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

"Νέοι Χασικλήδες" ή "Οι Χασικλήδες"
("Nei Hasiklides" or "Oi Hasiklides")

"New Hashish Smokers or "The Hashish Smokers"

also known as

Έμαθα Πως Είσαι Μάγκας
(Ematha Pos Eese Mangas)

(I Learned You Are a Manga)

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the popular Greek song "Nei Hasiklides" (Νέοι Χασικλήδες), later known as "Ematha Pos Eese Mangas" (Έμαθα Πως Είσαι Μάγκας). The original 1928 version was sung by Antonis Diamantidis. 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.

History of the Song

When this song made its debut in 1928, its title was "Nei Hasiklides" (Νέοι Χασικλήδες). Hasiklis means "hashish smokers".

The original song belonged to a genre known as "Ta Apagorevmena Rebetika" ("The Forbidden Rebetika"), written in Greek as "Τα Απαγορευμένα Ρεμπέτικα". Its lyrics spoke of corruption, drugs, and prostitution rather than topics more typical of law-abiding citizens. This and other songs of the era became censored because of their controversial content, and disappeared for many years. In the era following World War I, which was a time when the streets of Greece were being cleaned up from drugs and crime, a song which spoke of these things was not welcome.

Around the 1960s, the title of the song was replaced with "Ematha Pos Eese Mangas" (Έμαθα Πως Είσαι Μάγκας), and the verses were replaced with topics that society of the time would find more acceptable. This catchy tune became popular again when a spunky Greek singer who was known by his nickname Hristakis recorded it with these new lyrics.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: This photo shows a group of mangas. More information about mangas is available with another song translation on this web site.

Today, the newer generations have all embraced the original authentic tunes of bygone days. There is no longer shame in singing about drugs, in particular.

Some sources say the great Antonis Diamantidis (Dalgas) was chosen as the first to sing this song when it debuted in 1928; however, other sources claim it may have been Marika Papagika. I personally do not own a copy of the recording by Papagika, so I am not able to verify 100% whether this is true.

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

Other Versions

At this time, the only versions I'm aware of with lyrics are the Greek ones. There is a Turkish instrumental version that was published in the United States in 1939, surprisingly by a Greek named Kostas Gantinis. I say "surprisingly" because its title is "Agir Aidin Zeybek Havasi" in the Turkish language; yet, I was not able to find a Turkish artist performing it from that era. I had also asked fellow Turkish-born colleagues, and they also never heard of it.

There is also an entirely different song also titled "Oi Hasiklides" that was recorded by Leopol Gad. Both its melody and its lyrics are completely different from the song translated on this page.

Greek Manges

About Antonis Diamantidis (Dalgas)

Antonis Diamantidis, whose name is sometimes spelled as Andoni Diamandidi, is generally credited as being the original artist for "Nei Hasiklides" in 1928. He was born in the town of Arnavutkou, Turkey in 1892. Arnavutkou was a part of Constantinople. He was given the nickname "Dalgas", which means "passion" in Greek, as a reference to his singing style.

Dalgas was an accomplished and highly respected singer, instrumentalist, and composer.  His resume includes over 400 published works in the Greek rebetiko and folkloric musical genre. He passed away in 1945, leaving behind a wife and daughter named Anna.

About Hristakis Sirpos

Hristos Sirpos, nicknamed Hristakis, reintroduced this song in 1968 with his updated recording of new lyrics. Hristakis was born in Konstantinoupoli (present day Istanbul) in 1924. Due to devastation of war, the family fled to Greece and built their life in Northern Greece's region of Drama.

It didn't take long for his talents to get noticed, as he was not only a singer but also a self-taught instrument player. His specialties included baglamadaki, bouzouki, and guitar.

I can't even explain to you how much I love this artist and enjoy watching his video footage. He had a very special personality, like none other, and was considered to be the Greek Johnny Holiday. His presentation on stage was comical, yet serious. But it wasn't just any kind of comical — it wasn't forced or planned, it was natural. When he played his instruments his whole body followed along with his funny faces.

Greek movie productions also noticed his unique personality and signed him to appear on many major Greek black and white movies. In 1968, Hristakis was featured performing this song live in the film O Tiherakias (Ο Τυχεράκιας). The scene takes place with him singing in a jail cell.

