The song got its name from Ederlezi, which is a festival celebrating the return of springtime, especially by the Romani people (Gypsies) of the Balkans, and elsewhere around the world. Ederlezi is the Romani name for the Serbian Djurdjevdan, the Feast of Saint George. It is celebrated on 6 May [O.S. 23 April] (occurring approximately 40 days after the spring equinox). Mainly by Orthodox Serbs. The various Balkan spellings (Herdeljez, Erdelezi) are variants of the Turkish Hıdırellez, a holiday signaling the beginning of spring, occurring on the same day.
The song is featured on Bijelo Dugme's 1988 album Ćiribiribela under the title "Đurđevdan" ("St. George's Day"). Goran Bregović, the leader of Bijelo Dugme, wrote lyrics in Serbo-Croatian.  He later said that he took two verses from an Albanian folk song, objecting to the fact that "Đurđevdan" is sometimes perceived as a nationalistic song. Bregović also recorded a version with Greek lyrics, titled "Tou Ai Giorgi" ("Saint George's", Greek: "Του Αη Γιώργη"), with Greek singer Alkistis Protopsalti in 1991. The Greek lyrics are credited to Lina Nikolakopoulou. Finally, together with Polish singer Kayah he also recorded a version with Polish lyrics, titled "Nie ma, nie ma ciebie".
Bulgarian group Ku-Ku Band, with lead singer Slavi Trifonov, released the song on several albums with Bulgarian lyrics ("Гергьовден", "Gergyovden, "St. George's Day"), Serbo-Bulgarian lyrics ("Свети Георги", "Sveti Georgi", "St. George"), and Romani-Serbo-Bulgarian lyrics ("Erdelezi"). The band Beirut, Italian saxophonist Daniele Sepe, and the Boston-based band Bury Me Standing also do covers of "Ederlezi". The Gypsy Rebels of Toronto, Ontario also cover the song, featuring the vocals of Micheal T. Butch and his band. Kroke released a version of the song as well.
Turkish singer Sezen Aksu released the song on her album titled Düğün ve Cenaze (Wedding and Funeral) with Turkish lyrics ("Hıdrellez") in 1997. The lyrics were adapted by Sezen Aksu and Pakize Barışta. A Bosnian version was released by the folk-punk musical group No Smoking Orchestra on their 2007 album Time of the Gypsies, Punk Opera. A beatbox/trip version was released by French band "Plume Tribu" on their 2010 album Le Chainon Manquant.
In popular culture
Goran Bregović's version titled "Ederlezi (Scena Djurdjevdana Na Rijeci)") was famously used in Emir Kusturica's movie Time of the Gypsies. It was performed by the Macedonian singer Vaska Jankovska.
"Ederlezi (Scena Djurdjevdana Na Rijeci)" also appeared in the movie Borat, although it has no connection to the authentic music of Kazakhstan. The text in brackets in Serbo-Croatian means: "The scene of Đurđevdan on the river", a description of a Đurđevdan celebration on a river in the movie Time of the Gypsies where that song was used. Sacha Baron Cohen's movie does not have a Đurđevdan river scene. In both soundtrack albums – Time of the Gypsies and Stereophonic Musical Listenings That Have Been Origin in Moving Film "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" – it was credited to Goran Bregović, although he is not the author nor the singer of the song on these albums. However, he arranged the song.
A portion of "Ederlezi (Scena Djurdjevdana Na Rijeci)" was also featured in Lazy Square's (aka Lenivko Kvadratjić) unofficial "Russian art film" reimagining of The Simpsons' popular opening sequence "couch gag".
|Lyrics in Romani||English translation||Bijelo Dugme's cover||English translation|
Sa me amala oro khelena
Sa o Roma babo, e bakren chinen
E devado babo, amenge bakro
All my friends are dancing the oro
All the Roma, grandma, they slaughter lambs
The Roma give, grandma, a lamb for us
Proljeće na moje rame slijeće
Drumovi odoše a ja osta
Ej kome sada moja draga
Evo zore evo zore
Njeno ime neka se spominje
Spring is landing on my shoulder
The roads are gone, but I've stayed
Hey, to whom does my darling now
Here comes the dawn,
Let her name be mentioned
|Greek cover||English translation||Bulgarian cover||English translation|
Απ' τους ώμους να, η Άνοιξη περνά,
Του ουρανού πουλιά πάρτε με αγκαλιά
Το όνομα του ανθός, ευωδιάς βυθός,
Look over the shoulders, spring passes,
Birds of sky, take me in your embrace
His name (is) flower, depth of perfume
Пролетта на рамото ми кацна,
Други пътища ще ни повикат,
Spring is now upon my shoulders,
Other path will be laid in front of us,
|Turkish cover||English translation||Polish cover||English translation|
Bahar oldu aman
Dağ yeşil, dallar yeşil
Kokuyor buram buram
Ne yolu var ne izi
Sevdiğim yok, eşim yok
The spring has come,
The mountain is green, the branches are green
Jonquils are smelling everywhere,
Don't cry hıdrellez
He/She has neither a way (known) nor a trace
I don't have anyone I love, I don't have a spouse
Zima na ramiona moje spadła
Ogień tańczyć zaczął już w kominie
Śnieg zasypał dzisiaj wszystkie drogi
Hej moje góry i doliny
Hej moje góry i doliny
The winter has fallen on my shoulders
The fire already started dancing in the chimney
Snow has covered all the roads
Oh, my mountains and valleys
Oh my mountains and valleys
- Skrodzka, Aga (2014). Magic Realist Cinema in East Central Europe. Edinburgh University Press. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-74866-936-3.
- Bosić, Mila (1996). Godišnji običaji Srba u Vojvodini [Annual customs of Serbs in Vojvodina]. Novi Sad: Muzej Vojvodine. p. 446. ISBN 978-8-67639-208-7.
- Janjatović 2007, pp. 35. sfn error: no target: CITEREFJanjatović2007 (help)
- "GORAN BREGOVIĆ Volim ovu užasnu zemlju". Печат - Лист слободне Србије. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
- "Alkistis Protopsalti ΑΗ ΓΙΩΡΓΗ - ΑΛΚΗΣΤΙΣ ΠΡΩΤΟΨΑΛΤΗ (EDERLEZI)". YouTube. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
- Bertellini, Giorgio (2014). Emir Kusturica. University of Illinois Press. p. 61. ISBN 978-0-25209-685-3.
- "Borat Soundtrack". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2008-04-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- McCarter, Reid (9 July 2019). "Embrace cartoon despair with the "Russian art film" version of The Simpsons' opening". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
- Musique et droit d’auteur, l’affaire Bregović (septembre 16, 2015) https://romanimuzika.wordpress.com/2015/09/16/musique-et-droit-dauteur-laffaire-bregovic/
- Videos: Ederlezi song (3:43); (4:28); (4:22).