Çobankat (2*)- seuAlbanian

*2nd Generation dance. A dance that developed and was disseminated in a non-traditional way. 2G dances are specific – have a fixed format designed to correspond with the arrangement of a particular recording., whereas 1G dances are generic – have a shorter sequence that works with live music – where many different songs are played and arrangements vary according to the tastes of musicians and dancers. For more on the differences between 1st & 2nd G dances click here.

Çobankat is an Albanian folk song, translating as “Shepherdesses”

It’s popular in Albania today, with many YouTube versions.

In 2001 a Turkish group recorded it on their masterpiece CD, Ayde Mori

Here’s the lyrics:

Coban lyr

The CD liner notes say this is a song in the Tosk dialect.  The Tosk are the southern Albanians (see “Albanians” under CULTURE).  During WW2 they allied with Communists to fight the Italian Fascist and later Nazi occupiers (who were supported by their northern cousins, the Ghegs).   The reference to heroes and a red star on the forehead lead me to suspect these lyrics were either applied to an earlier melody, or the music and lyrics were a creation of Tosks during the war.  Communist victory meant the government of the 40’s – 80’s was dominated by Tosks, ensuring continued popularity of the song.

Noted dance instructor Lee Otterholt, who has spent much time in Albania, loved  the Ayde Mori version, and created a choreography to match the recording.  Here’s Lee demonstrating his work.

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