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Gone Gypsy - The Slavonian Traveling Band

Format: cd   |  Released: 2001

Cost: $15

The Slavonian Traveling Band plays the Romany tunes of Vojvodina as a tamburitza orchestra typical of the Balkan region. Tamburitzas are a family of lute-like stringed instruments. They are made in different sizes, shapes, and courses of strings. In the songs of Macedonia, Romania and Bosnia, the sax, dumbek and guitar join the tambura.

The Romas, also known as gypsies, left Rajhastan, India around 1000AD and migrated slowly through Europe. Today, they are an important ethnic minority in the Balkan regions, and have contributed remarkably to popular music. Like in other regions of Europe, the Balkan Romas adapted to local musical cultures, and added the intensity of their unrestrained, emotional performance.

The haunting Endelesi, an old Macedonian tune with Romany words, is the band's first song. Known widely in the Balkans, Bregovic arranged it for Time of the Gypsies. The next selection is Caje Sukarije from the repertoire of Esma Redzepova, which entreats; "Go from my sight, beautiful girl, I cannot look at you because I love you so much". Delem, Delem is probably the universal Romany song from the Balkans, sung in many versions wherever there are Romas. It laments; "I walked, walked on long roads. I met the poor Romas". Then north to Vojvodina for Rromano Oro , a tamburitza kolo, or dance, played in the style of the Romas. U stombolu Na Bosforu is a famous song from Bosnia about an old Turkish Pasha, who is dying. He is giving away his possessions including all of his wives. Yovanno is from Macedonia, but is popular throughout the Balkans. This version is from Bosnia. Rumelaj is from Romania, and is sung in Hungarian accented Rom. Vlainja and Sumatovac kolos are dance tunes from Eastern Serbia. Vlainja is associated with the Romanian minority in Serbia, the Vlachs. The familiar tune Miserlou is sung in Macedonian, and is about a Christian man's unattainable love for a Muslim maiden. In Verka the Romas are coming to propose to Verka, a nun. In I Drank, Drank and got Drunk , or Pilem, Pilem , a man is feeling bad for beating his wife while drunk. Meda Sijum Ternori, is about a woman's love for a man who cannot give up cards. If he quits gambling, she'll give him all her love. Romano Horo , another Macedonian song from the repertoire of Esma Rezepova rejoices; "Come on, Romas, dance the dance of the oriental heart". The last song, Me Sem Corro from Vojvodina plaintively laments, "I'm poor, you're poor. Put your head next to mine"

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