Get to know the 10 Most Popular East Java Regional Songs and Their Meanings

Regional Anthem of East Java – Being an Indonesian is indeed proud. Okay, maybe our country is not as advanced as other European countries, such as Switzerland or Denmark. However, we are also not a backward nation that is ostracized by the world. On the contrary, our country is one of the richest countries in the world.

Our country is rich in natural resources, as well as abundant human resources. But apart from that, our country is also rich in culture. Just imagine, there are 37 provinces in Indonesia.

Each province has its own regional language, different traditional houses, different arts, and even cooler, each region also has its own regional songs.

Folk songs are definitely not something foreign to your ears, right? At least if you were born and educated in the 90s to early 2000s. In those years, every elementary school always taught its students to play folk songs. We always sing it in arts and culture lessons every Friday or Saturday with the teacher in class.

The regional songs that are sung are not only regional songs from the place or province we live in, but also regional songs from each province. Starting from the Bungong Jeumpa song from the province of Nangroe Aceh Darussalam to Apuse from Papua, we also learn it. Even though dozens of years have passed, we still remember some of their songs.

Apart from cultivating a sense of nationalism and enlivening the atmosphere in the classroom, folk songs also have many functions. What does it do? Here are 5 functions of traditional songs in Indonesia that you need to know!

Functions of Regional Songs

Singing folk songs is always fun, even if the folk songs don’t come from our area and use a local language that is completely foreign to our ears.

When we were still in elementary school, we always loved to sing folk songs. One of the reasons is because singing folk songs is much more fun than doing math problems that are confusing and cause boredom.

But again, folk songs exist and are created not only to liven up the atmosphere in the classroom. More than that, folk songs also have a bigger function. What’s that? Here are the functions of regional songs in Indonesia!

1. As a part of a traditional ceremony in an area

One of the reasons why regional songs exist is because of the customs and culture of the people in the region. Usually the songs were composed by the ancestors for various functions, one of which is as an accompaniment in traditional ceremonies.

As you know, several regions in Indonesia are still very thick with their traditions, customs and culture. They even still perform traditional ceremonies on certain days of the year. Whether it’s in a death ceremony, or even a ceremony welcoming the harvest season.

In a traditional ceremony like this, apart from praying, it is not uncommon for the residents to also sing folk songs as accompaniment throughout the event. In Sumba, for example, there is the Merapu traditional ceremony which is a death ceremony. At this ceremony, apart from slaughtering animals as an offering to the ancestors, people will also sing folk songs to accompany the spirits during the ceremony.

2. Dance accompaniment or regional arts

Every city in the world has events or festivals that can only be found in that area. In Indonesia, art performances or festivals are much more lively.

Usually, art performances are filled with traditional dance performances from their respective regions. To make it more lively, this dance performance will always be accompanied by folk songs. Usually these songs are played from cassettes or CDs, but not infrequently the dancers themselves sing along to sing the folk songs. Saman dance from the province of Nangroe Aceh Darussalam, for example, apart from being accompanied by musical instruments, the dancers also sing regional songs to accompany the dance.

3. Communication Media between Singers and Listeners

When a singer sings a song, he is actually conveying the message of the song to the audience. This function also applies to folk songs.

What’s more, folk songs are very thick with wise messages. So when the song is sung, the singer is conveying a message to the audience.

4. As entertainment for ancient people

Every human being needs entertainment in his life. The existence of entertainment, allows a person to release the burden on his mind even if only for a moment. Entertainment also has the same function for people in ancient times.

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However, entertainment in ancient times was certainly different from entertainment today. In the past, there were no malls, no cafes, not many tourist destinations that we used to visit like today. Instead, they will entertain themselves by singing folk songs.

Not infrequently, these folk songs are accompanied by traditional dances. Indeed, when compared to tourist attractions and malls, the entertainment our grandparents had was fairly simple. However, despite its simplicity, it was quite entertaining for people in the past.

Apart from being entertainment for parents, folk songs are also an accompaniment for small children when playing with their friends. The song Ampar-Ampar Pisang from South Kalimantan, for example, you girls must have sung this song when playing with friends. Likewise with the Pok Ame-Ame song that we often sing to our younger siblings.

