Până când nu te iubeam, (Hora Veche) ca.1850 – Romania

Până când nu te iubeam (Dorule, dorule) is the name of a Romanian song, ca. 1850. [Somehow it has acquired the alternate name of Hora Veche (translates as ‘old dance’) – no relation to the Romanian dance Hora Veche].

Muntenia (orange) within modern Romania (Yellow). Modern Bulgaria is below, though both were still technically under Ottoman rule. Russia is on the right, young Serbia, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire are on the left.

Over the past few hundred years, Muntenia had struggled to free itself from Ottoman rule, and by 1850, though technically still under the Ottomans, Austrian and Russian troops had occupied it frequently. Western notions were circulating on how to run a country, its economy, even what constituted art and music. I have no documentation concerning the origin of this song, other than it’s supposedly from Muntenia. It sounds ‘oriental’ (not Romanian in the folk sense), but in a style that Western composers would write of the ‘orient’ – like a Hollywood soundtrack. Images of smokey harems and snakes rising out of baskets. Pure speculation on my part, but I’m guessing someone in a court orchestra, say from the Russian or Austrian embassy, heard (or composed) a melody and and orchestrated it according to Western ideas of Eastern melody and chord structure. Anyone care to enlighten me?

Whatever its origins, Până când nu te iubeam (Dorule, dorule), was and is a Romanian classic, at least among the urban concert-and-theatre-going crowd. Below it is sung by ‘Romania’s Piaf’, Maria Tanase.

"Before I fell in love with you, my love, my love, 
I used to sleep like a baby, my love, my love.
Since I fell in love with you, my love, my love,
I’ve been restless, my love, my love.

I go out of the house, my love, my love,
I don't know where to go, my love, my love,
My poor heart, my love, my love,
It can belong only to you, my love, my love…."
Here’s a slightly different set of lyrics. Seeing all these Romanian orthodox churches and monasteries makes me wonder if the music’s origins are also related to ancient Church music. Perhaps that was the YouTube creator’s intention.

Până când nu te iubeam
Până când nu te iubeam Dorule, dorule,
Unde mă culcam dormeam. Dorule, dorule.
Acum de când te iubesc. Dorule, dorule,
Nu poci să mă odihnesc. Dorule, dorule.
Răpui, mă sfârșesc de dor, Dorule, dorule,
Fără nici un ajutor Dorule, dorule.
Arz, mă frig în mare foc, Dorule, dorule,
N'am astâmpăr la un loc, Dorule, dorule.
Ah, dar nu te'mpotrivi! Dorule, dorule,
Rog a te milostivi. Dorule, dorule.
Before I Fell in Love with You
Before I fell in love with you, My love, my love,
I used to sleep like a baby, My love, my love.
Since I fell in love with you, My love, my love,
I’ve been restless, My love, my love.
I’m dying, this longing is tearing me apart, My love, my love,
I’m helpless, My love, my love.
I’m burning, I’m on fire, My love, my love,
I can’t find some peace of mind, My love, my love.
Oh, but don’t fight it! My love, my love,
Please have mercy, My love, my love.
Oh, but don’t fight it! My love, my love,
Please have mercy, My love, my love.

Current popularity due to Pink Martini

Wikipedia says “Pink Martini is a musical group that was formed in 1994 by pianist Thomas Lauderdale in Portland, Oregon. Members of the band call it a little orchestra that crosses the genres of classical music, classic pop, Latin music, and jazz.[2] The co-lead vocalists for Pink Martini are China Forbes[3] and Storm Large.

Thomas Lauderdale worked in politics in 1994 in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. He considered the music at most fundraisers loud and boring. He founded Pink Martini as a remedy, crossing the genres of jazz, classical music, and traditional pop to appeal to a broad audience. During the following year, he called China Forbes, a classmate from Harvard, and invited her to join the band. Their first single, “Sympathique”, was nominated for Song of the Year at the Victoires de la Musique Awards in France.

Forbes is monolingual but sings in 15 languages. “All of us in Pink Martini have studied different languages as well as different styles of music from different parts of the world,” says Lauderdale. “So inevitably, our repertoire is wildly diverse. At one moment, you feel like you’re in the middle of a samba parade in Rio de Janeiro, and in the next moment, you’re in a French music hall of the 1930s or a palazzo in Napoli. It’s a bit like an urban musical travelogue. We’re very much an American band, but we spend a lot of time abroad and therefore have the incredible diplomatic opportunity to represent a broader, more inclusive America… the America which remains the most heterogeneously populated country in the world… composed of people of every country, every language, every religion.”[4] Featuring 10–12 musicians, Pink Martini performs its multilingual repertoire on concert stages and with symphony orchestras throughout the world.

Sheet music can be found here: http://www.folkloretanznoten.de/HoraVeche.pdf

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: