Morning Music: Ducu Bertzi

Best of '06 - Ducu BertziI’m not quite sure what we here in the west thought the godless commies were up to in the 1950s and 1960s. But what they were up to was the same things we were up to. They were just poorer. Romania is generally considered the most oppressive of the Soviet autocracies. But just like we were here in the states, the Romanians were having a folk revival in the early 1960s. I’ll have to mine that period in the future.

For now, I’ve discovered a much later artist from the same tradition, Ducu Bertzi. He’s a singer-songwriter from Sighetu Marmației in the northernmost of Romania. I don’t know much about him, other than that he performed a lot with the much more famous Florian Pittiș. You know us Americans: we don’t get out much. Anyway, here is a song, “Suflet Fără Chei” off (at least), Best Of ’06. The literal meaning of the title is “Soul Without Pier.” But Google Translate offers “Keyless Soul.” I think the idea is a soul without a point of access. It sounds very poetic and sad. Regardless, it is beautiful song:

2 thoughts on “Morning Music: Ducu Bertzi

  1. I run the lyrics through Google Translate and the result was atrocious. So here is my humble attempt:

    Soul without keys

    Autumn, winter, summer go by and evening swells up in the hearts
    The wind playing unendingly over your thin ankle
    My palm in prayer is setting over your breasts
    And I am dreaming that you are a real golden bowl filled with saps
    When actually you are a memory, you and your thin ankle
    My hand, alas! is dying on the chords while you are not feeling any pain


    Hey, you, soul without keys
    Without gates and without walls
    You leave only wrinkles in your wake

    Your honey tasting body is shining in the room
    From another time from another life unraveling in the fog
    Only in my words your hot thigh sleeps
    I have you only in my song, you glowing apple shining on a twig
    And I am longing and I am desolate and I am wondering whether I am alive
    My hand, alas! is dying on the chords and you are not feeling any pain

    Summer comes and winter comes, only you don’t come to me
    Your body like a flame stopped coming to my room
    The star is shining in my window where is your blue shadow
    Where are your dear footsteps, your wild strawberry smelling breasts
    And I am cold and I am bitter and I struggle in vain
    My hand, alas! is dying on the chords and you are not feeling any pain

    Tearjerkers are DB’s specialty. In my opinion, his best is “Cind s-o-mpartit norocu”. You will have to learn Romanian to fully appreciate the lyrics. There’s no other way around it :)

    • Thank you! Even a proper linguistic translation normally makes poetry sound horrible. But the images come across surprisingly well here. The nice thing with music is that you don’t especially have to understand the words. But it is true that it is best to understand the language. I’m afraid that Romanian, with all due respect to that great language, is far down my list!

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