Monday, February 18, 2019

Variations on the Croatian Folk Dance: Raca Plava

Raca Plava translated literally means "blue duck." The lyrics are peculiar when translated from Croatian. The song is about a man who is in love with a woman who steps off a boat. He recognizes her by her distinctive walk and wants to marry her.  The refrain is "this year the roses will bloom."

The link to the song provides Croatian lyrics with a German translation.

Raca Plava is very popular in folk dance circles. I know of two variations: Video #1 is the version taught by Yves Moreau and the one that our dance group uses.

Video#2 is a simplified variation performed by the Tanzgruppe Baeckerstrasse, from Vienna, Austria.  Like the Israeli Dunav group, they have many folk dance videos posted on YouTube.  Most of them were posted in the early 2000's.  The group used to have a web site; but they may have disbanded since I can no longer find it.

Video #3 is a funky version of Raca Plava.  The kids in the foreground dance it freestyle, along with the singers.

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

Crazy Croatian Dance Songs

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  1. "Raca plava" means "a duck swims", not "blue duck".

    More detail:
    "Plava" does mean "blue", but it's also how they say "pliva" ("swims") in the Međimurje dialect. However, in this context it can only be "swims" because of the grammar of the full sentence "Raca plava po Dravi". "A blue duck on Drava" would be "Plava raca na Dravi". "Po" can only be used with verbs like swims/walks/rides (on the river/road/field). It can't be used with the verb "is" (on the river/road/field). "Na" has to be used with the verb "is".

    1. Anonymous, thanks for the correct translation. A duck swimming on the Drava makes a lot more sense than the "blue duck" I got from Google Translate. Thanks for the info!