Dragiša Nedović

Dragiša Nedović, born on 20 July 1916 in Kragujevac, was a songwriter and composer.
He started writing as a child. His parents, father Andrija and mother Gina, had nine children – five sons and four daughters.
The family lived in modest circumstances and so he decided to leave his hometown at the age of 16. He set off with the intention “that the people may hear his music”, only a used guitar in his luggage.
Travelling through Serbia, he wrote his songs: “Teško mi je Šumadiju ostaviti”, “To je moja Šumadija”, “Siromah sam druže” and others. The last song (“Poor am I, my friend”) is in a way autobiographical and reflects his life. The people were enthusiastic about the new songs.

The path leads him to Bosnia, where he writes more Bosnian: “U lijepom starom gradu Višegradu”, first sung by Himzo Polovina in the mid-fifties, “Iz Bosne se jedna pesma čuje”, “Prođoh Bosnom kroz gradove”, “Bosanske me pjesme zaniješe” and many others. The population in these areas enthusiastically embraced Dragiša’s style.

After a longer stay in Bosnia, Dragiša continues his journey to Dalmatia.
Inspired by new motifs – the sea, the ships and the beautiful women – he continues writing and composing and so he creates new works: “O lipa ti neznanko”, “Kad si bila mala Mare”, “O brodiću bijeli”, which are very popular with the Dalmatians.

These songs quickly conquered their place in the music of the time and were soon recorded as folk songs, which is the main reason for the lack of knowledge and recognition of the authorship of these songs.

The situation in other parts of the former Yugoslavia was not one bit better. Especially in Serbia, where many songs were considered “folk songs” with unknown authors because of their beauty, value and general acceptance. Thus, Nedović was deprived of his rights as author to his own work.

Years later Dragiša returned to Serbia, where he continued writing, but now with a great life and artistic experience. He possessed enormous imagination and was full of new ideas. More than 400 songs are among his works.

In 1950 he fell ill with tuberculosis and so his sad song “Pluća su mi bolna, zdravlja više nemam” was born, which was soon to be banned from public performance, as at that time a large number of young people were suffering from this disease and as a result caused some cases of suicide.

He died of a heart attack in his home town of Kragujevac on 31 January 1966.

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