LMD I 852 (31), recorded in 1901-1904)). It is estimated, by the way, that in some places other trees, i.e. ozhekshnis 'spindle tree', sheivamedis 'elder tree' were called by the name of 'cornel' (Martinkus 1987:104).

K. Buga indicates sedula being of the same origin as the name of a saddle (Slav sedlo), in the Indo-European language period the word sedhulo or sodhulo could hardly mean 'a saddle', it being needless to anybody then. "By this word in ancient times Indo - Europeans called a certain tree (cornus evonimus). Later, the Indo-European language having split into separate languages, Germans, Slavs and Aischiai named 'a saddle' by the same word, it in the ancient times probably being made of 'cornel' " (Buga 1959:306). K. Buga is referred to by E. Fraenkel (Fraenkel 1962:769-770); other researchers consider the connection of sedula and saddle problematic (Martinov 1963:178-180).

The cornel image in songs, first of all, is close to the traditional implication of the tree:

     Skrida skrida pova      A peacock flew
     per zhaliu gireli,      through a green forest,
     insilaide pova      the peacock perched
     sedulos medelin.      on a cornel.
     LTR 1243 (225).      

In parallel images sedula is a typical comparative element of a feminine type. A tradition of metaphorical link of sedula and orphan or sister (maiden) is extremely settled. Associative copula of sister / sedula in folk poetry most often increases emotional suggestiveness and strengthens dramatic origin:

     O kad ahs jojau      When I rode
     pro vyshniu, sodeli,      through the cherry orchard,
     o ash ishvydau      I saw there
     sedula, jouduojanchia.      a cornel - all in black.

     O kad ash dingojau      When I thought
     kad tai ten buvo sedula,      it was a cornel,
     o tai ten buvo      there happened to have been
     mano jauna sesele.      my young sister.
     JLD 1172.      

In other motifs distinct connections with physical features (hardness of wood) of the tree and their poetical implication are observed (a cornel branch is flexible), cf.:

     Ir nukirta, ir nukirta       (They) felled down
     dvi stadulas labvai tvirtas.      two stout cornel trees.
     Ir padare, ir padare       (They) made of them
     stadulini tilteli.      a cornel bridge.
     LTR 1075 (78).      

Quite interesting are the images revealing the cornel having been used for the production of a strong drink: 'from a green cornel, from its white flower, wine streamed' (Kl 415, 565); 'sisters will put the picked cornel flowers into tuns of beer to be made' (S1S 85). By the way, in sutartines sound-word refrains and supporting words, such as sadul, sadula, sadulela; ei saduto lylio; sadulja sadulia, etc. prevail, rather than developed cornel images.

The cornel in Lithuanian folk songs is a unique tree image untraceable in poetical traditions of other peoples (cf. dioren, the Russian equivalent for the cornel).

Ieva 'bird-cherry tree' — a tree with white, fragrant flowers (Prunus padus); shaltekshnis 'blackthorn' (Rhamnus frangula). In linguistic literature words having this stem are specified to be characteristic of many Indo-European languages, though they nominate different trees (Friedrich 1970:122). The Lithuanian equivalent for the 'bird-cherry tree' in the Slavic language iva means zhiltivis 'osier'. Such a discord of meanings, the change of names from one tree to another is considered to be caused by the competition of words (Portsig 1964:288-289). The original meaning of ieva is thought to have been kukmedis 'yew tree' (Tis), while in places where this evergreen is absent, the ancient word form is used for the nomination of another tree (Gamkrelidze - Ivanov 1984:630). The meaning of Lithuanian ieva (Prunus padus) may have probably originated due to similar wood colour of both trees (Friedrich 1970:122).

In Lithuanian folk songs themes common with other trees, their ordinary semantic features are characteristic to the bird-cherry tree image. It is an ordinary paradigmal member of feminine tree images, cf.:

     Augo sodely      In a garden grew
     zhalia ievele,      a green bird cherry,
     o pas teveli-      at the father's (grew up) –
     grazhi dukrele.      a pretty daughter.
     LTR 834 (98).      

A bird-cherry tree parallel is sometimes caused by the influence of the poplar, cf.:

     Oi, lygus lygus te'velio dvarai.      Flat are the father's fields,
     trys ievarai stovejo.      three poplars grew there.
     Oi, lygus lygus motules dvarai,      lat are the mother's fields,
     trys ieveles stovejo.      three bird-cherries grew there.
     LTR 412 (102).      

In war and historical songs (K 234) the bird-cherry motif: Oi tu ieve ievuzhe, ko nezhydi zhiemuzhe 'Oh you, bird-cherry, why don't you blossom at winter-time' is familiar in songs where in almost all variants the bird-cherry image is naturally maintained. An ancient meaning of ieva as 'an evergreen yew tree' can most probably be traced. Widespread in songs is also the poetical interpretation of the bird-cherry's practical utilitarian purpose. A bed / creche / boat is usually made of bird-cherry, as well as of other trees.

The subject idea of these images, i.e. making of a bed or creche for the maiden is partly a primary association, symbolizing the maiden's conjugal life (cf. in Latvian songs, the noticed parallel of the married woman and the bird-cherry). By the way, such a poetical idea is also observed in other motifs referring mainly to the bird-cherry (V 631, 2119):

     Uzh juru, uzh mariu      Across seas,
      uzh vandenelio      across waters
     be vejo ievele      on a still day a bird-cherry
     shakeles lenke.      bowed its branches.

     Be vejo ievele      On a still day a bird-cherry
     shakeles lenke,      bowed its branches,
     bernytis mergyte      the lad has already
     jau pekalbejo.      talked the maiden down.
     LTR 767 (325).      

In sutartines among extremely rare bird-cherry images one very interesting motif, by its subject development being very close to the themes of other trees (apple tree, osier), must be noted.

Zhilvitis. karklas. gluosnis 'osier' (Salix) - a tree with flexible branches distinguishing itself from other trees by its numerous variety, very alike and even botanically hard to be told apart. The great majority of variety caused the variety of osier family tree names in different languages. Still obscure remains the division of tree names according to genders in the Lithuanian language. In general the trees of this family are tended to be called gluosniai 'osiers', while bushes usually are named as karklai 'wil lows' (Dendrology 1973:90). In dialects the tree is also called zilvitis. In some places the tree called zilvitis does not mean gluosnis. Where zhilvitis signifies a tree, a small shrub is usually called karklas 'willow' (Atlas of the Lithuanian Language 1977:164). To the osier family also belongs blinde 'goat-willow', a tree having slightly glittering leaves. Only the name zhilvitis is considered to be ancient, the other two (karklas and gluosms) are thought to be innovations. The first component of zhilvitis is to be associated with Lithuanian zhilas 'grey', the second end with vytis 'withe' (Buga 1959:661; Fraenkel 1962:1309; Sabaliauskas 1966:23). Karklas is peculiar only in Lithuanian and Latvian, in other Indo-European languages no name equiva lents can be come upon.

