152. Jovano Jovanke

Jovano Jovanke is a traditional folk song of the Macedonia region. It is popular in and frequently performed in the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia 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. Jovana is a female name (Slavic form of Joan), and Jovanka is the diminutive form. The usages Jovano and Jovanke are in the vocative case used by the South Slavic languages i.e. the way the name is said in Macedonian when speaking to the person.

The song is in 7/8 which can feel quite complicated if you count out all seven quavers in each bar. It is easier to count them in three groups – long (3 quavers) – short (2 quavers) – short (2 quavers).