Category Archives: Odes

songs dedicated to romaní people and culture

Moya Tsiganskaya

Moya Tsiganskaya

Song by Vladimir Vysotsky. This song is not a gypsy song but an ode to the gypsies and the tough life that I really like and want to share with you. Enjoy!

Moya Tsiganskaya

V son mne zheltyye ogni
I khriplyu vo sne ya
Povremeni, povremeni
Utro mudreneye
No, i utrom vse ne tak
Net togo vesel’ya
Ili kurish’ na toshchak,
Ili p’yesh’ s pokhmel’ya

Ekh, raz, da yeshche raz
da yeshche mnogo-mnogo mnogo raz.

V kabakakh zelenyy shtof
I belyye salfetki
Ray dlya nishchikh i shutov
Mne zh kak ptitse v kletke
V tserkvi smrad i polumrak
D’yaki kuryat ladan,
Net, i v tserkvi vse ne tak
Vse ne tak kak nado

Ekh, raz, da yeshche raz
da yeshche mnogo-mnogo mnogo raz.

YA — na goru vpopykhakh,
Chtob chego ne vyshlo.
A na gore stoit ol’kha,
A pod goroyu — vishnya.
Khot’ by sklon uvit’ plyushchom —
Mne b i to otrada.
Ekh! Khot’ by chto-nibud’ yeshcho…
Vso ne tak, kak nado!

Ekh, raz, da yeshche raz
da yeshche mnogo-mnogo mnogo raz.

YA togda — po polyu vdol’ reki:
Sveta — t’ma, net Boga!
A v chistom pole — vasil’ki,
I dal’nyaya doroga.
Vdol’ dorogi — les gustoy
S babami-yagami,
A v kontse dorogi toy —
Plakha s toporami.

Ekh, raz, da yeshche raz
da yeshche mnogo-mnogo mnogo raz.

Gde-to koni plyashut v takt,
Nekhotya i plavno.
Vdol’… vdol’ dorogi vso ne tak,
A v kontse — podavno.
I ni tserkov’, i ni kabak —
Nichego ne svyato!
Net, rebyata, vso ne tak!
Vso ne tak, rebyata…

Ekh, raz, da yeshche raz
da yeshche mnogo-mnogo mnogo raz.

Translation:
In my dream – yellow lights,
wheezing in my sleep;
a while longer, a whole longer,
In the morning I’ll be fine!

But in the morning everything’s wrong,
The joy is gone;
Either you smoke on an empty stomach,
Or you quench a hangover.

Hey one, yes
once again;
Hey one, yes
many-many more times…

In the bars; green tablecloths
And white napkins.
Heaven for the poor and slobs,
But for me – like a bird in a cage!

In the church; stench and gloom,
Preachers burning incense.
No! Even in church everything’s wrong,
Not as it should be.

To the mountain I rush,
So that something there might be,
On the mountain stands an alder,
While below a cherry tree;
If only there were ivy on the slope;
I’d get some joy from it,
If only anything else;
It’s not as it should be.

Hey one, yes
once again;
Hey one, yes
many-many more times…

Then to the field I go,
along the river bank;
Some light, some darkness – but no God!
While in the pure field;
there are cornflowers and a distant road.
Along the road there’s a deep forest
With Baba-Yaga witches;
And at the road’s end;
Chopping blocks and axes.

Somewhere the stallions dance in tune,
Unhurried and easy.
Along the road everything is wrong,
But at the end; completely.

Neither in church nor the in the bar-
Nothing is held holy!
No, my friends; everything’s wrong,
Everything’s wrong, my friends!

