Jovano Jovanke

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Jovano, Jovanke (Macedonian: Јовано, Јованке, Bulgarian: Йовано, Йованке, Serbian: Јовано, Јованке) is a traditional folk song of the Macedonia region. It is popular in and frequently performed in the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and northern Greece. It is about two young lovers separated by their disapproving parents. The song mentions the Vardar river which runs through present-day Republic of Macedonia and Greece.[1]

Jovana is a female name (Slavic form of Joan or Joanna), and Jovanka is the diminutive form. The usages Jovano and Jovanke are in the vocative case used by the South Slavic languages.

There are modern popular versions of this song, with Turkish lyrics, known as Ne Tadı Var Bu Dünyanın? (What joy is there in the world?) in Turkey, one sung by Ajda Pekkan and another by Renan Bilek.


Macedonian English translation[2]

Јовано, Јованке
Јовано, Јованке
Крај Вардарот седиш, мори
Бело платно белиш,
Бело платно белиш, душо
Сè нагоре гледаш.

Јовано, Јованке,
Јас тебе те чекам, мори
Дома да ми дојдеш,
А ти не доаѓаш, душо
Срце мое, Јовано.

Јовано, Јованке,
Твојата мајка, мори
Тебе не те пушта,
Кај мене да дојдеш, душо
Срце мое, Јовано.

Jovano, Jovanke,
Jovano, Jovanke,
You sit by the Vardar,
bleaching your white linen,
Bleaching your white linen, my dear,
Looking at the hills.

Jovano, Jovanke,
I'm waiting for you,
To come to my home,
And you don't come, my dear,
My heart, Jovano.

Jovano, Jovanke,
Your mother,
doesn't let you,
(to)come with me, my dear,
My heart, Jovano.


  • Macedonian singer and songwriter Aleksandar Sarievski performed a traditional version of the song throughout his musical career (1946–2002).[3]
  • In 1967, former Yugoslav beat band Zlatni Dečaci recorded a version of the song for Vladan Slijepčević's film Where to After the Rain?.
  • In 1967, by Avi & Esther Ofarim
  • In 1968, Turkish singer Ajda Pekkan recorded a version of the song titled as Ne Tadı Var Bu Dünyanın with newly written lyrics in Turkish language.
  • In 1986, Croatian and former Yugoslav hard rock band Osmi Putnik incorporated a part of the melody in their song "Jovana".
  • In 1986, Macedonian and former Yugoslav jazz-fusion and rock band Leb i Sol (Macedonian: Леб и сол), produced an instrumental version of the song.
  • In 1991, Croatian singer and songwriter Branimir Štulić recorded song for his album "Sevdah za Paulu Horvat". Later, in 2012, he recorded one more version in his home-studio in Netherlands.
  • In 1994, Macedonian and former Yugoslav band Anastasia (Macedonian: Анастасија) included a part of the melody in the score "Coming Back Home 1" for the soundtrack of Before the Rain.
  • In 1999, Romanian band Transsylvania Phoenix included a version of the song on their album Ora-Hora.
  • In 1997 and 2003, Vienna-based world music band Nim Sofyan released a version of the song.
  • In 2001, Celtic bouzouki pioneers Roger Landes and Chipper Thompson recorded an instrumental version on their album, "The Janissary Stomp."
  • In 2003, New Zealand based world music band Many Hands released a version of this song on their album Routes.
  • In 2003, Polish band Kroke and the violinist Nigel Kennedy performed this song on their album East meets East.
  • In 2006, Berlin-based world music band 17 Hippies released a version of the song on their album Hippies Live in Berlin. The band previously released it several times, first time on their album Rock 'n' Roll 13 in 1995.
  • In 2006, Macedonian singer Toše Proeski released a version of the song on his album Božilak (Macedonian: Божилак). Proeski has frequently performed the song at his live concerts as well.
  • In 2007, Bulgarian singer and entertainer Slavi Trifonov performed the song and filmed a patriotic video to accompany it, which recreates the Bulgarian victory in the Battle of Doiran during the First World War.[4]
  • In 2009, Croatian-Istrian-based band Hot Club de Istra made a gypsy jazz arrangement of the song.
  • In 2009, the melody of this song was used in the sixth sequel of the TV advertising campaign Macedonia Timeless.
  • In 2011, polish producer Marcin Wyrosek released with the polish singer Kayah a version of the song on his album.
  • In 2011, What Cheer? Brigade, a brass band based in Providence, Rhode Island released a version of the song on their album Classy: Live in Pawtucket.
  • In March 2014 the Slovenian vocal choir Perpetuum Jazzile released an a capella arrangement as a free download from Soundcloud.


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See also