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

Αλεξάνδρεια
(Alexandria)

(Alexandria)

 

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the popular Greek song "Alexandria" (Αλεξάνδρεια), which was sung by Giannis Kotsiras. Also included is a pronunciation guide for the Greek lyrics so you can sing along if you like.

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 the City of Alexandria

This song is about the gorgeous city of Alexandria, the second largest city in Egypt. It was founded and named after the ancient Greek conqueror Alexander the Great. Today it is home to a massive Egyptian-Greek population. In Arabic, the name for Alexandria is Iskanderia! It is the homeland of the renowned Egyptian-Greek poet Kavafi.

In Greece, we have countless songs singing of nostalgia and desire of what was once our homeland. The Greeks of eastern countries (outside of Greece) are all considered Anatolites (Ανατολίτες). However, this should not be confused with Anatolia, which lay in what is now present-day Turkey. Anatoli can mean all Eastern countries. Anatolites are Greeks of eastern countries, as well as all who come from the Arabic-speaking world, regardless of ethnic background and religion.

About Giannis Kotsiras

Giannis Kotsiras is a Greek singer, composer, and lyricist. He started his music career in 1990 singing rebetiko and folk music. Since 1996, he has released a total of 10 studio albums and 3 of live concert performances. In 2004, Kotsiras performed live at the opening ceremony of the Athens Olympic Games, where he sang the official song of the 2004 Olympic Torch Relay, "Pass the Flame".

About Alkistis Protopsalti

Alkistis Protopsalti, one of the artists to perform this song, is the stage name for Alkistis Sevasti Attikiouzel. She was born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt as an Egyptian Greek.  Due to political turmoil, her family eventually moved to Greece. She performed along with other singers at the closing ceremony for the Olympic Games when Greece hosted it in 2004. In 2015, she was the Deputy Minister of Tourism for Greece.

Song: Alexandria, 1996

Lyrics: Aris Davarakis

Music: Evanthia Reboutsika

Original Artist: Giannis Kotsiras

Has Also Been Recorded By:

  • Alkistis Protopsalti, 2003

Dance Style: Just for listening (or possibly a fusion veil dance)

Album: Atho-os Enohos (Innocent Guilty)

Τραγούδι: Αλεξάνδρεια, 1996

Στίχοι: Άρης Δαβαράκης

Μουσική: Ευανθία Ρεμπούτσικα

Πρώτη Εκτέλεση: Γιάννης Κότσιρας

Άλλοι Ερμηνευτές:

  • Άλκηστις Πρωτοψάλτη, 2003

Άλμπουμ: Αθώος Ένοχος

 

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Lyrics

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Ο Αλεξανδρινός o Alexandrinos The Alexandrian
ο καθαρός ο ουρανός o katharos o ouranos clear sky,
στον έρωτα είναι ston erota ine [when it comes to] love, is
σαν διαμάντι ανθεκτικός san diamandi anthektikos durable like a diamond.
κι όπως καθρεφτίζεται ke opos kathreftizete And when it's mirrored
στη θάλασσα ζεστός sti thalasa zestos warm in the sea,
λες για σαλάμ les ya salam you say "Ya salaam", (1)
να κι ένας άξιος μισθός na ke enas axios misthos here is a worthy salary.
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Βρε για σαλάμ vre ya salam Oh, ya salaam! (1)
πού να το φανταστώ pou na to fandasto How could I ever have imagined [this]?
τόσο γλυκό το φθινόπωρο αυτό toso gliko to fthinoporo afto This autumn is so sweet,
τούτος ο ουρανός ο φθινοπωρινός toutos o ouranos o fthinoporinos this Autumn sky,
είναι ο αυθεντικός – ine o afthendikos is the authentic ο Aλεξανδρινός Alexandrian [sky]!
     
Το ένα μου to ena mou One of my
λιμάνι είναι δυτικό limani ine ditiko ports is west,
το άλλο το παλιό ανατολικό to alo to palio anatoliko the other old one is east.
έχω αεροδρόμιο στο βοριά eho aerodromio sto voria I have an airport to the north,
κι ένα αρχαίο φάρο ke ena arheo faro and an ancient lighthouse
προς το νοτιά pros to notia in the south.
     
Ναι, ο ουρανός ne, o ouranos Yes, the sky
ο καθαρός ο αυθεντικός o katharos o afthendikos the clear authentic [one]
στην Αλεξάνδρεια stin Alexandria in Alexandria
είναι τόσο ανθεκτικός ine toso afthentikos is so resilient
που όταν σκάει το κύμα pou otan skai to kima that when the the wave breaks
δυνατά στο Κάιτ Μπέι dinata sto Kait Bei hard on Qaitbay (2)
παντάν παντάν pandan pandan always, always,
βρε για σαλάμ ο έρωτας λέει vre ya salam o erotas lei Love says, "Hey, ya salaam!" (1)
     

Instrumental

Instrumental

Instrumental

     
Για σαλάμ θα πει ya salam tha pei "Ya salaam" means
τόσα χώρεσα tosa horesa "I suffered so much
που το δαίμονά μου συγχώρεσα pou to demona mou sinhoresa I even forgave my demon
για όλα του ya ola tou for all of
τα πάθη τα άγρια ta pathi ta agria [his] wild passions."
για σαλάμ θα πει ya salam tha pi "Ya salaam" means
Αλεξάνδρεια Alexandria Alexandria!
  1. "Ya salaam" is an Arabic expression which has a few different meanings. In this case, I believe it means "Oh, what a blessing!"
  2. The Citadel of Qaitbay is a 15th century fortress built upon the ruins of the legendary Lighthouse of Alexandria. Sultan Abu Al-Nasr Sayf ad-Din Al-Ashraf Qaitbay was a 15th century Sultan of Egypt and Syria.

 

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Translations of
Alkistis Protopsaltis' Songs On This Site

Translations on this web site of songs performed by Giorgos Alkaios 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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