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While writing the answer for What existing songs, if any, was the soundtrack of “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” based on? on SFF, I learned that the songs that had any lyrics were mostly (if not all of them) inspired by existing songs, many of them folk songs. Some of those include

  • "Bonny at Morn", an English folk song, which according to one account,

    [i]s a lullaby addressed to a baby, and in part it's reproach to a lazy son who is 'ower lang' in his bed and won't get up.

  • A Belarusian folk carol "Бегла старожа" ("Running guard", I think). Having no better source, I'm quoting its description from Quora:

    It is a Belarusian folk carol called Бегла старожа. The phrase repeating after each line literally means Good evening, but rather than a normal greeting, it looks like a reference to Christmas. My interpretation is that on Christmas Eve Khazars (violent Medieval Turkic people who were enemies of Eastern Europeans) attacked some village/city and abducted Sergey’s daughter. The guard wakes everyone and wants to go to war and marry the girl when once he rescues her.

  • "Fear a' Bhàta" ("The Boatman"), a Scottish Gaelic song, which even has its own Wikipedia entry.

  • "Naranča" ("Orange", the fruit), a Croatian folk song about the sea, the winter, and wine.

  • "Lazare", a Bulgarian folk song, which is typically sung on Lazar's day, 8 days before Easter, to call for good harvest, prosperity, etc.

. . . And probably some others.

The songs were no doubt used because they gave a sort of an "authentic" feel to the game by introducing some Slavic melodies and Slavic lyrics. However, it's the choice of those particular songs that draws my attention.

I'm fairly sure they weren't chosen for their melodies (i.e. the tunes were composed for the game), but I also can't see why they would be chosen based on their lyrics. Except for "Fear a' Bhàta", which is featured in locations associated with the sea in the game (the Skellige isles), the song lyrics do not match the situations the songs are featured in - most of the tracks inspired by songs I list here are played during fighting sequences, while their lyrics sing of peace, prosperity, harvest, and so forth.

How do those songs' lyrics fit in the context of the game? Was the choice of those lyrics intentional, or was it purely for "the feel"?

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    I'm voting to close this (good) question as off-topic because it's breadth is way beyond a focus on the lyrics aspect of literature SE. I haven't dug in to this, but the actual melodies will certainly have been based on traditional arrangements and will have been key in their selection. I suggest this would be more at home on Arqade. – Matt Thrower Jul 20 '17 at 8:10
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's a question about songs that appear in a video game, and neither of these really counts as literature. – Rand al'Thor Jul 20 '17 at 9:47
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    @Randal'Thor You're saying that analysing the lyrics of a folk song in the context of a video game is not really literature? – Gallifreyan Jul 20 '17 at 14:02
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    @gallifreyan the lyrics aren't used in the game though. And as I've pointed out the tunes were not composed for the game. As such it seems quite a stretch to imagine the choice of music was based on anything other than melodic atmosphere. – Matt Thrower Jul 20 '17 at 17:56
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    @Hamlet I think the disagreement here is whether these songs were chosen for their melodic or symbolic value. I'm seeing little or no evidence that it was the latter. If someone can suggest otherwise, I'm happy to consider the answer as being literary. – Matt Thrower Jul 21 '17 at 9:03