These word images are polysemantic in Lithuanian folk songs. Zhilvitis is extremely peculiarly portrayed (cf. calendar and ritual sutartines Zhilvitis zhaliavo tevelio pakluonej 'A willow grew green by the father's barn' (Kl 582), Tu zhilviteli, dobilio 'You willow, dobilio' (Kl 583)). A tendency of idealising this tree as especially valued is noted (a distinct connection with a rite):

     Zhiba tvaska zolele      Grass glitters
     po zhilvichio kelmeliu.      under a willow stump.
     Zhilviti, tuto      Willow, tuto,
     zhilviteli, tuto.      little willow, tuto.
     SIS 124b.      

     Zhilvitis zhaliavo,      A willow showed green,
     chito ruto.      hito ruto.
     Isheik gi, tevuti,      come out, father,
     zhilvichio zhiureti,      to have a look at the willow,
     beg mirga lapeliai,      if the leaves glitter,
     beg chiulba paukshteliai.      if the birds sing.
     SIS 1406.      

The willow theme is well-developed in sutartines: from with short refrain insertions zhilvitel zhilvichiukai to exhaustively elaborated subjects.

Poetical images, original and peculiar only to zhilvitis are linked with religious connotations of this tree. It is considered "that zhilvitis, glorified in sutartines, meant the symbol of fertility and had connotations with the rites of soil manuring season" (Slaviunas 1958:38), the osier image in general has of old been connected with certain rites (Dunduliene 1979:69-70). Osier image is frequent in Latvian folk poetry where it is in some way inferior to the idealization of the oak and maintains proximate semantics (Ruke-Dravina 1986:16-17).

On the other hand, folk song tradition also reveals a different, opposite to poetization and more close to life osier semantics (it can be explained by the specific character of osier variety):

     Tam laively, tam juodajam      In a boat, in a black one
     mergele sedejo,      a maiden sat,
     zhilviteliu, bumbureliu      of willow buds
     vainikeli pyne.      a wreath twined.
     LTR 1545 (16).      

     Brolia - inzhebotas (= zhirgas),      Brother's (horse) is harnessed,
     pirshlia-kamanotas,      match-maker's (horse) is bridled,
     a to shelmos bernuzhelio—      young lad's (horse)
     zhilvichiu zhebotas.      is bridled with a willow branch.
     LTR 1045 (136).      

In this way osier implication is very close to that of willow's, where in almost all motifs an inclination of irony, mockery predominates: svochiutes trejus metelius viana drobe aude, tarpe ju, skieteliu zhali karklai augo 'for three years sponsors (women at wedding) one linen weaved, between their spindles green willows grew'; svotuliai velavo, gale kiemo kiauleles gane, karklelius pleshe, ozhius balnojo 'sponsors (men at wedding) were late as they pastured pigs at the backyard, broke willows and bridled billy-goats'; gal martele karklyne augus 'the daughter-in-law must probably have been brought up in a willow thicket'; and etc. Even in rare willow images of parallel songs, traditionally full of tranquility and sublimity, a hint of a little and qualitatively poor tree is felt (cf. nors mazhas ir zhemas karklo krumelis, bet labai shakotas 'a low and small scrub willow but rather branchy'). Latvian poetry also exposes the same estimation of the willow (Ruke -Dravina 1986:17-19). Besides, in sutartines osier implications, proximate to other willow connotations are noted: sujuto, karklali, zhaliasis medeli: jai siui, siujela, ta ta to ta ta to 'sujuto, you osier, you green tree: jai siui, siujela, ta ta to ta ta to' (SIS 1565)', sodauchio karkleliai, /.../ Do, do karkleliai 'sodauchio osiers, Do, do osiers' (SIS 753, 754).

The least known in songs is the image of gluosnis (a few were recorded in western Lithuania, especially in former eastern Prussia). Slightly more usual are the motifs of the tree's utilitarian purpose:

     Skalbket mana mendureli      Do wash my uniform
     sava graudzhioms asharelems,      with your sorrowful tears,
     sausos gluosnies skalbtuvelems.      with dry osier beetles.
     LTR 3289 (36).      

A rare motif must also be mentioned, one of other subject themes of the osier, implying to a certain extent, the future absence of the son when the old father is promised to be visited, i.e. when osiers, when green ones will bear red berries, when stones, when white ones will float on water (LTR 2149 (72)).

There are some cases of the osier image to be interpreted from the point of view of composition rather than semantics (osier as an element of extremely well-composed form of a work): gluosnys - shulnys 'an osier- a well'.

In sutartines it is scarce, a rare image of blinde 'goat-willow' is sometimes found:

     Kai ash uzh bernelia,      When I married a lad,
     kai ash uzh bloznelia      when I married a feeble one –
     <…>      <...>
     Sakeliu tirpau,      I melted away like resin,
     kai sausa blindela      like a dry goat-willow
     blindejau.      languished.
     SIS 454.      

Different poetical meaning of their interpretations of various trees of the willow family do not come as a surprise. Not only in folklore but in some mythological traditions their diverse (even contradictory) symbolical meanings are evident (Toporov 1982:370). It is considered (which is well-grounded) to be due to the diversity of types and species, as well as to the variety of names (cf. the symbolics of these trees in folk creations of other nations).

Uosis 'ash' (Fraximus). It is an old Indo-European word familiar to all Balts (Buga 1959:157, 347). The importance of the ash in ancient Indo-European culture can be judged by the extremely valuable position of wood in mythology (status of the world-tree) and the absence of name synonym in languages (Radzevichiute 1988:113).

In Lithuanian folk songs the ash has neither a great majority of images nor any specific semantic features. There are some motifs attached to the original connotation of the ash in the poetical tradition, of sutartines' refrains and fragments: uosis liepali siaudzhia sodi ta ta to 'an ash and a linden rustle in the garden ta ta to' (SIS 261).

The traditional man / tree parallels present the ash as a typical member of the paradigm (the ash is especially familiar in Latvian folk poetry, in Lithuanian songs more characteristic and common are oak or birch images):

     Man uoselis, dauno.      For me the ash, dauno,
     ne broliukas, dauno.      is not a brother, dauno.
     LTR 966 (19).      

One more subject theme of the ash reveals itself in the motifs of its technological significance. The most characteristic images of ash fences and their poles are noted in sutartines:

     Meduchiu upe tekeja      A honeyed river flowed
     ir uosiu tvoros lapoja.      ash fences came into leaf.
     SIS 876.      

Obelis 'apple tree' (Malus) has maintained its ancient Indo-European name (Gamkrelidze - Ivanov 1984: 637-638). It is one of the first wild fruittrees cultivated by man and of important significance in ancient farming activity. Thousands of species of apple trees, originated from separate wild types are known at present. In Lithuania of old crab apple trees have been watched over and preserved. In the mythology and folklore of many Indo-European nations the fruit of the apple tree rather than the tree maintains social and magical or ritual connotation. The apple is a symbol of love and fruitfulness possessing magical power and common to all Europe (Kagarov 1913:163-166; for the meaning of the apple in Lithuanian folklore refer to Basanavichius 1970:393:07; Greimas 1979:124).

