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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Love Has a Dark Side: Nazad, Nazad, Mome Kalino

"Well," said she, after a pause, "if you despise my love, I must see what can be done with fear. You smile, but the day will come when you will come screaming to me for pardon."
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

One of the leaders in my group introduced a new dance that he had learned at a workshop at Pinewoods, a dance camp in eastern Massachusetts. This one used the music to Nazad, Nazad, Mome Kalino. Some say this song is Bulgarian, others, Macedonian.  To me it's another example of a song with dual citizenship that's gone border-hopping.

I knew this poignant and beautiful song was about love gone wrong, so I went to several websites to search for lyrics, preferably in English translation. The Google Translate tool turned it into total gibberish (talk about lost in translation!) Fortunately I was able to find this Bulgarian YouTube video. There is a slideshow of pictures from Bulgaria along with the lyrics.

It is the tale of a married man telling a young woman to keep away from him. She persistently insists on stalking him in various ways; such as changing herself into a falcon or a barbel-fish.

She intends to bring death and destruction if she can't get her way.



This is the performance of the same song as video #1 by Slavi Trifonov and Nina Nikolina.  Slavi often features folk musicians on his  TV program, which is very popular in Bulgaria.  The closest thing we have to it in the States is the Tonight Show. I think Slavi is much more entertaining, and he's a very good singer.



The next video is the Macedonian version of Nazad, with lyrics. I couldn't find a translation into English that made sense so I don't know how much of a difference there is between the the two. If anyone out there has a translation, please post it in the "comments" section.

If you read Macedonian, you can sing along :)



And finally, here's a group of young women from Bulgaria dancing to the song.  The choreography is somewhat different than what I was taught; this is a dance called Shirto. The meter here is 7/8 (pineapple-apple-apple), which is also known as lesnoto rhythm.



If you enjoyed this you may also like:

Modern Versions of Traditional Bulgarian Folk Songs (parts one, two, and three)

Modern Versions of Traditional Macedonian Folk Songs

The Falcon in Bulgarian and Macedonian Folk Songs

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