11 Hungarian Songs You Need To Hear Right Now

hungarian song lyrics

One of my favourite ways to learn a language is by listening to the music - so how about listening to some music in Hungarian for the same reason? Firstly, like many fellow humans, I like listening to music in general, so it doesn't feel so much like harsh hard studying but more like a lil dopamine hit. And when you get those songs in your head it's just free fun learning. Secondly, listening to native music is a great way to not only learn phrases that real natives say, but to learn a little something about the culture. If, like me, you're learning Hungarian, you'll probably already know that it is famous as one of the hardest languages since sliced bread (how many people do you know who can speak that). So you're going to need all of the help you can get when it comes to learning it - hence this blog post! Btw challenge: how many of these 50 things to do in Budapest have you done?

Top Hungarian Pop Songs to Listen to (Recommended by Real Hungarians!)

Firstly, back when I was a beginner, I asked real Hungarians to recommend their real favourite Hungarian songs, which I listed here as the first eleven songs. Secondly, I came back a few years later with some of my own special favourites. Which I personally think has created a good list of varied Hungarian music as we all have different tastes and preferences. I've sometimes included which phrases these songs teach you and thus why these songs are useful - even if it's 'just' that they're great music and (if you have tastes similar to mine) you'll be listening to them forever more. I've also sometimes included some politics / culture but it's of course biased to my politics / my view of Hungarian culture. (And I'm Orban's bi leftie feminist vegan nightmare, Hello Dictator!) So without further ramble, here is a list of Hungarian songs that I, and some lovely albeit random Hungarians I found on the internet, believe that you need to hear RIGHT NOW!

#1. FiSH! - 'Ne is figyelj rám' (Do Not Even Listen To Me)

Why I think it's good: this Hungarian music video is shot in Budapest - the capital of Hungary and probably your first port of contact should you ever visit. The song itself  is catchy - so catchy that you'll probably be able to properly pronounce ne is figyelj rám (do not even listen to me) in no time! #useful I personally love the guitar melody and the intro reminds me of Franz Ferdinand. Thank you Sári for the recommendation!

You can find the lyrics of 'Ne is figyelj rám' (plus the lyrics translated to English) here.

#2. Soulwave - 'Kalandor' (Adventurer)

Why I like it: I think the voice is lush plus the guitar reminds me of George Ezra (side-note: is George a Hungarian singer? Wikipedia says he's British but a song of his is Hungary themed) Anyway this song is really mellow and sounds so summery to me - I can just imagine sitting on Margit-sziget (a big island on the Danube river, in the middle of Budapest) drinking Soproni Démon (a Hungarian brand of beer) and listening to this one - great Hungarian pop music if you ask me! I'm also so happy to learn the word 'kalandor' (adventurer) because kalandor vagyok (I am an adventurer). Thank you Koni for the recommendation!

You can find the lyrics of 'Kalandor' (and an English translation) here.

#3. Tankcsapda - 'Adjon az Ég' (May the Sky Give)

Why I think it's good: Tankcsapda is one of the most famous Hungarian rock bands. To be frank, generally I am not a big fan of hard rock but for some reason (it's in Hungarian) this one just sounds really good! I really like the main man's voice. It's deep and dare I say .. szexis (sexy) The guitar is really funky, the Hungarian musicians are talented and it certainly rocks (in my humble opinion)! It kind of reminds me of Rage Against the Machine. The title (adjon az ég) which is repeated throughout means 'may the sky give', which I personally find useful. Adjon az ég! Thank you István, Aron and Norbert for the recommendation!

You can find the lyrics of 'Adjon az ég', along with an English translation here.

#4. Palya Bea - 'Szabadon' (Freely)

Why I like it: Palya Bea is one of the most talented contemporary Hungarian singers (in the pop genre), in my opinion - she has such a nice voice. When Réka recommended this to me I was really happy to hear something in contrast to the rock, and particularly happy that this blog post about Hungarian music would have a whole range from rock to folk. Inclusion for all tastes! This song to me has a real medieval feel. I can see us taking a trip to the flat plains, wearing big dresses and pretending we're back in the day. Some good vocab here includes Szeretem which means 'I love/like' (which is actually useful). Thank you Réka for the recommendation!

You can find the lyrics of 'Szabadon' (and its translation to English) here.

