In Albania, the tune is mostly performed by Roma musicians (cf. Klebe 2004, 85). In Bosnia and Hercegovina, it exists both as a traditional love song - sevdah/sevdalinka (Pogledaj me Anadolko) and as a religious “kasida“ (Zašto suza u mom oku). A similar phenomenon can be observed in Bulgaria where the melody either appears as a love song (Церни очи имаш либе) or as an anthem of the resistance against the Ottoman Empire in the Strandzha Mountains (Ясен месец веч изгрява).
The Serbian version of the tune (Ruse kose, curo, imaš) featured in the popular Yugoslavian film “Ciganka” from the 1950s about the legendary Romni Koštana who supposedly lived in Vranje region at the beginning of the 20th century. She later inspired the Serbian author Bora Stanković to write a successful play about her.
One of the latest versions of the song (Ој Девојче, Девојче) was interpreted by Toše Proeski (1981-2007) from FYR Macedonia, the “Elvis Presley of the Balkans” (BBC) and a Regional UNICEF Ambassador who recently died at the age of 26 in a car accident in Croatia. He was commemorated by a state funeral and mourning gatherings in many places around the Balkans and in the diaspora.
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