Many of our artists have said that Roma musicians strive to express all the strongest emotions that Roma experience. If that’s true, it’s no wonder so many Roma songs are also about sadness, death and dying.
Pašo hrobos tells, in words and music, the experience of a young woman who comes to visit the grave of her mother. She lights a candle at the grave – a common practice in this part of Europe, where even the smallest cemeteries at All Saints Day are completely illuminated by hundreds of candles.
For Roma, these visits often include more than candles. “Whenever we go to visit a grave, we come with music,” says Vojto Miko, who plays guitar on this track. “But we don’t just play sad music – we play music they loved to dance to.” It’s a unique way of fondly remembering their loved ones, and another powerful example of how music infuses almost every corner of Roma life.
Pašo hrobos (At My Mother’s Grave)
Original author unknown, this performance by Mikovci
Pašo hrobos mamo džava,
e momeľi tuke me labarava.
Šun Devloro, soske tu man
iľal mandar bo šukar dajora.
Voľiňdžom man ciknes
sar man prada svetos te bararel.
Mama, when I come to your grave,
I sit down
and light a candle for you.
Listen, God, why have you
punished me, and taken
away my beautiful mother?
Better that I should have died young, than you,
who raised me in this world.
Vocals: Marcela Mikova
Guitars: Vojto Miko, Slavo Pecha Sr.
Special thanks to Julius Pecha for help with translation.