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Jove malaj mome

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BACKGROUND Yves Moreau 1970

Information: A dance.

Translation: Jova, little girl

Pronunciation: YOH-veh MAH-lai Moh-meh

Other name: Jove male mome

Region: Bulgaria and Serbia


For years I had a conversation going with the late Pece Atanasovski, who said he would teach the steps to Janino (aka, Jove, malaj mome, Jove, male mome, etc.), but never had the music with him. Once or twice I did have a tape of his recording with me, but despite my curiosity to see how it compared with the Bulgarian originated/inspired/choreographed, or whatever, version, I never had the heart to trick him by producing it.

For those who might be interested, the song also appears in one of the books in the Janković collection of songs published in the 1930s in Belgrade. I don't have access to it right now and cannot recall where that version it was collected, but seem to remember that it was from the Šopluk region.

–Paul Miller

Dear Paul:

I can certainly relate to your story about Janino Oro and Pece. I also wondered whether there was actually a Macedonian dance to the tune Pece had recorded on Jugoton in the early seventies. I never did see the dance and never did find the occasion to ask him about it. Did he just like this rhythm and composed a tune or was it based on an actual Macedonian dance he had actually seen? Let us not forget that Pece is the one that played the gajda solo for the "Bulgarian" Jove, male mome tune which appeared on Folkraft LP 26 in the sixties. Dennis Boxell "commissioned" the recording from the Koco Petrovski orchestra at Radio Skopje to fit the steps he had learned in Bulgaria on an earlier trip and for which he had no adequate quality recording. Is this when Pece "discovered" Jove? I never did see a dance called Janino Oro described in Macedonian< dance collections. There may well be one.

The versions I have seen are all from both sides of the Bulgarian-Serbian border. The "Šop" region does actually extend into Macedonian territory (Kriva Palanka, etc.). Anna Ilieva, in her book "Narodni Tanci ot Sredno Gorieto" describes two dances in 7 + 11, page 433-434. One is called Stojne, muma Stojne (Village of Dolna Banja, Sofia district) and the second one Pročûla se Jana (Village of Saranci, Sofia District). Names of dances are often derived from songs. Here the song starts with: Jano, mome, Jano, bila mi e Jana. The score given with this song does not however match Pece's Janino melody but there could be so many more versions.

The Janković sisters describe a "Jove" in Volume 5 of their collection (1949) on page 334. They say the dance was observed in the villages of Donji Krivodol, Caribrod, and Gnjilan in the Pirot Region. Also interesting to note is the rhythm they use being: 3/8 + 5/8 . . .

Krassimir Petrov in his book "Balgarski Narodni Tanci ot sredna zapadna Balgarija" (1990) describes a version of a dance called Jova and mentions that it is very popular all over the region of Godeč, a town in that Serbian-Bulgarian border Nišâva Valley. There are also many different versions of song texts for Jove which appear in Bulgarian collections.

I now seem to recall that someone in Germany mentioned to me once that Pece had indeed taught a dance called Janino on one of his teaching tours there. Maybe some German subscribers to this list could enlighten us. Would be nice also to hear from such people as Dennis Boxell, Dick Crum, Elsie Dunin and Atanas Kolarovaki who are familiar with Macedonian repertoire.

Yves Moreau

It seems you never got to read my postings regarding the Jove, male mome/Janino caper. In any case, Pece did indeed release a recording of a tune called Janino Oro in 7/8 + 11/8. I'm sure this is the Janino Paul Miller referred to. It is one of Pece's "classics" which many of his "fans" knew well for it was often aired on Radio Skopje. It appeared on RTB EP 14719 released in the early seventies. Other tunes on this record are: Pravoto, Čučuk, and Gajtanino. The Janino almost sounds like the Jove, male mome Bulgarian classic. That is why many of us back then wondered if Pece would teach this Janino. I guess he never did. I even showed a video at Ramblewood Camp in 1999 of a special TV Skopje tribute to Pece for fifty years of artistic career. In it Pece and his band play the famous Janino tune with the audience clapping enthusiasticaly. I still get emotional when I watch this video. What a great musician!

I did notice something interesting on the EP. Čučuk is the only tune which has a "narodna" mentioned after it implying it is from the traditional repertoire. The others say "Pece Atanasovski" after the tiles implying that these are "compositions."

Yves Moreau

We learned a dance called Janino Oro from George Tomov, who lived in New York, when he was here in Australia some years ago. He taught it to us as a Macedonian dance, although I don't remember him telling us anything about it. Neither the music nor the dance were anything like the Jove, male mome I know. It was a pleasant tune and dance in the usual 7/8 rhythm (3,2,2).

–Janey Stone

The Janino we do around here (Boston area) sounds like this one. The music is from the Novo Selo LP.

There's also a dance we do around here called Jovino, learned from the Bistritsa Babi. It's in the Jove, male mome rhythm, but the steps are completely different from the choreographed version. Jovino is a village style dance, one figure, sort of moves in a circle similar to Petrunino. I wonder if it's the same as what Yves Moreau mentions . . .

The village of Bistritsa (next to Sofia) is not terribly far from the Serbian< border.

By the way, those 45s Pece cut were incredible. Pece himself spoke somewhat disparagingly of them when he visited St. Louis briefly some years ago, calling them "studio fantasies," but, as with his recording of Ovčepolsko on Jugoton, they had a sort of emotional structure built in, a creating of tension and release, which made them excellent listening pieces.

–John Uhlemann



Jove, malaj mome, lele,
Po poleka oro voidi,
Jove, malaj mome, lele,
Po poleka oro voidi.

Sama si sakala, lele,
Na oro da ides,
Na oro da ides, lele,
Momce da izberes.

Jove, malaj mome, lele,
Sto mi se naduvas,
Jove, malaj mome, lele,
Sto mi se naduvas.

Sto mi se naduvas, lele,
Ta ne mi sboruvas?
Sto mi se naduvas, lele,
Ta ne mi sboruvas?

Jove, malaj mome, lele,
Sama si sakala,
Jove, malaj mome, lele,
Sama si sakala.

Sofijski momceta, lele
S rusi mustaceta,
Sofijski momceta,lele,
S vezani menteta.
  Jove, my little one, wow,
Slowly dance emptiness,
Jove, my little one, wow,
Slowly dance emptiness.

You wanted it yourself, wow,
On the way to go,
Come on now, wow,
Guys to choose.

Jove, my little one, wow,
What are you inflating me with,
Jove, my little one, wow,
What are you inflating for me.

What are you inflating for me, wow,
Aren't you talking to me?
What are you inflating for me, wow,
Aren't you talking to me?

Jove, my little one, wow,
You wanted it yourself,
Jove, my little one, wow,
You wanted it yourself.

Sofia boys, wow
With a Russian mustache,
Sofia guys, wow,
With bound mint.


Printed in 2014 Folk Dance Problem Solver.

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