In nature scenes of Latvian folk songs the apple tree takes up a lot of space. Its images, as V. Ruke-Dravina notes, feature a great subject variety. Image semantics is based on the most specific features of the apple tree: crookedness, sharpness and bifurcation of its branches, and especially whiteness of its blossom. A distinct separation between crab and domesticated apple trees is made (cf. importance of cultivation of the apple tree in primitive society in Gamkrelidze-Ivanov 1984:641). In Latvian folk poetry images of a boat/goblet/some musical instruments, stick, switch made of apple tree wood, that are interpreted as having some mythical aspect are rather common notwithstanding the fact its wood being very hard, heavy and easily damaged. In these songs are noted a great many beliefs related to the apple tree and specific power in wedding, child-birth, and christening customs. The most important thing is that songs feature direct ties of the apple tree and certain deities (Laima, Saule sitting in the apple tree are glorified). Latvian folk songs are one of the main sources, proving the apple tree to be the tree of the goddess of destiny and a sacred tree in general; at the same time the old apple tree here is also inseparably linked to the picture of mother (for more about the apple tree in Latvian poetry see Ruke-Dravina 1986:21-67).

According to Ruke-Dravina, Lithuanian and Latvian apple tree images have much linkage, even though there are also considerable differences. In the parallel scenes, depicted in Lithuanian songs, in the place of the apple tree another tree, namely the linden is mentioned. Indirectly, referring to well-developed motifs of the apple tree and its fruit in the Lithuanian calendar poetry and especially in its semantics the tree and ritual connections can be perceived. Original apple tree images are depicted in sutartines where one main theme is distinct, i.e. an apple tree having grown in a wrong place, and image variations developed on this ground. In the foreground the semantic stress of reserved epic nature exposing in different aspects the significance of the apple tree and apples, partly revealing their ritual denotation and their bonds with customs rather than suggestively reconciled emotional-psychological image space (as in the popular song Oi, zhydek zhydek, balta obelele 'Bloom, bloom white apple tree' (V 816)) is set forth. As, for instance, the apple tree grown in an improper place 'will be plucked by herdsboys', 'apples will be put under pillows, father will inquire what smells so sweet', etc. Alongside apples the apple tree itself has become the subject centre (cf. dominating refrains of sutartines: obelyt grazhelyt, obelyt grazhiutel 'a little apple tree, a beautiful little one'):

     Tututui, ishraus tavi,      Tututui, they will tear you up,
     lioj tututui lylia,      lioj tutututi lylia,
     tututui, ish shakenliu,      tututui, by the little roots,
     tututui, uzhdas tavi,      tututui, they will put you,
     tututui, ant ugnalas.      tututui, into the fire.
     SIS 562.      

In some other variations particular care for the apple tree and respect for it are notable. In almost all portrayals of the apple tree the theme of the apple is also developed. Even in parallel similes of man and apple tree its fruit's implication is actual. The connotation of the apple partly causes a close essential link (cf. 'what for apples if there are no pickers, a brother will bring a daughter-in-law, then we will have a picker' (SIS 1410); 'a married girl will pluck apples', etc.). The apple tree is most often referred to as a mother.

One of the most prominent examples of parallel, as well as poetic folklore is considered the popular song Oi, zhydek zhydek, balta obelele 'Bloom, bloom white apple tree' (V 816), in which the similes of the motifs of a dry apple tree and an orphan girl reach the greatest dramatic strain. The apple tree image, in its sense, has somewhat maintained the poetical mythic tradition to which certain feature of semantics are peculiar. First, a comparison of a dry, fruitless tree to be flowering of the tree is implied. Secondly, by means of comparison in a song developing a wedding theme not any traditional tree image is chosen, but the apple tree as a symbol of fertility. In this respect a synonymous variation of the apple tree of this motif is of considerable interest. Only one apple tree substitute is known, namely a dry short stick, which commonly implies the meaning of the apple tree's stem. On the other hand, another meaning of lazda 'stick' must be taken into consideration, i.e. hazel - a bush or a tree with edible nuts. Cf. the stanza, in which the usual motif of white blossom in variants of the apple tree is logically changed, the main image has undergone certain alterations:

     - Oi, zhydek zhydek, sausoji lazdela.      
     - Kaip ash zhydesiu sausoji lazdela,      
     kas gi man sukraus aukselio spurgelas,      
     kas gi man suslegs zhaliuosius lapelius.      
     LTR 2352 (14).      
     - Bloom bloom dry stick.      
     - How can I bloom being a dry stick,      
     who will set gold buds,      
     who will squeeze my green leaves.      

On account of such an interpretation of these variants the hazel and the apple tree seem to be soundly semantically related synonyms (according to similar poetical meaning of an apple and a nut).

Besides, the apple tree never variates with other tree images save very few rare motifs ('In a forest a pear tree grew, at the edge of it there was an apple tree (cornel)' (V 386); 'A cuckoo sister among other trees alights onto an apple tree' (V 2857)). Though even in widely known motifs, where plant variety is evidently formal (because of similar morphological form) and where, in this respect, apple tree image would be proper, the apple tree is unfamiliar (cf. Zhydi kleschia radastele (stadulele, serbentele, lelijele, epushele) 'Blossoms and flourishes a deutzia (cornel, currant shrub, lilac, lily, aspen tree) (D 1428)).

It must be remembered that in Slavic folk poetry the apple tree represents a bride/a bridegroom, and apple tree images are especially bright and elevated.

Lazda. lazdynas 'hazel' (Corylus avellana). The name is of Baltic origin, though its later etymology is obscure (Fraenkel 1962:348). Hazelnuts are thought to have been one of the sources of Indo-European people's food provisions (Friedrich 1970:76, 158). Besides, the connotation associated with mythology and ascribed to the sources of food when, e.g. it is stated that "symbolizm of a nutshell concealing a kernel as an embryo which enables the offspring of plants, animals and people is rather expressive" (Greimas 1979:140, 228).

Traditional portrayals in songs bring the motifs of a hazel, as well as hazelnuts to the foreground where an attitude towards this useful and valuable plant, having developed even in poetical sense rather than its symbolic meaning can be more easily traced, cf.:

     Uzmitiko, uzhdereja      Ripe and mature are
     kalni rieshuteliai.      hazelnuts on the hill.
     Numiskysiu, nubraskysiu      I will pick, I will gather
     kalni rieshutelius.      hazelnuts on the hill.
     Sumidejau, sumiskyniau      I did pick, I did gather
     kalni rieshuteliu.      hazelnuts on the hill.
     SIS 347.      

In Lithuanian folk songs alongside these images a steady, distinctly connotated meaning of hazelnuts (similar to a clear sexual connotation of the apple) prevails, which is precisely delineated by A. Greimas' statement about hazelnuts being "...a means of temptation, used, it seems, by females" (Greimas 1979:274). Cf.:

     - Pasakyki, motinele,      - Tell me please, mother,
     kaip vilioti bernuzheli      how can a lad be tempted?
     - Su raudonu obuoleliu,      - By a red apple,
     su rieshuto branduoleliu.      by a hazelnut's kernel.
     LTR 28(99).      

