Monday, December 1, 2014

Bulgarian Folk Songs Reincarnated

"Reincarnation is making a comeback."
British Slogan

Reincarnation is a fascinating concept.  Many people believe that they have lived more than one life. It is the same with songs.

Today's post features two popular Bulgarian folk songs that were reincarnated:  the older version (sung by a male) and the newer one (sung by a female).

Chia e Tova Mominche was originally performed by Kaicho Kamenov, who lived from 1923-1983.  I've heard a number of his recordings on the Bulgarian National Radio. He was from the town of Vinarovo (near Vidin) in northwestern Bulgaria and his specialty was songs from the northern folklore region.

The video is an excerpt from the Bulgarian TV program Ide Nashenskata Muzika, hosted by Daniel Spasov (the guy at the end of the video with the microphone) and Milen Ivanov.  The hosts of the show are also folk singers.

They devote a part of the show to artists from the past. It's broadcast most Saturdays and uploaded onto the Bulgarian National Television website by early afternoon, and features music from every folklore region of the country.  I don't understand what the melting ice has to do with the song, but it sure looks wintry out there!

This is the same song by Lyuti Chushki, a group of folk musicians from the Washington DC area. They paid a visit to Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley some years ago. During the day, they gave tupan and singing lessons, an intro to Bulgarian ethnomusicology, and in the evening a concert and a dance party. I enjoyed it very much.

The next song is Myatalo Lenche Jabuka, performed by two great artists of the mid-20th century, Boris Mashalov (vocals) and Boris Karlov (accordion).

Nikolina Chakardakova's version of Myatalo Lenche  is the one we play at dances. The link goes to her website (in Bulgarian), and you can find videos of her songs there.

Unfortunately, you won't see the artist in the video, although her recording was used for the performance.  The song is about a girl, Lenche, who throws an apple in the hope of finding a man to marry.  An old man catches it instead.  The plot revolves around the girl's mother sending the old man into the woods hoping that a bear will eat him.(In the stage performance the "bear" removes his "head", revealing a handsome young man.)

The dance is a rachenitsa, the national dance of Bulgaria.

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

A Visit to Bulgaria by way of Mt. Holyoke College

Kaicho Kamenov and the Folk Songs of Northern Bulgaria

The Legacy of Boris Karlov, Bulgarian Folk Accordionist

Here Comes the Brass Band! Modern Bulgarian Folk Songs Performed by Daniel Spasov

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