Imagery of the city thus found its way into the realm of popular music, which through ever more available radio and TV receivers, tape and record players found its way into the privacy of the home. In the 1950s and 1960s, Marjana Deržaj was singing in the popular song ‘V Ljubljano’: ‘Naš mali avto je še premajhen/Da v njem sedeli lahko bi vsi/Pa jaz na strehi, pa ti na strehi/Pa on na strehi, naj sedi.’9F These lines epithomise the excitement that the new times bring. What is more, the car, as the status symbol, being not big enough yet, implicitly presupposes the bright future awaiting, where ‘we’ can go together, even if one needs to sit on the roof. The joyful melodics of this song convey easygoing brightness yet progressive optimism, that in the following lines: ‘V Ljubljano gremo mi/v Ljubljani so lepe ulice/Na ulicah pa lepe deklice’,10F portrays the lively streets of the city. The city also figures as a place for romance. The imagery of incessant rhythm of life, depicted in ‘Mi bomo vso noč preplesali/Bela Ljubljana nikdar ni zaspana, o ne’,11F also presents the city as the ideological moteur of the republic`s capital, the whiteness of which (Bela/White Ljubljana) implies clean, airy, light and unoppressive experience of the city.
After the Tito-Stalin split in 1948 and official dismissal of socialist realism in the sphere of cultural produciton in 1952 12F a relative decentralisation and openness of the system towards the West could not be prevented. This resulted in variety of Western influences ‘invading’ the sphere of popular culture and subsequent acculturation of new foreign forms of expression.13F In this atmosphere, Bele vrane, the band from the 1960s that ascribed to the hippy look of the Mamas and the Papas, although backed by orchestra, still remained faithful to the genre of popevka. Nevertheless, they introduced new kind of music and contributed to the definition and promulgation of pop music. In one of their songs about Ljubljana, ‘Šuštarski most,’ they sing: ‘V Ljubljani za Ljubljanico/najde vsak kar išče’.14F The listener is led from having dinner at the then famous Vitez restaurant, to drinking in the bar Maček, on to the Robba`s fountain where one can chill the hangover in the fountain water.15F References to Ljubljana`s popular topographical points figure as a designator of cityscape in the songscape. This physically existent, material places are given life in the song trying to appeal to the specific intimate mental places. The refrain, for instance: ‘Čez Šuštarski most/levo na Mestni trg/Desno na Stari trg/Po spomine po mladost/Čez Šuštarski most’,16F most explicitly evokes themes of memories and youth. These inhabit the very private representations of places in the flow of time. In another one of the their songs, still popular today, Bele vrane sing about Ljubljana as seen from the Nebotičnik. The city in the following lines: ‘Mala terasa, spodaj Ljubljana/pomanjšana, da odnesla bi od tu/bele hišice, v predpasniku’,17F figures as an entity that from the top of the skyscraper seems managable, therefore a very heimlich place. Coupled by the line ‘Sva šla na malo teraso/nad širno Ljubljano’18F it offers a read that in order to fully get hold of the city, as a metaphor, one needs to detach oneself from it. On the other hand, the last lines could imply the pressure of the accomodation problems with regard to scarce capacities, for one needs to go ‘bliže sonca in modrega neba’ in order to ‘pozabiva, da premajhna za dva/in žalostna sobica, je najina’.19F That is, to get away, but still remain within. Because, every runaway necessarily means taking along a part of what one tries to leave behind.
