This is one of many Roma folk songs director Ružena Klemparova learned in her childhood from her musician father. It’s origins are unknown. While many of those songs are about love, others like this one are about sadness and the hard realities of everyday life. “For Roma, music is life. In music they’re able to express everything. Their feelings. Their sorrow, their pain, their joy – this is how their emotions are revealed, through music. And with Roma this is how it’s been from generation to generation.”
Roma certainly have their share of pain and sorrow to sing about. Their history is filled with stories of persecution and rejection, even slavery and holocaust. Today, they face discrimination and generational cycles of material poverty, especially here in Central and Eastern Europe.
But through all of it, music has been a way the Roma people have expressed themselves – and even learned to move through it. “Into our music we have to put our sorrow, our joy, and express everything this way…” says Klemparova. “Through music, it’s easier to survive life and to overcome difficulties.”
Šun phrala (Listen, Brother)
Roma folk song
I’ve come to you.
No one else will give me anything,
You threw me out,
And left me hungry.
Dear God, where will I go now?
K tebe som prišiel.
Nie je kto aby mi niečo dal,
Vyhodil si ma von
A hladného si ma nechal.
Bože, Bože kde pôjdem?
Musical Director – Rosalia Klemparova
Instruments – Martin Ferkov, Alex Rybar
Voices – Galakticka Children’s Choir