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South-West Tsiganea is a country with centuries old traditions . The Trabant still drives around. A land of remote villages, where peoples from far and beyond once settled and brought in their culture. A land where borders disappear and water connects.

The musicians of Trio Trabant made their way down the River Trabo and marvelled the glroty of past and present. They started listening and playing. In the capital city of Trabantia, they found a sizzling mix of music and dance where all influences meet. And when you zoom in, the details stand out. Here women also dance the men’s dances, and everyone plays and dances with each other.

In South-West Tsiganea, musicians play on all occasions, for everyone, for city and country. Music for dancing, listening, mourning and for any party.

1 - Trabant & Örkő

The blue Trabant drove to a remote place. Far away in the rural swamp at the foot of the South-West Tsiganean Carpathians. There used to be a border here, the road ended.

At the end of a cart track, Trio Trabant learned the cigányos and sebes cigányos from the gypsies of Örkő. Wooden houses, campfires, a river to wash oneself, beautiful people and music. A lót of beautiful music.

Melancholy and passion, fire in our hearts. That’s Örkő.

00:00 Cigányos: Elvitte az árviz a pallót

Elvitte az árviz a pallót
Nem az a szeretőm aki volt
Visszahozza sej, haj, szeredára, estére
Az lesz a szeretőm aki volt

The flood washed away the board. I can no longer reach my sweetheart. Come back to me, come Wednesday night, and be my sweetheart, the one you once were.

01:12 Cigányos: Lassan kocsis a fagyon

Lassan kocsis a fagyon, a fagyon
Azt se tudom, hol lakik a galambom
Ott lakik a sáros utcába
Piros rózsa nyílik az ablakába

Horse and carriage drive slowly through the ice cold street. Where does my sweetheart live? There, in the muddy street, at that open window, lives Rozsa.

02:10 Cigányos: Hosszú szárú laboda

Hosszú szárú laboda, nem termettem dologra
Lábam termett a táncra, szemem a kacsintásra
Aj devlále, meg kell halni
tőled babám meg kell válni devlále

I don’t have my long legs to work, I have them to dance! Hear, hear, my sweetheart, with you I imagine myself in heaven.

03:04 Sebes cigányos in Am

04:15 Sebes cigányos: Nincsen kenyér, nincsen só

The nincsen kenyér nincsen só
Nincs a feleségem jó csuhajja
Majd lesz kenyér majd lesz só
Majd lesz feleségem jó csuhajja

No bread, no salt, my sweetheart is not doing well at all! If there were bread and salt, my sweetheart would be fine.

04:55 Sebes cigányos: Kifuttam az állomásra

Kifuttam az állomásra
Jegyet váltok Angyalosra
Angyalosról Martonosra
Veszek néki cigarettát

Op het station heb ik Angeline’s ticket omgewisseld zodat ik voor Martonos sigaretten kon kopen.

05:29 Sebes cigányos: Hajam, hajam, hajam szála

Hajam, hajam, hajam szála
Mennyi bánat szállott rája
Szállott volna az urakra
Ne a szegény cigányokra

Hajam, hajam, hajam szála
Mennyi bánat szállott rája
Mér nem száll a nagy urakra
Csak a csóró cigányokra

I pull all my hair off my head with sorrow. If I hadn’t been a gypsy girl — and you weren’t a poor gypsy — you wouldn’t have left me.

I pull all my hair off my head with sorrow. Why does the sorrow fall on the poor gypsies only and not on the rich people?

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Hilde – violin, vocals
Winfried– vocals, kontra
Frank– double bass, vocals

2 - Szól a kakas már

This song was written by Rabbi Yitzsak Taub in the second half of the18th-century in Nagykálló (Kaliv), eastern Hungary. It’s a popular song that is mostly about waiting … waiting for the end of the diaspora, the end of darkness. Until then, there is nothing but hope.

Symbol of hope is an enticing bird with yellow legs and blue wings. The bird has to wait, but will belong to me some day.

