La Inveterada Memòria

El racó d'Ari i Linus Fontrodona

6 de febrer de 2017
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Nane tsoxa – I’ve no skirt – No tinc faldilla

[Post d’Ari Fontrodona, publicat en anglès al seu blog personal a WordPress el 29 de novembre de 2016. El reposo aquí amb una introducció en català de la meva mà i un post-escrit, en anglès, també meu.]

Als eventuals lectors -i escoltadors- d’aquest país nostre els resultarà probablement familiar la cançó romaní que l’Ari comenta, transcriu i tradueix aquí, ja que era la música d’inici d’un programa ben conegut de Catalunya Ràdio: “El Cafè de la República”, que conduïa el malaurat Joan Barril.

Em fa tot l’efecte que molta gent sentia sovint aquesta música i aquesta lletra sense tenir cap idea d’on venia ni en quina llengua era cantada, ni potser qui la tocava i cantava… Si és així -que ho és- i encara hi ha algú que no se n’ha assabentat, aquest post els treurà de tot dubte. Jo crec que, a sobre, els hi agradarà. Potser també els agradarà de tornar a sentir la cançó… (Jo ho faig moltes vegades, perquè és bonica de debò!)

Publico el post original tal com fou escrit; en anglès:

The French group “Bratsch” has played quite a few Romani songs during decades. Soon, next December they will give up performance.
I want to share a favourite old standard of our traditional folk music as a memory of them and a farewell to them: “Nane tsoxa” * (I’ve no skirt). It’s sung in a North Russian dialect of Romani, called Xaladikta. And it’s a lovely song, which speaks of a girl who has no skirt (tsoxa) and no blouse (gad) to dress nicely, and, somewhat blatantly, asks her father to buy them for her.

(*) [The word “tsora” in the video’s title (and in the disc’s) is not rightly transcribed using the latin alphabet and following the best accepted convention among Romani people to use “x” to represent a more o less aspirated “h” depending on the dialect.]

This is a transcription of the lyrics as Bratsch sing them:

Nane tsoxa, nane gad,
Me kinel mange jo-dad!
Sir vidtjala palorrom,
Me kinel mange jo-rrom!

Dado, kin mange chenja,
O chenja sumnakune.
Na kinesa o chenja,
Na beshava dro chjaja!

Zagejom me drej da sado,
Zriskirdjom me cveto,
Prekirdjom les ke shero,
Te kames miro ilo. (TWICE)

Nane tsoxa, nane gad,
Me kinel mange jo-dad!
Sir vidtjala palorrom,
Me kinel mange jo-rrom!


I’ve no skirt, I’ve no blouse / Buy them for me, dad! / If I get married, / Buy them for me, husband!

Daddy, buy me earrings, / Earrings of gold. / If you don’t buy the earrings, / I won’t be maiden for long!

I went into a garden, / I picked up a flower, / I fixed it to my head, / For you to want my heart.

I’ve no skirt, I’ve no blouse / Buy them for me, dad! / If I get married, / Buy them for me, husband!

Comment by Li Fontrodona

   This post, with the lyrics -but without a translation into English-, was published twice by my sister in G+ and in WP; the first time nearly a year ago, and later -with a different comment-, very soon after becoming engaged. Just then she said to me: “The day I marry I will sing and dance ‘Nane Tsoxa’ as it should be sung and danced: wearing no ‘tsoxa’ and no ‘gad’; while my ‘rrom’ plays the guitar … as far as he is able to -I really expect he won’t  reach the last stanza and will rush to hold me instead of his guitar!”

   Let me explain that my sister did not get a proper skirt until she was eleven or twelve years old, and even then she got them second hand -and quite worn out- through one of her school mates, and paid for them with a couple of her favourite Tintin albums; and afterwards she had to adapt them to her narrower waist and hips. Blouses, she had some, but not at all like she liked, so she had to trade more comics and diverse stuff at school to obtain nicer ones. I mean that this lyrics did really seem likeable and coherent to her, in spite of us not being wharfs, indigent children or something alike.

   May you be merrily dancing this with the angels, sweetheart!

   – Linus Fontrodona

[A last word about how to dance this song… I’m not expert, but as far I saw Ari dance it, she did it more or less like this other Romani-Russian tradicional tune (‘Schachlo’) -which has the same accelerated tempo and ends being just as fast]:

-The featured image at the header is an oil painting by Christopher Clark, called “The Gypsy Dancer”

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