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

Ελλάδαώρα Του Φωτός
(Ellada, Hora Tou Fotos)

(Greece: Land of the Light)

 

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the popular Greek song "Ellada, Hora Tou Fotos" (Ελλάδαώρα Του Φωτός), which was sung by Keti Garbi. 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

This was selected to be featured in the Eurovision competition where Keti Garbi represented Greece, in 1993. It's a nice, upbeat song that's not too depressing, yet political at the same time!

All the political Greek songs apply to the way the European Union has ruthlessly behaved toward the Greek nation — but, of course, it depends on the era.

If Performing Belly Dance for Greek Independence Celebrations

I have seen belly dancers use the Greek flag as a prop… including Greek-American belly dancers. In my opinion, this is unacceptable and disrespectful. The flag should not be used as a dance prop in the way belly dancers might use a veil in performances. Nor should one be lying or sitting on it!

If dancing in a Greek venue for Greeks (to recorded music), if you want to pay homage to the country on a national holiday, you could include a political song like this one on your playlist while you're backstage, before you enter. However, it's possible the audience won't realize you are the person who chose the song for their benefit.

You could alternatively enter waving the Greek flag, holding it in your hand on its pole, then carefully hand it to someone to take away before your set begins. With this approach, the audience realizes you're showing your knowledge and respect for the importance of the national holiday! I have used this method many times in my shows. It's greatly appreciated!

Do not ever put the flag on the ground!

About Keti Garbi

Keti Garbi is the stage name for Ekaterini Garbi, the original artist who recorded this song. 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.

Keti Garbi

Song: Ellada, Hora Tou Fotos (Greece, Land of The Light), 1993

Lyrics: Dimosthenis Stringlis

Music: Dimosthenis Stringlis

Original Artist: Keti Garbi

Dance Style: Belly Dance

Album: Os Ton Paradiso (All The Way To Heaven)

Τραγούδι: Ελλάδα Xώρα Του Φωτός, 1993

Στίχοι: Δημοσθένης Στριγκλής

Μουσική: Δημοσθένης Στριγκλής

Πρώτη Εκτέλεση: Καίτη Γαρμπή

Χορός: Οριεντάλ, Χορό Της Κοιλιάς, Ανατολίτικος Χορός, Τσιφτετέλι, Χανούμικο, Κελικός Χορός

Άλμπουμ: Ως Τον Παράδεισο

 

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Lyrics

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Ελλάδα χώρα του φωτός Ellada hora tou fotos Greece, land of the light,
του κόσμου αρχή και γυρισμός tou kosmou arhi ke yirizmos the world's beginning and return,
τόπος που διάλεξε ο Θεός topos pou dialxe o Theos a land that God chose.
κάτι τρέχει, πέρα βρέχει kati trehi, pera vrehi Something is happening, (1) they're in their own world. (2)
έρχεται δύσκολος καιρός erhete diskolos keros Hard times are coming,
και σου φωνάζει ο ουρανός ke sou fonazi o ouranos and the sky is yelling to you,
κάτσε σκέψου, λογικέψου katse skepsou, loyikepsou "Sit and think! Come to your senses!" (3)
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Τη' μια μας παίζουν ροκ ti' mia mas pezoun rok One minute they are playing rock [music] for us,
την άλλη τσιφτετέλι tin ali tsifteteli the next [minute] tsifteteli (4)
παιδιά του Πλάτωνα pedia tou Platona Children of Plato
και του Αριστοτέλη ke tou Aristoteli and of Aristotle,
μας ξεγελάνε mas xegelane they trick us
με σεκλέτι και μεράκι me sekleti ke meraki with sorrow & joy [of doing things].
πνεύμα αθάνατο pnevma athanato Immortal spirit,
σε τρώει το σαράκι se troi to saraki the worm is eating you.
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Τη' μια μας παίζουν ροκ ti' mia mas pezoun rok One minute they are playing rock [music] for us,
την άλλη τσιφτετέλι tin ali tsifteteli the next [minute] tsifteteli (4)
παιδιά του Πλάτωνα pedia tou Platona Children of Plato
και του Αριστοτέλη ke tou Aristoteli and of Aristotle,
μας ξεγελάνε mas xegelane they trick us
με σεκλέτι και μεράκι me sekleti ke meraki with sorrow & joy [of doing things].
πνεύμα αθάνατο pnevma athanato Immortal spirit,
σε τρώει το σαράκι se troi to saraki the worm is eating you.
     
Ελλάδα χώρα του φωτός Ellada hora tou fotos Greece, land of the light.
πολεμιστής ειρηνικός polemistis irinikos peace fighter,
κάνε άλλο ένα βήμα μπρος kane alo ena vima bros take another step forward.
για προχώρα, ήρθε η ώρα ya prohora, irthe ee ora Why don't you move on? The time has come!
είσαι του κόσμου το κρασί ise tou kosmou to krasi You are the world's wine,
και ας μην το ξέρεις ούτε εσύ ke as min to xeris oute esi and even if you don't know it,
κάτσε βρες τα, και έβγα πες τα katse vres ta, ke evga pes ta sit, figure it out, and go out and say it. (5)
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Τη' μια μας παίζουν ροκ ti' mia mas pezoun rok One minute they are playing rock [music] for us,
την άλλη τσιφτετέλι tin ali tsifteteli the next [minute] tsifteteli (4)
παιδιά του Πλάτωνα pedia tou Platona Children of Plato
και του Αριστοτέλη ke tou Aristoteli and of Aristotle,
μας ξεγελάνε mas xegelane they trick us
με σεκλέτι και μεράκι me sekleti ke meraki with sorrow & joy [of doing things].
πνεύμα αθάνατο pnevma athanato Immortal spirit,
σε τρώει το σαράκι se troi to saraki the worm is eating you.
     

Instrumental

Instrumental

Instrumental

     
Ελλάδα χώρα του φωτός Ellada hora tou fotos Greece, land of the light!
     
Τη' μια μας παίζουν ροκ ti' mia mas pezoun rok One minute they are playing rock [music] for us,
την άλλη τσιφτετέλι tin ali tsifteteli the next [minute] tsifteteli (4)
παιδιά του Πλάτωνα pedia tou Platona Children of Plato
και του Αριστοτέλη ke tou Aristoteli and of Aristotle.
  1. The literal translation is "something is running".
  2. The literal translation is "it's raining". It's saying that they're self-absorbed and don't care about what's going on.
  3. The word "loyiki" means "reason". The song is urging people to be logical, think it through.
  4. The word "tsifteteli" is the Greek word for belly dancing, and it also refers to a musical style that is appropriate to use for belly dancing. Here, the song is contrasting the rock music of western Europe with the traditional tsifteteli musical style of Anatolia (where modern Turkey lies, and where Greeks used to live in large numbers before the genocide of the early 20th century). This mention of rock music versus tsifteteli may be sarcastic, saying one minute it's this, the next minute it's that, suggesting the elite powers can't make up their minds.
  5. Literally, "sit, find it".

 

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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:

  • Τin Kardia Sou Rota (Ask Your Heart). A duet with Burak Kut that is partly in Greek, partly in Turkish. The Turkish title is "Kalbine Sor".
  • 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
  • Touli Gia To Hristouli (Veil for the Christ Child). A version of the song "Adeste Fideles" with Greek lyrics
  • Zilia (Jealousy). A version of Amr Diab's "Kalast Feek Kol al Kalam" with Greek lyrics.

 

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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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