By the way, a hazel or a hazelnut having no deep tradition in Russian folk poetry are more common in wedding songs only, where the symbolic sense of a hazelnut can not be set apart from that of an apple (both being a wedding present) (Avtamonov 1902:93-94). The function of hazelnuts in Lithuanian songs where a custom of treating guests with hazelnuts (as well as with apples, berries, also implying some ritual purpose) at match-makings is also featured:

     - Gerkit, sveteliai      -Drink please, guests,
     dai zhaiui vyneli,      this green wine,
     valgykit, sveteliai,      help yourselves please, guests,
     rieshutu branduolelius.      to hazelnut kernels.
     LTR 2885 (168).      

Wedding symbolics of hazelnuts is also characteristic to other images though here broadly oriented to sexual connotation. The meaning of this image in the tradition of their variations is usually taken into account, i.e. synonymous relations existing among the tree images of close symbolic significance (a hazel and a snowball tree, for example):

     Vandrauna mergele      An agile maiden
     vandravo po giria,      wandered in the forest.
     Pirmanakt nakvojo      She passed the first night
     po lazdu (putino) krumelio.      under a hazel (under a snowball tree).
     da neishaush      The dawn
     neshviesi aushrele,      having not come,
     pervaznyka shauke-      she asked ferryman
     perkels per Dunojo      to take her across the Danube.
     LTR 2015 (9).      

In parallel scenes the association of the discussed hazel meaning is also featured. On the other hand, the revealed semantic aspect appears to be foreign to the poetical connotation of the hazel in sutartines.

Grushnia, kriaushe, dule 'pear tree' (Pirus communis). Of old crab-pear tree were cultivated and given care to in orchards (Dendrology 1973:199). Grushe, grushnia (the latter variant is more frequent in songs) are loan-words taken from Russian (Buga 1959:54); kriaushe,- a Prussian loan-word (Buga 1959:478); dule is a word indicating a sort of a pear tree, which has also come from the Russian language (ibid. 1959:62). Dule is supposed, to be one of the tree names later having changed their denotation. Dule 's original meaning is svarainio medis 'a quince tree', but later a pear tree was named after it.

Scholars consider the religious connotation of a pear tree rather original. "Grushnia or kriaushe is not an ordinary fruit-tree, though its mythological meaning is still obscure, but its significance in religious reasoning is doubtless" (Greimas 1979:96). Besides, A. Greimas holds that there is enough ground for a brownie and a pear tree bond to be traced (ibid. 98).

In Lithuanian songs of the calendar cycle an original pear tree image is revealed (Vidury dvaro palavu krumas 'In the middle of a mansion a bush of Paulownia tomentosa' (Kl 29); Vidury lauko grushnele stovi 'In the middle of a field a pear tree grows' (Kl 340); some individual variants with this tree in songs Kl 488, 491, 222). Peculiar semantics of these songs has already caught the scholars' eye and these songs are assumed to have been, most probably, hymns of ritual origin, the survived fragments of which can hardly be interpreted as far (Greimas 1979:97). In recent years these images are linked with the conception of the world model (Laurinkiene 1990; Velius 1983:181).

In wedding songs the tree is more common for parallel simile images, the following illustration being more frequent:

     Augo girioj dulele, pagiry obelele.      
     Vai, slaugin motushe dukrele      
     kaip rutele darzhely.      
     LTR 1297 (30).      
     A pear tree grew in the forest,      
     at the edge of it - an apple tree.      
     A mother cares about her daughter      
     as for a rue in a flower garden.      

In the Shvenchionys district a simile of the pear tree and the widow is known (also as Ai tu grushia, ai tu grushia 'Oh you pear tree, oh you pear tree' (K 255)) being in close proximity to the implication of this, as well as other trees in Russian folk songs.

The pear tree image is usually referred in songs to the tree rather than its fruit. Very scarce motifs are:

     Zhirgeliai numyne ruteles,      Steeds have trampled the rues,
     sveteliai nuskyne grusheles.      guests have plucked the pears.
     LTR 378a (464).      

By the way, a pear tree fruit (contrary to that of the apple tree) is noted to have had no magic significance (Kagarov 1913:165).

The pear tree images are rather unfamiliar to sutartines (except very few motifs of grushele, a diminutive form of grushia.

Vyshnia 'cherry tree' (Prunus cerasus). As, according to K. Buga, a crab cherry is uncommon in Lithuania, therefore it has got no ancient name, inherited from the Indo-European language subgroup. Later, the Lithuanians having come across with this tree, they loaned the word from the Slavs (Buga 1959:199-201, 660). According to P. Friedrich, the names of all cultured plants, generally seem to have been loaned (or interchanged), due to their prestigious position or economic value (Friedrich 1970:115, 120).

In Lithuanian folk poetry cherry orchard image is extremely popular, which meets with different semantic interpretation. For instance, an orchard in addition to the mythological aspect (the world model) in folk poetry is, first of all, connected with the cultural sphere: it is not possible to grow on its own, it has to be planted, looked after, and cared for (Tsivian 1983:141). Probably therefore the most marked feature of orchard image semantics is of aesthetic character, an orchard being considered a certain valuable thing, revealing at the same time a particular spiritual state or wood. Elevated and emotionally oriented is the cherry orchard image of Lithuanian songs, cf.:

     Oi kiemas, kiemas.      Oh yard, yard,
     kas do kiemelis -      what a little yard –
     vyshniu sodai zhydeja.      cherry orchards bloomed.
     Sodai zhydeja,      Orchards bloomed,
     upe tekeja,      a river flew,
     mani penki noreja.      five (lads) asked me to marry them.
     LTR 1650 (31).      

In songs an orchard is referred to either as the lad's or the maiden's home. On the other hand, the distinction is made to underline the opposition of a rue garden and a cherry orchard (due to their contradictory semantics):

     Trechias kupchius sedo      The third trader mounted (the horse)
     ir nujojo      and rode
     prie rutu darzhelio -      to the rue garden –
     in mergeli.      to the maiden.
     Prie rutu darzhelio —      To the rue garden –
     in mergeli.      to the maiden.
     Prie vyshniu sodelio —      To the cherry orchard –
     in nashlali.      to the widow.
     LTR 3426 (599).      

For the sake of interest the disseminated image of a cherry as a symbol of love in Slavic folk poetry should also be reminded, even though the symbol's essence is, on principle, different from the semantically proximate one or another tree, i.e. snowball.

The term of cherry tree grove in folk songs serves as a synonym for a cherry tree orchard rather than indicates the place where crab cherry trees grow (as traditionally were groves of other trees called):

     O pro sodeli,      By the orchard,
     pro vyshneli      by the cherry tree grove
     ejo vieshas kelelis.      a road stretched away.
     LTR 1544 (6).      