5. To Enliven the Atmosphere

Apart from functioning as an accompaniment for traditional dance arts or regional art performances, folk songs are also used in various important events in a region. Of course the goal is to enliven the event.

For example, during regional campaigns, it is not uncommon for the organizers to play folk songs from that area, and even sing with their supporters.

Traditional songs were chosen, because these songs have affinity with the community rather than the types of songs that are currently popular. It is hoped that this closeness can make the relationship between candidates and their supporters closer, as well as create a more fluid atmosphere so that campaign events can run smoothly.



10 Popular East Java Regional Songs

So far we have thought that each province has only one regional anthem. If you think so, then you are wrong. In fact, every province has dozens or even dozens of folk songs that will be sung at certain events or only as accompaniment in traditional performances.

Of the many provinces in Indonesia, East Java is one of the provinces that has the most regional songs. Here are 10 of the most popular East Java folk songs. Which one have you heard before ?

1. Come on Rec


The first East Javanese folk song that we will discuss is ‘Rek Ayo Rek’. This song is one of the most popular songs. The lyrics are easy to remember, so it’s also easy to sing.

The song ‘Rek Ayo Rek’ itself is a song that tells about the happiness of young people or teenagers when Sunday night comes. As we know, Saturday night is youth night.

If you go out at night, you will definitely find lots of young people gathering in the square, city center, cafe or other entertainment venues. Whether it’s alone with his girlfriend or can also gather with his friends. Here are the lyrics of the song ‘Rek Ayo Rek’.


rek Come on rek
rek, come on rek, do the Tunjungan
rek, come on, rek, it’s crowded together
Cak, come on, cak, sopo, I’m melting with me,
cak, come on, cak, I’m dating cah ayu

Strolling through the shop,
masio’s motto, I’m just annoyed at Lego’s heart.
Sopo understands your fate and is lucky to
know Anake Sing Dodol Rujak Cingur

Jok thinks con podho isn’t duwe sangu
Jok thinks it’s angger podho is so glum that I do
Mangan tofu jok mixed with cucumber nganggo
Sunday night wasn’t good I was daydreaming

2. Gai Star


The song ‘Gai Bintang’ or also popularly known as ‘Gei Bintang’ is another popular folk song from East Java. Unlike the previous songs and most other East Java regional songs which use Javanese, the song ‘Gai Bintang’ uses the Madurese language.

This song is also very short as it only consists of four lines and three verses. The song ‘Gai Bintang’ itself tells the story of a person who wants to reach for the stars by using a pole from janur kuning. However, instead of getting the stars, he got the moon instead. Here are the lyrics for the song ‘Gai Bintang’ that you must listen to:


Gai Star

Gai bintang alek gagar moon
Pagaina janor koneng
Kaka eagle alek sajan jau
Pajauna bro lon alon
Leya letes kates flower tokca tokcer

3. Malathe flower


Compared to the song ‘Rek Ayo Rek’ whose popularity is already well-known everywhere, the song ‘Kembang Malathe’ is probably nothing. However, just like the title, this song has a very beautiful meaning.

The title ‘Kembang Malathe’ itself means ‘Jasmine Flower’. As the title suggests, this song tells about jasmine flowers which are beautiful, fragrant, and perfect for giving to loved ones. Here are the lyrics of the song ‘Kembang Malathe’ which you can read below:


Malathean flower

Malathe pote flower
Beunah ro’om ngapencote
Gik buru e pettek from taman sare
Ropana segger tor asre

Bennyak kembeng se sae
Not seddep akadhi malate
Menangka kasogen kaator kapotre
Se seddep akadhi malathe

4. Lindri


The next regional song from East Java is entitled ‘Lindri’. This song is also rarely heard by people from other areas outside the East Java region. However, if you are originally from East Java, you must have heard this song at least once in your life, or maybe you even memorized the lyrics?

