Please give the songs a listen and get your Penka Encheva & friends CD here

By buying a CD or DVD you directly help Baba Penka visit your city and present the film.

(At this time the This Baba DVD can only be purchased at screenings of the movie.)

CD song list:

1. Da znae, moma, da znae (Dobrudza) 2:14
Penka learned this song from her mother who sang at real work bees (sedenki) and line dances (hora) as a girl. A girl is like a fresh poppy in the garden living with her family. In her in-laws’ home she wilts.

2. Dimitar duma Tudora (Dobrudzha) 4:11
Dimitar said to Tudora, “My love, I will go away with my friends. Tell me, what gift would you like me to bring you?” Tudora responds, “Don’t you know what kind of gift a girl wants? Buy me white face powder and eyebrow makeup. Also, don’t forget to buy a beautiful shepherds flute (kaval) so that when people ask who is playing I will say, “That is Dimitar, my sweetheart, playing.”

3. Zalyubih, mamo, tri momi (Pirin) 2:39
Penka recently learned this song because she was attracted by the chetvorno dance rhythm. A young man tells his mother that he is in love with three girls – all of them beautiful and pretty. He asks for her advice on which one to select.

4. Rusokoso momiche & Momichentse, gidichentse (Dobrudzha) 2:51
These two are St Lazarus Day songs. Penka learned Rusokoso momiche from her mother.
• Rusokoso momiche – Blonde hair girl sits under a white umbrella and unbraids her hair. She feels sorry that the Lazarovden holiday comes and goes so fast. Lazara (the holiday’s personification) says to her, “I will return next year and if you are married I will decorate you with a black silk flower,” because the hearts of married women grieve since this holiday involves only unmarried girls. If Lazara finds the girl still single next year, he will make her the buenek, the leader of the group of girls that goes from house to house to give blessings and collect gifts.
• Momichentse, gidichentse – Lift your hankie so I can see your face, white as a swan, your black eyebrows like thick braid, your dark eyes like black cherries. She responds, “You can look all you want, but fruitlessly, because I have already been betrothed at a high price.”

5. Zlato, mome (Thrace) 3:45
This song was initially recorded by another Penka, Penka Pavlova, but Penka loves singing it often because her only child is named Zlatina. A young man talks about his sweetheart Zlata. She is so precious to him like a golden apple, like the shadow of a walnut tree in the hot summer. He will follow her wherever she goes but he will make her his own. Zlata responds that he is indeed her first sweetheart but she will turn herself into a white dove to fly high in the sky and he will not be able to catch her. The young man replies that he will be the best hunter and will manage to find her.

6. Neda v’gradinka sideshi (Dobrudza) 2:44
Penka was a very young girl when she learned this song from her mother. She recorded this sborenka dance tune at Radio Sofia in 1966. Rusi comes over to talk to his sweetheart Neda, but she ignores him. Why? Last night Neda ran into his mother who said, “Neda, why did you ignite love in my son’s heart? I don’t like you and don’t want you as my daughter-in-law!”

7. Petkanke, byala varlinke (Dobrudzha) 3:28
Penka recorded this very cheerful paidushko dance tune at Radio Sofia in 1966 and later it was included on a Balkanton LP. Tall, skinny, fair-skinned Petkanka doesn’t pick jasmine flowers, as do the other young girls. She is sad. Her sweetheart is going to the army and she feels insulted that he is not treated with the same respect as the other soldiers. He is not given a real weapon, but a bent stick instead. All the rest of the soldiers are given a horse, but he is given a donkey without ears. All the rest were given helmets, but he was given a cap; not a good cap, but just a brim.

8. Otdolu idat ergenite (North Bulgaria) 2:09
Penka taught the choir this flirtatious song made popular by the beloved singer Mita Stoicheva. Scampish bachelors went to the work bee (sedyanka) to see the girls. All sat by a girl except unlucky Ivan who was stuck by a grandma.