Hey one, yes
once again;
Hey one, yes
many-many more times…

Seven gypsies

Seven gypsies

A traditional 18th century scottish folk somg that originated in the dumfries area of western scotland. There are many varations of this tale with different tunes and verses. Performed here by FullSet

Seven Gypsies
Seven gypsies all of a row
they sang sweet and bonny oh
they sang so neat and so complete
that they stole the heart of a lady oh

She kicked off her high heeled shoes
made of spanish leather oh
then she put on a pair of brogues
and followed the seven gypsies oh

Late that night the lord came home
inquiring for his lady oh
the servant fell upon his knees
she`s away with the seven gypsies oh

Fetch for me my fine white steed
saddle up my pony oh
for i will ride and seek my bride
who`s away with the seven gypsies oh

He rode over high high hills
until he came to morning oh
and then he saw his own dear wife
in the arms of the seven gypsies oh

Last night i slept in my own feather bed
with blankets wrapped around me oh
but tonight i slept in an open field
in the arms of the seven gypsies oh

Seven gypsies all of a row
they sang sweet and bonny oh
they sang so sweet that they got hanged
for the stealing of a famous lady oh

 

Khorakhane

Khorakhane

“Khorakhané” (literally: “Lovers of the Koran”) are a tribe of Muslim rom Serbian-Montenegrin origin.
Lyrics and music by Fabrizio De André and Ivano Fossati. The video is taken from Django Reinhardt expanded film ‘A little sun’ by Nino Bizzarri.
The final verse in romanes  are Giorgio Bezzecchi, “Harvie rom” (Croatian).

Khorakhane
Il cuore rallenta la testa cammina
in quel pozzo di piscio e cemento
a quel campo strappato dal vento
a forza di essere vento

porto il nome di tutti i battesimi
ogni nome il sigillo di un lasciapassare
per un guado una terra una nuvola un canto
un diamante nascosto nel pane

per un solo dolcissimo umore del sangue
per la stessa ragione del viaggio viaggiare
Il cuore rallenta e la testa cammina
in un buio di giostre in disuso

qualche rom si é fermato italiano
come un rame a imbrunire su un muro
saper leggere il libro del mondo
con parole cangianti e nessuna scrittura

nei sentieri costretti in un palmo di mano
i segreti che fanno paura
finché un uomo ti incontra e non si riconosce
e ogni terra si accende e si arrende la pace

i figli cadevano dal calendario
Yugoslavia Polonia Ungheria
i soldati prendevano tutti
e tutti buttavano via

e poi Mirka a San Giorgio di maggio
tra le fiamme dei fiori a ridere a bere
e un sollievo di lacrime a invadere gli occhi
agli occhi cadere

ora alzatevi spose bambine
che é venuto il tempo di andare
con le vene celesti dei polsi
anche oggi si va a caritare

e se questo vuol dire rubare
questo filo di pane tra miseria e sfortuna
allo specchio di questa kampina
ai miei occhi limpidi come un addio

lo puó dire soltanto chi sa di raccogliere in bocca
il punto di vista di Dio

———————————–

Čvava sero po tute
i kerava
jek sano ot mori
i taha jek jak kon kašta
vašu ti baro nebo
avi ker.

kon ovla so mutavla
kon ovla
ovla kon aščovi
me ğava palan ladi
me ğava
palan bura ot croiuti.

Translation
The hearbeats slow down, the head walks on
in that poddle of piss and concrete
in that field blown by the wind
by dint of being the wind

I bear the name of all baptisms
each name the seal of a pass
for a ford, a country, a cloud, a song
a diamond hidden in bread
but for one humour in blood so sweet
for the same reason to travel, travelling

The heartbeats slow down, the head walks on
in the dark of forlorn swings
some gypsies stopped and became Italian
like copper hung to get brown on a wall

Being able to read the book of the world
with everchanging words and no writing
on the narrow paths in the palm of a hand
those frightening secrets
until a man meets you and won’t know himself anymore
and every country lights up and peace surrenders

Sons would fall from the calendar
Yugoslavia, Poland, Hungary
soldiers would take them all
and all they threw away

And then Mirka at St. Georges in May *
between the flowers flames, with laughs and drinks
a relief in tears flooding the eyes
and from the eyes falling down

