Thursday, December 14, 2006

Showbusiness Ethnopolitics: Jugoslovenka

In 1987, the emblematic Yugoslav showbusiness-folk singer Lepa Brena expanded her multimedia empire that little bit further by releasing a feature film, Hajde da se volimo (Let's make love). Now eerily reminiscent of the ill-fated SpiceWorld, the film's pantomime-style plot saw Brena pursued by Arab sheiks intent on foiling her rendezvous in Dubrovnik with an English promoter who intended her to star in a thinly-veiled analogue of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Two years later there not unreasonably came Hajde da se volimo 2. Among the musical centrepieces this time was Brena's Jugoslovenka, with guest vocals from three regionally representative male stars (Danijel Popović for Montenegro, Vlado Kalember for Croatia, and Alen Islamović for Bosnia) and a syncretic chorus of:

'Oči su mi more jadransko
Kose su mi klasje panonsko
Sestra mi je duša slovenska
Ja sam Jugoslovenka

('My eyes are the Adriatic Sea
My hair is Pannonian wheat
My sister is the Slavic soul
I am the Yugoslav woman

Hajde da se volimo 1 has been out on DVD for a while, and indeed last Christmas the Gazette nearly ended up with two copies. This year, the DVD of Hajde da se volimo 2 has sensibly been reissued in its 'original version' - so says its packaging - for the '06 holiday market.

Except, it would seem the time for rewriting musical memory isn't quite over yet: the Serbian tabloid Kurir discovered yesterday, for the Jugoslovenka segment, which has been replaced by a clip of Brena performing in Sofia; the best Kurir has been able to get out of the issuers ZAM is that the segment was excised at the wish of the song's composer, Marija Čavić.

Večernji list in Zagreb has now picked up the story of 'Brena's Yugo-trash trilogy' - basically reprising the Kurir title, but adding (with typical cross-border tabloid chemistry) that 'the song was sung together with Lepa Brena by the Croatian singers Daniel Popović and Vlado Kalember.'

Never fear, though: there's always YouTube for these situations.

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At 9:35 pm, August 06, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, hate to be picky, but "hajde da se volimo" doesn't mean "let's make love", but rather "let's love each other". That's at least how I understand it - and would translate it.



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