Despite all his fame and fortune, he spent his later years penniless. Sadly, like many legends, his worth and memory started to grow again years later after his sudden death due to a stroke in 1981.

About Dimitra & Kostas Skarveli (Pastourmas)

The original lyrics of this song were written and composed by either Dimitra and Kostas Skarveli (Pastourmas) or just Dimitra alone. Kostas Skarvelis was her brother.

They were born in Konstantinoupoil (Istanbul) around the late 1800s. During this time, World War I was around the corner, along with the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Many Greeks sought refuge in neighboring countries to save their lives. The Skarvelis family opted to escape to Egypt, going to the port city of Alexandria, Egypt. The family eventually made their way back to Greece.

Kostas left his mark on Greek music history with over 200 published songs and many collaborations with the legends of his time. He passed away in April of 1942. I do not have much information for his sister Dimitra.

Song Title:

  • Nei Hasiklides or Oi Hasiklides, 1928 — New Hashish Smokers or The Hashish Smokers
  • Ematha Pos Eese Mangas, 1968 — I Learned You Are a Manga
  • 1930, recorded in Athens
  • 1935, instrumental in NYC by Peristeris

Lyrics: Dimitra & Kostas Skarveli (Pastourmas)

Music: Dimitra Skarveli

Original Artist: Antonis Diamantidis (Dalgas)

Has Also Been Recorded By:

  • Evangelos Sofroniou (1928) under the song title "Oi Hasiklidis"
  • Kostas Karipis (1930) under the song title "Nei Hasiklidis"
  • Spyros Peristeris (1935) instrumental version recorded in New York
  • Hristos Sirpos (Hristakis) (1968) under the song title Ematha Pos Eese Manga
  • Haris Alexiou
  • Eleni Tsaligopoulou

Dance Style:

  • Pimenikos Aptalikos of the Aidinou region of present day Turkey (but this is danced in Greece). Part of the zeibekiko family.
  • Not appropriate for belly dance
Τραγούδι:

  • Νέοι Χασικλήδες, 1928
  • Έμαθα Πως Είσαι Μάγκας, 1968

Στίχοι: Δήμητρα Σκαρβέλη

Μουσική: Δήμητρα Σκαρβέλη

Πρώτη εκτέλεση: Αντώνη Διαμαντίδη/Νταλκάς

Άλλοι Ερμηνευτές:

  • Ευάγγελος Σωφρονίου (1928)
  • Κώστας Καρίπης (1930)
  • Χρήστος Σύρπος/Χρηστάκης (1968)
  • Χαρις Αλεξίου
  • Ελένη Τσαλιγοπούλου

 

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Lyrics

As noted above, the original 1928 version of this song by Antonis Diamantidis was one of the "Forbidden Rebetiko" due to the lyrics' referencing hashish smokers. A later version with new lyrics was released in 1968 by Hristakis. Both are translated below.

 

Nei Hasiklides or Oi Hasiklides

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Έμαθα πως παίζεις ζάρια ematha pos pezis zaria I've learned you are rolling dice [gambling]
πως είσαι χασικλής pos ise hasiklis and how you are a hashish smoker
είσαι μάγκας, τσικ-λεβέντης ise mangas tsik, levendis you're a mangas (1)
νυχτοπερπατητής nihtoperpatis night walker (2)
     
Έλα μαγκάκι μου μικρό ela mangaki mou mikro come on my little manga (3)
που 'χω δυό λόγια pou 'ho dio loyia as I have two words (4)
να σου η'πω na sou ee'po to tell you.
     
Τούρνε και τούρνε tourne ke tourne around in circles (5)
Τούρνε και νέ tourneh keh neh keep circling around (6)
πες το βρε μάγκα pes to vre manga dude, come on say it, manga
μου το ναι mou to neh just say yes
     
Μου παν είσαι μοσχομαγκας mou pan ise moshomangas they told me you are a moshomangas (7)
είσαι και μπελαλής ise ke belalis you are also a trouble maker
εξηγιέσαι στους τεκέδες exiyese stous tekedes You show up [causing trouble] in the tekedes (8)
είσαι και νταβατζής ise ke davatzis you are also a pimp.
     
