Ketri Ketri

COUNTRY: Hungary

GENRE: Romani (Hungarian)

“Ketri Ketri” is a Hungarian Romani love song sung by a man who has lost his love and is desperate for her to return. “Ketri Ketri, my heart is heavy,” this translation by the Dunav Balkan Folkdance Society tells us, “Ketri Ketri, my heart is breaking, When you dance, my heart is happy, When you sing, my heart breaks, Come back to me, Marry me, be my wife!”

This song is generally associated with the Cocheck, [čoček], a family of Romani dances that are prevalent in the Balkans, likely originating with Ottoman military bands that followed throughout the region. This video from the 2009 Findhorn Dance Festival inspired us to dance to “Ketri Ketri” as we do in class:

Lyrics of the All Around This World version:

Ketri Ketri ale pala mande

Ketri ketri, when will we be married?

When you dance my heart is happy,
When you sing my heart sings.


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