Thursday, February 27, 2020

Balkan Blues: Some Really Depressing Folk Songs

“Ho! Ho! Ho! To the bottle I go
To heal my heart and drown my woe
Rain may fall, and wind may blow
And many miles be still to go
But under a tall tree will I lie
And let the clouds go sailing by”

J.R.R. Tolkien

There are numerous folk songs from the Balkans that deal with tragic events.  Today's songs are from North Macedonia and Bulgaria.

Video #1 is the dance song Tino More from North Macedonia. It's some serious stuff when a young woman is about to lose her husband when her parents live far, far away, and three doctors are at the head of his bed.

Deljo will die.  The doctors have already sent for the priest to perform last rites.

Video #2 is Devojko Mari Hubava, a song from the Rhodope region of Bulgaria. It's about a couple who can never marry.  They drown their sorrows in wine and rakia. In wine there is truth, but too much gives a nasty hangover the next day.  It's misery on top of misery.

Video #3 sounds like a happy song, and the video is very upbeat, with people dancing in colorful costumes.  The occasion looks festive, with wine and dancing, but the lyrics are tragic.

The singer is Daniel Spasov, the song is Tsiganko, and it's about a man so smitten with a Roma woman (Gypsy is the politically incorrect name) that he cries all the time and doesn't sleep.

Note:  You have to watch the video on YouTube.  For some reason it has been disabled on this website.

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

Beli Dunav Part Two: Danube Blues

A Tribute to Lyubka Rondova

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