Life Thoughts

Romanian music

I imagine some of my readers would be interested in Romanian music because I was asked quite a few times what kind of music I listen to or listened to as a teenager. Well, my answers are “boring” as everybody knows about Nirvana and Metallica and they were wondering about other kinds of music. So, today I’m going to share some details on traditional Romanian music.


This is a picture from my wedding.Traditionally in Romania the bride is the most important person at the wedding, so family and friends gather at the groom’s house from where he goes to pick up the godparents and their guests, before all descending on where the bride is, to pick her up to go to the church (non-religious weddings are not very common at this point). A singer is brought along and neighbours and the family are doing a HORA (what you can see in the picture above) in front of the house/flat, before leaving. This happens at the groom’s, at the godparents’, and at the bride’s. It is a highly sociable event, where neighbours would come out to congratulate the couple and join in the celebrations even if they are not invited to the wedding party.

Hora is the most common and well known Romanian dance. Even if someone doesn’t know the steps, usually these hore (plural of hora) are joined by so many people that it’s nearly impossible to follow the steps anyway. At various points during the dance, women are cheering (as in the song above). It’s always a fun and exciting dance. The hora lasts for many minutes and people can join in at any point.
Hora is not played and danced only at weddings, but at public events too when Romania’s day is commemorated on 1st December.

This is another example of well known song. It’s played at traditional parties and weddings.

Gheorghe Zamfir’s pan flute when he played Ciocarlia (The Lark) is just amazing.

Most of the Romanian songs are either about drinking or love. Next one is called “Casuta noastra”, meaning Our Home. It’s about a man’s passion for his lover and what he does to court her and how he waits for her:

“To take you as my wife
I led a life of blight
And I argued with everyone
Like a carnation in the jar
Our home was flourishing
But, my darling, you left

Our home
Our love nest
Is waiting for you to come
Our home
Where we first kissed
Cries incessantly for you”

Gica Petrescu has lots of similar songs, party-songs or drinking-songs. Dan Spataru is another singer, one of his best knowns songs is “Drumurile noastre”, a love song entitled Our Paths:

“Everything that was once in my life
I will forget
For years and months and nights, in a row, burden
The moment of separation

I will not ask you, what you can never give me
I will not ask for your love
I won’t knock on closed doors again
Don’t revert your eyes

Our paths maybe
They’ll meet again
Paths and love
Thoughts, happiness”

Irina Loghin’s “Din bucata mea de paine” is such a moving song too. It’s translated as From my Piece of Bread. She is wearing a traditional Romanian costume too.

“From my piece of bread
I raised a man and a dog
The man left me
Went away and didn’t come again
The dog recognises me
The man no longer knows who I am

When I have money and I’m well
Everyone is with me
If I don’t have money and I’m unwell
Not even my family is close-by
And then I ask you
Who is man and who is dog”

There are so many more songs I could mention and so many other artists. I hope you’ve enjoyed these.

6 Comment

  1. Fascinating post, Anca, and how lovely to see your wedding photo. You look fabulous. Irina’s song is very sad, but I loved seeing her costume and the interior of the room where she is singing.

  2. I loved this post, Anca. First off, from what I could see of you in the photo, you were a gorgeous bride and it looks like the weather on your wedding day was just perfect. I listened to all the songs and really enjoyed hearing each one. It reminded me of our (now defunct) Great Lakes Folk Festival where there would be music and dancing from around the world. I’ve heard Zamfir before but the rest were new to me and all were wonderful. I appreciate the energy of these, even in the ballads.

  3. Romanian weddings sound a lot like Croatian weddings when it comes to traditions. Instead of hora, we have something called ‘kolo’, a similar kind of dance with many variations that also exists in various other Slavic nations. Even within Croatia itself, there are different variations.

    I still didn’t get to writing about vaccination on my blog. Long story short, there isn’t enough information about vaccine and people who are on suppressant medication and in some cases it was found that there was no immune reaction to vaccine at all, making it useless so some doctors are a bit concerned. My GP and other doctors all asked for permission from my gastroentrologiest, but there is no way for me to contact her so I asked another specialist (privately) for his opinion and spoke with the doctors on site. I decided to insist on getting the vaccine because it will make my life easier (the tests are quite expensive here and having to take them all the time is exhausting). My age wasn’t a problem, it seems they are vaccinating anyone who wants in Croatia now, even tourists and people without medical insurance. It was more my history of allergies and my medication that was the problem.

    1. I am going to look for kolo on youtube. It’s fascinating to see how similar and different this kind of songs are.

      The findings are the same here too, people with compromised immune system have a lower response to the vaccine, which is to be expected. This is why it’s so important that all of us get the vaccine. It’s worrying that so many people are reluctant to get their jabs, as new variants emerge all the time. In UK people with allergies get an Oxford jab, as Pfizer is the one which can trigger allergies. But everyone under 40 gets a Pfizer jab due to the risk of blood clots. Anyway, I’m very happy for you. It is great that you’ve got the jab. I understand that you plan to get your second one in 3 weeks. I hope you don’t mind me suggesting talking to a doctor. In UK studies showed that leaving up to 12 weeks between the jabs offers a much better protection. I plan to have mine between 8 and 10 weeks, even though I can book my 2nd vaccine now.

  4. I love music (most any kind) and enjoy learning about other cultures, so I thoroughly enjoyed this post! I remember learning about the Hora when I was in elementary school, but didn’t recall that it is Romanian. For some reason I had it in my brain it was Greek or Israeli.

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us.
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    1. You are not wrong at all. There is a Greek hora and there is an Israeli horah, like Hava Nagila. In Eastern Europe it’s very hard to say what is specific to a country as many songs, dances, dishes, traditions are both traditional in that country but similar to the ones in the neighbouring country(ies). In Romania there are traditional dances in different regions too, with small variations.

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