Now rise you childbrides
the time has come to go
blue veins on your wrists
another day for begging

And if this means stealing
a scanty bread out of poverty and misfortunes
on the mirror of this kampina **
to my eyes, clear as a farewell
that can only tell who’s got in his mouth
God’s point of view

—————————-

I’ll lay my head on your shoulder
and I’ll will dream of the sea
and tomorrow a wood fire
so that the light blue air
become home

Who’ll be there to tell
who’ll be
It will be who stays on
I’ll follow this migration
I’ll follow this wings stream

  • Information, video & lyrics from Emanuele Ricciardi

Mochnatiy Shmyel

Mochnatiy Shmyel

Song from the film ‘A cruel romance’ performed by Nikita Mikhalkov.

Mochnatiy Shmyel

Mokhnatyy shmel’ – na dushistyy khmel’,
Tsaplya seraya – v kamyshi,
A tsyganskaya doch’ – za lyubimym v noch’,
Po rodstvu brodyazh’ey dushi.

Tak vpered – za tsyganskoy zvezdoy kochevoy,-
Na zakat, gde drozhat parusa,
I glaza glyadyat s bespriyutnoy toskoy
V bagroveyushchie nebesa.

I vdvoem po trope – navstrechu sud’be,
Ne gadaya, v ad ili v ray.
Tak i nado idti, ne strashas’ puti,
Khot’ na kray zemli, khot’ za kray.

Tak vpered za tsyganskoy zvezdoy kochevoy,
Na svidan’e s zarey, na vostok,
Gde, tikha i nezhna, rozoveet volna,
Na rassvetnyy vpolzaya pesok!

Tak vpered za tsyganskoy zvezdoy kochevoy,-
Do revushchikh yuzhnykh shirot,
Gde svirepaya burya, kak bozh’ya metla,
Okeanskuyu pyl’ metet!

Tak vpered – za tsyganskoy zvezdoy kochevoy,-
Na zakat, gde drozhat parusa,
I glaza glyadyat s bespriyutnoy toskoy
V bagroveyushchie nebesa!

A hairy bumble bee (Translation)
A hairy bumble bee – on the aromatic hops,
A grey Heron – in the reeds,
But a gypsy’s daughter – for her beloved, to the night
By kinship of a wondering soul.

So go ahead, after the gypsy’s nomadic star,
To the sunset, where the sails tremble,
And eyes look on with homeless longing
To the erubescent heaven!

And the two of us on the path toward destiny
Not guessing – to hell or to heaven,
So we should go, without fear of the journey
Be it to the edge of the earth, even over the edge.

So go ahead, after the gypsy’s nomadic star,
To the rendezvous at dawn, to the east,
Where, quietly and tenderly, the waves turn pink
At dawn crawling over the sand!

So go ahead, after the gypsy’s nomadic star,
Before the roaring southern latitudes,
Where a fierce storm, like a God’s broom,
Sweeps the ocean’s dust!

So go ahead, after the gypsy’s nomadic star,
To the sunset, where the sails tremble,
And eyes look on with homeless longing
To the erubescent heaven!

  • Translation by Olga Formalnova

Ciganka Sam Mala

Ciganka Sam Mala

Song performed by Silvana Armenulic

Ciganka Sam Mala
Ciganka sam mala
oci moje gore,
igram, pevam pesme
celu noc do zore.

ja sam mala garava
crna tvoja ciganka,
samo mala garava
crna tvoja ciganka

Kad mi usne ljubis
zaboravljam tugu,
srce hoce jedno
razum trazu drugu.

ja sam mala garava
crna tvoja ciganka,
samo mala garava
crna tvoja ciganka

Da si moje oci
ti ranije sreo,
postao bi momak
za svoj zivot ceo.

ja sam mala garava
crna tvoja ciganka,
samo mala garava
crna tvoja ciganka

A vén cigány

A vén cigány

A Famous Hungarian (Magyar) song performed by Kistehén (Little cow)

A vén cigány

Zöld erdő mélyén, kis patak szélén, párjával élt egy öreg cigány,
Vén öreg ember, nótája nem kell, senkinek sem kell a nótája már.
Szép tavasz járja, zöld a fa ága, kis galamb vígan turbékol a fán,
Ősz feje kábul, s a szíve kitárul, párjához így szól az öreg cigány.

