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Φραγκοσυριανή
(Fragosyriani)

(Catholic Girl from Syros)

 

This romantic Greek Rebetiko song was written by Markos Vamvakaris (also known as Fragkos, because of his Catholic religion). The lyrics talk about a beautiful girl he saw on the Greek island of Syros during one of his concerts. He never knew or met this beautiful woman ever again. He sat down and just started pouring his heart and soul into the lyrics which came to be known as the song "Fragosiriani".

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

The word "Fragosyriani" refers to the Catholic-born Greeks from the island of Syros. Frago = Catholic and Syriani = girl of Syros. In the lyrics, Markos' romantic fantasy travels throughout various towns of the island of Syros: Pateli, Foinika, Nihori, Parakopi, Delagratsia, Piskopio, Alithini.

The legendary Markos Vamvakaris (in Greek, Μάρκος Βαμβακάρης) was born May 10, 1905 on the Greek island of Syros. Syros is located in the Aegean Sea. He was from a small village called Danakos. He is considered one of the fathers of Rebetiko music.

The Hellenic (Greek) people, young and old, love this type of music. But there is also a love/hate relationship. You have to be in the mood to be able to welcome this music into your conscious body, mind and soul. Even though there are many songs that may sound upbeat, they are also heavy at the same time. But when the time comes for celebration, it has the opposite feeling. Feeling is no longer heavy, but rather joyous and nostalgic!

Markos Vamvakaris

Song: Fragosyriani, 1935

Lyrics: Markos Vamvakaris, also known as Fragos

Music: Markos Vamvakaris

Original Artist: Markos Vamvakaris

Has Also Been Recorded By: Grigoris Bithikotsis

Dance Style: hasapiko

Τραγουδι: Φραγκοσυριανή, 1935

Στίχοι: Μάρκος Βαμβακάρης, Φράγκος

Μουσική: Μάρκος Βαμβακάρης, Φράγκος

Πρώτη εκτέλεση: Μάρκος Βαμβακάρης

Ερμηνευτης - Γρηγόρης Μπιθικώτσης

Χορος – Χασαπικο

 

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About Hasapiko Music

"Fragosyriani" is in the musical style typically used for performing a folkloric line dance known as hasapiko. This dance was traditionally done by men, although today it is popular with both sexes.

CAUTION: This song and other hasapiko music should not be used as part of a tsiftetelli (belly dance) performance. Although it would not be offensive to use it, a performer who did so would be viewed by Greek audience members as lacking cultural knowledge about what type of music is appropriate to what style of dance. She would lose credibility with the audience.

A dancer could choose to include hasapiko music at the very end of a tsiftetelli performance, as music that would keep playing after she leaves the stage. It could serve as an invitation for the audience to get up and line dance.

 

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Listen to MP3 Clips of This Song

Note Sung by Markos Vamvakaris
Note Instrumental version from the album The Greek Instrumental Music, Greatest Hits, No. 2

 

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Lyrics

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Verse 1

Verse 1

Verse 1

Μία φούντωση, μια φλόγα Mia foundosi, mia floga I have a flare up, a fire
έχω μέσα στην καρδιά eho mesa stin kardia I have in my heart
λες και μάγια μου 'χεις κάνει les ke mayia mou ‘hees kani as if you cast a spell/magic on me
Φραγκοσυριανή γλυκιά fragosiryani glikia sweet Catholic girl of Syros
λες και μάγια μου 'χεις κάνει les ke mayia mou ‘hees kani as if you cast a spell/magic on me
Φραγκοσυριανή γλυκιά fragosiryani glikia sweet Catholic girl of Syros
     

Verse 2

Verse 2

Verse 2

Θα 'ρθω να σε ανταμώσω thartho na se adamoso I'll come meet you
κάτω στην ακρογιαλιά kato stin akroyialia down by the shore
Θα ήθελα να σε χορτάσω tha ithela na se hortaso I would like to get as much of you as I can to be satisfied
όλο χάδια και φιλιά olo hadia ke filia of your caresses and kisses
Θα ήθελα να σε χορτάσω tha ithela na se hortaso I would like to get as much of you as I can to be satisfied
όλο χάδια και φιλιά olo hadia ke filia of your caresses and kisses
     

Verse 3

Verse 3

Verse 3

Θα σε πάρω να γυρίσω tha se paro na giriso I will take you and bring you around
Φοίνικα, Παρακοπή Finika, Parakopi Finika, Parakopi [these are towns/villages on the Greek island of Syros]
και ας μου 'ρθει συγκοπή ke as mou’rthi sigopi even if a heart failure will come to me
Γαλησσά και Nτελαγκράτσια Galissa and Delagratsia Galissa and Delagratsia [these are towns/villages on the Greek island of Syros]
και ας μου 'ρθει συγκοπή ke as mou’rthi sigopi even if a heart failure will come to me
     

Verse 4

Verse 4

Verse 4

Στο Πατέλι, στο Nυχώρι sto Pateli, sto Nixori Pateli, Nixori [these are towns/villages on the Greek island of Syros]
φίνα στην Αληθινή fina stin Alithini beautiful time in this town/village of Syros
και στο Πισκοπιό ρομάντζα ke sto Piskopio romantza and romance in the town/village of Piskopio
γλυκιά μου Φραγκοσυριανή glikia mou Fragosyriani my sweet Catholic girl from Syros
και στο Πισκοπιό ρομάντζα ke sto Piskopio romantza and romance in the town/village of Piskopio
γλυκιά μου Φραγκοσυριανή glikia mou Fragosyriani my sweet Catholic girl from Syros

 

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Where to Get Recordings of this Song

Vamvakaris Box Set

Note

Listen to Clip

Artist: Markos Vamvakaris
CD Title: Vamvakaris Box Set

Greek Instrumental Music

Note

Listen to Clip

Artist: Various Artists
CD Title: The Greek Instrumental Music, Greatest Hits, No. 2

 

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About the Author

The song translation and background information about the music were written by Panayiota Bakis Mohieddin.

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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