Tiganii daca erau...

Saturday, 30 May, Year 7 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

I'm going to endeavour to translate for your pleasure an ancient Romanian drinking song, definitely part of Gypsy folklore but perhaps an import into that culture from an even deeper substrate (shown for instance by the fact that the names aren't actually tiganesti). Here we go :

Eu sunt Gore dîn Chitila
	I am Gore from Chitilai
Doamne var cu Fane zis Gorila
	God! I'm cousins with Fane aka the Gorilla
Bai ce-a luat bataie-odata
	Dude he got his ass kicked once
La Cateaua Lesinata
	At the Fainted Bitchii
De la Mitu zis Timpitu'
	By Mituiii aka the Dumbass
Doamne ce da bine cu cutitu'
	Lordy! Who jabbed well with a knife.

Gore l-a batut pe Mitu
	Gore beat up Mituiv
Doamne Gore l-a batut pe Mitu
	Oh god Gore beat up Mitu
Pai ca s-a luat de-una Elena
	For hitting on one, Elena
Ucenica la Igiena
	Apprentice with Igiena.v

Ea statea trista in birtî
	She was sitting, sad, in the diner
Bea cu litru numa spirtî
	Drinking straight hootch by the litervi
Si-ar mai fi baut un litru
	And she'd have had another
Da'paru' deodata Mitu
	But suddenly Mitu appeared
De zise sa il urmeze
	And said for her to follow him
Ca ar vrea sa se imperecheze
	As he'd like to mate.

Gore iesi dupa tejghea mai
	Gore came out from behind the counter
Ia uimita il privea
	She looked on in amazement
Cum pune mana pe-o sticla
	As he grabbed a bottle
Si spre Mitu se agita
	And aggitated himself towards Mitu

Si-a-nceput sa mi-l distreze
	And he started to bemuse him
Pai pa la carii si proteze
	Around cavities and dentures
Pai pa la dinti pa la molarii
	Around teeth and molars
Ca-n filmele cu dolarii
	Like in the movies with dollars.vii

A venit si o salvare
	There even came an ambulance
Doamne una corespunzatoare
	God, a fitting oneviii
De la luat pe Mitu soro
	And it took up Mitu sister
Sa-l coasa pe ici pe colo
	To sew him back together in places.

Gore n-avea nici o buba
	Gore had no scratch on him
Dar a mai venit o duba
	But there also came a van
Pai mi l-au dus la facultate
	They took him to collegeix
I-au dat cinci ani jumatate
	For five and a half years.

I hope you've enjoyed the show. I'm here every night from about when I wake up until later a bit.

  1. Minor Danube port. Wasn't ever anything more than a sleepy townlet. []
  2. Seems to be a bar's name. []
  3. Mitu is familiar / short for Dumitru, which is one of the oldest and historically a very common Romanian name. Romania's only outer space cosmonaut was Dumitru Prunariu, for instance, the "stereotypical Romanian" as seen by Ion Luca Caragiale (the man who, by most accounts, wrote the software Romania mentally runs on) was called Mitica which is another familiar form, one of the smartest people I ever knew was called Dumitru Dumitrascu (literally a sort of Sven Svensson construction), it's common. I nearly ended up called Dumitru myself, on the grounds of apparently intending to join this world on October 26th - that saint's day and at the time still a major source of names for children. []
  4. The song seems to get the persons wrong. It's what it is. []
  5. "Normal", which is to say middle class girls went to "theoretical high-schools" and usually from there to college. Underclass girls went to "vocational schools", organised around various industrial or mercantile concerns, and usually from there to the abject sort of motherhood as practiced in the underclass (middle class women also had to have children, but in markedly better conditions). In this case Igiena would have been the hairdresser's "co-op", so she was "studying" ie doing her time to become a hairdresser, which in the terms of the time would mean that she was doing her best to escape the procreative fate and instead be as close to a actress/singer/pornstar/news woman as humanly possible. []
  6. Yes, this very well may be a factual description. I have personally known and with mine two eyes seen women who could in fact and did in fact put away 180+ proof alcohol by the quart by themselves. No, it wasn't common, and no it wasn't healthy, but do not imagine that it wasn't done merely because all the teenagers you know suck ass metaphorically. []
  7. This is definitely a gypsy contribution. []
  8. Correspunzator is, I have little doubt, a bit of wooden tongue here. It'd be what the bureaucrats would say about "good" things - ie this is "corespunzator", acceptable, by the book. The usage is perhaps unwittingly but quite certainly sarcastic. []
  9. Prison, obviously. []
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2 Responses

  1. Sa fiu sincer, nu stiu cum ar aprecia strainii traducerea directa dar privinta din exterior cred ca este foarte amuzanta. Bine, nici n-as incadra acest "cantec" in dreptul tiganilor, il aud destul de des si in randul asa-zisilor romani pasionati de muzica de calitate.

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Wednesday, 1 July 2015

    Pai ie complicat.

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