Hol van a hegedűm, párom, tavasszal minden vidám, Városba elmegyek máma, én az öreg cigány,
Egyszer még hadd muzsikáljak szívemből úgy igazán.
Szeretném elmuzsikálni, hogy él még a vén cigány, öreg cigány, a vén cigány.

És a vén ember eltipeg csendben, hóna alatt a kopott hegedű,
Alig bír járni, lábain állni, szívében mégis ott él a derű.
Városba érve, fáradtan tér be, egy csillogó fényes terem ajtaján,
Szíve megdobban a vére fellobban, középre tipeg az öreg cigány.

Nagyságos uraim, kérem, nem tudom, ismernek még!
Könyörgöm, de sokat húztam valaha, réges-rég.
Egyszer még hadd muzsikáljak szívemből úgy igazán,
Szeretném elmuzsikálni, hogy él még a vén cigány, öreg cigány, a vén cigány.

Csend lett egy percig, így szólt az egyik, jó uraim, mulatunk ma, ugye?
Nyissanak ajtót, ezt a vén rajkót látni szeretném, repülni tud-e?
Ugrik a pincér, pénzt kap a viccért, kint van az ember, és kész a hatás,
Jó öreg párja már halva találja, s beszól az anyó, urak, jó mulatást!

Nem muzsikál sohasem már, csendes lett a vén cigány,
Erdőben alussza álmát, vadgalamb búg a fán.
Vén-öreg anyóka, sírját virággal díszíti már, vadgalmb sírva dalolja,
Élt egyszer egy cigány, öreg cigány, a vén cigány.

The old gypsy (meaning):
The story of the song: The old gipsy that used to play the violin (now lives in the forest) feels strong again in the Spring. He tells his wife he wants to play one last time and goes to the City. Goes in to a beautiful place and asks the People there to let him play for them. Someone offers money to the waiter to throw him out (“See if he can fly”). His wife finds him dead on the street and just wishes a good time to the People in the place. He sleeps forever in his grave and only the doves remember: “Once upon a time lived here a gipsy, old gipsy, poor gipsy”

Hijo de la luna

Hijo de la luna

Song by Mecano, the most popular spanish group form the 80’s, formed by Ana Torroja, Nacho Cano and José Mª Cano. This song is a legend about a gypsy woman who wants to get married and makes a deal with the moon, agreeing to exchange a gypsy housband for the first kid they’ll have, because the moon wants to be a mother.

Hijo de la luna

Tonto el que no entienda
cuenta una leyenda
que una hembra gitana
conjuró a la luna hasta el amanecer,
llorando pedia, al llegar al dia,
desposar un calé.

“Tendras a tu hombre piel morena”
desde el cielo habló la luna llena
“pero a cambio quiero el hijo primero
que le engendres a él,
que quien su hijo inmola para no estar sola
poco le iba a querer”.

Chorus
Luna quieres ser madre y no encuentras querer
que te haga mujer
dime luna de plata
que pretendes hacer con un niño de piel,
hijo de la luna.

De padre canela nació un niño
blanco como el lomo de un armiño
con los ojos grises en vez de aceituna
niño albino de luna.
“Maldita tu estampa, este hijo es de un pallo
y yo no me lo callo”

Chrorus

Gitano al creerse deshonrado,
se fue a su mujer cuchillo en mano,
“¿de quien es el hijo?, me has engañao fijo”
y de muerte la hirió,
luego se hizo al monte, con el niño en brazos
y allí le abandonó.

