Thursday, December 1, 2016

Bosnian Beauty: Divanhana and "Emina"

Today's song, Emina, is by Bosnian band Divanhana. Formed in 2009 by students of the Sarajevo Music Academy, Divanhana presents the traditional music of Bosnia and Herzogovina, and the wider Balkans, with influences from jazz, pop and 20th century classical music. They were invited to perform at WOMEX in 2012, and have released three albums to date. Emina can be found on their 2013 CD Bilješke iz Šestice. The lyrics are by the Bosnian Serb poet Aleksa Šantić (1868-1924) who wrote about the beauty of his neighbor, the Muslim girl Emina Sefić. The song is a svedalinka, a type of traditional music from Bosnia and Herzogovina which is slower in tempo and sung with great passion and fervor. Some of the lyrics:

"A wind blew from the branches down her lovely shoulders
Unraveling those thick braids of hers.
Her hair gave off a scent of blue hyacinths,
Making me giddy and confused!"