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Neda voda nalivala

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Information: A song.

Translation: Neda was pouring some water

Pronunciation: NEH-dah VOH-dah nah-lee-VAH-lah

Region: Pirin Bulgaria

My files include two editions of identical lyrics (one with a melody score) attributed to Dick Crum, which I retype here:


 1. Neda voda nalivala,
     nalivala, razlivala.
 2. Nalivala, razlivala,
     nad voda se jogledala.
 3. Nad voda se jogledala,
     pa sama si produmala.
 4. Pa sama si produmala,
     de li mi e mojto libe.
 5. De li mi e mojto libe,
     mojto libe, pûrvo libe.
 6. Da li drugo ne zalibi,
     drugo libe pohubavo.
 7. Drugo libe pohubavo,
     pohubavo, pogizdavo.
 8. Pohubavo, pogizdavo,
     pohubavo od meneka.
 9. De go libe da mi kaže,
     hajde, Nedo, da begame.
10. Hajde, Nedo, da begame,
     dogde gora šuma ima.
11. Dogde gora šuma ima,
     i poleto detelina.
12. I poleto detelina,
     za dvamina ludi mladi.
13. Za dvamina ludi mladi,
     ludi mladi kato nazi.
14. Ludi mladi kato nazi,
     ni godeni, ni ženeni.

       1. Neda was pouring some water
     and spilled some of it.
 2. She was pouring some, spilled some,
     and looked at herself in the water.
 3. She looked at herself in the water
     and spoke to herself.
 4. She spoke to herself,
     "Where is my love?
 5. Where is my love,
     my first true love?
 6. Has he fallen in love with another,
     another sweetheart more fair,
 7. Another sweetheart more fair,
     more fair and more beautiful?
 8. More fair and more beautiful,
     more beautiful than I?
 9. I wish he would come and say,
     'Come, Neda, let's run away.
10. Come, Neda, let's run away,
     to where the forest has green foliage,
11. To where the forest has green foliage,
     where the field is full of clover,
12. Where the field is full of clover,
     for two young lovers,
13. For two young lovers
     like we are,
14. Two young lovers like we are,
     neither engaged nor married!'"

Transcribed and translated by Dick Crum

The scored version shows verse 1 sung to 2-measure higher melody A with repeat (it is sung twice), while verse 2 is sung to lower 2-measure melody B also with repeat (sung twice). This must indicate the pattern for all the PAIRS of verses. I try to indicate all this here:

time-weight:   1   1   1   1   1   1   1    1   1   2

Verse 1
          note:   A   G  F#  Eb  F#  Eb   D    G  F#   G
//   meas 1:   Ne- da vo- da  na-      li-     va-  la,
                     A   G  F#  Eb  F#  Eb    D   G   D   D
     meas 2:   na- li-va- la, raz-      li-     va- la.  //

Verse 2
          note:   D   Eb  F#  Eb  F#  Eb  D    G   F#  G
//   meas 1:   Na- li- va- la, raz-    li-      va- la,

                     D   Eb  F#  Eb  F#  Eb  D   G   D    D
     meas 2:   nad vo- da  se  jo-     gle-    da-  la.  //

Verbatim notes on performance of Neda voda nalivala from yet a third version, which explicitly shows a monotone tonic drone which would be on D for the above transcription:

"Two groups

     – 1st group (melody and drone) sings line, holds last note
     – 2nd group (melody and drone) sings same line (come in on time)
     – 1st group fades out during 1st measure
     – 2nd group finishes line, holds last note
     – 1st group sings next line, 2nd group fading out during first measure
     – etc.

Note: Each line must be done in one breath (including hold and fade).
      DO NOT take a breath after the first measure."

–Michael Madisoncheto

By sheer serendipity, I just now happened on alternate lyrics for Neda voda nalivala (whose lyrics per Dick Crum I recently posted). The source, as for the recently discussed Vodarki material, is Đorđi Dimčevski's book "Vie se Oro Makedonsko" (Skopje, 1983) as admirably "Translated and Distributed by Ostali Muzikaši" in a separately bound volume. Notes on the dance say "Locality: Razlog area, but also known in villages in the Delčevo area."


(1) // Neda voda nalivala, lele,
       Lele Nedo, lele bela Nedo. //
    // Nalivala, Neda, razlivala,
       Lele Nedo, lele bela Nedo. //

(2) // Nad voda se ogledala, lele,
       Lele Nedo, lele bela Nedo. //
    // Sama si se Neda aresala,
       Lele Nedo, lele bela Nedo. //

(3) // Kak sum bela i crvena, lele,
       Lele Nedo, lele bela Nedo. //
    // Da sum ušte povisoka, lele,
       Lele Nedo, lele bela Nedo. //

(4) // Da sum malku povisoka, lele,
       Lele Nedo, lele bela Nedo. //
    // Povisoka, crnoočka, lele,
       Lele Nedo, lele bela Nedo. //
      (1) // Neda poured water,
       Neda, fair Neda. //
    // Neda poured water,
       Neda, fair Neda. //

(2) // She looked in the water,
       Neda, fair Neda. //
    // She liked what she saw,
       Neda, fair Neda. //

(3) // Being fair and rosy,
       Neda, fair Neda. //
    // If only I were taller,
       Neda, fair Neda. //

(4) // If only I were taller,
       Neda, fair Neda. //
    // And had dark eyes,
       Neda, fair Neda. //

The score in this book shows a slightly different melody:

time-weight:   1   1   1   1   1   1   1   1   2   2

Couplet 1
         note:    D   C   B   A   B   A   G   F#  C   C
//  meas 1:    Ne- da  vo- da  na- li- va- la, le- le,

         note:    D   C   B   A   B   A   G   F#  G   G
    meas 2:    le- le  Ne- do, le- le  be- la  Ne- do.  //

Couplet 2
         note:    F#  F#  G   A   B   A   G   F#  C   C
//  meas 1:    Na- li- va- la, Ne- da  raz-li- va- la,

         note:    D   C   B   A   B   A   G   F#  G   G
    meas 2:    le- le  Ne- do, le- le  be- la  Ne- do.  //

Although the score has two instrumental sections in 11/8, the song as written is in 6/4 meter (the final TWO notes of each measure are quarter-notes, rather than just the final one), as I have indicated above. This appears intentional, as the 11/8 time signature is explicitly written at the start of the instrumental following the song.

Michael Kuharski


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