Vo kosi da ti spijam – Tose Proeski

Toše Proeski (pronounced Tosh-eh Pro-eski) is considered one of the best singers and songwriters to have emerged in the Balkans, especially post-war. His voice and the emotion in his singing sounds so beautiful and pure. He was a great person too, holding humanitarian concerts and becoming a UNICEF regional ambassador. He spoke multiple languages including his native Aromanian, Macedonian, Serbo-Croatian, English, as well as recording songs in Slovene and Italian too. His death in 2007 is a huge tragedy and greatly mourned in the Balkans even to today. He was only 26 and died in a car accident in Croatia. Such a superstar dying so young. 😦 Who knows what he would have gone on to accomplish more if he were still alive? He is greatly missed and considered a true angel by all his fans throughout the ex-yu region.

This song is one of my favorites from him. Very upbeat, with a great rhythm and lyrics. It seems to have a bit of latin or salsa influence in the sound, so the cross-cultural influence is interesting. This song is in Macedonian, so I do not understand it all, but most of it. I will try to translate what I can, if I put a question mark (?) it means I don’t know it:

Vo kosi da ti spijam – To sleep in your hair

Zaboraviv drugi oci  –  Forget other’s eyes  (as in like forget the eyes of a past love)
drugi nezni nasmevki  –  other’s gentle smiles
zaboraviv  –  Forget

Me natera da gi frlam site sliki nejzini  –  Force me to ? pictures (maybe to like, erase their picture)
da rascistam so spomeni  –  To clean out the memories
da gi baram celi noki  –  To ? him the whole night
tvoite cekori  –  your waiting?
da kopneam so denovi –  to ?

Vo kosi da ti spijam  –  To sleep in your hair
bez prestan da te ljubam  –  To kiss you without stopping
od tvojot nezen dopir  –  From your gentle touch,
da izludam  –  to go crazy

Vo kosi da ti spijam  –  To sleep in your hair
vo zora da te budam  –  To wake you up in the sunrise
za tebe ako treba  –  For you if I need to,
se da izgubam  –  to lose everything

Dozvoli mi da ti peam  –  Allow me to sing to you
stari pesni ljubovni  –  Old songs of love
dozvoli mi da raskazam  –  Allow me to tell you
deka sum te cuval nokje v  –  ?
pregratki  –  ?

Da izlazam, da veruvam  –  To ?, for me to believe
se shto sonam barem ednash  –  Everything that I dreamed at least  ?
da se ostvari  –  To come true
da treperam so denovi  –  To tremble  ?

Vo kosi da ti spijam  –  To sleep in your hair
bez prestan da te ljubam  –  To kiss you without stopping
od tvojot nezen dopir  –  From your gentle touch,
da izludam  –  to go crazy

Vo kosi da ti spijam  –  To sleep in your hair
vo zora da te budam  –  To wake you up in the sunrise
za tebe ako treba  –  For you if I need to,
se da izgubam  –  to lose everything

The lyrics sound like a guy who is really in love with a girl and wants her to love him too, super romantic. I was able to understand most of the lyrics but there are some parts I don’t, so my Macedonian friends, feel free to tell me. 🙂

Tose Proeski


Stereo Love – Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina

Now is time for some modern music that I actually like. 😀 Well, from 2009, I guess that’s modern enough.  This is “Stereo Love” from the Romanians Edward Maya and Vika Jigulina. It was a big international hit back in 2009 with over 200 million views on this video alone. The lyrics are simple, but the melody and rhythm are pretty and complex. I especially like the Romanian beat that is included in there. I’m not sure what instrument it is, I think it’s accordion, but that same kind of beat is commonly used in the ex-yu area and all throughout the balkans. I think it’s origin is from the beat of traditional folk dances from the balkan, such as the kolo. The music video is shot in Greece by the way, very pretty.

Does anyone know any similar modern songs to this? Like with a well-composed rhythm and melody such as this one? Most modern popular music leaves me so jaded because of the lack of effort and originality that seems to go into it – just the same party beats and empty lyrics with some overdone music videos portraying typical scenes of some contrived party life and hedonism.. all so superficial and commercialized, but perhaps they reflect the current values and ideals of our society? Maybe I don’t like it because I don’t share the same mentality, I don’t find those portrayed yacht party and mansion scenes desirable.

Comments? Any recommendations? And your thoughts on modern music, what it may reflect about society, or even what an individual’s music taste may reflect about them? Thanks for reading as always. 🙂

Dress Down – Kaoru Akimoto (薫秋元)

Since there was mention of Japan in one of my earlier posts and I’ve been listening to some Japanese 80s’ funk recently, I decided to share “Dress Down” by Kaoru Akimoto from 1986. This is the first Japanese 80s’ funk song I found and my favorite so far. It has such a pretty, gorgeous sound! I can’t provide context or translation for the song since I’m not familiar with Japanese, but enjoy! Feel free to comment and give recommendations! 🙂 ❤

Que Se Sepa – Roberto Roena

We were reviewing Spanish subjunctive tense in class today and my teacher mentioned this song title so I looked it up and I’m really glad I did! I have been more familiar with Spanish alt. rock and pop mostly, so it’s interesting to explore the catchy rhythms of latin salsa. They have such a unique flavor with their fast pace and richness of instruments such as percussions, bongos, and trombones. Salsa includes various genres within in, such as mambo and chachacha from Cuba, and arose from traditional music and dances in Puerto Rico and that area.

This song “Que se sepa” is from Puerto Rican salsa star Roberto Roena and his Apollo Sound salsa orchestra in 1973. “Roberto Roena y su Apollo Sound” are considered one of the best salsa bands in Puerto Rico. They formed in 1969 and named themselves Apollo Sound because their first rehearsal was on the same day as the NASA’s Apollo 11 launch. 😀

I will try to translate now, but I will challenge myself for fun and try to translate just from listening and not reading the Spanish lyrics somewhere else. Here are the parts I understand just from listening! 🙂 :

Que Se Sepa – What is known

Tu y tu, deben que aprender  – You and you, should learn

Quieres asi, tu aprenda que si  – You want to [dance like this], you learn like this

Cada cual quiere su bim-bim  – Each which wants their bim-bim

Yo naci con mi bim-bim, y tengo mi bom-bom-bom, que se sepa! 🙂  x 5  –  I was born with my bim-bim, and I have my bom-bom-bom, what is known? or like what is there to know? Maybe it’s a question in that sense..

Oye, tengo mi bim-bim-bim, tambien tengo mi bom-bom-bom 😀  –  Listen, I have my bim-bim-bim, I also have my bom-bom-bom.

I also heard a reference to Nueva York! – New York!  where a lot of salsa music developed to the influx of Puerto Rican immigrants at the time.

Que se sepa, bim-bim, y tengo mi bom-bom  –  What is known, bim-bim, and I have my bom-bom

Se sepa, se sepa, se sepa, que en Puerto que si soy el mejor – It’s known, It’s known, It’s known, is that in Puerto Rico, I am the best.

I was able to understand a pretty good amount but not all. How accurate is what I’ve translated? And any salsa music recommendations? And comments of course. Gracias! 🙂

Yo naci con mi bim-bim, y tengo mi bom-bom-bom, que se sepa! 🙂 ❤

Udri Mujo – Lepa Brena

Oh my god, where do I even begin to talk about this woman? Lepa Brena was like…like.. the Madonna of the Balkans basically. Just the most popular.. huge sensation in the 80s’ in ex-Yugoslavia. Like I’ve heard stories of couples and marriages breaking up because of her. She was practically worshiped. There is like even a movie series made revolving around her and her songs, which is where this song and video is from. The movie series “Hajde da se volimo” is actually one of my favorites from my childhood, particularly the second movie filmed in Dubrovnik, Croatia. It featured a lot of comedians and music, so it was really fun.

Now, why was so much attention paid to her? Probably because she was something really different for that time period, a transition away from the traditional. For starters, she was much more scantily-clad and flirty than what they were used to. That could explain the male attention and breakups, as opposed to today where we see people dressed like that all the time so it’s not a big deal. Her songs were also more just for fun and entertainment, rather than heartfelt and meaningful. She would dance a lot as well, and there would be a lot of jokes in her songs and movies. She was overall very entertaining for them to watch, very modern and fun.

