A Romanian Song in English, Without Even a Payment

When we lived in Romania, it was right after the Romanian revolution.  They were just coming out of Communism. Financially, life was more than hard on all of them.  Their financial status was basically impossible.  Except, that is, the ones who had been high up in the Communist party and had scammed the country so bad they had broken it and were still trying to scam. They were living in huge, nice houses and living like kings while the others were almost not eating and many losing their homes.

girl s white and gray crew neck top holding gray wire fence
Right after the Romanian revolution, there was widespread poverty.//Photo by namo deet on Pexels.com

Things are much better in Romania now.  Time has developed Romania. The salaries have risen. People have bought their apartments.  People have traveled outside the country for work and come back with money in their pockets.  The hospital system was completely broken when I was there, but there are even doctors who left, made money out of Romania, and then have come back and built, refurbished, and upgraded hospitals.  They went from moldy operating rooms to nice, very modern, fancy private clinics.

brown wooden framed windowpanes
Things are better in Romania now.//Photo by Caio Resende on Pexels.com

After the revolution, they were calling themselves “the sacrifice generation.”  They knew they were sacrificing so that things could get better in Romania, and it was really hard on them.  Changing from Communism to Democracy just flat almost destroyed many people, but they have made progress and come out better for it.  Under Communism, they had money, but there was nothing to buy.  With the new Democracy, they had food imported to their shops that wasn’t there before, but their money was so devalued, no one could buy it.  There were big food trucks brought in from the west, and they didn’t have to pay for that food.  There were free medical clinics brought in from the west, and they didn’t have to pay. However, they were skeptical of everything.  They had a concept called “obligatia.”  It means “obligation.” If someone gave them something for free, what were they going to expect in return?  I talked to one young woman who was downright angry.  Some religious group was giving out bananas down on the square, and they were trying to get people to go to their church. It made her mad. She said, “Who do they think we are? Monkeys?”   They needed things for free, but they still wanted to be treated with dignity and respect.  They understood their financial situation better than anyone.  Can you imagine having to pay all the bills you pay now, but only getting $100 a month at your job?  $100 a month was the salary of a doctor or other professional, the people with the best salaries.  If you weren’t someone with the best salary, just think how how much  you would have been receiving every month.  It is a wonder they survived, but they did.  They have brought themselves out of it, and now it is their turn to be president of the European Union.

america ancient architecture art
Things have improved in Romania so much that now Romania is the president of the European Union.//Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Into all the poverty that happened right after the Romanian revolution, someone brought a song to church for the rest of us to sing.  The Romanians may have called it a “Pocaiti” song. “Pocatiti” are the “repenters.”.  They are the people who had gotten really serious about Christianity to the point of becoming radical.  The women had to wear dresses, no makeup or jewelry, and a head scarf. The men couldn’t wear blue jeans.  They only listened to religious music on the radio, no other.  Legally, these churches didn’t exist in Romania, but they were all through the villages and towns. Religious people had gone into hiding under Communism, and if religious people have to go into hiding to exist, it causes them to be more radical and flourish.  They were churches like Baptist, Pentecostal, Church of the Brethren, etc.  If you think about those churches in your country, these churches were much different from what you are used to because they had become so radical.  They fellowshiped one another and called one another brothers.  If they saw one another, their greeting was “Pacea,” “peace.”

woman molding brown clay pot
The pacaiti thought women should always wear dresses and wear headscarves.//Photo by Korhan Erdol on Pexels.com

This song someone brought to church came from them. They understood better than anyone how much Romania needed Democracy and freedom, but they were also so poor they could hardly survive.  I knew one Pocaieti family in the the village called Christian.  /They lived in a big German house.  They heated and cooked with wood.  They drew water from a well.They used an outhouse. Instead of owning a car, they owned a horse and cart. They grew a garden. They kept pigs, a cow, and chickens. Both the parents had to work, and the kids had to go to school, but they still had kids that were too young to go to school. I learned they had been staying at home alone because the parents had no choice. The older kids were at school, to eat both parents had to work, and there was no money for a baby sitter.  The kids at home wet their pants all day long and made the room where they stayed stink.  They couldn’t leave a fire to heat the house while the kids were alone for fear the kids would get burned or burn the house down.  The kids would take their shoes off and walk on the logs by the fire and get splinters in their feet.  An American Baptist couple thought they wanted to help these Romanians out and offered to adopt their oldest daughter who was in high school.  This couple refused. It might have made their lives easier financially, but they said she was their flesh and blood, their daughter, they couldn’t let her go. They were a family, and they loved one another and wanted to stay together. They truly needed respite from having to pay, but they would not sell their daughter.

black and white cemetery christ church
Someone brought this song to church and shared it with the rest of us. It seemed to depict what Romanians really needed.//Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Out of all this, this song was written, and someone brought it to church.  We were not considered Pocaiti. Neither were we considered Orthodox or Catholic.  We were just Christians, and it was a new concept for Romania, but the idea has really caught on. Here is the song, and I will translate it for you so you can see the meaning and why people in the predicament that the Romanians were in right after the revolution might enjoy singing this song.  It has never been translated to another language, but now you are going to get it in English.  It is called, “Fara Nici O Plata,”  “Without Even a Payment.”

Fara Nici O Plata

Without Even a Payment

art cathedral christ christian
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Mantuire ni sa dat

He gave us salvation

working business money coins
Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

Fara nici o plata

Without even a payment

grayscale photo of the crucifix
Photo by Alem Sánchez on Pexels.com

Prin Isus crucificat

Through Jesus crucified

abundance achievement bank banknotes
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Fara nici o plata

Without even a payment

statue of jesus
Photo by Juhasz Imre on Pexels.com

Prin Isus ne-a mantuit

Through Jesus, he saved us

water of life
Photo by Samad Deldar on Pexels.com

De pacat ne curatit

We are cleaned from sin

sunset hands love woman
Photo by Stokpic on Pexels.com

Cat de mult el ne-a iubit

How much he loved us

shopping business money pay
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Fara nici o plata.

Without even a payment


Leave a Reply