Balkan Ballad

A “Balkan ballad” is a certain type of ballad that comes from the ex-Yugoslav nations (and Yugoslavia itself back in the day).

It is usually performed in the native language, has a real dramatic element and tends to deal with themes about love (usually the anti-love song/breakup song kind). It also heavily features ethnic instrumentation, although this is a more recent trend, as Balkan ballads before the turn of the century were slightly more Westernised in its instrumentation (albeit still in the native language).

Of course the ex-Yu countries don’t always send ethnic ballads, and not every ballad they send fits in the “Balkan ballad” mould, but it is a trademark of theirs that is worth noting.


  • Basically any entry that Željko Joksimović had written and/or performed
    •  Let’s recap which songs shall we?
      • The two he performed – “Lane moje” in 2004, and “Nije ljubav stvar” in 2012
      • “Lejla”, performed by Hari Mata Hari (Bosnia & Herzegovina 2006)
      • “Oro”, performed by Jelena Tomašević (Serbia 2008)
  • Doris Dragović – “Željo moja” (Yugoslavia 1986)
  • Fazla – “Sva bol svijeta” (Bosnia & Herzegovina 1993)
  • Alma & Dejan – “Ostani kraj mene” (Bosnia & Herzegovina 1994)
  • Both of Darja Švajger’s entries for Slovenia (“Prisluhni mi” in 1995, and “For A Thousand Years” in 1999)
  • Magazin & Lidija – “Nostalgija” (Croatia 1995)
  • Maja Blagdan – “Sveta ljubav” (Croatia 1996)
  • Danijela – “Neka mi ne svane” (Croatia 1998)
  • Marija Šerifović – “Molitva” (Serbia 2007), which of course won
  • Karolina Gočeva – “Mojot svet” (FYR Macedonia 2007), features a language change to English at the end
  • Marija Šestić – “Rijeka bez imena” (Bosnia & Herzegovina 2007)
  • Regina – “Bistra voda” (Bosnia & Herzegovina 2009)
  • Igor Cukrov feat. Andrea – “Lijepa Tena” (Croatia 2009)
  • Feminnem – “Lako je sve” (Croatia 2010)
  • Maja Keuc – “No One” (Slovenia 2011), a rare English-language Balkan ballad, although a Slovenian version was performed at the National Final
  • Kaliopi – “Crno i belo” (FYR Macedonia 2012), a more rock-based ballad
  • Nina Badrić – “Nebo” (Croatia 2012)
  • Eva Boto – “Verjamem” (Slovenia 2012)
  • Maya Sar – “Korake ti znam” (Bosnia & Herzegovina 2012)

2 thoughts on “Balkan Ballad”

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