Bukuroshja e lales – New Balkan Rhythm workshop

Bukuroshja e lales is a traditional song from Albania in 9/8 rhythm. The name of the song can be translated as Uncle’s beautiful girl where “uncle” is an unrelated elderly man that is interested in marrying beautiful young girl. This kind of marriages were common in tradition of Balkans.

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 Girl comparing actions of her everyday life with compliments and metaphorical comparisons of her body parts with flowers or other nice things.

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Original song
Bukuroshja e lales

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

My treasure

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.

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