Karamfil – English lyrics

The Karamfil known to folkdancers is not “traditional”. Music and lyrics were composed by Dimtar Janev, Blagoevgrad, sometime after WW2.

For sheet music, click: https://folkdancefootnotes.org/music/sheet-music/karamfil-sheet-music/

Karamfil, sung by Dimchar Kolarov
Lyrics and translation from the MIT Songbook

Quoting an article found in the blog Tanzrichtung (Google translated): “According to the book “Pirinski pesni” by Dimtar Janev (State Publisher Muzika, Sofia, 1980) the song is dedicated to partisan leader Kosta Mitov from the village Vojnjagovo (near the city of Karlovo in the valley of roses in the Balkan Mountains, not in Pirin!), who died in the fight against fascism in the Second World War. This kind of politically charged songs certainly served a nationalist interest at that time. The carnation (Karamfil in Bulgarian is probably a loan word from Turkish) was a symbol for the partisans and when talking about carnations, one meant the partisan fighters. In the book Dances in the Circle Part 5, the description of the Karamfil wrongly refers to the partisans (haiduci) during the Turkish rule in the Balkans, because this ended in 1912 after the First Balkan War.

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