Da bi imal perje

If I had wings

Music: Trad. arr. Sheena Phillips. Words: Trad. Croatian
performance time approx 2m 30s
Range S: c' – e''♭ / A: e♭ – c'' / T: e♭ – c' / B: A♭ – f
Price code: B
Complexity: **

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This strong traditional Croatian song about separation has a fateful melody of repeated falling phrases. The arrangement builds gradually from solo or unison voices at the start, to a section for women's voices only, to full SATB harmony, then adding a second soprano line singing in canon, before dying back down to the final solo or unison section.

Pronunciation guide included


Da bi imal perje,
Kak leteća ftica,
Saki večer bi doletel
K tebi grličica.

Da bi imal majku,
Koja me rodila,
Saki večer bi k'njoj išel,
Kaj bi se spominal.

Da bi imal dragu,
Ka bi me ljubila,
Nej se moja lepa mladost
V stranjskem žalostila.

Leti mi ti ftiček
Črez visoke gore,
Odnesi mi zelen listek
V malo Medimorje.

Ali da ga ipak
Nemaš komu dati,
Nemam tužen svoje tuge
Komu povedati.

Traditional Croatian

Published in Folk Songs of Europe ed. Maud Karpeles (Novello & Co. Ltd., 1956)


If I had wings like a bird,
I would fly to you every night, my dove.

If I had the mother who gave birth to me,
I would see her every evening to talk.

If I had a sweetheart to love me,
My youth abroad would not be so sad.

Fly bird, through high mountains,
Take this green leaf to Medimorje.

But if there is nobody to give it to,
I will have nobody to tell my sorrow to.

Translated by the editors with the help of Maja Matijasevic from The Croatian Language Guide at and by David and Simona Bennett, London

© canasg music publishing 2000

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