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 love nest
Is waiting for you to come
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
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.