ma phir urde pala mande,
ma phir urde pala mande, čaje!
Esma Redzepova passed away on December 11, 2016, after a short illness. She was 73.
One of my biggest regrets was that I never saw her live in concert. In April of this year she did a tour of the United States, which included performances in New York City and Washington, DC.
This week's post is a tribute to the great singer and humanitarian who was an advocate for the Romani people and women's rights. She was the first performer to make Romani music popular with non-Romani people. Everyone knows her by her first name.
Video #1 is Djelem, Djelem, the anthem of the Romani people. You can find the original lyrics and a translation here. It is the song of a people who have traveled all over the world. It is the lament of those who have suffered persecution.
Video #2 is her best-known song, Chaje Shukarije, a love song about a beautiful girl.
Video #3 is a performance in the studio of KEXP in Seattle, in April 2016. Here she appears at 8:23 after the Folk Masters play. She talks about her music through a translator, and performs both Macedonian and Romani songs.
She made a trip to India to a festival in 1976 and was crowned by the Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. (The Roma people originally came from India.)
If you have an hour to spare, here is a performance of Esma with her band Folk Masters which took place at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. in April, 2016.
If you enjoyed this you may also like:
A Romani Potpourri
A Romani Potpourri Part Two
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.