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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

Άλα Τούρκα χόρεψέ μου
(Ala Tourka Horepse Mou)

(Dance for Me in Turkish Style)

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the popular Greek song "Ala Tourka Horepse Mou" (Άλα Τούρκα χόρεψέ μου), which was sung by Giota Lydia. Also included is a pronunciation guide for the Greek lyrics so you can sing along if you like.

For more information about the laiko and rebetiko styles of music, see Introduction to Laiko / Rebetiko Music elsewhere on this web site.

Song lyrics are provided for educational purposes. If you like the song, please purchase either the album or a download from an authorized source.

About Vasilis Tsitsanis

Vasilis Tsitsanis was the composer and lyricist for this song.

Tsitsanis was a versatile musician who learned to play violin, mandola, mandolin, and bouzouki. He collaborated with a number of singers to record the songs he had composed, with him accompanying them on bouzouki. His music helped launch several of his collaborators to fame and successful careers.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: Vasilis Tsitsanis as a young man.

Vasilis Tsitsanis

About Giota Lydia

Giota Lydia, born as Panayiota Mantaraki on February 24, 1934, comes from a family of singers. She was born in Greece in an Greek Anatolian refugee district known as Nea Ionia. Her parents were refugees from Smyrna, which today is known as Izmir in Turkey.

Lydia began her career as a singer at the young age of 11, and she became one of the most renowned singers in the laiko genre of music. She married her husband, Stratos Attalidi, when she was only 14 years old. He was also an artist and composer, and he promoted her career as a singer.

Lydia has been a very prolific artist, known for her work as a recording artist. She recorded over 1,000 songs of all musical styles, on 350 record albums. Her final album, Kathara Kai Xaspera, was released in 1986.

Giota Lydia

Song: Ala Tourka Horepse Mou – Dance for Me in the Turkish Way, 1956

Lyrics: Vasilis Tsitsanis

Music: Vasilis Tsitsanis

Original Artist: Giota Lydia (sometimes spelled as Yiota Lydia)

Τραγουδι: Άλα Τούρκα χόρεψέ μου, 1956

Στίχοι: Βασίλης Τσιτσάνης

Μουσική: Βασίλης Τσιτσάνης

Πρώτη εκτέλεση: Γιώτα Λύδια

 

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Lyrics

Numbers in parentheses refer to footnotes that appear at the bottom of the translation.

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Ντύσου απόψε και στολίσου disou apopse ke stolisou Dress up tonight and adorn yourself
σαν χανούμισσα σωστή san hanoumisa sosti like a real Oriental dancer. (1)
αχ κι άντε πάμε να γλεντήσεις ah ke ande pame na glendisis Ah, and let's go out so you can celebrate
την μποέμικη ζωή tin boemiki zoi the Bohemian life.
κι άντε πάμε να γλεντήσεις ke ande pame na glendisis And let's go out so you can celebrate
την μποέμικη ζωή tin boemiki zoi the Bohemian life.
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Αχ, αλά Τούρκα Ah, ala Tourka Ah, Turkish style!
χόρεψε μου χανουμάκι μου Horepse mou hanoumaki mou Dance for me, my belly dancer!
αλά Τούρκα Ala Tourka Turkish style!
κι ότι θέλεις κοριτσάκι μου ke oti thelis koritsaki mou And whatever you want, my girl (2)
     
Άιντε τα χανουμάκια  Ainde ta hanoumakia Come on, belly dancers!
Έλα παιδί μου  Ela pedi mou Come on my girl (3)
     