A cherry tree is only a garden tree: due to the emphasis on this semantic significance, the dichotomy of crab and cultured (garden/forests) exposes itself, which is rather evident in songs:

     Ei, shala shala      Look here! Freeze, freeze
     ir pashalnoja      and are frozen
     darzhe zhalios ruteles.      green rue in the flower garden.
     Darzhe — ruteles.      Rue in the flower garden,
     sode - vyshneles,      cherry trees in the orchard,
     laukagelej - liepeles.      lindens at the edge of the field.
     JLD 129.      

(In variants - apple trees in the fruit garden: D 20,1416). Not a rare cherry orchard (as well as trees) motif component is a bird image. A cuckoo is most likely depicted calling in a cherry orchard. On the other hand, a stable regularity can hardly be fixed, as in the cherry orchard an oriole or a wind dove sings, a falcon sits in it, a nightingale rests a night there, out of it a swallow flies. In addition to possible different semantic connotations and interpretations of their symbolics, here, as well as in natural images of cherry-bearing bushes relations of trees and birds can somewhat be perceived:

Ash asiu sodan, zhalian sodelin        

vyshniu rashkyti, paukshchiu baidyti.         

LMD III 161 (434).        

I shall go to the garden, green garden         

to pick berries, to scare birds away.        

In parallel images a generalized subject theme rather than separate nominated trees or birds possesses a symbolic meaning, in other words, the motif itself is connoted.

A cherry image in poetic system is also connoted. In pragmatic (in this case, perhaps, magic) aspect, all sorts of berries (raspberries, strawberries, currants) are generally very close to the symbolic sense of an apple and hazelnut. In this aspect berry images, a cherry being among them, are members of one paradigm. Cf. the afore-mentioned variation of a match-making motif:

     Eikit, sveteliai,      Go guests,
     naujona seklychelen.      inside a new salon.
     Ash jumim duosiu      I shall give you
     juodos vyshnios uogeliu      black cherry-berries.
     LTR 3426 (567).      

Owing to lingual peculiarities (feminine gender of both the tree and berry names, another paradigm moulds anonymous variation of a cherry tree and other trees), especially native of songs of parallel constructions:

     Augo sode zhalia vyshnela,      
     augo darzhe zhalia rutela,      
     augo mochiutes balta dukrela,      
     augo dukrela ir jos dalala.      
     LTR 195 (37).      

In the fruit garden a green cherry tree grew, in the flower garden a green rue grew, at the mother's a white daughter grew, the daughter and her fate grew.

By the way, on the ground of other sources (apart from the lyrical world of songs) cherry-berries are guessed to have been of a religious significance, cf. statements about Kirnis - the patron of cherries (Greimas 1979:94-95). In Lithuanian songs generally a slightly different pragmatic aspect of cherries is implied, i.e. their connections with rites and customs (bearing in mind the supposition that it is mainly synonymous function of a cherry image here):

     Ir atjoja      Here comes riding
     raitu pulkas,      a group of men,
     visi raici      all on horseback
     shaudzydami.      shooting.
     Shoviau strelu      (I) shot an arrow
     vyshniu sodi,      in the cherry orchard,
     o antaru-      (I) shot the second (one)
     rutu darzhi.      in the rue garden.
     LTR 2383 (61).      

     Kano tas karvojus?      Whose wedding-cake is this?
     Tai grazhiai paredyta,      So nicely adorned,
     tai slauniai pastacyta:      so prettily made:
     Aplinkui - vyshniu sodai      Around (it) are orchards,
     vidury - ruu darzhas,      in the middle (is) a rue garden,
     tam darzhe - obuoleliai.      in that garden are apples.
     LTR 1708 (35).      

In sutartines a rare cherry image possesses no distinct lyrical tradition.

Serbentas / serbenta 'currant' (Ribes). It is a plant of actual dissemina-tion all over Europe. In older times ashokliai (ribes rubrum) must have been called 'currants', their name being inherent to the words noting redness, for instance, sirpti 'ripen', rausti uogoms 'berries growing red', nokdamos uogos tampa raudonos 'growing ripe berries turn red' (Buga 1959:38-39, 306).

In folk songs the theme of berries prevails rather than that of the plant; their image generally partakes of polysemantic lyrical connotation of a berry symbol. A magical aspect, common to all sorts of berries, customarily symbolizing misery and trouble, must also be noted. For its colour and other attractive features a berry is most often considered somewhat of an ideal of beauty. Cf. currant motifs in songs: sirpsta uoga serbentela, grazhi merga Onytela 'A currant berry ripens, a pretty girl (is) Onytela' (LTR 277 (260)). In this aspect any similes or a maiden and currant (mes dvi sesyteliu, kaip dvi serbenteliu 'we two sisters like two currants') are semantically closely related.

In sutartines a currant berry motif is being developed as a separate subject theme (alongside the refrains sarbintela sarbkntoj, and etc. being characteristic of them).

     - Serbinciula ogela,      - A currant berry,
     o kas tavi augino?      by whom were you grown?
     Sorbinto, sorbinto      Sorbinto, sorbinto.
     SIS 597.      

Crab currant bush (currant groves) and currant garden images are also known in songs.

A currant bush image has most probably emerged as a substitute or a synonym of other trees rather than independently. It especially concerns rare currant implications in songs of parallel construction (D 1428, V 2116, and etc.) and the motifs depicting the utilitarian purpose of the bush.

Aviete 'raspberry' (Rubus). K. Buga relates the Lithuanian name of this bush with the word avis 'sheep' (Buga 1959:20). The traditional notional semantic accent of the berry (ripening, red and dark colour, etc.) is native of a raspberry image in Lithuanian folk songs:

     Ar ne kalne avietela buva.      Wasn't there a raspberry on the hill, or
     ne kanle raudonoji buva.      wasn't there a red one on the hill.
     Ir ateja sesutelas,      Sisters came,
     ir nusrinka vogytelas.      picked up the berries.
     LTR 454 (89).      

The regional dissemination of raspberry image makes sense to be delineated separately. Raspberry motifs prevail in variants recorded in Samogitia. Cf. the raspberry image in a fishermen's song Augo ant kalno juodos avieteles 'On a hill black raspberries grew' (D 1535) and that in a historical war song Aushta aushrele, shviesi pazarele 'A dawn, a bright glow breaks' (K 345). It is especially evident in the most popular Lithuanian songs. For instance, the song Sidir vidir zholynelis 'Grows and twines the flower' (V 20), having quite a few recordings in variants, disseminated in surroundings of Klaipeda, Telshiai and Taurage, a raspberry image prevails (more than 60 variants). The absence of this image in sutartines can be most probably explained by this peculiarity, too.

A part of raspberry lyrical implications peculiar to other regions of Lithuania (particularly to those of Svenchionys and Zarasai) can be on sound grounds related to the snowball and raspberry lexical-semantic combination well known in Russian folk songs.

Alyva / alyvas 'olive/lilac'. In Lithuanian trees of two sorts are called alyva/alyvas, firstly, an ever-green tree and its fruit (Olea europea) common in Southern Europe, secondly, a shrub with sweet smelling pale purple or white blossom (Syringa vulgaris). A foreign (Slavic) origin of the tree name is obvious (Buga 1958:199; 1959:148). Representatives of olive tree family are considered by botanists to be the plants introduced in Lithuanian in days of very old.

