Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lume, lume

This is one song I sang to myself lately. A fiddler's song, one that I listen when I am down, a glass of good wine in hand while telling my self: "Life's a bitch, but I love her no less"
I tried translating the words:

"World, my sister world(bis)/When should I have enough of you (bis)?/ World, my sister world/ When I will fast with no bread and now water/and the wine will run dry/Maybe I shall have enough(bis)/When they'll nail me in my coffin(bis)/When I'll be dead and burried/World, my sister world/ /As life flies(bis)/One is born, another dies(bis) /When you are born you're going to suffer/When you are dead you're going to rotten/World, my sister world"

I am afraid my translation cannot illustrate the simple beauty of this song. Fortunately Maria Tanase's interpretation does more justice to it than my translation.


Maria Tanase was a Romanian singer. She is mostly known for reclaiming old folk songs to which she gave a one of the kind interpretation. Yet she was born in the neighborhood of Caramidari, one of the many on the outskirts of Bucharest, the place where newcomers to the big city cohabitated. The periphery of Bucharest was also known as Mahala (the Rroma word for neighborhood), not because the people living here were gypsies, but they were a mix of salesmen, small trade owners, laborers, housekeepers and handmaids and they were coming from all the regions in the country bringing with them different customs and a feeling of displacement. Her mother was from Transylvania and her father was from Oltenia.
Maria started as a Cabaret singer, but soon she began interpreting folk songs as well, the ones she learned to love as a child. She had a full, deep voice and she sang with passion, a love that came from an intense comprehension of the feelings and customs evoked by melody and lyrics. She was very beautiful as well, and lived with the same passion as she sang.

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