Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Zvijezda tjera Mjeseca is one of those amazingly pervasive songs which has been around quite a long time.  It's origins are unmistakably traditional sevdah. The distinctly woman's point of view in the poetry has not kept a number of men singers away from performing it.  Stari Prijatelji and many others sing this song in all kinds of venues. The Duo Moma i Maria give a pleasing live performance in a party setting which they have posted to youtube.
Hanka Paldum '- Večer Sevdaha Lisinski 2011
Hanka Paldum, who performs for our video here,  was born 28 April 1956. She was the oldest daughter of Mujo and Pemba who lived in modest circumstances in Čajniče, a community  in the south east of Bosna i Hercegovina near where BIH borders with Crnagora. She has two brothers, Mustafa and Smail and two sisters, Rasema and Raza. Pemba wove carpets for the market.  Some of you who know me personally will not be at all surprised to learn that Mujo, her father was a lumberman employed by Orah Stakorina which besides producing fir lumber, also manufactures steamed beech wood products used for solid wood furniture as well as other specialties such as wooden boxes for munitions.
location of Čajniče  in BiH
Everyone around her noticed Hanka's special voice even when she was a child. Music teachers took her under their wing and encouraged her.  After the family moved to Sarajevo area, Mustafa, her older brother accompanied her to sing in public venues.  Hanka's career began in In 1975 at an amateur contest Pjevamo danu mladosti Sing for Youth Day), where she sang Pokraj puta rodila jabuka,”  (by roadside born apples) written by Mijat Božovi.  Aferward she toured with Meho Puzić and others.
In 1978 she married Muradif Brkic. In 1979 they founded Sarajevodisk to oversee the production of her recordings. Her break through into the people's hearts came with “Voljela sam, voljela” (I am loved, I loved) which Nikola Borota - Radovan recorded in a highly unusual and irregular but state-of-the-art home studio. With Radovan's genius beside her and the encouragment of others, she broke into the history of Balkan music by using electronic synthesizers along side the usual array of traditional instruments.  Today that does not seem unusual, but back then, that was groundbreaking work. If it seems sometimes that electronic synthesizers, keyboards we call them now, seem to have been designed especially to replicate the sounds of Balkan instruments, its because they were.   Hehe, remember that the next time you listen to Rock music.  From that time to the present Hanka Paldum has stood at the top of the charts and is known as the finest sevdah singer of all times.

For more about her you are encouraged to visit the official Hanka Paldum web page which of course is on the croatian language and where there are many photographs and lots of music to listen to.   Clicking on the link above will take you to a new page while leaving this one open so you may return here easily.

Zvijezda tjera Mjeseca text:
Zvijezda tjera mjeseca
za goru ga otjera

Za goricom vodica
na vodici curica
bijelo lice umiva

Daj mi malo vodice
iz te bijele rucice

Ne dam dragi ni kapi
nek' ti dusa izlapi
zbog sinocne besjede

Zbog sinocne besjede
i rumene jabuke

Drugoj dajes rumene
meni mladoj uvele
uvela ti dusa ta

Uvela ti dusa ta

on English:
the star is chasing the moon
it chased it to the mountain

at the mountain there was water
by the water there was a girl
she was washing her white face

give me a bit water
from those white hands

dear I won't even give you a drop
let your soul evaporate
because of the last night story

because of the last night story
and ruddy apples

You're giving another (woman) ruddy (apples)
to  young  me you're giving faded ones

your soul  fades

your soul  fades

In this poetry there are the images of the evening/morning star Danica and the Moon deeply rooted in the south Slavic cultures. My interpretation of this is that the young woman's beloved has been unfaithful.  The apples are symbolic of certain features of his physical manhood which as far as she is concerned may now go shrivel up and fall off.   In this video I used a bit of nudity or near nudity.  At the time I did this I thought I was being tasteful and careful in the way I used the material to tell the story.   At the present I am not so sure that was the correct way to proceed.   We will talk more about this another time, at the present I am not making videos with this much skin in view.   

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

Canovals a.k.a. Slavonac

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