Within the country, Gypsy singers and musicians who chose to perform Romanian Gypsy music were never officially accorded the same recognition, recording opportunities, and promotion given to those who performed only the approved music of the state. Had Romica been allowed to perform abroad and to be recorded outside Romania, it is my firm belief that she would certainly have reached the popularity of the level enjoyed today by such artists as Cesaria Evora of Cabo Verde. Sadly, for her and for so many who might have enjoyed her, this did not happen. Romica was an incredible artist and a dear friend. I cannot imagine what we shall do now without her.
Romica Puceanu in the mid 1980s from an LP cover.
I have been asked by a number of people to supply them with copies of recordings made by Romica Puceanu in Romania. Since these recordings may never again become available anywhere else, I have started the slow process of converting them to MP3 files and putting them on the web site. I will continue to add to these as I complete new ones.
If your browser has been correctly configured for MP3 files, using Winamp or some other player, these files should play when you click on them. If you want to save them, right click on the URL and then "save link as." and this will put the file on your computer.
Cine Nu Stie ce-i Doru
Eletrecord STM-EPE 01144
2. Cine nu Stie Ce-i doru (Who doesn't know what sorrow is)
3. Eu de cind te-am cunoscut (Ever since I met you)
4. Geaba mai ma duc acasa (Pointlessly I head for home)
5. La Cîrcuma de la drum (The tavern on the road)
6. Erau zarzarii-nfloriti (When the Apricot was in Bloom)
7. Pasare necunoscuta (Unknown birds)
8. Cînd ai parinti lînga tine (When you have your parents by your side)
The music on this LP was probably recorded in 1976 or 77. It appeared in Bucuresti while I was there in 1977. The musicians backing her include the fabulous, Florea Cioaca on violin and Bebe Serban on accordion. This is some of the best of Romica. "Ever since I met you, I have no peace at night. I wake in the middle of the night and I sigh and think of you ". "La circuma de la drum" is an old popular song and one of the few humorous ones in Romica's repertoire. There are at least three different melodies with the same name, many share parts of the text. One of them goes, "whoever put that tavern on the road was no fool!" "Geaba mai ma duc acasa" is a well known tune and often played as an instrumental solo. The text has the sense of, there is no reason to go home, but I do.
Romica Puceanu accompanied
by Orchestra Ion Albesteanu
Electrecord ST-EPE 0297
Ursitoare, uristoare (My destiny)
2. Nu ma amagi, Baiete (Don't sweeten me up, boy)
3. Ce Frumoase-s fetele (What pretty girls)
4. Iesi fetito de m-asculta. (Come out and listen to me, girl)
5. Aseara la poarta mea (Last night at my door)
6. Tinerete, tinerete (Youth, youth!)
7. As munci la plug si coasa (I would work with plow and hoe)
8. Plingeam in tacere (I cried in silence)
This may be one of Romica's last recordings. She was selling it where she was singing at a small Romanian restaurant in Astoria, New York in 1983, I think. I spoke with her on the phone but could not get to see her and a few years after that she was gone. I remember that she was surprised and a bit peeved that I did not come to see her, not realizing in any way, how far it was from California to New York. I should have gone.
Romica Puceanu si Taraful Fratilor Gore
Electrecord EPD 1079
meu dorit (My beloved little chick)
2. La Ploeisti la vale (In Ploeisti in the valley)
3. Iubeste-ma daca-ti plac (Love me please)
4. Inimioara (My dearest heart)
5. Doi tovarasi am la drum (I have two comrades on the road)
6. Ce mi-e drag pe lume mie (What I love most in the world)
7. Leaga-ti lele coada stinga (Tie up your left braid, girl)
8. Pentru-n cal si-o lapa sura (For a horse and a gray mare)
This is an old one, probably from 1965 or just before. I bought it in Bucurest in 65 after hearing so much exciting music there at night, but not Romica. I carried this one around with me for years. I had it with me in Rangoon in 1973 when Simion Stanciu and Toni Iordache came to my house when they were on tour there. We had a real Seara Romineasca!. This is early Romica, beautiful and expressive and fully in control. Gorgeous music and a beautiful voice. Really, at her best. She was accompanied by the Brother's Gore whom she later told me she thought were not good musicians. They sound great here.
with Orchestra Florea Cioaca
Ne-am despartit (We are separated)
2. Erai fata mindra-n sat (You were the chosen girl in the village)
3. Umblai tara-n lung si-n lat (I wandered through the town, far and wide)
4. Ileana, Ileana
This is a 45rpm with only four cuts on it, but it has been long one of my favorites. I bought this in Bucuresti in 1976. It contains some of Romica's best. Ileana, Ileana is an excellent manea, a song form using the cifte-telli rhythm of Turkish music and in Romania, usually used for women's dances, even among the urban Gypsy population of Bucuresti. This one is one of the best. Erai fata mindra-n sat, is a wistful look back at Ileana on her wedding day.
New MP3's contributed by friends
Arzo' focul dragostea
(The fire of love burns)
2. Cand erai a mea iubita (When you were my beloved)
3. Cinta cucul de trei zile (The cuckoo sings for three days)
4. De cind te iubesc pe tine (Ever since I loved you)
5. Didina, Didina mea (Didina, my Didina)
6. Eu nu pot sa cred (I can not believe it)
7. Grea e boala de plamani (It's hard when you have TB)
8. Inima de tiganca (Soul of a gypsy)
9. Intr-o joi de dimineata (On a Thursday Morning)
10. Lume, lume. (People, people)
11. Mergeam triste pe carare (I went off sadly on foot)
12. Nu stiu cuce ti-am gresit (I don't understand how I have offended you)
13. Stinge Doamne stelele (Lord, put out the stars)
14. Toate viata am muncit (I have worked all my life)
15. Tot am zis, ma duc, ma duc. (I've said it all, I'm leaving, I'm leaving)
16. Vintule bataia ta (Blow wind blow)
17. Inel, Inel de Aur (Ring, ring of gold)