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.