Can Anyone Help with a Slovenian Rhyme about St. Matthew Breaking up Ice?

Frank wrote to me:

A long time ago, my dad told me a rhyme in Slovenian about St. Matthew. I can’t write it in Slovenian but the English translation is as follows:

St. Matthew breaks up ice.
If he doesn’t have it, he makes it.

Do you know the origin of the rhyme and when in the calendar it pertains? My dad made reference to sometime in February but I found out that St. Mathews day is in September. I repeated the rhyme for my daughter when she was young and always thought it was around the end of February. Specifically February 24th both mine and my dads birthdates.

After browsing through your website, I thought you might have some knowledge about this very old rhyme.


Frank Centa

Frank was able to send me an mp3 recording of the Slovenian rhyme. Perhaps someone could send us the Slovenian text for it.

If anyone can help in any way with this rhyme – if anyone knows anything else about it, please let us know.

Thanks in advance!

Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Friday, February 5th, 2010 at 2:31 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Languages, Mama Lisa, Nursery Rhymes, Proverbs, Questions, Slovenia, Slovenian, Slovenian Rhymes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

5 Responses to “Can Anyone Help with a Slovenian Rhyme about St. Matthew Breaking up Ice?”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Jezerka wrote me:

    Here’s the rhyme:

    Sveti Matija led razbija,
    c(e ga ni, ga pa naredi

    (C(e= ce)

    It’s the correct version.

    Good luck, Jezerka

    Thanks Jezerka!

    Mama Lisa

  2. Lisa Says:

    With the accent, it’s:

    Sveti Matija led razbija,
    če ga ni, ga naredi.

    If you put the rhyme into Google in Slovenian it looks like there’s a connection with this rhyme and February 24th and he (St. Matthew I guess) is referred to as “harvest-man”.

  3. Lisa Says:

    I found this below (here)…

    Sveti Matija led razbija, če ga ni, ga pa naredi okoli 24. februarja se vreme navadno spremeni razbijáje

    It seems to translate to…

    Saint Matthias breaks the ice, if not, he makes it around the 24th of February, usually the weather changes.

  4. Lisa Says:

    Monique who was trying to help from France wrote:

    So the Saint is not Matthew but Matthias and his day was Feb. 24th (thanks Wiki). Here is the French proverb:

    “Si Saint Mathias trouve la glace
    Il faut qu’il la casse
    S’il n’en trouve pas il faut qu’il en fasse.”

    “If Saint Mathias finds ice
    He must break it
    If he doesn’t find it, he must make it. ”


    “Saint Mathias casse la glace, mais s’il n’en trouve pas il faut bien qu’il en fasse”

    “St. Matthias breaks the ice, but if he doesn’t find it, he has to make it.”

    I found the following from the Catholic Encyclopedia, “The Latin Church celebrates the feast of St. Matthias on 24 February and the Greek Church on 9 August. [Note: After this article was written, the Latin Church moved the feast of St. Matthias to 14 May.]”

  5. Barbara Huet de Guerville Says:

    Just came across a group of adorable Slovenian children on YouTube sing “This Little Light of Mine” in Slovenian: Ja v srdci svetlo .
    Jingle Bells is Glej zvezdice Bozje, White Christmas is Bel Bozic, Sveta noc is Silent night, Ko so pastirci pogne prizgali (When shepherds lighten (sic) fires), Povedzte nam pastuskovia (Stars are glowing), Dete Rajsko, Dvetu – Heavenly Baby, Holy Baby, Naj vsak dan postane Bozie (Why can’t every day be like Christmas), Naj bozi bo za vedno (It’s a starry night), Naj lepsi cas v letu (The very best time of year)
    Would love the English translations to above! Thanks!

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