They steal horses, don’t they? (Căpitane de judeţ / To a county captain)

In Romanian, when someone gets a good beating, one can say they hit him like a horse thief. That’s what usually happened to horse thieves when they were caught. And in the rural regions of Wallachia and Moldova there were a lot of thieves and rustlers hiding out in the thickets. Sure, the forests aren’t […]

Codin (În pădure la Daimac / In the forest at Daimac)

Here’s a ballad from Gorj, Oltenia. You guessed it, it’s about death. Oh! what a surprise. More specifically, the song is about a handsome young Rudar Gypsy who has a nasty logging accident because he didn’t heed his mother’s advice. Update: A little bird told me the author of this ballad is Oltenian folk singer […]

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 […]