Deschide, gropare, mormântul / Gravedigger, open up the grave

One of the more abyssal songs of Romanian Gypsy lăutăresc repertoire. Best known version belongs to “Romanian Cesaria Evora” Romica Puceanu, however I chose the clean contemporary approach of Ionel Tudorache’s taraf.

It’s not only the cynical lyrics! The droning, repetitive cimbalom in the background and the weeping accordion make for one hell of a memento mori.

Doamne, amară e durerea
da’ grea e suferinţa
când cineva iubeşte
şi nu este iubit.

Femeia credincioasă
să n-o crezi niciodată
că dimpotrivă-nşală
pe cel mai scump bărbat.

Gropare, deschide mormântul,
dă-mi drumul ca să ies,
la casa părintească
să mă re-ntorc aş vrea.

Să-mi văd părinţi şi fraţi,
logodnica iubită
şi jur că nu voi spune
secretul nimănui.

Şi-am fost la mine-acasă,
ce chin, ce jale era,
ai mei plângeau cu lacrimi
căci nu mă mai vedeau.

Am fost la a mea măicuţă,
cu foc mă mai jelea
iar taica al meu, sărmanul,
lângă un pom plângea.

Doamne, şi-am fost la a mea nevastă,
nici doliu nu purtase,
în braţele-unui prieten
cu drag se dezmierda.

Am fost şi la ai mei prieteni,
c-un vin se-nveseleau,
ciocneau pahare pline,
pe jos că le vărsau –
păi dumnezeu să-l ‘erte,
că-n viaţă a fost ca noi,
a fost şi el odată,
dar astăzi nu mai e.

La cimitir trec zilnic
mulţime de femei
dar n-am văzut nici una
să-şi plângă soţul ei.

Schelete, ia seama bine
şi-mpacă-te cu viermii
căci ai văzut, în lume
e mult de suferit.

Femeia te ridică,
femeia te coboară,
femeia îţi dă viaţă
şi tot ea te omoară.

Gropare, deschide mormântul,
dă-mi drumul ca să intru
şi-nalţă peste mine
un munte de granit,
şi-nalţă peste mine
un munte de granit
că nicăieri nu-i bine
la tine ca-n mormânt.

Oh lord, bitter is the pain,
hard the suffering
when one loves
and isn’t loved back.

A woman of faith
one should never trust,
oh, on the contrary, she’ll deceive
the most virtuous of men.

Gravedigger, open up the grave
set me free so I can get out,
to my childhood home
I’d like to return.

To see my parents and siblings,
my lover dear
– and I swear I won’t tell
anyone the secret.

So I went to my old home,
full of woe and torment it was,
my folks were shedding tears
‘cause I wasn’t there to be seen.

I went and saw my mother,
oh, how she was weeping
and that poor old father of mine
was crying by a tree.

Lord, then I went to see my wife,
she hadn’t even worn the mourning dress,
in the arms of a friend
she was indulging herself.

Then I went to my old mates,
cheering themselves up with wine they were,
clinking together glasses full,
pouring them on the ground –
may the Lord have mercy ‘pon his soul
‘cause in life he was akin to us,
once he was
and now he is no more.

Day in, day out, through the graveyard
many women pass
but I haven’t seen one
weep for her husband.

Skeleton, heed my words
and come to peace with your maggots
for you have seen, in the world
there’s a lot of suffering going on.

Woman lifts you up,
woman brings you down,
woman gives you life
and again she’s the one who murders ya’.

Gravedigger, open up the grave,
set me free so I can come in
and pile up on top of me
a mountain of granite,
pile up on top of me
a mountain of granite
‘cause there’s no place better
than in one’s own tomb.

2 thoughts on “Deschide, gropare, mormântul / Gravedigger, open up the grave

  1. salut,

    cred ca “femeia credincioasa sa n-o crezi niciodata” nu e un indemn sa nu crezi femeile bisericoase, ci poate fi reformulat “in niciun caz sa nu consideri vreo femeie (ca ar fi) credincioasa (fidela)” – astfel, o traducere posibila ar fi “you should never think a woman faithful”.

    hai noroc.

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