Verse

Verse

Verse

Το για λέλι θα μας παίζουν To ya leli tha mas pezoun They will play for us 1,001 nights
με τρελές διπλοπενιές me treles diplopenies with crazy double music strikes.
αχ κι αλά Tούρκα θα χορεύεις Ah ke ala Tourka tha horevis Oh, and you'll be dancing Turkish style
να καούν πολλές καρδιές na kaoun polles kardies to burn many hearts.
κι αλά Tούρκα θα χορεύεις Ke ala Tourka tha horevis Oh, and you'll be dancing Turkish style
να καούν πολλές καρδιές na kaoun polles kardies to burn many hearts.
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Αχ, αλά Τούρκα Ah, ala Tourka Ah, Turkish style!
χόρεψε μου χανουμάκι μου Horepse mou hanoumaki mou Dance for me, my belly dancer!
αλά Τούρκα ala Tourka Turkish style!
κι ότι θέλεις κοριτσάκι μου ke oti thelis koritsaki mou And whatever you want, my girl
     
Έλα χανουμάκι μου Ela hanoumaki mou Come, my belly dancer,
αμάν πια  aman pia enough, already!
     

Verse

Verse

Verse

Για χατίρι σου θα σπάσουν τα τσιγγάνικα βιολιά Ya hatiri sou tha spasoun ta tsigganika violia For your sake the Romany violins will be broken
αχ κι ακριβά θα την πληρώσω ah ke akriva tha tin pliroso Ah and I will pay a lot
την γλυκιά σου αγκαλιά tin glikia sou agkalia for your sweet embrace
αχ κι ακριβά θα την πληρώσω ah ke akriva tha tin pliroso Ah and I will pay a lot
την γλυκιά σου αγκαλιά tin glikia sou agkalia for your sweet embrace
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Αχ, αλά Τούρκα Ah, ala Tourka Ah, Turkish style!
χόρεψε μου χανουμάκι μου Horepse mou hanoumaki mou Dance for me, my belly dancer!
αλά Τούρκα Ala Tourka Turkish style!
κι ότι θέλεις κοριτσάκι μου ke oti thelis koritsaki mou And whatever you want, my girl
     
χόρεψε μου χανουμάκι μου   horepse mou hanoumaki mou Dance for me, my belly dancer.
Έλα παιδί μου ωχ Ela pedi mou oh Come on my girl, oh!
     
Αχ, αλά Τούρκα Ah, ala Tourka Ah, Turkish style!
χόρεψε μου χανουμάκι μου Horepse mou hanoumaki mou Dance for me, my belly dancer!
αλά Τούρκα Ala Tourka Turkish style!
κι ότι θέλεις κοριτσάκι μου ke oti thelis koritsaki mou And whatever you want, my girl
Έλα παιδί μου ωχ Ela pedi mou oh Come on my girl, oh!
  1. The word hanoumisa comes from the Turkish word hanım, which referred to a Muslim lady. The Greek form hanoumisa and its related forms of hanoumaki and hanoumi can be defined as "the woman of the harem". However, it has also frequently been used to refer to Oriental dance (belly dance).
  2. "Koritsaki" means "little girl". However, it can be used as an endearment for an adult man or woman. The suffix “-aki” appears at the end of some words as a cutesy way of saying it. It can be said in either a loving way or a frustrated way.
  3. "Pedi mou" means "child", but can be an endearment for an adult woman.

 

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Translations of Songs Composed by
Vasilis Tsitsanis On This Site

Other translations of songs composed by Vasilis Tsitsanis on this web site include:

 

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About the Translator

This page was contributed by Panayiota Bakis Mohieddin, who is happy to share her culture and music she grew up with! Here's how Panayiota describes her background:

I always love engaging with intelligent like-minded people, especially artists. I love sharing anything and everything about my Hellenic culture and upbringing, especially music and dance. A conversation with me will bring you back to America's favorite Greek-American movie by Nia Vardalos called My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

I love investigating Greek culture, history, music, and dance. Speaking of investigating, I think I missed my calling, I probably should have been an investigator. Instead, I use those skills to dig and dig and dig tirelessly, often times falling asleep on my laptop... just to find the truth. But, most importantly, accurate truth. For me personally, and other respectable folklorists, my culture and accuracy are very important. Each generation of ethnic born artists has a duty to do the best it can to pass down our traditions as was taught to us. We have been given this artistic gift to be the gatekeepers of our heritage and culture.

Panayiota

 

 

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