New Balkan Rhythm workshops

Bukuroshja e lales/Beautiful girl of Lala

Traditional song from Albania

For the translation and interpretation of the song we owe a big thanks to Arjan Emini, a friend from Albania. We’ve learned it from Elina Duni’s interpretation at TEDx Talk. This love song is written in Middle Albanian dialect and the words are chosen in order to rime with one another. The Man (lover) is singing praises to his beloved Lady comparing actions of her everyday life with compliments and metaphorical comparisons of her body parts with flowers or other nice things.

Kur dole ne lom
Belinji pellom
Bukuroshja e lales
Synin si bajam

Kur dole n’çardak
Faqen per marak
Bukuroshja e lales
Dukesh si zamak

Kur dole ne der
Belin me qemer
Bukuroshja e lales
Ndrite si fener

Kur dole n’oborr
Ftyren bardh sibor
Bukuroshja e lales
Eja t’vejm kunor

English translation

When you came out to the threshing place*
Your waist was elegant
Beautiful girl of Lala**
Your eyes have almond shape

When you came out to the garret/pergola
Your face was well taken care of
Beautiful girl of Lala
You looked as a lily

When you came out of the door
Your waist was adorned with belt**
Beautiful girl of Lala
You shined like a lantern

When you came out in the courtyard
Your face, pure white as snow
Beautiful girl of Lala
Come, let us get coroneted (get married)

*Lëmë – Lomi is a threshing place: small square, usually paved with stone slabs and a pivot in the middle used for post harvesting of wheat for the process of threshing and separation of the grain from the straw.

**Lale is a term referring to an older and more mature man whom we are very close to or call with reverence and love. Sometimes lovers use this term as a coo word referring to the man as lal, lala. In this song the man is referring to himself in third person as Lala.

***Qemer – Strong belt made of leather or wool, wrapped around the waist as a decoration as well as to keep money.


Jovano, Jovanke / Hey, Joan

Traditional song from Macedonia

Jovano, Jovanke
Kraj Vardarot sediš, mori
Belo platno beliš
Belo platno beliš, dušo
Se na gore gledaš

Jovano, Jovanke
Tvojata majka, mori
Tebe ne te pušta
So mene da dojdeš, dušo

Jovano, Jovanke
Jas te tebe čekam, mori
Doma da mi dojdeš
A ti ne doađaš, dušo
Srce moje, Jovano

English translation

Hey, Joan
You are sitting by river Vardar
And bleaching the white linen
And looking up

Hey, Joan
Your mother is not letting you
Come to me, my sweet soul, Joan

Hey, Joan
I am waiting for you to come to me
But you are not coming
My sweet soul, Joan

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