Szól a kakas már
Majd megvirrad már
Zöld erdőben, sík mezőben
Sétál egy madár

Micsoda madár,
Micsoda madár!
Sárga lába, kék a szárnya
Engem oda vár

Várj, madár, várj
Te csak mindig várj
Ha az Isten neked rendelt
Tied leszek már

At the crack of dawn, a special bird walks, in the green forest, on the flat field. I call on the bird. Wait! When God has finally decided, you will be mine.

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Hilde – violin, vocals
Winfried– vocals, accordion
Frank– double bass, vocals

3- Campanula carpatica

Two Romanian melodies, marșul miresei and învârtita, are combined in the South-West Tsiganean Carpathians with a Hungarian lament or hajnali. The marșul is a wedding march and the taragot reaches lyrical heights.

Then the învârtita Când eram mai mic comes. In Romanian the song describes the carefree youth that ended when I met you, my darling.

Finally, in the hajnali, translated into the Dutch dialect of Groningen, tragedy has struck. In a cemetery with blue flowers, in salty chill, the personator calls on the lost lover. Silent witness is the rampant blue bellflower, the Campanula carpatica.

00:00 Marșul miresei din Scărișoara

02:29 Învârtita: Când eram mai mic

Când eram mai mic, nu stiam nimic
Si trãiam în lume mult mai fericit
Doruri mari si chinuri grele, la inimã nu aveam
Nici pe tine, mândrã dragã, nu te cunosteam

When I was younger, I didn’t know anything and I was much happier. No great wishes but also no big worries, I didn’t know you yet, my darling.

04:05 Hajnali: Kék virágos

The hajnali below is a retranslation into the Dutch dialect of Groningen of the Hungarian Kék virágos:

Blaauwklokjes bluien rondom slichte zaarken hin
Loat din n graf, zaacht mie beschaarmen tegen zolte wind
Zai mie ais stoan, nimmer sawstoe n dommer slaif
Kiek nooit meer noar n aander, zuik mie hier, mien laifstelaif

Blue bellflowers bloom at grey headstones, not much of a protection from the salty wind.
Never look at somebody else again, my dearest, look for this fool over here.

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Hilde – violin, vocals
Winfried– vocals, accordion
Frank– double bass, tárogáto

4 - Two violins and a drum and a flea

The simple melodies from Felcsik inspired to a variation with trumpet-violin, violin and clarinet. The sequel is a song about a flea, a freeloader.

A flea with a large nose, large eyes, large nails and a big belly. A visitor who often passes by, drinks immensely and hangs around till the party starts.

A party – accompanied by the ütőgardon (beat-cello) – where the csárdás inevitably turns into fast (friss) dances.

Symbol of hope is an enticing bird with yellow legs and blue wings. The bird has to wait, but will belong to me some day.

00:00 Csárdás: Egy nagy orrú bolha

Egy nagy orrú bolha
Úgy nálunk kapott volt
Ebéden, vacsorán
Mindig csak nálunk volt

Freely translated and using a second verse:

Big-nosed flea, hey, flea that stuffs itself, yes
Giant flea, giant nose, smells from far pogácsa
Freeloading flea, hey, bocsánat, come on, well
Giant flea, in those guts, will fit the whole Danube

01:05 Csárdás: Egy szép napon

01:53 Friss: Fáj a kutyámnak a lába

02:34 Friss: Elvesztettem kecskéimet

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Hildetrumpet violin
Winfried– vocals, violin
Frank– clarinet, gardon

5 - Neti's Kalotaszeg

In Transylvania, in the lovely Kalotaszeg with its rich folkore in the village of Méra, one of the inspirations of Trio Trabant lived.

This series of men’s dance (legényes) and fast couple dance (szapora) is dedicated to the master violinist Sándor Fodor ‘Neti’ (1922-2004). A unique violin player who has added many variations to the music already so rich in itself. A true teacher in music. And a wonderful person!

