Tuesday, July 12, 2011

DVIJE SUZE IZ DVA OKA - twice tears from two eyes

Dvje Suze iz Dva Oka  could be called  a sevdah just like Majcin Oprostaj,   In fact, the words are nearly the same but the performance is very different.   Nočni  Život, though a band from just a few miles away from the world Meho Puzić was born, is still north of the Sava River and a world apart.   Their performance is good, its excellent in fact, solid, strong, but from a different emotional perspective than the perspective which Puzić brings to the piece.  
       Here's the difference.   Puzić is "city folk."   The Sevdah is the product of folk like him.   Sevdah sprang to life during the middle ages in the towns of Turkish occupied Bosnia, towns where Turkish officials were headquartered with their families, towns where at least the muslims lived by muslim law which sternly separated unmarried women from the unmarried men.  The walls of custom and the real walls were boundaries which impeded love and often made love as impossible as would thousands of miles distance.  Sevdah, especially in those times often expressed the pain and yearning of women enclosed in that system. Sevdah or sevdalinka is often written about as an "urban" cultural form.  
     So sevdah is city folk music.  Mmmm hmmm.  My grandmother had a sister who looked down on her as an unrefined country girl.   Grandmother and Grandfather lived on a farm near Prairie Home, Missouri - in Moniteau County south of Columbia.  Prairie Home had five or six hundred people in those days.  Grandmother's sister lived in California. California, Missouri that is.  A town of maybe three thousand souls.  California, Missouri was "urban" compared to the rural farming community. Grandmother's sister most surely did not feed the chickens and slop the hogs. Nor did she have a cellar where she stored vegetables from her garden. When grandmother opened her canned beets she carefully washed the jar to reuse it next season.  Her sister just threw away the metal can which she opened.  Life in the big city was decidedly different from life on the farm. However, my dear great-aunt would have been totally lost in Houston or San Francisco or even St Louis. 
     Where are we going with this?    Nočni  Život mostly sing to a young urban crowd - the crowd Americans used to sometimes call "Urban Cowboys".   You know the crowd I mean, the "country crowd" who wear expensive boots you wouldn't really use in a cow pen and listen to rock music.  The crowd they sing to lives and works in Zagreb or in Berlin.  They have roots somehow in the country but they work in the city and they aren't going back except to visit.   
      Nočni  Život is as good a Country-Western band as you will find anywhere in the world - even in Texas.   As I write this, I'm listening to them sing "Suspicious Minds" in as good English as any American group you will ever find.  Oops, and now here comes "Laku noc ljubavi" (good night love) where oddly enough they really come closer to the emotional  flavor expressed by that special Balkan waver in the music which characterizes a Sevdah than they do in "Dvje Suze iz Dva Oka." Nočni  Život is another successful working  "wedding band."  They have a wedding to play for this Friday and another wedding this Saturday.
      The difference between  Meho Puzić and Nočni  Život might be compared to the difference between the perspective from Luchenbach, Texas as Willie Nelson sings "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" and the way in which Elvis Presley sang the same song. Its like that with  Puzić and the young men of  Nočni  Život.  Both are fantastic, both are highly emotive,  but they are simply decidedly different in their approach to the music.
       Here is a comment made by a visitor over on YouTube.  Maybe he explains it all better than I have.
"pjesma ne ide u ovom ritmu, originalni ritam je 7/8...ali u svakom slučaju odlično otpjevano i odsvirano, tu nema dileme! prijatan pozdrav"  In English that's: "song does not go into this rhythm, the rhythm of the original [is] 7/8...but in any case perfectly sung and played, there is no dilemma! pleasant greeting "
Nočni  Život
For those who want the tekst:
Hitao je sinak majci
koja bolna bi
da je zivu zatekne
da mu halali, da mu oprosti

Dvije suze iz dva oka
na majcin su mezar pale
dvije ruze na mezaru
iz suza su procvjetale

Zatekao nije majku
dok mu ziva bi
duge pute prevalio
da mu halali, da mu oprosti

Zatvorila majka oci
sta je bilo, bi
sin je nije zatekao
da mu halali, da mu oprosti

The English translation will be almost the same as I gave on Majcin Oprostaj, maybe go look over there if you must have it?


do sljedeći put, blagoslov - until next time, blessings,

Canovals a.k.a. Slavonac

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