Lorke (L* and 2*), Loorke, Լորկե – Kurdish/Armenian, Anatolian

*a Living dance is a 1st Generation dance that is still performed in the country of origin (or immigrant communities) as part of a social event like a wedding where others can participate (not for an audience) by people who learned the dance informally (from friends and relatives by observation and imitation, not in a classroom situation). For more information, click here and here.


Let’s start with the first controversy. Kurds and Armenians have different ideas of the origin and meaning of the word Lorke. From the 525 comments under the YouTube below:

“Lorke is Kurdish word and song. Lorke is mean make cheese. Lor is kind a cheese and -ke is mean make in Kurdish. Like “neke,bike,ceke,seke….”. “Lorke Lorke xanim/xatun lorke.”

“Lor means quail and -ke is a suffix. It means the exact same thing because it was borrowed from Armenian.”

“Lor-Lorik means quark in english and -ke means do. Lorke means prepare quark in Kurdish.”

“Lorik is a food that is eaten in breakfasts. Made from milk.
And -ke is a word in Kurdish grammar.exp: ‘temashe ke’ watch ‘temashe neke’ don’t watch.”

“Lorik or Lor(folk) means quail in Armenian.”

“The word “Lorkê” is Kurdish and means “berceuse” / “lullaby”. Even the “ê” at the end of “Lorkê” signals the feminine vocative case in Kurdish: “Kurdish has a vocative case. For instance, in the dialect of Kurmanji, it is created by adding the suffix -o at the end of masculine words and the -ê suffix at the end of feminine ones.” https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vocative_case The word “Lorkê” was simply taken from Kurdish into Armenian.”


Lorke Lorke is an ancient folk song (whether originally Armenian or Kurdish is under constant dispute) with a steadily evolving but always simple and catchy melody and constantly updated lyrics.

Kurdish versions

Kurds point to this recording by Hasan zirak to prove they were the originators of the song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddtyDe8DuKw
Another Kurdish Lorke Lorke with a slightly different melody. At 0:52 I do hear the man singing “Lorke Lorke”. Caption in Kurdish (Google translated) “The music is very good, ten and a half young.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5ydhRQvw_I
Kurdish folk-style. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syYTk6fa00w
Hozan Brader appears to have the definitive Kurdish version. English lyrics, click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMS5Atk6JWI

Armenian versions

Caption (Google translated) Shatakh’s “Lorik jan” (or Lorke) dance song performed by “Akunk” ensemble. The image in the recording is taken from http://www.armenianmusic.am/ website. The hero of this beautiful rural song tells that he comes from Lake Van with a cart loaded with fish. This is one of the songs of Shatakh, and this province, with its city center of the same name, was located south of Lake Van. As it is known, only herring fish breeds in the salty waters of Van. So our song hero went fishing in Van and now he has brought herring to Shatakh to sell. He tells his lover about this, addressing him “Dear Lorik”. From the next words of the young fisherman we understand that he was tired of the torment of the working day, because he sat under the sun for hours, until he caught enough fish, then he traveled a long way, reaching the shores of the lake, now he wants to rest, his head put on the white bosom of his love, thus taking his longing from him. The girl, as it were, listens to the boy’s words, leaves the house, climbs on the roof, so that our fisherman can at least see himself from a distance and miss him. But it does not calm the boy, on the contrary, from the look of the girl it seems to him that his body is melting. In the last part of the song, the boy jokes that the old women have fallen in love. can not even approach his beloved. And he says that if he had left, he would have given red apples to the young brides, and he would have given the old women a tonir mixer, which was freezing from the cold. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqvHLYiFebY
Aida Sargsyan. For an English translation of the lyrics, click here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9efxhNRISg
Kurds dispute the origin…..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLWLf4i84vw
Yerakouyn Band, USA. 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qCX7EUg2YU

Meanwhile many Turks think of it as just another Anatolian folk song.

Some Turks associate it with the city of Diyarbakir. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unPYWN6OKuo
The largest Kurdish-majority city in Turkey. Population (2020) 1,783,431

Turks are also more willing to play with the arrangement.

Silüetler – Lorke Lorke 67 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_U2VGa4AJk
Notice the invading aliens are speaking English. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WuLZEGNTg8


It appears many residents of Anatolia think of Lorke Lorke as a song with which to apply one of their generic dances.

At 0:49 the gang breaks into Lorke Lorke (the Taproot T-6) to celebrate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTUS9qIMRy8
This Kurd appears to be dancing freestyle – spirit over footwork. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EErMb-LXa-E
Turkish wedding, 2010 Again, the Taproot T-6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvu2D5h6sZE
Turks in Tarsus. “Lorke Halayi” seems to mean T-6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmZbOdvQdq8
Another Lorke Halayi. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMgU8EhKbtw
Many Kurds converted to Judaism long ago, and later moved to Israel. A blend of Lorke Lorke and a MIzrahi song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nc0WM2CjsJM
People, probably Turks, from Ursa, dancing in Mersin, Turkey 2018. Dance – a simple step-close. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8S0zOXLEyk
Turkey’s largest seaport is located in the city. As of 2014, the city’s population was 955,106 – Wikipedia

Fixed format – KURDS

Could this simple 3-part dance be traditional? Possibly. Soundtrack is the Brader YouTube above. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-kJUsoroAw
Same dance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xx8BsI2WTk
Yaroslavl, Russia, 2020.Yezidi and/or Kurdish wedding.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGEsg37YHEA

Fixed format – Armenian

Vaspurkan dance group. Same dance as the Kurds above. Which came first? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0Rcjd9UUWo
KARIN Ensemble. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRNWt9CZ2AQ
Gagik teaches the KARIN version. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifJwm4WGFEw
The next generation, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lx4dtrshKaY
Yerevan N50 basic school, 2015 Fitting a simplified KARIN version to the Aida Sargsyan music (above) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YeiG3LYAWw
Tom Bozigian and Sheree King teach a Loorke from Van he learned in Fresno, CA in 1947. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4yHStaZry4

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