May 14, 2007

How Greek became Bosnian

Bosnian singer Amira performed last night at Södra Teatern in Stockholm to a small intimate crowd. The singer who is not yet 30 years old, has the soul of an old woman in her young voice and with a clear tune sings the traditional Balkan Sevdah whose songs are called sevdalinke. I particularly enjoyed the song Sambaranfil (which is a samba version of the song Karanfil meaning carnation).

The word travels
Sevdalinke can be described as songs of yearning, love and heartache. The word sevdah which comes from the Turkish word sevdah meaning amorous yearning, which in turn comes from the Arabic word sawdha meaning black gall. It was believed by ancient Arab and Greek doctors that the black gall in the human body was responsible for creating a sense of melancholy and irritable mood. Thus in Greek the word for melancholy is the word for black gall, melan hôlos.

In her latest album Rosa, Amira sings traditional Sevdah from Macedonia, Bosnia and Serbia. Listen to the first song of her CD here.

To read about Sevdalinke and listen to other songs click here. I recommend U Trebinju gradu.

11 comments:

Radha said...

Sounds interesting! Great post! :)

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

It is! :) Have a listen to U Trebinju Gradu. It is also playing on Global Themes.

Destitute Rebel said...

This is amazing music, thanks for sharing. I heard it on GT yesterday and just kept on listening.

Diligent Candy said...

Amira is such a nice name ...means Princess....

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Oh you noticed D reb! I love Sevdalinke.

Candy, it sure is :)

musicalchef said...

How interesting! I'll check out some of her songs. The computer i'm on doesn't allow it so i'll have to come back later.

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Hey there Musical Chef!

I also recommend you click on the Sevdalinke link with the song U trebinju Gradu. She does not sing it but it is well worth listening to.

Sevdalinke said...

Interesting to read all these comments here. As a native Bosnian, I am so delighted that the sevdalinka, as a Bosnian authentic traditional lyric song, becomes more and more popular worldwide. I recommend my web site from which you can find out more about sevdalinka at: www.sevdalinke.com

betsy said...

I am an American choral director. I arranged Mujo Kuje for my choir World Harmony Chorus. Can you tell me anything about the history of the song and its song type(is it Sevdah?) I have altered the translation slightly to read better in English.

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