Published on 21/12/2021 11:00 am

Seeing as ‘tis the season and whatnot, this show would be amiss if it did not run through the Balkan Christmas-y musical, well, production in all its red-and-white glory. And as the capitalist rendition of Christmas is mostly a Slovenian and Croatian thing, as far as Balkans is concerned, this is where will land our musical sleigh. And I better stop with this metaphor before it gets out of hand.

Pop Design’s 1989 Na Božično Noč/On Christmas Night is a mainstay of office parties. At least it was, while office parties were still a thing. It also turned out have been outright lifted from a German duo The Window Speaks. The original tune Man Of The World was released two years earlier. How’s that for Christmas Spirit?

The next tune we did was a swing one. Specifically, the Gelatto Sisters and their tune Zagreb se na Božic sprema / Zagreb is getting ready for Christmas. But since every self-respecting society has its own version of Last Christmas, so does Croatia. It is titled Sretan Božić Svakome, Merry Christmas to everyone by Fantomi. And yes, in case you’re wondering, this song, too, was lifted from an English-language original by Shakin’ Stevens, helpfully titled “Merry Christmas Everyone”. So, there.

But enough about copyright infringement, let’s hop over to Serbia, where there isn’t much of a pop music Christmas tradition. There is winter-wonderland type of music, though. Case in point Bajaga and Ruski voz, Russian Train.

Moving on, or rather moving back, it would not be a Christmas either in Slovenia or Croatia if we skipped Srebrna Krila, the Silver Wings. The poetically named band provided many a smash hit over the decades of its existence, including one particular tune, imaginatively titled Christmas is coming. At least, this one is an original. I think.

And, finally, we come back to Slovenia. There, one of fine December traditions is a concert by Magnifico. The Charlatan of Balkan gets some airtime on Ara City Radio in general, courtesy of yours truly, but he also throws one hell of a Christmas Day concert.. Even if it is only online, like last year.

Have fun, hug those close to you and fist-bump everyone else, and Merry Christmas and happy holidays. Balkan Express will be back after the holidays.

Balkan Express takes weekly trips into contemporary musical production of, you guessed it, the Balkans. Forget the gusle and tamburice, this show is about rock, pop and a sense of humour. Well, at least there’s guitars. On air most Tuesdays in a new-and-improved time-slot at 1100 hrs. Usually. Your train conductor is Aljaž (aka @pengovsky) who once did the world a solid and decided never to sing again in public. Which is why he ended up doing radio

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With : Aljaž Every Tuesday at 10.00

Balkan Express takes weekly trips into contemporary musical production of the Balkans.

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Merry Christmas (Balkan Express 067)