Έλα βρε μάγκα ela vre manga Yo, come on manga
πες το, το ναί pes to, to neh just say it, say yes
και ότι θέλεις ke oti thelis and whatever it is you want
από `με apo 'me from me
     
Τούρνε και τούρνε tourne ke tourne around in circles (5)
Τούρνε και νέ tourneh keh neh keep circling around (6)
πες το βρε μάγκα pes to vre manga dude, come on say it, manga
μου το ναι mou to neh just say yes
     

Improvised Comment

Improvised Comment

Improvised Comment

Ε ρε να μου ζησεις μαγκα eh re na moy zisis manga oh may you live long my manga (9)
     
Έμαθα πως παίζεις ζάρια ematha pos pezis zaria I've learned you are rolling dice [gambling]
είσαι και χασικλού ise ke hasiklou [female] and how you are a hashish smoker
εξηγήσε στα παιχνίδια exiyise sta pehnidia you are straight during the games (10)
έχεις και γιαβουκλού ehis ke yiavouklou and you are loved.
     
Χασικλα είσαι και ντερβίση hasikla ise keh dervisi you are one of a kind, a proud person who can handle anything
τραβάς τη κουμπουριά travas ti koubouria you pull out your gun
και σ' ολα τα παιχνίδια μέσα keh s' ola ta pehnidia mesa and in all the games [when actively playing]
φωνάζεις τη μαγκιά fonazis ti mangia you yell "What mangia!" (11)
     
Τούρνε και τούρνε tourne ke tourne around in circles (5)
Τούρνε και νέ tourneh keh neh keep circling around (6)
πες το βρε μάγκα pes to vre manga dude, come on say it, manga
μου το ναι mou to neh just say yes
  1. The term mangas refers to "real men" or "manly men". See the translation for "Oi Manges den Yparhoun Pia" for a more detailed description of the word mangas and its history in Greek culture.
  2. Nihto refers to night, and perpatimenos refers to having walked. However, the meaning of this term runs much deeper than that. The term generally refers to someone who has significant life experience. It does not necessarily indicate those who work or go out at night. It is someone who literally been through everything and knows about life at a greater level than any book can offer. In the U.S., some people might say they had gone to the school of hard knocks.
  3. Whenever Greek words end in "-aki", it is generally to express it in a more cutesy manner. However, it can also be interpreted as extremely sarcastic and condescending. In this specific song it is being sarcastic.
  4. This does not mean the person is literally going to say only two words. It can just be a quick conversation.
  5. Similar to the American expression of "beating around the bush" or "blah blah blah".
  6. More "blah, blah, blah".
  7. According to my family members, moshomangas has several meanings. The term carried through the years, and in this particular song is most likely referring to corrupt or criminal-like mangas. Depending on context, it could mean one of the following:
    1. New-mangas
    2. Corrupt or criminal mangas
    3. Russian mangas from Moscho. During these periods there was not only British influence, but also Russian.
  8. Tekedes were underground hash dens where the legendary rebetes all got their start. It was their "steki" hangout spot as refugees from Anatolia. In Arabic, this term is Takiya, and in Turkish it is tekke. The term is still used today to refer to a café or club that is filled with smoke. One would say san tekes ine edo mesa to mean "it's like teke (filled with smoke or an otherwise sleazy place).
  9. At times in the music, the singer will stop and great someone by their name, or express an emotion based on their mood in the moment. It's not always necessarily part of the actual song lyrics per se, but rather a freestyle random line. It is not required for a singer performing this song to do this. This line is not connected with any musical phrasing. It stands on its own.
  10. Exiyese literally means you've explained yourself, and pehnidia means games. In this musical phrase, he is saying that the player is "straight", doesn't mess around, is honest. And by games he means gambling via rolling the dice — zaria earlier in this verse means dice.
  11. Either this is expressing excitement or celebrating a moment by saying, "What a mangia!" similar to "How cool was that!" Or the person could be expressing that the cool thing appears in the next musical phrase. This specific mini paragraph may be referring to either a male or female.

 

Ematha Pos Eese Mangas

This is the version by Hristakis, and it's the same version that he performed in the movie O Tiherakias.

