More from folklore-rich Teleorman region. This is a song about the Sabar river, a 90-mile long lowland tributary of the Argeş, known for being completely unremarkable, except for… well, the one time it was mentioned in a folk song :). Sung here by Viorica of Clejani, but also covered by the Taraf de Haïdouks or Communist-era icon Ion Dolănescu.
BTW, the name Teleorman itself (Deli orman) is Turkish for “crazy forest”, hinting towards ancient Cumanic influence or, more recently, Ottoman expeditions meeting up with all kinds of thieves, rustlers and murderers. No vampires though.
|Cât mi-i Argeşul de mare
Haz ca Săbărelu’ n-are,
lele, lele şi iar lele.
Săbărelu-i cu dulceaţă,
Săbărel cu apă rece,
Mă suii din vale-n deal,
Li se văd picioarele
Şi văzui o săbăreancă
Dar-ar dumnezeu o ploaie,
Să rămâie-o săbăreancă
De dragă ce mi-era dragă
|As big as the Argeş might be,
it doesn’t have the good humor of the Sabar,
lele, lele*, one more time – lele.
Little Sabar is full of sweetness,
The little Sabar river,
Little Sabar with its cold water,
So I climbed from the valley to the top of the hill
And I saw the women who live by the Sabar (Săbărence),
You could see their legs,
And I saw a săbăreancă,
Won’t the Lord send a rainstorm,
Till only one săbăreancă is left,
As I cared for her so much
* Lele is a respectful term used when addressing an older woman. In folk songs, however, it often means one’s lover or fiancée.
** Fa (or fă) is yet another interjection signaling that one is talking to a girl or woman. It’s a condensed form of fată (girl). Didina is a quaint, rustic and nowadays very uncommon girls’ first name.