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Again ‘Lindri’ itself uses Javanese and has the meaning to always be grateful for what God has given to us, His servants. Even though what we get is not always what we expect, we always get what we really need. That should also be grateful, right? Here are the lyrics of the folk song entitled ‘Lindri’:



Lindri adang telung kati lawuhe semayi
Adhitutul a mak telep lep
A dhiemplok plok a mak telep
Pacak gulu cingkring adhuh yayi fishing sandals
Adhuh dhangkrek krek adhuh dhangkrek krek 

5. Mold


One of the functions of folk songs is as an accompaniment in children’s games. The same goes for this one song. Titled ‘Jamuran’, again, it actually doesn’t have a special meaning like the other songs. But this song is often used by children in ancient times to accompany their games. Here are the lyrics:



Mushrooms, ge ge thok
What herbs do you have, ge ge thok, Mushrooms
that are so



6. Pa’ Kopa’ Eling


If the previous song was used as an accompaniment song in children’s games and has no special meaning, the song ‘Pa’ Kopa’ Eling’ is quite the opposite. This song has a deep meaning, where the creator wants to remind people to always be aware or remember, to remember God more precisely and not forget to carry out His commands such as prayer, fasting, and a number of other acts of worship. Here are the lyrics to the song ‘Pa’ Kopa’ Eling’:


Pa’ Kopa’ Eling

Pa’ kopa’ eling,
Elingnga sakoranji,
Eppa’na olle paparing,
Ana’ mine tao ngaji…
Praying babana cabbi, 

Ka’angka’na sarabi potthon,
E cocco’ dhangdhang pote keba mole,
E cocco’ dhangdhang celleng keba melleng

7. Cublak Cublak Suweng


If this one song, you must have heard or sung it when you were little, right? Even if you don’t come from East Java, this song is very popular outside of East Java.

In the past, this song was also often used as an accompaniment for children’s games. Uniquely, even though it is often used as a children’s accompaniment when playing, the song ‘Cublak-Cublak Suweng’ actually has a deep meaning.

This song itself has the meaning not to be greedy with the world’s treasures that are owned. Because no matter how much wealth we have, it will not be a guarantee that we will get happiness. Here are the lyrics of the song ‘Cublak-Cublak Suweng’:


Cublak-Cublak Suweng

Cublak cublak suweng,
Suwenge ting gelènèl,
Mambu ketundhung gudèl…

Pak empong lera-léré,
Sapa ngguyu ndelikkaké,
Sir sir pong dhelé kopong,
Sir sir pong dhelé kopong…

8. Re Sere Penang


Eleven twelve with the song ‘Cublak-Cublak Suweng’, a regional song in East Java which also has a meaning that is no less deep. Titled ‘Re Sere Penang’, this song tells about good values ​​and calls to do good. Because it is our good attitude that will become our provision or handle in the future. Here are the lyrics!


Re Sere Penang

Re-sere penang,
Penangnga penang jambe,
Maju kaka’ Maju ale’,
Pa Bagus Tengkana, Lako Becce’,
Kalellan e Ka’dinto

9. Keraban Sape


Well, if this one song has a unique meaning. Unlike other East Javanese folk songs which contain messages of kindness, the song ‘Keraban Sape’ actually tells about the culture and traditions of a region.

Yup, from the title you can probably guess that this song tells about the excitement of the Cow Race competition which is often carried out by the Madurese people. Here are the lyrics of the song ‘Keraban Sape’:


Keraban Sape

Every year, Madura Latan is busy. There are a lot of
kerbbana kerraban sape.
Many foreign people are coming from far away. Bade
waiting for kerraban sape

10. Maloko Sets


After the song ‘Keraban Sape’, another song that has no less unique meaning is ‘Set-Seset Maloko’ which also comes from East Java. This song does not tell about a traditional game, but this song is often sung by boys while playing kites.

Apart from being a boy’s favorite song, this song is also often sung by mothers when feeding their children. Interestingly, this song actually has nothing to do with children because this song actually tells about the transition of the weather from the rainy season to the dry season.


Maloko Sets

Set-seset maloko’
Yes ​​tompe, yes ma’am’
Tompena for you mama’na
Ma’am ma’am for you embu’na



So, those are some popular East Javanese folk songs. Each song has a different meaning, from play to messages of kindness to changes in the weather. So, from the East Java folk songs, which songs have you heard ?

Thus a review of East Java folk songs. Sinaumed’s who want to know more about folk songs can visit to get related books. As #FriendsWithoutLimits, sinaumedia always provides the best products, so you have #MoreWithReading information.

Author: Siti Marliah