An olive image is mostly found in variants of the wedding songs Ant tevo dvaro alyvuzhe zhaliavo 'In father's mansion an olive grew green' (V 357) and Po mano tevo langeliu 'Under my father's window' (V 393) disseminated in eastern Prussia. In these, as well as in the majority of other songs an olive (Olea europea) is depicted, though being foreign to Lithuanian climatic zone or perhaps having changed its denotation. It is clearly noticable from the song context:

     Po tevo langu,      Under father's window,
     stiklo langachiu      under a glass window
     alyvuzhiai zhaliavo.      Olives grew green.

     O jie zhydejo,      How nicely they bloomed,
     o jie klestejo,      how nicely they flourished,
     raudonas uogas neshe.      they bore red berries.

     O tos uogates,       (And) those berries,
     o tos raudonosios      those red ones
     rinchvynuzhiu kvepejo.      Smelled of wine.
     RD 75.      

J. Basanavichius related the olive image and those of other plants, foreign to Lithuanian area, to the Thracian theory of the Lithuanian origin (Basanavichius 1970:264). The tree mentioned happens to have been known to the Greek mythical tradition of the cult of plants (Kagarov 1913:134, 139). In folk songs of neighbouring peoples, Slavs especially, the olive image is very rare. Generally alyva 'a lilac' not taking its meaning into consideration is one of the simile components in traditional tree/man parallels, cf.:

     Liudi darzhe alyvele,      A lilac sorrows in the garden,
     liudijos shakele.      a lilac branch sorrows.
     Liudi mano motinele      Grieves my mother
     aukshtame kalnely.      on a steep hill.
     LTR 675 (129).      

No case of olive was ever met in sutartines.

Shermukshnis / shermukshne 'mountain-ash' (Sorbus). This name is considered to be a Baltic-Slavic innovation (in Russian cheriomukha means a bird-cherry) (Radzevichiute 1988:18). It is a tree of native origin, especially nice while in bloom and in autumn for abundant, bright fruit are even more decorative than blossom (Dendrology 1973:187). In many a nation various beliefs and superstitions related to this tree exist. Of old it had been worshipped, its specific magical power had been believed in (a mountain-ash branch was supposed to guard against the magic of all kinds), therefore, it was allowed neither to be felled nor burnt. On these connotational aspects, by the way, a mountain-ash symbolics is also tried to be grounded (e.g., the link to a grieving woman).

In Lithuanian folk songs the magical aspect of the mountain-ash can hardly be perceived. It is a rather unpopular tree image in general. More common are lyrical combinations of a snowball tree and a mountain-ash (cf. the sutartine of calendar rites Putins augo su shermukshniu 'A snowball tree grew beside a mountain-ash' (Kl 585), other mountain-ash motifs being unfamiliar to sutartines). In mountain-ash images, as of other fruit-bearing trees, the theme of berries prevails (cf. Kl 174), even though the mountain-ash image is generally sporadic in songs.

Epushe / drebule 'aspen' (Populus tremula). Both names are absolute synonyms, having been almost equally disseminated all over Lithuania (Atlas of the Lithuanian Language 1977:195, map 92). Epushe is an old Indo-European name, while drebule is considered to be an innovate term derived from the verb drebeti 'tremble'.

In the lyrical tradition of other nations the symbolic meaning of epushe as a poor and evil-bringing tree is very distinct, the meaning related to the features of the tree (bitter wood, trembling leaves), as well as to religious connotations, Christian ones, first of all (Judas is said to have changed himself into a branch of an aspen). Various legends are also acknowledged to have appeared due to even older sacred purpose of this tree.

This image is not native of Lithuanian folk songs (it is not noticed in sutartines either), links to its religious interpretation can hardly be traced. Individual semantical features of aspen images are inherent of the peculiarities of the tree's exterior and wood:

     Pigus girioj medis epushe, epushe,      
     pigesne mergele dar nashle, dar nashle.      
     LTR 3908 (23).      
     A cheap tree in the forest is an aspen,      
     even cheaper is a maiden still a widow, still a widow.      

An aspen image tends to be varied: drebulaite-epushaite, stadulaite-pushaite. Such image variations were caused by close morphological structure of words, pushele and epushele have the difference of only one sound.K. Buga's statement is not out of place here suggesting that pushis 'pine' had helped to transform the ancient term apse into apushis (Buga 1959: 251). In lyrical tradition, therefore, these trees are viewed as absolute synonyms, cf.:

     Po pushele, po zhaliaja      
     stovejo vygele,      
     Toj vygelej, toj margojoj      
     gulejo panele.      
     LTR 914 (436).      
     Under a pine tree, under a green one      
     a cradle stood.      
     In that cradle, in that variegated one      
     a maiden lay.      

Generalizing this image in folk poetry it must be noted that semanti-cally it functions as an unmarked number of a tree paradigm and for this reason, it happens to be found in different motifs.

Ershketis 'blackthorn' (Rosa). A great many sorts of blackthorns grow in Lithuania. The generalized name ershketis has a stem of an ancient Indo European origin (Fraenkel 1962:122-123).

It is the most typical tree image in Lithuanian folk songs and its simple and rather solid lyrical connotation can hardly be separated from the pure botanical features of this tree, in this case, its thorns (in Russian folk songs a nettle, possessing a similar symbolical meaning, is more common) (Avtamonov 1902:71). It somewhat determines, even restricts the usage of this image (a blackthorn appears in a certain context only, it features sta bleness, synonyms are sporadic). For this reason mainly the semantics of all images are very close:

     Gale lauko gygus ershketys,      
     tai tu jojo shakeles ant rankeliu vyniosi.      
     LTR 1192 (530).      
     At the edge of a field a prickly black-thorn,      
     you will wind its branches round your hands.      

     Sugniaush kumshteli kaip akmeneli,      
     tars zhodeli kaip ershketeli.      
     LTR 1500 (186).      
     (One) will clench one's fist like a stone,      
     (one) will utter a word like a blackthorn.      

Similes of a blackthorn and a widower, a father-in-law, a brother-in-law are especially frequent.

The stable lyrical implication of a blackthorn is not destroyed by its sporadic motifs in sutartines (cf. mother is seated on a piece of gold, while mother-in-law is seated on a bench of blackthorn (S1S 73)).

Kadagys / eglis 'juniper' (Juniperus communis). It is a prickly evergreen shrub with dark berries. One sort of this shrub is original, some others were introduced into Lithuania. The tree is rather disseminated, in some areas entire juniper groves can be found. Kadagys is believed to have been borrowed from the Finnish language (Sabaliauskas 1966:23, 69), while eglis is considered to have originated from the term 'a fir' (Radzevichiute 1988:2), the former being more used in western Lithuania, while the latter is more common to other parts of the country. In traditions of various nations a religious connotation is ascribed to the tree, attempts searching for traces of a juniper cult in Lithuanian legends are made.