00:00 Legényes in F

01:08 Legényes in Dm

02:01 Szapora in Am

02:46 Szapora 2 in Am

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Hilde – violin
Winfriedkontra
Frank– double bass

6 - Okke's Tsiganeasca

Okke Kluun was a murderer, the last person who got the death penalty in Groningen. The first song was originally composed as “Sanie cu zurgălăi” (sled with bells) by the Romanian/Jewish Stein.

Later there have been many other versions, including the song about the equally irresistible and insufferable Johnny. Trio Trabant links this tziganeasca to a part of the French chanson and adds a Groningen part to it,

followed by two songs in a gypsy language. In the first, a tormented man fights against the devil, in the second an old man, who never owned a penny, makes the young dancers look like beginners.

00:00 Johnny, tu n’est pas un ange

Music: Richard Stein (1936)
French text: Francis Lemarque (1953)

Johnny, tu n’es pas un ange
Ne crois pas que ça m’dérange
Jour et nuit, je pense à toi, toi,
Te souviens-tu de moi
Qu’au moment où ça t’arrange?
Et quand revient le matin
Tu t’endors sur mon chagrin

Johnny, tu n’es pas un ange!
Johnny! Johnny!
Si tu étais plus galant
Johnny! Johnny!
Je t’aimerais tout autant

01:25 Okke bist een stuk verdrait

Okke, bist n stuk verdrait
I wait t best, but t rakt mie nait
Nachtendag denk ik aan die
Doe, denkst ook wel aais aan mie
Of is t tiepelzinneghaid
En as mörgenzun weer schient
Sloapstoe ien on mien segrien
n Ingel Okke, bistoe nait

Okke, Okke!
Aal bistoe hail gain heer veur mie
Okke, Okke!
Liekewel hol ik van die

Johnny/Okke, you don’t behave like an angel, but it doesn’t affect me. I think of you day and night, you might, if it suits you. And in the morning, you sleep in on my sorrow. Johnny/Okke, even if you were just that little bit more a gentleman … even so, I love you.

02:26 Foku drákuluj

Árgyé foku drákuluj
Kâ m-o dusz mij on kupil
Kâ n-ám zîsz jo gyiriptátyé
Ám zsurát pâ sztrîmbâtátyé

Foku drákuluj
Now mi-j frikâ, dâ-m ugoj
Now mi-j frikâ
Nu misz vigâ dâ nyivoj

Ájoj, tátâ, sj-áj fâkut
Tatâ naptye m-áj bâtut
Ádâ mámâ funyijé táré
Kit szâ mâ duk jo áfárâ

Devil, leave me alone, I have not spoken the truth, but I am not afraid of your fire. Father why do you beat me, I ask mother for a rope, and devil, leave me alone.

03:33 Náj láso mángé

Náj láso mángé
Náj mán kháncsi lóvé
Zsuti szár mán Dévlá
Szár me trájuváv

Keren shávorrálé drom
Té khélél o phúro rom
Phúro rom té khélélá
Bís táj jék is málávlá

Náj láso mángé
Mangé csorré csorré
Dhik mán ábá tuké
Szár me csorro szom

Look at us, look at the old man, look at how we live, how poor we are. But the old one with his stick, dances the young people out of it.

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Hilde – violin, vocals
Winfried– vocals, accordion
Frank– double bass, vocals

7 - Suită pentru clarinet

The suite starts with a doina. In this song of melancholy and desire, we think of shepherds, on infinite evenings, their sheep grazing on the slopes. A whistle, carved from a reed, provides a distraction, and the improvised melodies spread their melancholy far over the Carpathians.

After the loneliness of the hills there is a party, there is dancing on a Romanian hora. The dancers are in a circle and the steps are simple. Everyone can participate, young or old, woman or man and therefore the dance is very popular.

After the hora, the orchestra plays Joc de nuntă, wedding music. A rich buffet is presented on long tables. The food competes with the irresistible dance music which the musicians can keep up for a long time, sometimes for days.

