Ljubismo se, hej, lane moje (434)
To read about my project on Velika Narodna Lira, see my introduction post here.
I absolutely love this up-tempo number. There is very little about this song on the internet. Older versions of the song were recorded by Veselinka Ivančević and Vera Svoboda (above). It was also released on Merima Njegomir's 1994 album Tamburice kad bi plakat’ znale and is known as one of her beloved recordings.
Ivančević sings the song as written below, whereas Njegomir repeats the final line of every verse. Svoboda's version is called "Ljubismo Se Diko Iz Malena," (originally released in 1970 on Jugoton) and she also repeats the final line of every verse.
But the version I prefer is from the women’s singing group Melizimi, who sings the song a cappella and adds a vocal harmony.
Their version is also the only one that uses “hej” as opposed to “ej”; I don’t think this is really significant, I just thought I’d point it out! It’s not clear if this is how it was originally sung (or similar to how it was originally sung) and then artists recorded it, or if the artists recorded it and it was transposed into the etno format. I wasn’t able to find any specific information about the author of the text or melody, as I am in some cases. It works well both ways – even though in my opinion, Njegomir’s and Ivančević’s higher intonation and more formal singing style don’t fit the dance mood of the song as well.
Here’s another version of a women’s singing group (unspecified), with backup instruments and without the harmony. Both groups sing a shortened version, skipping verses three and four as written below. Both groups also repeat the last line of each verse as Njegomir and Svoboda do.
I found this song a bit hard to translate, but I tried my best!
Ljubismo se, hej, lane moje,
Ljubismo se, lane, diko iz malena,
Hej, lane, šalaj lane, diko iz malena.
To je ljubav, hej lane moje
To je ljubav, lane, nezaboravljena.
Hej, lane, šalaj lane, nezaboravljena.
Nemoj diko, hej lane moje,
Nemoj, diko, lane, nuz mene igrati,
Hej lane, šalaj lane, nuz mene igrati,
Već popreko, hej lane moje,
Već popreko, lane, da te vidi neko.
Hej, lane, šalaj lane, da te vidi neko.
Igra kolo, hej lane moje
Igra kolo, lane, dika mi se vije.
Hej lane, šalaj lane, dika mi se vije.
Preko kola, hej lane moje,
Preko kola, lane, dika mi se smije.
Hej lane, šalaj lane, dika mi se smije.
We’re kissing, hey, my dear,
We’re kissing, dear, sweetheart from my childhood,
Hey, dear, tell a joke, dear, sweetheart from my childhood.
That’s love, hey, my dear,
That’s love, dear, unforgettable.
Hey, dear, tell a joke, dear, unforgettable.
Don’t, sweetheart, hey, my dear,
Don’t, sweetheart, dear, play with me,
Hey dear, tell a joke, dear, play with me.
Go over there, hey, my dear,
Go over there, dear, so someone can see you.
Hey dear, tell a joke, dear, so someone can see you.
Dance the kolo, hey, my dear,
Dance the kolo, dear, my sweetheart twists me,
Hey dear, tell a joke, dear, my sweetheart twists me.
Across the kolo, hey, my dear,
Across the kolo, dear, my sweetheart laughs at me.
Hey, dear, tell a joke, dear, my sweetheart laughs at me.
In the lyrics, we have the mention of “kolo,” the communal circular dance, which explains the tempo and brightness of the song. Although I did not find any videos of dancing to this song, perhaps it is meant to be sung while dancing.
A Wikipedia article places the song in Vojvodina (much of the northern part of today’s Serbia, and an autonomous province in the country), which makes sense melodically and lyrically. Ivančević was known as a singer of Vojvodina songs, Svoboda is from Osijek in today's Croatia, a town very near the border of Vojvodina, and the women’s singing group above is also from Vojvodina, lending further credence to this.
You can find a collection of all the songs from Velika Narodna Lira that are available on Spotify on my playlist.