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  • Happy Birthday In Polish - Sto Lat Lyrics

    October 01, 2018 3 min read


    how to sing happy birthday in polish - sto lat words


    Someone turns the lights off. The candles burn on a delicious cake as it slowly makes its way to the center of the table. Then, the Sto lat song begins: Sto lat, sto lat, niech żyje żyje nam!

    Sto lat in the Polish language is the traditional Polish birthday song wishing you a happy birthday in Polish. This happy birthday song in Polish has unknown origins and an unknown author, but is mandatory during Polish birthday celebrations - and other occasions where you celebrate a person's achievements.

    It’s interesting to see how almost every culture has the same birthday procedure nowadays. Yet a Polish song that is sung during birthday celebrations, Sto Lat or Live A Hundred Years, makes it a bit different than others.

    This song, which could be compared to For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow of the English-speakers (in the sense that it is used in similar occasions) is specific because of the fact that it is used not only during birthdays, but also during weddings, both informal and formal events and other important celebrations, like the inauguration of the president. This Polish happy birthday song was even played during the visit of Pope John Paul II.

    The Polish happy birthday song is also often not only sung, but also performed by a full on band or even an orchestra.

    But what does sto lat mean?

    Unlike other simpler Happy Birthday songs, Sto Lat celebrates life itself - sto lat meaning that you wish someone to live to be a hundred years.

    The phrase sto lat in Polish (A Hundred Years) is often used on its own to congratulate someone, during a toast, or when simply wished longevity, health and happiness. Sometimes, you can say sto lat even after a sneeze - but people more often use Na Zdrowie or For Good Health for that purpose, or Wszystkiego Najlepszego for simple Congratulations. Also, don’t be surprised if a spoken phrase leads to people around starting to sing the whole Happy Birthday song in Polish!

    As for the history of the song, as we said before - some sources say it’s completely unknown. Others connect it to a Ukrainian song Mnogaja Lita, a version of a byzantine liturgical hymn. The song’s melody is that of a Polish folk song called Za górami, za lasami / Past mountains, past forests.

    Now, let’s learn how to sing Happy Birthday in Polish!

    Polish Birthday Song Lyrics

    It is quite easy to learn to sign Sto Lat (100 lat).

    Just follow the Happy Birthday in Polish lyrics:

    Sto lat, sto lat, niech żyje, żyje nam / 100 years, 100 years, may (s)he live, may (s)he live

    Sto lat, sto lat, niech żyje, żyje nam / 100 years, 100 years, may (s)he live, may (s)he live

    Jeszcze raz, jeszcze raz, niech żyje, żyje nam /Once again, once again, may (s)he live, may (s)he live

    Niech żyje nam! / May (s)he live! 

    And as you sing Happy Birthday in Polish, it’s important that you sing the song from the heart, because that’s what matters the most!

    For some extra help learning Sto Lat song lyrics - watch the following video to learn the melody and learn the pronunciation of this Polish birthday song!

    And P.S. Don’t forget to grab a Polish happy birthday gift from our store. 

    4 Responses


    May 23, 2023

    Ciotka Sophie will be 100 in July so we can no longer sing “Sto lat” to her. A priest friend told us about another song which is translated to mean something like “100 is good but 150 is better”. I can’t find this on-line. Can someone help?

    Dennis Basinski
    Dennis Basinski

    November 19, 2020

    Loved it. Great, a wonderful memory maker

    Wanda M Brieger
    Wanda M Brieger

    November 25, 2020

    For Patricia May Sto Lat Sto Lat

    Kenneth Mietus
    Kenneth Mietus

    November 08, 2020

    Thank you for this post

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