Na srce mi leži – (S*) – Macedonian – update

*S is for Song. So? A song with a life independent of whatever dance it may be attached to. Why that’s important is explained here.

Update: new, better sheet music. Thank you, Jutta Weber-Karn.

The song

Very popular in Macedonian-speaking communities in N. Macedonia, & Pirin, Bulgaria (haven’t found any in Aegean Macedonia, but I suspect it’s there as well).

Naum Petreski with a Čalgija band, 2012.
Andriana, Marinela, Jasmina and Zuica, 2013.
Zuica Lazova 2016.
Blagoevgrad, 1994. singers, Rosica Dureva, Vencislav Tsvetkov
Blagoevgrad, Pirin (Macedonian) Bulgaria

На срце ми лежи мила мамо       Na srce mi lezhi mila mamo        On my heart is lying, mother dear,
на срце ли лежи,                          na srce li lezhi,                             on my heart is lying,
ај на срце ми лежи, мила мамо  aj na srce mi lezhi, mila mamo  Ay! On my heart is lying, mother dear,
една лута змија.                            edna luta zmija.                            a poisonous snake.

Не ми била змија мила мамо       Ne mi bila zmija mila mamo       It was not a snake, mother dear,
не ми била змија,                           ne mi bila zmija,                        it was not a snake.
ај не ми била змија, мила мамо   aj ne mi bila zmija, mila mamo  Ay! It was not a snake, mother dear,
тук' е кара Севда.                          tuk' e kara Sevda.                      here was dark Sevda.

Севдините очи, мила мамо          Sevdinite ochi, mila mamo         Sevda's eyes, mother dear,
Севдините очи,                              Sevdinite ochi,                           Sevda's eyes,
ај Севдините очи, мила мамо       aj Sevdinite ochi, mila mamo     Ay! Sevda's eyes, mother dear,
црни черешови.                             crni chereshovi.                          are black cherries.

Севдините веѓи мила мамо         Sevdinite vegji mila mamo          Sevda's eyebrows, mother dear,
Севдините веѓи,                           Sevdinite vegji,
ај Севдините веѓи мила мамо      aj Sevdinite vegji mila mamo
морски пијавици.                           morski pijavici.                           are sea leeches.

Севдината снага мила мамо       Sevdinata snaga mila mamo       Sevda's figure, mother dear,
Севдината снага,                          Sevdinata snaga,
ај Севдината снага мила мамо   aj Sevdinata snaga mila mamo
тенка ем висока.                          tenka em visoka.                          is slender and tall.

Оди посакај ја, мила мамо          Odi posakaj ja, mila mamo         Go and ask for her, mother dear.
оди посакај ја,                              odi posakaj ja,                            Go and ask for he
ај ако ти ја дадат, мила мамо     aj ako ti ja dadat, mila mamo      Ay! and if they give her, mother dear.
в' пајтон донеси ја.                      v' pajton donesi ja.                    bring her in a carriage (for a wedding).
Ај ако не ја дадат, мила мамо Aj ako ne ja dadat, mila mamo Ay! and if they don't give her, mother dea
постој, погледај ја.                       postoj, pogledaj ja.                    remain watching her.

Sheet Music

May be downloaded here:

The Dance?

I can find no YouTubes showing Macedonians or Bulgarians dancing to Na srce mi lezi mamo in what I consider a “village” social occasion. I can’t even find a YouTube of a performing group doing a dance by that name. I also couldn’t find a reference to the dance being taught at Stockton, or a listing of dance instructions online, or a dance by that name in lists of Macedonian dances. What I did find was a couple of instances of dancers in costume doing generic moves as eye candy for singers’ YouTubes.

Macedonian song given a modern Bulgarian treatment, ca.2012. Sung by Nelina. Dancers are doing folk ballet râčenica moves with devetorka footwork.
At 1:06 dancers are going back and forth in a devetorka SSSQS pattern, repeated at 1:56. At 1:23, and at 2:15 the other group is doing something else.

Then there’s this instruction video at a folklore camp in North Macedonia. The dance shown is a standard Devetorka (12 steps) with 4 walking steps tacked on the beginning of the dance, making it a 16-step pattern, with additional variations. I have no proof, but I suspect this to be a choreography custom-made for the traditional song, not a traditional dance.

Demonstration at the Macedonian Pearl Folk Seminar, Lake Ohrid, Struga, North Macedonia, 2008.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: