Music without borders

“Khorakhané – by dint to be wind” by Fabrizio De André


The music is a fundamental instrument and a vehicle to share ideas, opinions and images. Where words divide people, music  joins people from all over the world and permits to share every kind of feeling. Today I want to tell you about an italian songwriter, Fabrizio De Andrè (1940-1999), who principally wrote songs for minorities, poor people and for every “invisible” person for the society. He was not just a songwriter, but also a storywriter and a poet. fabb815258225f7ee8f31436b37327ed His songs have always a political and social background, he knew how to write about love and about war, about social protests and about rights. He was also a musician, and he liked to express himself through an intercultural mix of both Mediterranean and Oriental music, enhancing the music relations and the culture relations between different part of the world.

One of my favourite songs from Fabrizio De André is Khorakhané – by dint to be wind.  The song is part of the album Anime Salve, the last album from the author, released in 1996. Khorakhané is a word from the Romani language, it means literally “Reader of Coran”, but this is also the name of a group of muslim Roma people from Kosovo which came in Italy between 1991 and 1993 to escape from the war.

Gypsy music, dance and bears at Saintes Maries festival, CamarguThe song aims to raise the awareness of people towards Roma people. In its first part, the song talks about the poor social and economic conditions in which Roma people live and their philosophy of life:  giving the children the names of people currently in power, hiding their jewels in the bread, the great oral traditional culture of Roma people (Knowing how to read the book of the world /with iridescent words and no writing). The next verses are for Roma people who were killed by the Nazi regime during the World War II (The children were falling from the calendar/ Yugoslavia, Polonia, Hungary/ the soldiers were taking everyone/ and they were throwing everyone away). In the end, he spend some words about the Roma practice of asking for handout, and he sings: “And if this means stealing / this line of bread between misery and fortune / in the mirror of this encampment / to my eyes clear like a farewell / he can call it that only one who knows about taking into his mouth / the point of view of God.”


In the presentation of this song, during a live concert, Fabrizio De André says some important word, that I want to translate for you while I recommend you to listen this wonderful song:

Gypsy music, dance and bears at Saintes Maries festival, Camargu“The marginalization comes by behaviors which are acquired from very old cultures. The Roma people go around the world since more than two thousand years […]. These Roma people, this free community, is affected by dromomania, the permanent desire to move themselves. I  think they never damaged someone, […]; it is true, they steal – anyway they can’t stop the primary instinct which exist in every human being DNA […], but I never heard that they steal through the bank. […] They go around without any weapon; so I think that if we have to give the Nobel Price for the Peace to a people, the Roma people could be the more recommended.”

 “Khorakhané” lyrics in english here:


By Valeria Ferrante

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