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

Άσπρο η Μαύρο
(Aspro I Mavro)

(White or Black)

 

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the popular Greek song "Aspro I Mavro" ( Άσπρο η Μαύρο), which was sung by Keti Garbi. The song title is sometimes spelled as "Aspro Ee Mavro" because of how the middle word is pronounced. 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 this Song

Those of us from regions that speak Greek, Arabic, and Turkish have exchanged countless songs with each other through licensing the music and creating lyrics in our own languages. Record companies owned affiliates in multiple countries, so once a song became a hit in one country, these affiliates would build on its success by commissioning lyricists and artists to create versions elsewhere as well. These include both current pop music and classics.

This song shares a melody with hit 1993 Egyptian song, "Harramt Ahebak," which was made famous by Warda al-Jazeera. It was composed by Salah El Sharnobi (Σαλαχ ελ Σαρνομπη) with the original Arabic lyrics by Omar Batiesha (Ομαρ Μπατιεσα). Although Warda was originally from Algeria, she achieved fame in Egypt, and was married to the legendary Egyptian composer Baligh Hamdi.

About Keti Garbi

Keti Garbi is the stage name for Ekaterini Garbi, the artist who recorded the version of this song with Greek lyrics. She has been considered a queen of Laiko & Greek pop styles of music. She robbed the cradle by marrying her younger colleague Dionisis Shinas (Διονύσης Σχοινάς).

Keti Garbi rose to fame in the 1993 Eurovision Song Contest, taking ninth place. She became one of the most successful Greek artists of the 1990's. She achieved great commercial success with the album To Kati, which was released in 2000. She has won 11 Pop Corn Music Awards (including 3 for Album of the Year) and one Arion Music Award.

To this day all her work is phenomenal.

Keti Garbi

Song: Aspro Ee Mavro (White or Black), 2000

Lyrics in Greek: Eleni Yiannatsoulia

Music: Salah El Sharnobi

Original Artist for Greek Version: Keti Garbi, with backup vocals by Akis Diximos, Anna Ioanidou, and Katerina Kyriakou

Has Also Been Sung By:

  • Warda al-Jazeera, 1993. In Arabic. ("Harramt Ahebak")

Dance Style: Belly Dance

Album: Ti Theloune Ta Matia Sou (What Do Your Eyes Want)

Τραγούδι: Άσπρο η Μαύρο, 2000

Στίχοι: Ελένη Γιαννατσούλια

Μουσική: Σαλαχ ελ Σαρνομπη

Πρώτη Εκτέλεση: Καίτη Γαρμπή
Συμμετέχουν: Άκης Δείξιμος, Άννα Ιωαννίδου, Κατερίνα Κυριακού

Άλμπουμ: Τι Θέλουνε Τα Μάτια Σου

Άλλοι Ερμηνευτές:

  • Ουαρντα Αλ-Τζαζαιρια, 1993. – Στα Αραβικά. ("Xαραμτ Αχεμπακ")

Χορός: Τσιφτετέλι

 

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Lyrics

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Λένε οι φήμες

lene ee fimes Rumors are saying

για 'σένα, πως μ' αγαπάς

ya 'sena, pos m' agapas about you, that you love me.

πίνεις τις νύχτες για μένα

pinis tis nihtes ya mena Because of me, you're drinking at night,

μα σ' άλλη πας

ma s' ali pas but you are going to another woman.

λένε οι φήμες

lene ee fimes Rumors are saying

για 'σένα, πως δε' τολμάς

ya 'sena, pos de' tolmas about you, that you don't dare,

πως με φοβάσαι

pos me fovase how you are afraid of me,
τα λίγα πως προτιμάς ta liga pos protimas you prefer less.
     
Πάρε τους δρόμους pare tous dromous Take the roads,

ξέχνα τους νόμους

xehna tous nomous forget the laws

πέρνα φανάρια

perna fanaria pass the [red traffic] lights.

ανάβω φεγγάρια

anavo fegaria I'm lighting the moons

στο μπλε σεντόνι

sto ble sedoni on the blue sky.(1)

φωτιά με λιώνει

fotia me lioni Fire is melting me.

ως το πρωί

os to proi Until the morning

θα στα 'χω δώσει όλα

tha sta 'ho dosi ola I will have given it all to you

με τυφλή, αχ

me tifli, ah with blind, aah,
με τυφλή υποταγή me tifli ipotayi with blind submission.
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Άσπρο η μαύρο

aspro ee mavro White or black,
η φεύγεις, η μένεις εδώ
ee fevgis, ee menis edo either you're leaving or staying here.
μην το μπερδεύεις min to berdevis Don't confuse things.
η αγάπη είναι για δυο ee agapi ine ya dio Love is for two.


   

άσπρο η μαύρο

aspro ee mavro White or black.

για 'μένα γίνε τρελός

ya 'mena yine trelos Go crazy over me,

κι ότι προκύψει

ke oti prokipsi and whatever happens,
στα ύψη ο πυρετός sta ipsi o piretos the fever rises. (2)
     

Λένε οι φήμες

lene ee fimes Rumors are saying

καρδιά μου

kadrdia mou my heart

πως με ποθείς

pos me pothis that you desire me —

πως έχεις γίνει

pos ehis yini how you've become

σκιά μου, μ' ακολουθείς

skia mou, m' akolouthis my shadow, you follow me.

λένε οι φήμες

lene ee fimes Rumors are saying

πως χείλια άλλα φιλάς

pos hilia ala filas how you are kissing other lips.

για τον παλιό μου με ζήλια ότι μιλάς

ya ton palio mou me zilia oti milas You speak of my ex with jealousy
     
Πάρε τους δρόμους pare tous dromous Take the roads,

ξέχνα τους νόμους

xehna tous nomous forget the laws

πέρνα φανάρια

perna fanaria pass the [red traffic] lights.

ανάβω φεγγάρια

anavo fegaria I'm lighting the moons

στο μπλε σεντόνι

sto ble sedoni on the blue sky.(1)

φωτιά με λιώνει

fotia me lioni Fire is melting me.

ως το πρωί

os to proi Until the morning

θα στα 'χω δώσει όλα

tha sta 'ho dosi ola I will have given it all to you

με τυφλή, αχ

me tifli, ah with blind, aah,
με τυφλή υποταγή me tifli ipotayi with blind submission.
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Άσπρο η μαύρο

aspro ee mavro White or black,
η φεύγεις, η μένεις εδώ
ee fevgis, ee menis edo either you're leaving or staying here.
μην το μπερδεύεις min to berdevis Don't confuse things.
η αγάπη είναι για δυο ee agapi ine ya dio Love is for two.
     
Άσε τους φίλους ase tous filous Leave your friends
και τους γνωστούς ke tous gnostous and acquaintances.
δείχνουν με ζήλια δρόμους κλειστούς dihnoun me zilia dromous klistous They show closed roads with their jealousy.
     
δώσ' μου τα χάδια dos' mou ta hadia Give me the caresses
που μου χρωστάς pou mou hrostas that you owe me —
ανάβουν τ' άστρα anavoun t' astra they light the stars

μόνο για μας

mono ya mas for us alone.

μη' λες δεν πρέπει

mi' les den prepi Don't say we shouldn't.

Θεός μας βλέπει

Theos mas vlepi God is watching us.

τα μάτια καίνε

ta matia kene The eyes are burning,
οι φήμες λένε
ee fimes lene the rumors are saying
ότι πεθαίνεις σαν με φιλάς oti pethenis san me filas that you die when you kiss me.
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Άσπρο η μαύρο

aspro ee mavro White or black,
η φεύγεις, η μένεις εδώ
ee fevgis, ee menis edo either you're leaving or staying here.
μην το μπερδεύεις min to berdevis Don't confuse things.
η αγάπη είναι για δυο ee agapi ine ya dio Love is for two.


   

άσπρο η μαύρο

aspro ee mavro White or black.

για 'μένα γίνε τρελός

ya 'mena yine trelos Go crazy over me,

κι ότι προκύψει

ke oti prokipsi and whatever happens,
στα ύψη ο πυρετός sta ipsi o piretos the fever rises. (2)
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Άσπρο η μαύρο

aspro ee mavro White or black,
η φεύγεις, η μένεις εδώ
ee fevgis, ee menis edo either you're leaving or staying here.
μην το μπερδεύεις min to berdevis Don't confuse things.
η αγάπη είναι για δυο ee agapi ine ya dio Love is for two.
  1. Literally, the blue "sheet". Here, the word "sheet" is a metaphor for the blue sky.
  2. Literally, "with high fever". In this context, "fever" could also mean being hot, being a high temperature.

 

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Translations of
Keti Garbi's Songs On This Site

Translations on this web site of lyrics for songs performed by Keti Garbi include:

  • To Narkotiko Mou (My Drug). The same melody was later used for the Turkish song "Zordur Oğlum".
  • Ton Hristouyenon Kabanes (The Christmas Bells). A version of the song "Silver Bells" with Greek lyrics
  • Zilia (Jealousy). A version of Amr Diab's "Kalast Feek Kol al Kalam" with Greek lyrics.

 

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Related Translations

  • Harramt Ahebak (I Have Given Up on Loving You). Translation of the Egyptian song by Warda that shares a melody with "Aspro I Mavro".

 

 

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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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