The POWER of her Voice Will Touch Your Innermost Senses and YOU Will Feel All of Gypsy’s Past in just ONE Song

Getting back from the progressive, vanguard and experimental music of this post, where we discussed Jazz and a particular sub movement in the sub genre of Free Jazz and going to something more harmonic and melodic in the “traditional” sense, we present to you this marvelous interpretation of Djelem, Djelem (English: I walk, I walk), known as well as Opre Roma (English: Up, Romanies), played by Barcelona Gipsy Klezmer Orchestra.

The Anthem of Romani People

Gelem, Gelem is a song composed by Žarko Jovanović, often used as the anthem of the Romani people. The title has been adapted in many countries by local Roma to match their native orthography and spoken dialect of the Romani language. Some of the song’s many titles include,

  • “Gyelem, Gyelem” (Hungarian orthography),
  • “Jelem, Jelem”,
  • “Dzelem, Dzelem”,
  • “Dželem, Dželem”,
  • “Đelem, Đelem” (Croatian and Latin Serbian and Bosnian orthography),
  • “Djelem, Djelem” (German and French orthography),
  • “Ђелем, Ђелем” (Cyrillic Serbian and Bosnian orthography),
  • “Ѓелем, Ѓелем”,
  • “Џелем, Џелем”,
  • “Джелем, джелем” (Russian, Ukrainian and Bulgarian orthography),
  • “Opré Roma” and
  • “Romale Shavale”

The Song is about a Roma who’s family has been killed by the Black Legion (Crna Legija), which was an Ustase (A Fascist Organization, active before and during WWII) Militia and calls upon all the Romani from the world to unite and be together once again. The song also denotes the constant moving activity of some of the Romani people.

Esma Redžepova

Here is one more interpretation of the song, arranged by Zoran Džorlev and sang by Esma Redžepova, which is by many considered as the best. Esma Redžepova started her career at a period when Romani music was very denigrated in Yugoslavia and Roma people considered it shameful for women to sing in public. Redžepova was one of the first singers to sing in Romani language on radio and television. This version of the song is actually sang in the original Lyrics of Žarko Jovanović.



Gelem, gelem, lungone dromensa
Maladilem bakhtale Romensa
A Romale, katar tumen aven,
E tsarensa bakhtale dromensa?

A Romale, A Chavale

Sas vi man yekh bari familiya,
Mundardyas la e Kali Legiya
Aven mansa sa lumnyake Roma,
Kai putardile e Romane droma
Ake vriama, usti Rom akana,
Amen khutasa misto kai kerasa

A Romale, A Chavale

Puter Devla le parne vudara
Te shai dikhav kai si me manusha
Pale ka zhav lungone dromendar
Thai ka phirav bakhtale Romensa

A Romalen, A chavalen

Opre Rroma, si bakht akana
Aven mansa sa lumnyake Roma
O kalo mui thai e kale yakha
Kamav len sar e kale drakha

A Romalen, A chavalen.


I went, I went on long roads
I met happy Roma
O Roma, where do you come from,
With tents happy on the road?

O Roma, O Romani youths!

I once had a great family,
The Black Legion murdered them
Come with me, Roma from all the world
For the Roma, roads have opened
Now is the time, rise up Roma now,
We will rise high if we act

O Roma, O Romani youths!

Open, God, White doors
So I can see where are my people.
Come back to tour the roads
And walk with happy Roma

O Roma, O Romani youths!

Up, Romani people! Now is the time
Come with me, Roma from all the world
Dark face and dark eyes,
I want them like dark grapes

O Roma, O Romani youths!

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