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Έμαθα πως είσαι μάγκας ematha pos ise mangas I learned you are a mangas,
είσαι και μερακλής ise ke meraklis you are also a meraklis. (1)
     
πως γυρίζεις στις ταβέρνες pos girizis stis tavernes and how you hang out in the taverns (2)
είσαι και μπελαλής ise ke belalis and you are a trouble maker. (3)
πως γυρίζεις στις ταβέρνες pos girizis stis tavernes and how you hang out in the taverns (2)
είσαι και μπελαλής ise ke belalis and you are a trouble maker. (3)
     
Έμαθα πως είσαι μάγκας ematha pos ise mangas I learned you are a mangas,
είσαι και μερακλής ise ke meraklis you are also a meraklis. (1)
     
Τούρνε και τούρνε tourne ke tourne around and around in circles (4)
Τούρνε και νέ tourneh keh neh keeeeep circling around (5)
πες το βρε μάγκα pes to vre manga dude, come on say it, manga
βρε μαγκα μου το ναι vre manga mou to neh yo manga, just say yes
πες το βρε μάγκα pes to vre manga dude, come on say it, manga
βρε μαγκα μου το ναι vre manga mou to neh yo manga, just say yes
     
Τούρνε και τούρνε tourne ke tourne around and around in circles (4)
Τούρνε και νέ tourneh keh neh keeeeep circling around (5)
     
Έμαθα πως παίζεις ζάρια ematha pos pezis zaria I've learned you are rolling dice [gambling]
στις λέσχες πως γυρνάς stis leshis pos girnas hanging around the gambling cafes.
και στο σπίτι σου τα βράδια ke sto spiti sou ta vradia And your home during the nights,
ποτέ σου δεν πατάς pote sou den patas you never set foot in.
και στο σπίτι σου τα βράδια ke sto spiti sou ta vradia And your home during the nights,
ποτέ σου δεν πατάς pote sou den patas you never set foot in.
Έμαθα πως παίζεις ζάρια ematha pos pezis zaria I've learned you are rolling dice [gambling]
στις λέσχες πως γυρνάς stis leshis pos girnas hanging around the gambling cafes.
     
Τούρνε και τούρνε tourne ke tourne around and around in circles (4)
Τούρνε και νέ tourneh keh neh keeeeep circling around (5)
πες το βρε μάγκα pes to vre manga dude, come on say it, manga
βρε μαγκα μου το ναι vre manga mou to neh yo manga, just say yes
πες το βρε μάγκα pes to vre manga dude, come on say it, manga
βρε μαγκα μου το ναι vre manga mou to neh yo manga, just say yes
     
Τούρνε και τούρνε tourne ke tourne around and around in circles (4)
Τούρνε και νέ tourneh keh neh keeeeep circling around (5)
  1. In Turkish, the word is merakli, and in Arabic it's merak. It refers to someone who lives with passion, love, feeling, loves to enjoy, living life to the fullest. It's a special way of saying the person's intensity of enjoying life is much deeper than this explanation can articulate. Some people say the original root word was Turkish. The meaning of the word meraklis can vary, depending on how it's used in a sentence. In general, it's a word in the Rebetiko dialect that refers to feeling. In older versions of this song such as the one recorded in 1928 by Antonis Diamantidis, the term hasiklis is used instead of meraklis. The word meraklis has been used in more recent versions of the song for censorship reasons, because hasiklis means "hashish smoker". Many of the old Greek songs refer to drugs, alcohol and hard life, as that was people's reality at the time. It was a way of unconsciously documenting their innermost dark moments, as well as moments in love. This type of music is similar in essence to Arabic shaabi music, the songs of the people.
  2. The word girizis refers to questionable behavior. It's not a swear word, but can be used in an insulting way. Calling a person girizi is an insult to their behavior, because it suggests they don't stay put or stay home or to do their business; instead, it suggests they're wasting their time or scratching their asses running around the taverns. It makes the insult without actually using a swear word.
  3. The word belalis is also used in the Turkish language. Greeks also say ehoume Belas which means we have a big problem.
  4. Similar to the American expression of "beating around the bush" or "blah blah blah".
  5. More "blah, blah, blah".

 

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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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