Sephardic tales I

To Zoli Ábrahám

Ensemble Lyrique Ibérique: When King Nimrod. From the CD Romances judéo-espagnoles (1992).

The members of the Ensemble Lyrique Ibérique – Dominique Thibaudat (voice), Nabil Ibn Khalidi (oud), Pierre Rigopoulos (zarb and bendir) – perhaps have not even published any more common CD. This one, however, is worth more than the complete discography of some other. They choose songs from the whole Sephardic world, and they perform them with the dynamism which is so much missing from most Western European Sephardic CDs. (Compare for example this version of King Nimrod with the entertainment version by the Raices.)

Kuando el rey Nimrod al kampo saliya
Mirava en el syelo i en la’streyeriya
Vido lus santa en la djuderiya
K’aviya de naser Avraam avinu.

Avram avinu, padre kerido
padre benditcho, lus de Israel!

La mujer de Terah se kedo prenyada
De diya en diya, el le preguntava.
De ké tenech la kara tan demudada?
Eya saviya el byen ke teniya.

En fin de mueve mezes parir keriya
Iva kaminando por kampos i vinyas,
A su marido, tal, no lo deskuvriya.
Topo una meara, ayi lo paririya.

En akéya ora el nasido avlava:
Andadvos mi madre, de la meara.
Yo ya topo kyen m’aletchara,
Malah del yelo me akompanyara,
Porke so kriyado del Dyo benditcho.
When King Nimrod went out to the fields
He looked upon the sky and the stars
He saw holy light above the Jewish quarter
Because in that time father Abraham was born.

Father Abraham, our beloved father,
our blessed father, the light of Israel!

The wife of Terah became pregnant
Her husband asked her day by day:
Why has your face changed so much?
She knew well the treasure she was carrying.

After nine months she wanted to give birth
She roamed on the fields and in the vineyards
She did not disclose her secret to her husband
She found a cave and there she gave birth.

In that hour the newborn spoke:
Go away, my mother, from the cave.
There will be someone to feed me,
An angel of heaven will accompany me
For I am the servant of the blessed God.

Savina Yannatou and the Primavera en Salonico: The dream of the princess. From the CD Άνοιξη στη Σαλονίκη (Spring in Saloniki, 1995).

Savina Yannatou in her more than twenty CDs sings the traditional songs of the whole Mediterranean and even more distant lands (in one of them for example a Moldovan Hungarian – „Csángó” – song, in Hungarian). This first CD of her, presenting the results of an ethnomusicological research in Thessaloniki, was completely dedicated to the music of the once numerous and rich Sephardic population of Saloniki. (For our favorite song in this CD see another tale.)

El rey de Francia tres hijas tenía
La una labrava, la otra cusía,
la más chica de ellas bastidor hacía.
Labrando labrando sueño le caía.
Su madre que la vía, aharvar la quería.

– No me aharveš mi madre, ni me aharvaríaš
Un sueño me soñaba, bien y allegría.
– Sueño vos soñabaš, yo vo lo soltaría.
– Me aparí a la puerta, vide la luna entera.
Me aparí a la ventana, vide la estrella Diana.
Me aparí al pozo, vide un pilar de oro
con tres pajaricos picando el oro.

– La luna entera es la tu suegra.
La estrella Diana es la tu cuñada.
Los tres pajaricos son tus cuñadicos.
Y el pilar de oro,
el hijo del rey, tu novio.
The King of France had three daughters
One weaved, the other sew
and the youngest of them embroidered.
As she was working, a dream fell upon her.
Her mother saw it and wanted to beat her.

– Don’t beat me, mother, don’t beat me
I have seen a dream, joy and happiness.
– If you saw a dream, I will solve it for you.
– I stood at the door and saw the full moon.
I stood at the window and saw the morning star.
I stood at the well and saw a golden column,
three little birds were picking the gold.

– The full moon is your mother-in-law.
The morning star is your sister-in-law.
The three little birds are your nephews.
And the golden column
is the son of the king, your bridegroom.

Kol Oud Tof Trio: Our bride asks. From the CD Gazelle (2002).

The Israelian Kol Oud Tof (“voice, oud, drum”) plays Moroccan Sephardic music. This music is usually heard with estrade-style orchestral accompaniment. The Kol Oud Tof, however, performs it in a refreshingly simple arrangement, which clearly displays the fascinating complexity of this music. Their suite De veinticinco escalones (Twenty-five scales) has not yet been published in CD, but you can see a part of it here.

Ansina dize la nuestra novia
como se llama la cavesa.
Esto no se llama cavesa
sino toronja de toronjal
ay mi toronja de toronjal
ay mis campos de espaciar
goze la novia con el novio.

…como se llaman los cabellos.
Esto no se llama cabello
sino briles de lavrar.
Ay mis briles de lavrar…

…como se llama la frente.
Esto no se llama frente
sino espada reluciente.
Ay mi espada reluciente…

…como se llaman las cejas
No se llaman cejas
sino cintas del telar
Ay mis cintas del telar…

…como se llaman los ojos.
No se llaman ojos
sino ricos miradores.
Ay mis ricos miradores...

…como se llama la naris.
No se llama naris
sino datil datilar.
Ay mi datil datilar…

…como se llama la boca.
No se llama boca
sino anillo de dorar.
Ay mi anillo de dorar
ay mi rosa de rosal…

pase la novia ante del novio
La novia, el novio
la novia, el novio
Our bride asks
how they call the head.
They don’t call it head
but orange from the orange tree.
Oh, orange of my orange tree
oh, my spacious fields,
let the bride rejoice with the bridegroom.

… how they call the hair.
They don’t call it hair
but silk to be embroidered.
Oh, my silk to be embroidered…

… how they call the front.
They don’t call it front
but a bright spade.
Oh, my bright spade…

… how they call the eyebrow.
They don’t call it eyebrow
but the thread of the loom.
Oh, thread of my loom…

… how they call the eye.
They don’t call it eye,
but beautiful look-out.
Oh, my beautiful look-out…

… how they call the nose.
They don’t call it nose
but date from the palm tree.
Oh, date of my palm tree…

… how they call the mouth.
They don’t call it mouth
but a ring to be gilded.
Oh, my ring to be gilded
oh, rose of my rose garden…

let the bride come to the bridegroom
the bride, the bridegroom
the bride, the bridegroom


2 comentarios:

Tess Isabel B. dijo...

La primera es en judeoespañol, tan raro ! (Superbe site, fascinant par la diversité des contenus).


Studiolum dijo...

Toutes sont en judéo-espagnol, mais la première dans le dialect (et orthographie) des juifs séfarades de Thessalonique.

Merci beaucoup! & à bientôt!