Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Desteapte-te Romane

Update: Tracy requested the lyrics and translation, which are here at the link.. Beyond the first line, I can pull out only isolated words while listening, except for the phrase "Acum ori niciodata," which means "now or never." Reading the translation, it's longer, angrier, and bloodier than I remembered. Well, it's the Balkans.

I keep coming back to these. Re-re-post.

Christmas Day, 1989, the tyrant Ceausescu was finally overthrown. Congratulations, Romania. Chris doesn't remember any of the revolution. J-A was four, and remembers the crowds in the street shouting "Iliescu Sus! Ceausescu Jos!" Which turned out to be Romanian for "Out of the frying pan, into the fire," but it was a start. They have a great national anthem. If you listen to all three one after the other, you will be a little bit Romanian at the end.

We got the only two Romanians who can't sing, by the way.

These three (now four!) performances of the Romanian national anthem ("Romanians, Awake!")* will tell you everything you need to know about the culture since the revolution of December 1989. If you are pressed for time, the first one - the pop version - will tell you enough.

You have to admit, these folks put a lot into the anthem, though not with expressions we usually associate with patriotism in America. Defiance, joy, smoldering sexual display - yeah, that's them.

The Rock Version

And the national rugby team.

*What, you thought Dragostea din Tei was the national anthem? No, that would be Romania's contribution to middle-school culture worldwide.


Assistant Village Idiot's wife said...

I think you should post the words in Romanian and English. The rugby one is both hilarious and painful.

Gingo said...

I preferred the rock and rugby versions due to my preference for multiple voices over solo voices, even with some of the rugby singers lapsing into atonality.

The preference may come from listening to Doo Wop during my childhood.

Jan said...

My deep dark confession is that even though I don't like pop music, much less Euro-pop, I love Dragostea Din Tei. Lo, the mighty have fallen. The interesting thing is that I know someone who's last name is Hajduk (pronounced high-duke), but I don't remember if he's of Romanian or Hungarian extraction.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Haiduc means outlaw, brigand, robber. I believe it is originally Hungarian, and in the spelling you give could be anything in the Balkans.

We have always had a fondness for Dragostea Din Tei in this family, even while making fun of it.

Posting the words to the national anthem might be interesting. They aren't that great, actually. Very typical 1848 nationalism-as-near-religion.

The translation of Dragostea Din Tei, OTOH, is disputed and interesting. It's one of the few things I could do without looking things up.

Kurt said...

I enjoyed watching these the first time you posted them, and I'm sure I'll enjoy watching them again now. :-)

jaed said...

We got the only two Romanians who can't sing, by the way.

In that case, it seems your sons lead a double life as players for the national Romanian rugby team.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Good point