Romica Puceanu’s famous Şaraiman

Here’s a brilliant lăutăresc love song played by Gypsies in Wallachia. Hundreds of years of Ottoman overlordship have left their mark – the wailing aahs and oohs :) – on our music. Romica Puceanu‘s 1970′s version is very well known around here, though this song has been covered numerous times by (crappy) commercial artists who […]

Un ţigan avea o casă / A Gypsy once had a house

Cheesy ballad about a Gypsy fellow who owned a house (that’s songworthy already! – historically, as slaves to wealthy landowners and Orthodox monasteries, Gypsies lived in tents or crude hovels) and who didn’t think there was anything wrong with domestic violence. A standard of Wallachian folklore (more specifically, Teleorman and Oltenia regions), this song has […]

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 […]