I would say Lepa Brena was very influential, even in today’s Balkan music scene. It seems like she was the first female star to dress and dance like that, attracting popularity for being entertaining on top of having good vocals, so after her many more female stars were able to emerge like Ceca and Dragana Mirkovic. She also seemed to be one of the first turbo-folk artists, or at least influential in it emerging later. Turbo-folk being music with folk and pop elements, and quasi-meaningful lyrics. A lot of people would consider slightly trashy, but fun. P.S The comedian I mentioned in my very first post, Žika, is featured in this video (except in this video/song, he is Mujo, pronounced Moo-yo) 🙂 He has a few funny parts. Big cultural icon.

Ok, so now the lyrics of this song, I will translate them for fun. ^_^ Anything in { } is reworded to make grammatically sense, while keeping the meaning. And asterisked items will  be explained at the end.

Udri, udri, udri Mujo  –  Hit it, hit it, hit it, Mujo (Moo-yo)

udri Mujo u tarabe  –  {Hit the fencing, Muyo!}

Ni poljubac nije vise  –  {Not even a kiss is}

kao nekad dzabe  –  {free like some time ago} x2

Kazi, mala, u sta treba  –  Tell, mala*, in what {I need to hit}

udaracu sve do neba  –  I’ll hit everything to the sky

kazi mala, matere ti  –  Tell, mala*, {I swear on your mother}* (LOL!)

ja cu vazda udarati  –  I will always hit!

Udri, udri, udri Mujo  –  Hit it, hit it, hit it, Mujo!

udri Mujo u šargije – Hit, Mujo, in the šargije*  (it’s a kind of instrument, I’ll explain)

Zivot bolan kao nekad  –  Life is not painful like some time ago

nije vise nije  –  It’s not, it’s not anymore x2

Kazi, mala, u sta treba  –  Tell, mala*, in what {I need to hit}

udaracu sve do neba  –  I’ll hit everything up to the sky

kazi, mala, nema mučke  –  Tell, mala*, there’s not {a problem}

udaracu oberučke  –  I’ll hit with both hands!

Udri, udri, udri Mujo  –  Hit it, hit it, hit it, Muyo! udri Mujo u tepsiju  –  {Hit the pan, Mujo!}

Ja u srcu tebe cuvam  –  {I keep you in my heart}

Bosanskog deliju  –  My Bosnian delija* x2

Slusaj, mala, frke nema  –  Listen, mala*, {there’s not a problem}

s’ tobom je prava sema  –  With you it’s a real {fun}

slusaj, mala, matere ti  –  Listen, mala*, {I swear on your mother} (LOL! again)

ja cu vazda udarati joj  –  I will always hit, jojjjj*!

Udri, Mujo  –  Hit it, Muyo!

joj, joj, hocu, bona –  jojj, jojj, I will, bona*

kazi u sta treba udarati jos  –  {Tell what else I need to hit more!}

Haha, I love how he hits himself in the head with the pan at the end! 😀 lol! Funny lyrics, and what I also like is that there are a lot of fun cultural elements to explain in it, a lot of slang used. So first, Mujo (haha Moo-yo or Muy-o) is a comedic Bosnian name. I think it’s important to note that Lepa Brena was from Bosnia out of all the Yugoslav republics, so this song is a good example of the Bosnian dialect and its humor. 🙂 And I’m from Bosnia, so this has a lot of the common slang I use too! 😀 Ok so, some of the things:

