Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Folk Songs of Northern Bulgaria: Kaicho Kamenov

While wandering through the Universe of YouTube, I found some Bulgarian folk songs performed by Kaicho Kamenov. These vintage recordings were probably done during the 1950's and 60's.

He was born in 1923 in the village of Vinarovo, an area know for the cultivation of wine grapes, and lived until 1983.

I am not normally a fan of love songs but these two got my attention. The first, Kune Mome is a lively, flirtatious number in rachenitsa rhythm (7/8 for you music theorists out there). Rachenitsa is also the national dance of Bulgaria, to get a feel for it, say the words apple-apple pineapple.

My guess (judging from weird Google translation that I found) is that the man is trying to seduce Kune with some wine and rakia. Even without the booze, this guy is totally smitten.

This hauntingly beautiful, but sad song is in a totally different mood, which describes the pain of a young man who has lost the woman he loves to another man as he watches fog settle on the Danube. Fog can be romantic or depressing depending on your situation. It creates mysterious and beautiful landscapes, and you often find it near bodies of water, especially during spring and fall, when there is a big difference between the air and water temperatures.

Here is another song in an introspective mood, Dunave, beli Dunave (White Danube) performed by Kaicho Kamenov...the fog is just about gone here...

If you'd like to hear more songs performed by Kaicho Kamenov click this link (in Bulgarian).It will take you to the Bulgarian National Radio's website. The first four songs are by Kamenov. There are also some songs by Lyuben Zahariev, born nearly thirty years later, from the same region, who sings in a similar style.

If you enjoyed this you may also like Modern Versions of Traditional Bulgarian Folk Songs

Part 1

Part 2

Kaicho Kamenov also sang about the rebels (haidouks) who fought for the liberation of Bulgaria against the Ottomans. One of these songs can be found here, it is the last video on this post.

There are also some Bulgarian folk songs about the Danube, the River of Many Names. This post also features two songs protraying two completely different moods. You'll especially enjoy the dancers in elaborate embroidered costumes. They had to wait two hours for the fog to lift before they could perform.

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