Music of the Week: Oct. 29, 2021: Djelem Djelem (Barcelona Gipsy Klezmer Orchestra)

Barcelona Gipsy Klezmer Orchestra - Djelem Djelem
Barcelona Gipsy Klezmer Orchestra - Djelem Djelem

Beautiful song and beautiful voice (Sandra Sangiao).

This song is a tribute to one of the greatest Romani songs and the Roma people. The lyrics were written by Žarko Jovanović in the Romani language in 1949, but the melody already existed among the Romani people of Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania. Supposedly, Žarko Jovanović used the melody but with new lyrics to talk about the atrocities the Roma suffered during World War II. “Djelem Djelem” was adopted as the Romani national anthem at the First World Roma Congress in London in 1971.

The original band doesn’t exist anymore, but the clarinetist, Robindro Nikolić, is working on an interesting cultural project, described here.

More on the Romani people on Wikipedia.