  • mala – Mala is like, it’s like “shorty” that’s used in the U.S. It means “small girl”, but is often used to refer to any girl, like “shorty, what’s up?” – “mala, šta ima?” That kind of deal. 😛 lol!
  • matere ti – Haha, this phrase, it’s like saying “I swear..” and so it’s common over there to say “I swear on your mother”.
  • šargije –  That is that instrument Zika/Mujo is holding in the video. A common bosnian instrument. It’s like a lute I suppose. Something cultural remaining from medieval times, perhaps. The sound it makes is still heard in a lot of music, especially the folk and even turbo-folk.
  • delija- Pronounced deli-ya. It’s a word coming from Turkish actually. Bosnian has a lot of those words, influenced by the 500 years of Ottoman rule over the area in the past. Delija is like a brave, strong guy. 🙂
  • bona – A slang word for girl, mostly used in Bosnian. It also has a male counterpart, bolan. It’s usually used humorously. 😀
  • joj! – Pronounced like yoy. It’s like an exclamation of frustration usually, but can also be used humorously 😀 like an exclamation of humorous frustration!
  • The tepsija (pan) is also an important cultural symbol because it’s used to make pita/burek, an important Bosnian food 🙂

I hope you liked it. 🙂 Any comments/feedback? Also, a debate question… There is a lot of debate over female singers like Lepa Brena or even more so, a lot of the modern ones we see, getting more attention and popularity for their looks and dance moves, rather than quality of voice and songs. And that this leads to a devaluation of music or spreading superficial values and many singers with amazing vocals getting overlooked because of looks. What do you all think about this? Is it a problem/cause for concern or not? Is it unfair? Is it hurting our culture and society?

Sultans of Swing – Dire Straits

Scrambling to find the next English song to post, I remembered this gem. Dusty and glimmering at the same time, this song is full of contrasts in its rhythm and imagery. Yet so harmoniously executed that it feels simple and soothing. This band from the UK, Dire Straits, formed in 1977. This song, Sultans of Swing, was released in 1978 and is considered one of their best songs and probably one of the best rock songs ever. They were highly successful, with fans all around the world. They even toured in Yugoslavia, and were highly popular there. I found out about this song from my mom, because this band was my older cousin’s favorite band back in 1980s’ ex-Yugoslavia, so that just goes to show the extent of their international success. Without even understanding the lyrics, their unique beautiful sound with its blues and jazz influences is captivating.

The narrative lyrics are really interesting though. They were inspired by seeing a small jazz band playing on the corner of some small empty bar in South London, and then at the end, the band referred to themselves as the “Sultans of Swing”. Which was quite ironic and contrasted with their meager appearance, so it was quite amusing to the lead singer, Mark Knopfler, and inspired this song. It showed that this small jazz band was not performing to impress or anything like that, there’s no hope of them making it big, they were just being themselves and doing what they love; so that is what makes them sultans of their music. So throughout the song, there is this sense of respect and appreciative simplicity in the lyrics.

You get a shiver in the dark
It’s been raining in the park but meantime
South of the river you stop and you hold everything
A band is blowing Dixie double four time
You feel all right when you hear that music ring

You step inside but you don’t see too many faces
Coming in out of the rain to hear the jazz go down
Too much competition too many other places
But not too many horns can make that sound
Way on downsouth way on downsouth London town

You check out Guitar George he knows all the chords
Mind he’s strictly rhythm he doesn’t want to make it cry or sing
And an old guitar is all he can afford
When he gets up under the lights to play his thing

And Harry doesn’t mind if he doesn’t make the scene
He’s got a daytime job he’s doing alright
He can play honky tonk just like anything
Saving it up for Friday night
With the Sultans with the Sultans of Swing

And a crowd of young boys they’re fooling around in the corner
Drunk and dressed in their best brown baggies and their platform soles
They don’t give a damn about any trumpet playing band
It ain’t what they call rock and roll
And the Sultans played Creole

And then the man he steps right up to the microphone
And says at last just as the time bell rings
‘Thank you goodnight now it’s time to go home’
and he makes it fast with one more thing
‘We are the Sultans of Swing’

And then they end it with such a great guitar solo!! Oh, this song is beautiful, really a masterpiece! ❤ I was thinking about translating the lyrics, but no, it’s not necessary in this case. Especially when the song can be enjoyed so much without translation. So I’ll definitely be exploring and posting more of Dire Straits’ songs in the future. Feel free to post comments, in any language. 🙂

Laura No Esta – Nek

“Laura No Esta” is one of my favorite songs in Spanish, and one of the first I ever found. The lyrics are a bit simpler, and the singer sings slower and really clear. So this was the perfect song to practice listening and speaking Spanish earlier in my course of learning Spanish. I recommend it highly to anyone practicing Spanish.

Nek is actually an Italian singer, who sings in Spanish as well. This song was released in 1998 and was a big hit, with 4 million video views today. There is an Italian, Spanish, French, and English version of the song, it was such a hit.

The translated lyrics. I used to translate this song’s lyrics before for Spanish practice. ^_^ But of course, there’s always words I forget the meaning of, especially if they’re not commonly used.

Laura no está  –  Laura is not here.
Laura se fue  –  Laura went.
Laura se escapa de mi vida  –  Laura escaped from my life.
y tú que si estás,   –  And you that are here,
preguntas porqué   –  you ask me why
la amo a pesar de las heridas  –  I love her despite the wounds
lo ocupa todo su recuerdo  –  Her memory occupies everything
no consigo olvidar  –  I don’t mention to forget
el peso de su cuerpo  –  the weight of her body
Laura no está  – Laura is not here
eso lo sé  –  That I know
y no la encontraré  –  And I won’t find her
en tu piel   –  in your skin.

es enfermizo,  –  It is sick,
sabes que no quisiera   –  You no that I don’t want
besarte a ti pensando en ella  –  To kiss you thinking of her
esta noche inventaré una tregua  –  This night I will invent [a respite]
ya no quiero pensar más – I don’t want to think more
contigo olvidaré su ausencia  –  With you I will forget her absence

y si te como a besos,  –  {And if I kiss you}
tal vez la noche sea más corta,  –  Perhaps the night will be shorter
no lo sé yo solo no me basto,   –  I don’t know, I’m just not enough
quédate y lléname su espacio,  –  Stay and fill her space
quédate, quédate  –  Stay, stay

Laura se fue, no dijo adiós  –  Laura went, she did not say goodbye
dejando rota mi pasión,  –  She left my passion broken
Laura quizá ya me olvidó  –  Laura [may have already] forgotten me
y otro rozó su corazón  –  And somebody else broke her heart
y yo sólo sé decir su nombre  –  And I only know to say her name
no recuerdo ni siquiera el mío  –  I don’t even remember mine
quién me abrigará este frío  –  Who will [shelter] me in this cold

y si te como a besos,  –  {And if I kiss you}
tal vez la noche sea más corta,  –  Perhaps the night will be shorter
no lo sé yo solo no me basto,   –  I don’t know, I’m just not enough
quédate y lléname su espacio,  –  Stay and fill her space
quédate, quédate  –  Stay, stay

puede ser difícil para ti  –  It can be difficult for you
pero no puedo olvidarla   –  But I can’t forget her
creo que es lógico,   –  I believe it is logical
por más que yo intente escaparme  –  The more I try to escape
ella está  –  She is here
unas horas jugaré a quererte  –  A couple hours I will play to love you
pero cuando vuelva a amanecer  –  But when the sun returns to rise
me perderás para siempre  –  You will lose me forever

y si te como a besos sabrás – And if I kiss you, you’ll know
lo mucho que me duele  –  How much it hurts me
este dolor   –  this pain
no encontraré en tu abrazo el sabor  –  I will not find in your embrace, the taste
de los sueños que Laura me robó  –  of the dreams that Laura stole from me
si me enredo en tu cuerpo   – If I [tangle] myself in your body
sabrás  –  You will know
que sólo Laura es dueña  –  That only Laura is [the owner]
de mi amor no encontraré en tu abrazo  –  of my love, I wil not find in your embrace
el sabor de los besos que Laura  –  the taste of the kisses that Laura
me robó  –  Laura robbed me
me robó. – Laura robbed me

New words learned:

  • Tregua – Respite ( a short period of rest or relief from something difficult or unpleasant)
  • Abrigar – To shelter (like abrigo, “coat” 😀 )
  • Enredar – To tangle
  • Dueña – Owner, like landlady