Chorus

Y las noches que haya luna llena,
será porque el niño está de buenas,
y si el niño llora, menguará la luna
para hacerle la cuna.-

Les gitans

Les gitans

Song by Dalida, who was a world-famous singer and actress with a 30-year career. Born in Egypt with Italian origins but naturalised French with the name Yolanda Gigliotti, was “renowned for the changes she wrought to the French and global music industry with her powerful and colourful performances, she is today still remembered by aficionados throughout the world”.

Les gitans

D’où viens-tu gitan ?
Je viens de Bohême
D’où viens-tu gitan ?
Je viens d’Italie
Et toi, beau gitan ?
De l’Andalousie
Et toi, vieux gitan, d’où viens-tu ?
Je viens d’un pays qui n’existe plus…

[Refrain:]
Les chevaux rassemblés le long de la barrière
Le flanc gris de poussière
Le naseau écumant
Les gitans sont assis près de la flamme claire
Qui jette à la clairière
Leurs ombres de géants
Et dans la nuit monte un refrain bizarre
Et dans la nuit bat le cœur des guitares
C’est le chant des errants qui n’ont pas de frontière
C’est l’ardente prière de la nuit des gitans

Où vas-tu gitan ?
Je vais en Bohême
Où vas-tu gitan ?
Revoir l’Italie
Et toi beau gitan ?
En Andalousie
Et toi vieux gitan mon ami ?
Je suis bien trop vieux, moi je reste ici…

[Refrain:]
Avant de repartir pour un nouveau voyage
Vers d’autres paysages
Sur des chemins mouvants
Laisse encor un instant vagabonder ton rêve
Avant que la nuit brève
Le réduise à néant
Chante, gitan, ton pays de Cocagne
Chante, gitan, ton château en Espagne
C’est le chant des errants qui n’ont pas de frontière
C’est l’ardente prière de la nuit des gitans

Canção do Cigano

Canção do Cigano

Voice:  Alberto Ribeiro

Canção do Cigano

P´la raia de Espanha
Nas sombras da noite
Passava um cigano
No seu alazão

O vento brandia
Seu nórdico açoite
E as folhas rangiam
Caídas no chão

E já embrenhado
No Alto Alentejo
Nas sombras da noite,
Tingidas de breu

Nem mais uma praga,
Nem mais um desejo
Aos ecos distantes,
O pobre gemeu

Não há maior desengano
Nem vida que dê mais pena
Do que a vida de um cigano

Atravessar a fronteira
Para ser atravessado
Por uma bala certeira

E tudo porque o destino
Só fez dele um peregrino
Companheiro do luar
Um pobre judeu errante
Que não tem pátria
Nem lar

E o contrabandista
Temido e valente
Voltava de Espanha
No seu alazão

Um tiro certeiro
Um braço dormente
E um rasto de sangue
Marcado no chão

E já embrenhado
No Alto Alentejo
Nas sombras da noite
Tingidas de breu

Nem mais uma praga
Nem mais um desejo
Aos ecos distantes
O pobre gemeu….

Le tzigane

Le tzigane

by Pia Colombo

Le tzigane

Ce soir-là
Il m’a dit mets ta robe dorée
Nous avons une fête à fêter
Mon amour souviens-toi

Ce soir-là
Ça faisait juste un an de passé
Trois cent soixante-cinq jours de juillet
Nous avons dansé.

Le Tzigane
Le champagne
J’étais grise
J’étais bien

Ce soir-là
La musique avait goût de bonheur
Je tenais près de moi sur mon cœur
Mon unique amour

Mais la vie
Casse tout dans ses doigts maladroits
Les amours et les filles et les gars
Un jour il est parti

Et la vie
M’a menée vers le beau cabaret
Et l’orchestre était là qui jouait
Notre air de jadis

Le Tzigane
Le champagne
J’étais seule
J’ai pleuré

Et la nuit
M’a laissée sur le bord du trottoir
Et là j’ai attendu dans le noir
Le Tzigane