Interestingly enough, I did not manage to find any song from that period that would personalise Ljubljana to the extent, for instance, as are by use of personal pronouns personalised Zagreb and Beograd. Could it be the legacy of them having the history or mythology of the capital, a metropolis? Ivo Robić, one of the first Yugoslavian music performers who made it abroad, sings about Zagreb: ‘Vraćam se Zagrebe tebi, tebi na obale Save/Vraćam se Zagrebe tebi, tebi pod zidine stare’.20F Through reference to its position on the banks of the river Sava and evoking imagery of old city walls, the link to the past is established. For the city bears heavy marks of the past, it is also implied that ‘he’, as a silent witness of history, bears certain knowledge. The city is the place that despite perpetual development and changes, still retains the scent of the old, at least in reminiscence. This knowledge, of course, can be accessed and revealed by historical research, but what such research misses, are the stories that are only available to the one that was there. As Robić sings: ‘Mnoge tajne gornjeg grada/svaka klupa pivat zna/Mnoge tajne gornjeg grada/u tvojem krilu želim ja’.21F (Another thing that seems to present important part of the city are parks. Excessive materiality of stone and concrete is intersected by patches of still highly stylised, cultivated patches of green. Tereza Kesovija sings: ‘Parkovi, parkovi, vi ste srca moga grada/Vi ste tiha gnijezda i mirni sati hlada/dok u vama se kriju zadnje ptice grada/Vi ste poslije podne i predah jednog dana/jer sigurni su vaši zidovi od grana’,22F cherishing the value of green that allows for last traces of nature to survive and enable the citizen to cope with concrete reality.) As for Beograd is concerned, both as the capital of Serbia and as the capital of SFRY, it had an important role in the life of the state and on international scene as well. In the song ‘Beograde’ sang by Đorđe Marjanović, Beograd is portrayed as a city ‘na ušču dveju reka ispod Avale/već vekovima čuvaš beo lik’.23F The position at the confluence of Sava and the river Danube map the city into the network of physically connected cities. It is, again, the origin in the indiscernable past that endows the city with trans-temporality, depicted in ‘za tebe, ko da stoji vreme, ti živiš srcem uvek mlad’.24F Additionally, the song ‘Moj dragi Beograde’, sang by Lola Novaković, positions the city within and above the network of European cities. For she has been to Prague and London, to Athens and to Rome, she has seen luxury and wealth, but ‘nigde nigde ne pronađoh/to što ima moj voljeni grad/moj beograd srce ima/i u srcu ljubav čistu’.25F Zagreb and Beograd appear almost as a mysterious friend or a love object whose existence is rooted in the glorious past. Ljubljana, on the other hand, through apparently more individualised references to the past gives the impression of a phase in the process.
Nevertheless, these cities are connected through the passing of time, just as much as they are linked by the flow of rivers. Most of the songs taken into consideration are significantly marked by the consequences of temporal corrosivity. Although in reality the city figures as a permanency in action, it is the world of the song that is heavily imbued by the often romanticised past of the city, either collective or personal, the past that actually never was. In its trans-temporality the song renders the imaginary worlds accessible and inhabitable to a wide variety of highly individualised intimate experiences thus set in a universal framework.
9. Marjana Deržaj, “V Ljubljano/Going to Ljubljana”; [Our little car is still too small/In order to fit us all/So let me sit on the roof/You sit on the roof/And let him sit on the roof].
10. Ibid., [We`re going to Ljubljana/There are beautiful streets/And on the streets there are pretty girls].
11. Ibid., “V Ljubljano/Going to Ljubljana”; [We shall dance all night/White Ljubljana is never asleep, oh no].
12. Ervin Dolenc, “Culture, Politics, and Slovene Identity” in Independent Slovenia: Origins, Movements and Prospects, ed. by Jill Benderey and Evan Kreft (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1994), pp. 69-90, p. 85.
13. See Alenka Barber-Kersovan, “Tradition and Acculturation as Polarities of Slovenian Popular Music”, p. 73– 89.
14. Bele vrane, “Šuštarski most/The Shoemaker`s Bridge”; [In Ljubljana by the Ljubljanica/One finds what one looks for].
16. Ibid., [Across the Shoemaker`s bridge/Left to the City Square/Right to the Old Square/To find memories and youth/Across the Shoemaker`s bridge].
17. Ibid., [A small terrace, Ljubljana below/So small, we could take away/Little white houses in an apron].
18. Ibid., [We went to the small terrace/Above wide Ljubljana].
19. Bele vrane, “Na vrhu Nebotičnika/On top of Nebotičnik”; [Close to the sun and blue skies]; [Let`s forget that our room is too small and too sad for the two of us].
20. Ivo Robić, “Zagreb, Zagreb”; [I`m coming back to you, my Zagreb, on the banks of the Sava/I`m coming back to you, my Zagreb, to you under the ancient walls].
21. Ibid., “Zagreb, Zagreb”; [Of plenty of secrets of the uptown/Any bench can sing/Plenty of secrets of uptown/I long for in your shelter].
22. Tereza Kesovija, “Parkovi/Parks”; [Parks, oh, parks, of my city you are hearts/You`re silent nests and freshness` peaceful hours/In the afternoon, you are the day`s repose/Safely behind branch walls].
23. Đorđe Marjanović, “Beograde”; [At the confluence of the two rivers under Avala/For ages you have kept your white].
24. Ibid., [It seems, for you the time had stopped, your heart is always young].
25. Lola Novaković, “Moj dragi Beograde/My Dear Belgrade”; [Nowhere have I found/What my city has got/My Belgrade has a heart/And it`s the heart of pure love].