NEW BALKAN RHYTHM WORKSHOPS

Learn songs and irregular rhythms of Balkans with us in our New Balkan Rhythm workshops.

Izgrjala e mesechinka/Moonlight is shining

Traditional song from Bulgaria


This beautiful Bulgarian song is telling a story of a young girl Irina (Irinchica in diminutive) that is picking the flowers during moonlight to enchant her loved one. There are more lyrics to the song and they describe how she puts the flowers in her bosom and chants to make him her own. This describes a Slavic magic ritual, that is used to ensure love and fidelity and, ultimately, marriage with the loved one.
Name „Irina“ comes from Greek and means „peace“.

Izgryala e mesechinka
Izgryala e mesechinka

Alyana, galyana, portokalyana
Blaga dushka, medena, sherekyana

Chi ogryala v gradinchica
Chi ogryala v gradinchica

Alyana, galyana, portokalyana
Blaga dushka, medena, sherekyana

V gradinchica Irincica
V gradinchica Irincica

Alyana, galyana, portokalyana
Blaga dushka, medena, sherekyana

Da si bere pstra kitka
Da si bere pstra kitka

Alyana, galyana, portokalyana
Blaga dushka, medena, sherekyana

Translation
The moonlight is shining
The moonlight is shining

Red, yellow, orange
Young dear, honey, sugar

It is shining in the garden
It is shining in the garden

Red, yellow, orange
Young dear, honey, sugar

In the garden is Irina (Irinchica is pet name for Irina, small Irina)
In the garden is Irina

Red, yellow, orange
Young dear, honey, sugar

Picking a colorful bouquet
Picking a colorful bouquet

Red, yellow, orange
Young dear, honey, sugar

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

This beautiful Macedonian song is about unrequited love of a young man for a young woman named Jovana. Her name is a kind of chorus, a constant that is driving the song forward and we should hear his love and yearning through the calling of her name on the beginning of every part – Jovano, Jovanke (which is a pet name, diminutive from Jovana). Jovano is the girl’s name in vocative.

Vardar is the river in Macedonia that runs through Skopje, main city of North Macedonia. We had a pleasure of performing the song in front of Macedonian National Theater and below the plateau runs the river – magical evening! Visit North Macedonia if you have a chance, go to lake Ohrid.

In the song, Jovana is washing the clothes on river Vardar. Maybe this is the place where the young man saw her first, or had a chance to see her. He sings that her mother doesn’t let her come to him and he is waiting for her, but she is not coming.

Many songs from Balkan are about impossibility of relationship, because of different social status or  some other social unwritten laws.

Music of North Macedonia and Bulgaria is mostly in irregular rhythm, which has a different drive than regular and that is a reason we love to perform it and teach it.

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

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

About Alice in WonderBand

About Alice in WonderBand‘s concert of Balkan music

About Alice in WonderBand‘s workshops Body as an Instrument

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