#5. Honeybeast - 'Bódottá'(meaning slang for 'boldogság' aka happiness)

Why I like it: This song probably wouldn't be at the top of my list of things to listen to, because it's not really my style, but for us Hungarian learners it is perfect - it's catchy and upbeat, they enunciate really clearly - apart from the title which is slang -, and it's relatively slow. (Oh wow to be me, loving fast hiphop and not understanding a word). Put simply, of all the songs on the list, this one is probably the easiest to learn. I like their song Egyedül more tbh, which I wouldn't have found if Toth hadn't recommended me this one :) Thank you Toth for the recommendation!

You can find the lyrics of 'Bódottá' (and a translation of it) here.

#6. Tóth Gabi 'Hosszú idők' (Long Times)

Why I like it: I love her smokey voice, and how much it reminds me like a Lady Gaga/ Nightwish mix-up! It's a very powerful song and I like how high the singer goes. Video's super awesome too. Note: unfortunately, over the years Gabi has become one of the main supporters of Orbán's dictatorial regime (both via her music and outside of music)... sad :( This is good song though - thank you to Zoli for the recommendation!

You can read the lyrics of 'Hosszú idők' and an English translation of it here.

#7. Paddy and the Rats 'Pilgrim on the Road'

Why I like it: This one gets an honourable mention, because even though the band are Hungarian, the song is actually in English. And sure we're not here to listen to Hungarian music that's in English - we're here to learn Hungarian, a francba is! But I think Paddy and the Rats should be included, not just because they're great (imo) but because you might get brownie points with Hungarians if you know who they are. And whilst 'Palya Bea' or 'Tankcsapda' might be hard for you to pull out of your hat when you've had too many pálinkas and a friendly Hungarian asks milyen zenét szeretsz? (what kind of music do you like?) you can probably remember that you like Paddy and the Rats - the Hungarian Irish punk rock band. Yes, seriously: a Hungarian Irish-punk band (apparently this genre is super-popular is Hungary so much so that they have their own local bands). Bonus point, whilst they are singing in English, they are doing it in a Hungarian accent and I firmly believe that the easiest way into a language is to be able to replicate their accent (as someone who's been learning Hungarian for five years and still hasn't managed to master it lol). Thank you Richárd for the recommendation!

You can find the lyrics here.

#8. ByeAlex 'Kedvesem' (My Dear)

Why I like it: This is a beautiful song. And it's great here because it's slow and clear, catchy and maybe even easier to learn than the above Honeybeast song. Listen to this a few times and you'll probably be confident saying 'kedvesem' (my dear). Above all though, I love this song because it was my first introduction into how delicious Hungarian sounds as poetry. The way Hungarian lends itself to poetry is magical. Side note: this was Hungary's entry in 2013 Eurovision and Germany gave it top marks. Thank you Norbert for the recommendation!

You can read the song's lyrics and its translation here.

#9. Korál 'Homok a szélben' (Sand in the wind)

Why I like it: Firstly, I like that this song kind of reminds me of Queen. Secondly, I'll like any Hungarian song where I can recognise a single word on the first go - and I heard 'szeretlek' (I love you). After listening to it a few times I now know 'homok' (sand) too. I just hope he's singing about how much he loves sand. (And I like to believe this so much I'm not going to read the translations and you can't make me). Update: okay I'm editing this post a few years later and he's talking about sand in the wind. Like the title says. Duh. Thank you for the recommendation Henrik! (Side note: Korál is one of Hungary's classic rock bands, formed in the previous regime, in the mid-Seventies.)

You can read the lyrics and an English translation here.

#10. Queen 'Tavaszi szél vizet áraszt' (Spring Wind Makes Water Flood)

Why I love it: Speaking of Queen... We had a Hungarian singer singing in English so how about an English singer singing in Hungarian? And what better English artist than Queen? Freddie Mercury sings a Hungarian song during a concert in Budapest - admittedly he reads bits of it off his hand, but my Hungarian friend tells me his Hungarian is 'pretty good actually, English accent but understandable' If that's not #goals then frankly I'm not sure what is. I definitely had a moment one night in Esztergom when this came on and I had this overwhelming moment of connectivity - English and Hungarian, a queen who is no longer with us, the audience helping him out. I don't know but the moment is so so beautiful. Later on I learned that the song itself has really lovely lyrics too and it was the first Hungarian folk/children's song I learned.