In songs the semantics of juniper images (as well as those of a blackthorn) reveals distinct peculiarities of the tree, namely its prickles and their sharpness. The similes, thus, are mostly based on these features:

     Butau radus anyteli      I might have found a mother-in law,
     kaip eglalio krumuzheli.      like a prickly juniper shrub.
     LTR 1572 (259).      

In wedding songs a simile of a juniper and a widower is rather popular:

     Zhalus medelis kadugys,      A green tree is a juniper,
     atjos bernelis, ne nashlys.       a lad will ride to me, not a widower.
     LTR 2040 (33).      

By the way, in this motif all its modifications try to maintain the rhyme, make the ends of the lines agree (a formal basis for the juniper image motivation).

A juniper grove image seems to be semantically unmarked, cf.:

     O ir priejom,       (We) came up,
     Privandravojom      (we) rambled over to
     kadaguzhiu girele.      a juniper grove.
     JLD 955.      

A ship appears to be the only thing made of juniper and depicted in songs (D 679, 1551). Though juniper wood's practical application is alien to Lithuanians, elsewhere the tradition of ancient businesses testifies the building of cedar juniper boats (Friedrich 1970:45-6).

In Lithuanian songs a juniper image is actually very rare while in sutartines it is virtually non-existent.

Radastas / radasta 'deutzia' (Rosa rugosa). The term is considered to be loaned from the Polish language (Fraenkel 1962:683). In songs the semantics of a deutzia image is related, first of all, to the blossom of this plant. The double form of its name (masculine and feminine genders) caused the universal image, application-similes with a girl, as well as with a lad are observed:

     Zhydi kleschia radastele      A deutzia blossoms and flourishes
     ruteliu darzhely,      in the rue garden,
     verkia rauda merguzhele      a girl cries her eyes out
     sirata budama.      having been orphaned.
     LTR 630 (224).      

     Ash tropijau bernuzheli-      I've met a lad –
     grazhu radasteli.      a nice-looking deutzia.
     LTR 2326 (203).      

Motifs of a grove or a mansion, planted with deutzia, are also characteristic (D 1428). By the way, the lyrical tradition of the deutzia image is more common in the western part of Lithuania (in the Suvalkija territory).

Alksnis 'alder' (Alnus). In Lithuanian songs it is not numerous, elsewhere (e.g. in Russian songs) it is virtually foreign. In Lithuanian folk songs a lyrical tradition of an alder, implying a humorous, even derogatory meaning, is noticed. It is very close to the manner of the spoken language, as referred to this tree. Cf. expressions, proverbs, phraseological units: Unpleasant - such as a small alder; One born to be an alder will never grow into an oak; A nail made of alder (something of poor value) (LKZh, 1968, vol. 1:205), as well as similarly connoted alder motifs in folk songs:

     - Panala jaunoji, un ko pazhinai,      
     kad tuoj prilakus, vartus uzhkelai?      
     - Un zhilo kuino, unt shiadu balno,      
     un geltonu alksnio kilpeliu.      
     LTR 756 (139).      
     My dear maiden, by what did you recognize me,      
     as at the next moment you ran up and closed the gates?      
     - By your grey nag, by your straw saddle,      
     by yellow alder stirrups.      

Alongside such a tree image in songs, the specially emphasized attitude inherent in it as not sacred and even cursed can be noticed in fairy-tales and legends (Velius 1983:199-120).

* * *

Various tree images, semantically multi-faceted and ranging in their subjects, make up an original layer of folk song poetics. It is rather difficult to find a general criterion for the review and systematization of its entirety. Nevertheless, the character of connotation and tree image variety enabled to somewhat bring to the foreground two main image aspects: general tree image regularities and their individual features.

A neutral image position of separate trees, easily perceptible in reference to nomination, caused the attention on peculiarities, common to the majority of the tree images. The portrayed situation itself, having a figurative meaning and marking some symbolic implication rather than a concretely nominated tree is connoted. In other words, in lyrical system many a tree image decipher a generalized symbolic sense for the subject scheme of a motif (a framework in which tree images differ in variants).

Conditionally some symbolically implicated tree subjects can be marked out in Lithuanian folk songs. One of these especially generalized and closely related to others, is a characteristic of the vegetative level of a certain tree (the revelation of essential features under different seasons of vegetation, such as periods of growth, flowering, fruit ripening, decay, and etc., as well as general interpretations of tree features). Different variations of this theme are rather characteristic: 'an oak tree grew in a courtyard' being the simplest form of its realization. Motifs, proximate to this one, are inclined to develop, vary, partake of connotations, different in form and degree.

Another peculiar subject theme is the felling of trees and the utilitarian purpose of their wood. Here the nomination of trees is also in the background only, trees vary in motifs of a stable content. Extremely disseminated is the theme of felling a tree and that of building a boat out of it, where a purely ordinary situation, frequently forming the subject centre, is more stressed rather than the image of a separate tree. In songs it is developed, specified and completed in images with distinct wedding attributes or having a symbolic meaning (Sauka 1970:250). A symbolic meaning is also significant in other tree felling motifs, in which the themes of building a house, a guest-house, a bridge are developed.

A somewhat narrower subject theme seems to be related to the characterization of the place of an action or that of a background in general. These motifs possess a dominance of realistic and epic attitude (cf. where a finch will spend the night: in a pine forest under a pine or in a forest under a spruce; through birch groves, through osier-beds a road runs, and etc.). Among them motifs of especially original content sometimes happen where interpretations of archaic rites, rituals and beliefs dominate the foreground. The reconstruction of their semantics would most probably give the best explanation of many original tree images or their symbolic implications in folk song tradition (cf. such motifs: under a tree or in a tree a crib or a cradle with a maiden lying in it is hanging; an arrow is shot into a tree a maiden, a mother-in-law to hear it; a lad swims up a bush under which a maiden sits making a kerchief, twining a wreath; spending the night under a tree is especially characteristic). Entire motifs seem to have had a sacred purpose, these motifs for their mysticism having been interpreted only on a symbolic plane. A symbolic implication of a tree image must be considered the most prevailing feature of it. By the way, symbolism here must have originated due to different foundations. Having no distinct or even implied connections to rites and other spheres of ancient culture, symbolism of an action or situation is often based on a psychologico-emotional plane, it being a typical way for rendering the mood and revealing the emotional state of folk poetry. For instance, the images of branches, bent or broken by the wind, fading leaves, or of a felled tree increase psychological suggestiveness and possess a symbolic, only emotionally oriented meaning.

