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Samson Martirosyan

“Karoun Karoun”: Banned Azerbaijani Love Poem Becomes 1970’s Armenian Pop Hit

If you are Armenian or have ever attended any Armenian communal kef (party), then you probably have heard the song “Karoun, Karoun”.

This is the story of the song, of how it traversed borders and cultures: from Baku to Bourj Hammoud and beyond. 

Please, click here to read the story

Comments (1)

Vahe Bourjhamoudian
This article has bothered me the first time I saw it, and now seeing it again on the front page of Hetq has convinced me that I will have to address the problems I found with it. Somehow I'm finding this "research" into the origins of "Karoun, Karoun" suspect and not quite convincing. First things first. The fact that "Qal sənə qurban" is an Azeri poem is COMPLETELY irrelevant to the Armenian song "Karoun, Karoun". Citing it as something from the 1930s also means nothing, because the lyrics of KK has nothing to do with an "Azeri poem". This means, what you are trying to say is, KK is not an Azeri song, but the melody of it MIGHT be. Now that, that point is out of the way, the only question remains then is, whether the melody was taken from an Azeri song. In this regard, your thesis offers no solid evidence. I am not saying solid evidence does not exist, I'm saying you haven't presented it to back your claims with this article. Neither have Azeris in their ridiculous fake news media. As a journalist, you need to do better work presenting a controversial topic and shaking up the "status quo" in order to come off as a "balanced journalist". Stating "That same year, (1968) Alakbar Taghiyev composed music for “Sənə qurban”. The song was first performed by the singer Zeynab Khanlarova" and then putting a random youtube video is also not proof. To make your point, present to us EXACTLY WHEN the song was published in any media format in Azerbaijan - before any Armenians started singing it. You're not suggesting that the "song was laying around unpublished for a while in Azeri circles until the Armenians stole it" - are you? Because that is exactly what we can also claim, that KK is an Armenian historical song which was never published until Adiss popularized it by turning it into a pop song, and the Azeris and Turks stole it from Armenia like most of the things they have in their "culture". So can you PINPOINT the year, with proof, when the song "Qal sənə qurban" was claimed to have been first sung by Zeynab Khanlarova by providing photo evidence of a publication date on any media source, which can be found in the various ex-Soviet Republics, and NOT Azerbaijan? (I emphasize this because I do not believe a single thing that comes out of Azerbaijan). Note: Zeynab Khanlarova was awarded the "People's Artist of Armenia" award during Soviet times, as she sang songs in Armenian, meaning she was exposed to Armenian songs and went to Armenia regularly. A point that weakens your case tremendously unless you present your evidence as requested above. And if the melody of KK actually was taken from an Azeri song with conclusive proof, I'm all for us Armenians accepting that fact. This article almost comes off as accusing Adiss Harmandian (or arranger Jacques Kodjian) of plagiarism. When KK was first published in Lebanon by Armenians, was there credit given then as to who the composer of the melody was on the album? Was the melody plagiarized, knowingly or unknowingly? However, I find it funny that an article like this comes out when both Harmandian and Kodjian are no longer with us so that we can ask their side of the story. I will leave all this here, there may be some "concern" to us Armenians that Karoun, Karoun took its melody, not lyrics, from an Azeri song, but unless solid proof is presented, the Azeri argument which you are presenting holds no water. The argument works both ways: anyone can easily also state "a historic Armenian cultural song was stolen by Azeris and turned into a song-poem and published it". Perhaps it is an opportunity for some musicologists to do their proper research and present their evidence that way.

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