You can find the lyrics (+translation) of this traditional folk song here (plus a version performed by a Hungarian artist).

#11. Pápai Joci 'Origo' (Origin)

Why I love it: I LOVE this song! This is definitely one of the ones I'm listening to not just because of the lingo but because I genuinely like it. Joci Pápai is of Romani descent and so I was really happy to see how many Hungarians recommended him to me because representation is important! This song actually went to Eurovision in 2017 and Joci went back again in 2019. Thank you to over 50 Hungarians who recommended this to us :)

Lyrics + translation here.

Bonus: 6 More Hungarian Songs, Recommended by Me (a non Hungarian)

  • Valmar ft. Szikora Robi - Úristen: first things first, I hate this song, I think it's sexist and stupid. BUT I love that it taught me how to say 'úristen' (omg) and 'ki ez a lány' ('who is this girl?') because these are great important phrases, thanks fiúk!
  • Fekete Pákó - Add Ide a Didit: on a similar note, this song is hatable for it's sexism and it's racism (I don't think his real surname is 'Fekete', meaning 'black') BUT it has useful phrases: 'add ide a didit' as a whole phrase is something I want you to promise me to never say ('give me the [slang word for breast]' - seriously!) but knowing how to say 'add ide a' (give me the..) is useful (though I guess kinda rude? add 'légyszi', a shortened version of 'please' and you're good to go!). Knowing to add the t at the end of whatever you want to be given, cause it's accusative, is useful o'clock. 
  • Majka Curtis BLR - Belehalok: okay enough with the bashing... THIS song is one I love because it sounds amazing to my ears. Hungarian and hip hop go hand in hand. Maybe I hold their hands and they swing me in the middle. The video is also great as it gives some real insight into working class gangsta-rap Budapest. As for useful lingo, I haven't got that far yet... but 'belehalok' means 'I'm dying into this' (meaning 'this is killing me') - useful!
  • Bëlga - Hús : this one ticks all my boxes (ey-o). Firstly, I love it musically but secondly and more importantly I LOVE the content and the lyrics - it's talking about meat from the perspective of the animals and that's so up my street I could live there. Hip-hop, Hungarian and animal rights activism in one song, yey! Btw I run a vegan website too in case you're interested in say, like, accidentally vegan traditional Hungarian recipes)
  • Ghymes - Rege / Bájka (full album): Musically speaking I think Ghymes are my favourite Hungarian band (they were categorized as 'world music', so folk music with modern instrumentation) and hence why I included the full album here. When it comes to learning the language, I'm not sure how useful this one is, as I've listened to this album over and over and only got 'járd meg bubám, járd meg' which is pretty archaic according to my Hungarian boyfriend and nothing anyone would say nowadays... but still, sounds beautiful!
  • Boggie - Parfüm: again this is a song I like just regardless of anything else. Politically, I really like the video because I'm getting the impression (correct me if I'm wrong) that the Hungarian singer Boggie and the creators of this music video are making a statement about makeup, Photoshop and beauty standards in general - this kind of feminism is still pretty rare Hungarian pop music! (Side note: the first properly feminist Hungarian punk band, Holnaplányok [aka 'Tomorrowgirls'] released their first - wonderful - EP in 2019, it's definitely worth a listen!)
  • Cseh Tamás & Másik János - Budapest: this is a beautiful, poetic folk song, probably one of the most beautiful songs about Budapest you'll ever hear. Very famous in Hungary too - I've tried translating it with my current (Hungarian) bf Tamás, we made a video about it... it was hard and I got annoyed by the end tbf but if was defo worth a try!

Wrap Up: Hungarian Songs You Simply Must Listen To!

We hope you liked this post! We tried to get a good mix of different styles and tastes :) But I can never get enough of Hungarian music, so please share your favourites with me - especially if they're politically sound and/or have a good beat. Btw is it Christmas yet? I wrote a Christmas edition of this blog post: Best Hungarian Christmas Music, check it out! Check out our video where we react to some more Hungarian music :)

Which Hungarian songs do you recommend we listen to next? Drop us a comment below! P.S.: If you really want to learn Hungarian, I cannot recommend Catch Budapest's Smart Hungarian Audio Course highly enough.  It's perfect for everyone from beginners to advanced - with audio pieces by real Hungarians, matching Hungarian transcripts, incredibly clear English translations and helpful questions along the way. Use WEASELS30 for 30% off!

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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