Slightly different regularities reveal themselves owing to the analysis of an individual connotation of separate tree images. Hierarchically the simplest lyrical connotation is based on empiric experience (cf. implication of a blackthorn in songs). Connotations of other trees are oriented to more complex spheres of pragmatics, cf. images of a willow or an apple tree where only a certain reference to the main object is made, the rest of information being between the lines. The text somewhat provides for this information, it is rendered conventionally, with the help of associations. An oak tree image must be viewed as a typical example when one bears in mind the significance of the oak in beliefs and customs of many a nation, the intensiveness of a lyrical tradition of an oak tree image in Lithuanian folk songs. The apple tree role is also significant in ancient customs and beliefs, distinct reminiscences found in songs (Latvian, particularly). Of course, this link is not always direct and evident, as a vivid illustration on a linden implication in Lithuanian folk songs proves. Among all tree images that of the linden and a parallel of a female line, which can be regarded as an invariantal model of these images, prevail. By the way, a narrower one - an invariant of a motif- is distinct in any popular song. For example, in the tree parallel of the song Augo sodely zhalia vyshnele 'A green cherry grew in an orchard' (V 1383) there are more than 60 variants bearing a cherry image, more than 20 variants possessing a linden image, while in some sporadic variants bird-cherry, spruce, pear, even grass or lawn images may be come across. Consequently, different nominated images with no separate semantics and as equal members making up a sole paradigm frequently vary in one song type. A paradigm moduls itself due to a specific, peculiar only to lyrics, attitude towards a tree implying any generalized feature of a plant group. For example, a paradigm contains everything that shows green. The apprehension of images of different trees as synonyms is also illustrated by one variant structure, where nominated, i.e. bearing individual names, trees generalize the entire class. Cf.:

     Sedulele, dobilio,      Cornel, dobilio,
     tas pats medis, dobilio!      it is the same tree, dobilio!
     Eime, broliai, dobilio,      We will go, brothers, dobilio,
     malku kirsti, dobilio!      to chop the fire wood, dobilio!
     Nelenk, broli, dobilio,      Don't bend, brothers, dobilio,
     seduleles, dobilio!      a cornel, dobilio!
     JLD 554.      

In such a context the oak, the spindle tree, the linden are also mentioned. The boundaries of image paradigms are extremely narrow, in case of some feature having become a differentiated indication: evergreen, white blossom and berries, similarities of wood, and etc. The limits for the variation of tree images as synonyms also depend on purely external work form regularities. In one motif the names possessing the same amount of syllables and identic morphological structure usually vary, therefore, causing no alterations in the metre of a piece of work. Cf. the members of one paradigm, i.e. berzhelis, klevelis, uoselis 'a birch, a maple, an ash tree', and those of another one azhuolelis, putinelis 'an oak, a snowball tree' or liepele, eglele, pushele, ievele 'a linden, a spruce, a pine, a bird cherry', or sedulele, obelele, serbentele, alyvele 'a cornel, an apple tree, a currant, an olive/a lilac'. In language system these words are not synonyms, the situation, syntactical and phraseological relations anticipating the corresponding semantics of a lyrical word cause their synonymity. One must be reminded here of the geographical criterion applied for the interpretation of tree dis-semination. In songs of a separate nation these images are said to be abundant, the prototypes of which are more common for that climatic zone. There was a tendency, for example, the differences of tree implication in the Slav poetry to be explained due to the diverse reliefer dissimilar natural conditions. This supposition can be accepted but partly. In the opinion of V. Ruke-Draviria, notwithstanding the common aspect of Latvian and Lithuanian lyrical tree image a great many differences appear, though the nature of both nations is similar (Ruke-Dravina 1986:32). With reference to nominated trees Lithuanian lyrical system reveals some distinct and peculiar features. For example, even incomplete comparative analysis of sutartines and other songs besides some common points of intersection, indicates a certain layer of lyrical differences. Cf. the prevalence of a willow and an apple tree in sutartines and dissimilar development of these themes in them, as well as in other songs. Besides, other images of a rather active lyrical tradition, i.e. poplar, cherry tree, maple, though completely unusual for sutartines are sure to be of some interest too. Taking into account a somewhat archaic, distinctly perfected and purified (notable for conciseness) structure of sutartines, it becomes evident why any poetical innovation found difficulty in being introduced in them. Here, two conclusions must be kept in mind: 1) images of things made of some tree (in the sense of an epithet) are rather uncommon for sutartines, and 2) the prevalence of epithets generally marks a certain and more recent stage of songs' development. It might be a sound basis for another analysis, more diachronically oriented.

The grouped features of objective subject lyrics, related to narrative tradition, gave the possibility of distinguishing, though relatively, several generalized subject lines of tree images notwithstanding the difference in their lexical and stylistic-semantical expression. Due to their nomination (according to types and names) separate tree images, systematized and generalized, helped to perceive the connotation character of tree images of two kinds. Very often the depicted situation itself and the subject scheme of a motif (vegetative seasons of a plant, tree felling, and etc.) are symbolically implicated and always signifying some figurative meaning. An individual connotation of a separate tree has also been noticed (cf. a lyrical implication of blackthorn, apple tree, and willow in folk songs). General, as well as individual regularities of connotation are related to a certain extent to the unequal prevalent of trees in songs. In a separate type of a song with a great number of its variants among the trees is a linkage of paradigm relations, caused by close connotation and by inclination of a folk sons for variations.

Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore. Vilnius, Lithuania

Notes and abbreviations

1.In the Catalogue of Lithuanian songs the type comprises the whole complex of versions of a song. It may encompass one, several or even some hundreds of versions, as many as recorded.

2. Trees in brackets are characteristic to solitary versions, therefore these images will not be discussed separately.

3. The Lithuanian Language Dictionary was referred to for the data for the description of some botanical features of trees.

cf. = compare (Latin confer).

D = Darbo dainos Lietuviu liaudies dainu kataloge (Work songs in the Catalogue of Lithuanian folk songs; number of type).

JLD = Lietuvishkos dainos (Lithuanian songs) / Uzhrashe Antanas Jushka. Vilnius, 1954.

K = Karines-istorines dainos Lietuviu liaudies dainu kataloge (War and historical songs in the Catalogue of Lithuanian folk songs; number of type).

Kl = Kalendorinu apiegu dainos Lietuviu liaudies dainu kataloge (Calendar songs in the Catalogue of Lithuanian folk songs; number of type).

LKZh = Lietuviu kalbos zhodynas (Lithuanian Language Dictionary). J Balchikonis et al. Vilnius 1957, 1968, 1981.

LMD = Lietuvu mokslo draugijos rankrashchiai Lietuviu literaturos ir tautosakos institute (Manuscript of Lithuanian Scientific Society in the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore; number of manuscript).

LTR = Lietuviu tautosakos rankrashtynas Lietuviu literaturos ir tautosakos institute (Manuscript of Lithuanian Folklore in the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore; number of manuscript).

LTU = Lietuviu tautosaka, uzhrashyta 1944-1956 (Lithuanian Folklore, recorded in 1944-1956). Comp. by K. Grigas, Amb. Jonynas, B. Ugincius; ed. by K. Korsakas. Vilnius 1957.

RD = Reza L. Lietuviu liaudies dainos (Lithuanian folk songs). Vilnius 1958, 1964.

S1S = Sutartines. Daugiabalses lietuviu liaudies dainos (Sutartines. Lithuanian polyphonic folk songs). Comp. by Z. Slaviunas. Vilnius 1958.

V = Vestuvines dainos Lietuviu liaudies dainu kataloge (Wedding songs in the Catalogue of Lithuanian folk songs; number of type).


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