On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
Fanfare Ciocarlia – Iag bari (2001)
Iag Bari – The Gypsy Horns From The Mountains Beyond is the third album released by Romanian twelve-piece Roma brass band Fanfare Ciocărlia. The album was recorded May 2001 at Studio Electrocord in Bucharest, Romania, and mixed at UFO-Sound Studios in Berlin, Germany. Producers are Henry Ernst and Helmut Neumann.
We’re leaving France behind, dear reader, and making our way through Europe all the way down to Romania. Fanfare Ciocarlia were formed in Zece Prajini, one of eight villages in the commune of Dagata, NE Romania. A Romani brass band, we join Fanfare Ciocarlia in 2001 after their music was being embraced beyond their homeland. Their third album, Iag bari, has been released and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the title track.
Iag Bari translates as The Big Longing and being in Romani I am sorry to say I found a translation hard to come by. From what I could gather, the song seems to live up to its name in being a love song of sorts, but one of desire and the “longing” of the title for someone. The vocals here blend smoothly with the brass driven music which is ably supported by a drum section also.
I was not familiar with Fanfare Ciocarlia but theirs is another lovely story from our list of gifted musicians, versed in the traditions of their homeland, being discovered and embraced by a much wider audience. Iag Bari is full of energy and passion, even if I couldn’t translate it as well as I would have liked. From a small village the group have become popular in both Europe and now across the globe. Ever a fairytale ending if ever there was one.
Favourite songs so far: