Kaval Sviri

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Kaval Sviri (Bulgarian: Кавал свири, lit.'A Kaval Plays') is a Bulgarian folk song.


Bulgarian (Cyrillic alphabet) Latin alphabet transliteration Translated into English

Кавал свири, мамо,
горе доле, мамо, горе доле, мамо.
Кавал свири мамо,
горе доле, мамо, под селото.

Я ще ида, мамо, да го видя,
да го видя, мамо, да го чуя.

Ако ми е нашенчето
ще го любя ден до пладне,
Ако ми е ябанджийче
ще го любя дор до живот.[1]

Kaval sviri, mamo,
gore, dole, mamo, gore, dole, mamo.
Kaval sviri, mamo,
gore dole, mamo, pod seloto.

Ya shte ida mamo da go vidya,
da go vidya mamo, da go chuya.

Ako mi e nashencheto
shte go lyubya den do pladne,
ako mi e yabandzhiyche,
shte go lyubya dor do zhivot.

A kaval is playing, mother,
up, down, mother, up, down, mother.
A kaval is playing mother,
up, down, mother, near the village.

I will go, mother, to see it,
to see it, mother, to hear it.

If it's someone from our village
I'll love him only for a short time,
If it's a foreigner (i.e. from another village)
I'll love him all my life.

Popular versions[edit]

A popular version was arranged by Petar Lyondev and performed by Ensemble Trakia on the grammy award winning album Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, Vol. II (album), released in 1987 by Disques Cellier in Switzerland.[2][3]

"Kaval Sviri" was recorded by Australian world music ensemble Balkan Ethno Orchestra, and features on their 2020 EP Zora.

Use as a sample and in popular culture[edit]

The song is a somewhat commonly used sample in modern pop and rap music as the following examples illustrate:

The song was used by composer Joseph LoDuca as the basis for Xena's fight theme in Xena: Warrior Princess,[4] although the vocals that appear in the show's opening sequence sing different lyrics.[5]

The song was used to promote Lady Gaga's 2017 documentary "Five Foot Two".[6]


  1. ^ Storm, Lily. "Folk Song Lyrics Archive - Kaval Sviri". songbat.com. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Marcel Cellier Présente Le Mystère Des Voix Bulgares - Le Mystère Des Voix Bulgares (Volume 2)" (image). Discogs. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Past Winners". Grammy.com. National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 14 February 2015.
  4. ^ McAvan, Emily (2012). The Postmodern Sacred : Popular Culture Spirituality in the Science Fiction, Fantasy and Urban Fantasy Genres. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. pp. 81–82. ISBN 9780786463886.
  5. ^ Buchanan, Donna A., ed. (2007). Balkan popular culture and the Ottoman ecumene music, image, and regional political discourse. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press. p. 256. ISBN 9780810866775.
  6. ^ "Lady Gaga Posts a Video with a Bulgarian Folk Song on Instagram". BNT News. 24 August 2017.