9. U Radini gosti doshli (Dobrudzha) 3:02
This was a popular pravo horo dance tune in Dobrudzha, but was later recorded by Anastasia Kostova. Guests came to Rada’s house leading the young girl Yana sitting in a blue saddle. She wears her finest with a white headscarf, sequins, beads and wreath of feathers that jiggle as she moves. A young boy’s heart trembles at the sight of Yana’s beautiful face.

10. Yano, mari, Yano (Thrace) 5:29
Penka learned this song from her mother-in-law, who, like Penka’s mother, was a singer at work bees and line dances (hora) in the village. Penka’s husband Nikola Dinkov recorded it. A mother notices that her daughter Yana looks sad and asks if she has a headache. Yana responds that it is not her head, but her heart that aches. All the girls’ sweethearts visited last night’s sedyanka, all but Yana’s.

11. Kato metesh, Donke mome (Thrace) 3:17
Like the previous song, Penka learned this from her mother-in-law and her husband Nikola Dinkov recorded it. Ivan asks his sister whether she found his kaval when she swept the house. She did and had given it to their mother to put in a chest. Ivan asks his mother for the kaval so he can play in the hopes that his sweetheart will hear it.

12. Kachi se Radi (Thrace) 1:35
Penka learned this song from her mother-in-law. A girl named Rada asks the doves to fly to the top of the tallest post at her parents’ home to give them her greetings. She was married off to a village far away – not even the ninth village, but the tenth village away from home.

13. Pohvali se Doine le, Dobro lyo (Dobrudzha) 1:48
This Lazarska song, learned from her mother, is especially close to Penka’s heart because her father loved to sing it with her at home. A young man boasts that he has nine herds of sheep and one herd of oxen. The girl Doina hears and challenges him. She will turn
herself into a disease that will kill all of his sheep. He responds that he will turn himself into a moth to eat her golden dress.

14. Tragnala e malka moma (Thrace) 1:11
A maiden goes to the village well. A lad follows, pleading, “Slow down, fair maiden, wait for me, for I have a word to tell you, a desire to fulfill.” The maiden hears his pleas, trusts and waits for him, and he gave her his word and fulfills his one desire.

15. Snoshti sedenki kladohme (North Bulgaria) 2:22
Zlatina Encheva and Nina Nikolova learned this song from Penka. It is another song from Mita Stoicheva’s repertoire. Last night a bachelor visited our sedyanka – a shepherd with a rabbit fur hat, bear skin shoes and saggy pants.

16. Dali me chuvash, lyube mo (Dobrudzha) 5:15
This is another dance song that Penka learned from her mother, in pravo horo rhythm. As 18-year old Penka Valyeva, Penka won the 1960 Dobrudzhan regional competition with this song. A young man asks his sweetheart, “Do you hear me, my love, when I walk in the yard and play on my kaval?” She answers, “I hear you, but I don’t dare to come outside, because I have four brothers, two of them married and two single. The married brothers don’t care, but the two single ones don’t like you at all. If you come to our gate to wait for me, though, I’ll elope with you.”

17. Otishla ye byala Rada & Hey, mari momne le (Dobrudzha) 4:06
Penka created this medley using Dobrudzhan motifs. The first is a slow ballad and the second is in rachenitsa dance rhythm. Fair Rada went into a small garden to pick a colorful nosegay. When the sun goes down the girls all leave which put an end to the horo line dance. A boy called out, “Hey, beautiful girls, wait so I can see your face! Is it fair? Are your eyes dark?”

Guest artists:
Bulgarian Voices of Seattle Women’s Choir (8, 9)
David Bilides: kaval (1); tambura (3)
Aleksandr Eppler: kaval (17)
Michael Lawson: accordion (2, 6, 7, 16)
Hristo Mollov: clarinet (10, 11)
Vladimir Mollov: accordion & arrangement (10, 11)
Jody Rush: vocals (3)



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