I am trying to keep the memories of my holiday in Romania alive by playing some of the songs that I heard on the radio when I was there. Here is one I really liked by an outfit called Carla’s Dreams, who hail from Chisinau in Moldova, the former Soviet Republic on the eastern border of Romania (not to be confused with Moldavia, which is inside Romania).
The people from other parts of Romania think that Moldavians (and Moldovans too, I guess) speak Romanian with a kind of a country bumpkin nasal twang. When I tried to speak Romanian and pronounced words badly I was mocked for sounding like a Moldavian. So you might find the male lead singer’s accent a bit strange. Or he could have a Russian twang – Carla’s Dreams also sing in Russian. A lot of their stuff is interesting, even if it is not the sort of thing I would normally listen to.
This version of the song P.O.H.U.I, which features a guest appearance from Inna, has been very popular in Romania. According to this airplay chart here, it is now in its 23rd week in the top 100, having made the top three, and is lingering in the top 40 still.
There are also live versions of the song posted on YouTube, as well as the original sung without Inna. What is the song about? Well, thankfully someone has posted the English translation on YouTube. As you can see, the title of the song can be quite rude, although Romanians told me the rude bit is actually Russian. Contrary to the mood expressed in the song (about the mundanities of life getting you down) I find the tune quite uplifting and cheerful, in its own hum-along, sing-along way.
So, who is Inna, if you didn’t know. Apparently she is Eastern Europe’s wealthiest recording artist. Much of her material has been recorded in English and is aimed at the dance/club/house music market, and this is where she has made a name for herself, but I prefer it when she sings in Romanian. I particularly like this version of “Oare”.
Stay tuned for more Romanian favourites, plus some songs in Italian that I discovered too on my travels.🙂