00:00 Doina bătrână

01:15 Hora bătrânească

02:53 Joc de nuntă

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Hilde – double bass
Winfried– accordion
Frank– clarinet

8 - Dragu' mi-i

Dragu’ mi-i is a popular traditional Romanian song. Trio Trabant knows it through the French group Aksak. The taragot plays the intro.

The meaning of the song is ambiguous. We dance, there is fire, there is love, there is danger. Is there jumping over the fire? Has my sweetheart eaten fire or am I consumed by fire or passion? In South-West Tsiganea, everyone can fill in for themselves.

Accompanied by only the characteristic rhythmic support of the kanna, we weave in a piece of vibrant gypsy scat.

Dragu’ mi-i danţu’ şi jocu’
Şi badea mâncalar focul
Dragu’ mi danţu’ si sara
Şi badea mâncalar boala

Dancing, playing and jumping are the joy of my life, my darling plays with fire. My sweetheart’s passion and fire are consuming me.

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Hilde – violin, vocals
Winfried– vocals, accordion
Frank– double bass, tárogáto, kanna, vocals

9 - Ördöngöszfüzes

The music of Mezőség (Transylvanian Plain) is raw, poignant and heavy, with beautiful melodies. The dance series are immensely popular among a growing group of young South-West Tsiganea dancers in search of the roots of their culture.

Every evening the táncház (dance house) of Trabantia closes with Mezőség. From a Ördöngösfüzes dance series from Mezőség, Trio Trabant first plays a ritka magyar (slow men’s dance). A közjáték (interlude) leads via the cigánytánc (literally gypsy dance, a slow couples dance) to the sűrű csárdás (fast couples dance).

In Transylvanian music a double bass is usually one with only 3 gut strings, without the lowest string, E.

In the Ördöngösfüzes the rhythm function of the bass is priority. Therefore, the bass player only plays the lowest (A) string which is often tuned up to a B or even C.

This, in combination with a short bow, results in the typical raw sound that makes the bass also unamplified well audible for the dancers.

00:00 Ritka Magyar

01:25 Közjáték

02:13 Cigánytánc

This song originally has 5 verses in Hungarian. Trio Trabant sings the fifth verse.

Idegen országban idegen emberek
Járok az utcákon senkit nem ismerek
Szólanék hozzájuk de ők nem értenek
Ezen az én szívem de nagyon kesereg

I am a foreigner and walk through the streets. I would like to talk to someone but no one understands me, no one understands my bitter heart.

03:50 Sűrű csárdás: Zsidótánc

04:29 Sűrű csárdás

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Hilde – violin, vocals
Winfried– vocals, kontra
Frank– double bass, tárogáto, kanna, vocals

10 - Ederlezi

Ederlezi is a traditional song of the Roma gypsies. Ederlezi refers to a festival, with which the Roma celebrate the return of spring. It is on the name day of Saint George (May 6). The version of Goran Bregović in the Emir Kusturica’s film ‘Time of the Gypsies’ has made the song known.

It’s about the Roma who all dance the oro. Like the hora, the oro is a circle dance. As in many gypsy songs, there is an undertone of misery and trouble in the text, because one is too poor to contribute to the party.

Same amala oro kelena
Oro kelena dive kerena
Sa o roma, daje
Sa o roma, babo, babo
Sa o roma, o daje
Sa o roma, babo, babo
Ej, ederlezi
Ederlezi
Sa o roma, daje

All my friends dance the oro and celebrate the day. All Roma, the whole family, all generations gather on Ederlezi, the spring holiday.

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Hilde – vocals
Winfried– vocals, accordion
Frank– double bass, tárogáto, vocals

1 Trabant & Örkő 06:53
2 Szól a kakas már 04:01
3 Campanula carpatica 06:32
4 Two violins and a drum and a flea 03:23
5 Neti’s Kalotaszeg 03:34
6 Okke’s Tsiganeasca 06:10
7 Suită pentru clarinet 04:00
8 Dragu’ mi-i 05:40
9 Ördöngöszfüzes 05:00
10 Ederlezi 04:32

Total playing time 49:45

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