Verka Siderova – The Flower of Bulgaria



The greatest wealth of the Bulgarian people, that has survived during the centuries of yoke and has been saved by the heroic struggle for independence, are the folklore songs. Through it we can see the evidences of dreams and longings, of joy and sadness in the holidays and the customs of the Bulgarians. In the lyrics and melodies of the folklore songs have been preserved the beauty of the Bulgarian language, the attitude of the people towards freedom in the centuries-old struggle for national independence, of their faith in life and love. The interweaving of the language and the melodies create true masterpieces of folk art that not only survive in time, but charge the Bulgarians with faith and strength to overcome the difficulties it faces. It gives the Bulgarian people confidence and strength in its pursuit of the beauty of life and the establishment of the free spirit.

The Bulgarian folk songs come from the depths of the history and in most cases do not have its specific author. The strength of their impact makes them an indispensable companion in the life of the Bulgarians. Known and unknown singers transmit them word by word, from mouth to mouth, from generation to generation. The content of the lyrics structures the moral standards in the human relations. The songs contain themes of life and death, love and separation, the daily work and the joys that accompany the daily life of Bulgarians. Thousands of songs are created in the different regions of Bulgaria, independently of one another, united by the language and general issues bearing its own characteristic. One of these regions is Dobrudzha, which is located in Northeastern Bulgaria, known today by its fertility, by the hard work and the hospitality of its residents, by its rich tradition in keeping the song and dance folklore.

One of the most prominent names among the singers of Dobrudzha songs over the past more than 60 years is the folklore singer Verka Siderova. In her repertoire she has collected a real palette of more than 400 songs about Dobrudzha and a lot of other songs that she has bequeathed the singers of the next generations. The songs are about the love for the birthplace and the family, about love and labor, for the happy and the sad moments in life. With her songs Verka Siderova has become a true emblem of the Bulgarian folklore song and her talent and the decades of her professional work in the State Ensemble for Folklore Songs and Dances under the guidance of the outstanding conductor and composer Filip Kutev place Dobrudzha songs among the most beloved. For a long time due to her longevity – 90 years of age, she does not stop to help the young singers who continue her path and her noble mission to preserve and transfer the Bulgarian folklore song to the next generations. Her autobiographical book is a sincere confession of her love for Bulgaria and the Bulgarian art, for Dobrudzha and its people.


Nikolay Mirchev


verka-siderova-the-flower-of-bulgariaMom has always been with me. Even after her death. I have always needed her. When I was a kid I needed her, when I became a girl – I needed her, when I got married – I needed her as well, when I left alone with Mitko – still nothing and no one could replace her. It is so. You need your mother as long as you live. This does not concern only me. This is a general rule. It is human. Mom is the best in the world. Mom is like Dobrudzha, mom is like Bulgaria.

* * *

They often say that I am far away, that I do not go often to Dobrudzha. Do you know what being in Sofia looks like? It looks like being in love when your great love is not with you, but you love so that you are dying for your love. This is Dobrodzha for me. So let them not judge me. Such was my destiny. I had to get to the highest point of the folk song.

* * *

In the ensemble I have found the great Valkana Stoyanova as a soloist. I’ve always said that in the pyramid of the singers she stands at the highest point. Above her there is only air and the Lord. There is no one else. She was singing so worthily. I took a lot from her – the manner of singing, the way of behavior. I took a lot, as we were friends. I had a great respect for her and I was next to her until her last breath. When she was standing on stage singing, she looked like Bulgaria!

* * *

They ask me why I did not stay abroad, why I returned to Bulgaria. What to do abroad, people? Where there I will find my childhood memories, my Bulgaria and my Dobrudzha? What am I going to do there? Don’t you know that where you were born there and the ashes woudl warm you?


Verka Siderova

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