Pee [Пее]

to sing

“Some people cannot pee. This is not something you can learn. It is a gift. That is how I see it. Those who can pee, those who cannot don’t. There is something in your nature that can draw you to peeš and to listen.” (G.Sh., Alino)

“Well, not everybody can pee. This is not something that every girl and every boy can do. It has been this way earlier. But almost all of us peehme. It was very rare that a girl will not be able to pee. There were those who had it in their family – her mother couldn’t pee, her grandmother couldn’t too and so the girl couldn’t pee. We were at least fifteen girls in the neighbourhood. Only two or three couldn’t peyat. All the others peehme. We gathered in three groups of three. So three will stay here, three will be there. And all nine will start to peyat, one after the other. And we would peeme. And we were very happy. This was our entertainment, this was like radio for us. There were no radio apparatuses then. So all the day we would work – reaping the harvest, gathering and stringing tobacco, at working-bees.”


  1. “At harvest we peehme because – well, let’s sing to forget the heat, to draw our attention away. To reduce the feeling of heat. And then, when we take a rest, we would sit in some shadow and then let’s poeme na glas. And that was it. and so the tiredness would just go, well with pesnite we somehow rested.” (E.L., Pelatikovo village)
  2. “At working bee we peeme outside, for instance, na glas. When the working-bee begins. Some girls cry out. And inside they peyat songs for working-bees. They sit, work with the tobacco and pesnite on and on.” (A.S., Kadrovitsa village)
  3. “So when we sit down to work at working-bees, we both work and we peeme.” (Y.T., Kadrovitsa village)
  4. “Because in every village we peehme separately ... When the three of us would cry out. Whatever melodies we wanted ... And they poehya like the people from Dikanya. And the people from Dikanya peyat very beautifully. Nowhere else are there such voices and the way they used them. And they used them so well. When they stood beside the field and they zapeyat. ‘Zastanalo sluntse nasred nebo’ And a singer pee and it is so nice to listen to the way she trese. And we got used to it – our fields are next to each other. I still remember their names – Borka and Igla. Whether they are still alive, I don’t know. And when they zapeeha we went with them. We learnt it and we poehme in Dikanya manner. And when they stopped singing to go on with their work, Nannie Stana, who was here would tell them: “Popoyte some more. We will work for you. Popoyte.” And it was wonderful, that Dikanya singing. It was dzvonci, drănka. Drănka poyanye. Nobody sings like that any more. (Q: Isn’t your poyanye like theirs?) No, it isn’t. They used their voices in length, like nadlăž. And we peeme in a more lively and ripply way. We do it a bit differently. And there was this Kula Buduritsa, may she rest in peace, she poeše like the people from the lower villages. We call them ‘the lower villages’ here. The lower villages like Relyovo and beyond. And they would come, and she would lead and she viknešeTri mi dzvezdi nai-rano ogreya’ And then we zatreseme. And we said that we poeme in the manner of the lower villages. Or we could poeme in the manner of the singers from Polsko, or from Dikanya. Well, we could poeme whatever we could comprehend. You just had to have the gift to comprehend. (Q: And what is poyanyeto in Alino like?) Well, it is different. It is closer to that of Popovyane. The singers from Popovyane poyat a bit differently (from the others), like us. So there was a festival gathering here and we gathered and I was little. And I went there and in the evening I told my mother: “Mom, I learnt a new pesen today”. Because when the singers from Popovyane zapoyat I stood behind them and I could feel their song... It’s a gift.” (R.D., Alino village)
  5. “I have never liked anything better than the way they peyat in the Kyustendil region. The best pesni are those from Kystendil region. In the villages in the Piyanets region they sing just like us – Tishanovo, Stradalovo, Rakovo – they are all pesnopoitsi. The same pesni, the same melodies. But the villages in the Polsko region – Grashtitsite, Konyavo – they are a bit different. They peyat differently. Their pesni are different.” (Y.T., Kadrovitsa village)
  6. “Well, the ones who sglašat, they peyat beautifully. When they sing a song, you feel so good listening to them. Our girls peeha very beautifully and they were known for this.” (P.R., Alino village)
  7. “They don’t peyat like this now. They peyat, but now they know cultural songs. They cannot sing like us. And they laugh when they hear us during harvesting. Yes, sometimes we peeme at harvest. We gather and reap together and we peeme. But the younger ones have not seen this and they say – ha, you are howling now, you aren’t peete(ing). We used to peehme often. Now I never see a girl who pee like us. Well, you can see them play, but I have not seen them peyat. I have not heard youngsters now who peyat like us. And they should peyat more now. They have more freedom. They have a freer life, they should peyat. They don’t have to go to harvest. We would go to harvest and then we would peeme. Now it is easier – we had to work hard and peehme to rest, and they don’t want to work hard, the youngsters. And it is best if they peyat. But they don’t want to. Why not now, with the freedom they have?” (N.H., Stradalovo)