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

Γλυκιά φελάχα κλάψε
(Glikia Felaha Klapse)

(Cry, My Sweet Village Woman)

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the popular Greek rebetiko song "Glikia Felaha Klapse" (Γλυκιά φελάχα κλάψε), which was sung by Stelios Kazantzidis and Marinella as a duet. Also included is a pronunciation guide to the Greek lyrics so you can sing along if you like.

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

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 PHOTO: Stelios Kazantzidis and Marinella perform together.

Stelios and Marinella

About Stelios Kazantzidis

The legendary Stelios Kazantzidis was born August 29, 1931 in Athens Greece, specifically Nea Ionia. He is among the most beloved musicians of our time. His music and words never get old. He was of Asia Minor and Pondian (Greek Anatolian) descent. Stelios or, as many love to call him, Stelara, was also loved due to his character and simplicity in life. Sadly, he did not make much from profit from his career as he was taken advantage of.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: Stelios Kazantzidis and Marinella.

Stelios' music is all about love, immigration, pain, refugee, and poverty as is most music of this time. He is considered one of the fathers of Laiko music. Stelara has touched many people's lives. He remained so humble and simple until cancer took his last breath in 2001.

“I sing for the poor, the immigrants and the suffering people… generally for the lower social classes. They can’t go to the expensive night clubs. They buy my discs and they regard them as their Gospels.” – Stelios Kazantzidis

In 1964, Kazantzidis married an up-and-coming young singer, Kyriaki Papadopoulou, who used the stage name of Marinella. Unfortunately, the marriage eventually ended in divorce.

Personal notes by the translator:

The music of Stelios Kazantzidis is very dear to my heart. My grandmother and grandfather were often referred to as the young Kazantzidis and Marinella, while singing at family gatherings. Marinella was Stelios' first wife, and his biggest love.

If you want to impress Greeks, you need to remember Stelios' name. As much as Princess Diana was loved, so was Stelios. People cry black tears to his music.

Stelios and Marinella in 1969

About Marinella

Marinella was one of the original artists for this song, in a duet with her partner Stelios Kazantzidis.

Marinella's real name was Kyriaki Papadopoulou. She was born in Thessaloniki, Greece, the daughter of refugees from Constantinople (present-day Istanbul). The famous singer-songwriter Tolis Harmas discovered this rising star at a young age in the 1950s, and gave her the stage name Marinella, inspired by his song of that title. It was during this time when Stelios Kazantzidis saw her and fell in love with her. Marinella later joined Stelios on tours. They eventually got married, and in the eyes of many they were the greatest duet in Greece, unsurpassed even today.

Marinella is one of the greatest living legends of Greece still actively performing, popular, and still very relevant in the Greek music scene.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: Stelios Kazantzidis and Marinella on their wedding day.

Stelios and Marinella

About Hristos Kolokotronis

Hristos Kolokotronis wrote the lyrics for this song.

The great Hristos Kolokotronis was one of the musical geniuses during the Golden Era (1955-1975) of the popular Greek laiko / rebetiko musical movement. Hristos was born in Kalithea (raised in Glikomilia, Trikala) on December 25, 1922 into a very historical and highly respected family. He was the great-great-great grandson of Theodoros Kolokotronis, a hero during the Greek Revolution in 1821. Hristos is known for his work as a singer, songwriter, composer and a briefly a journalist. He collaborated with many well-known and established musicians of that era. He is credited for having written close to 2,500 songs. Hristos Kolokotronis passed away in 1999.

As with many artistic collaborations, there was a serious fallout between Stelios Kazantzidis and Hristos Kolokotronis. This intense public battle led to them appearing in court with a lawsuit in the late 1990s. Although the lawsuit seemed fresh, it actually was based on hard feelings from the late 1950s when Kazantzidis left Columbia Records to branch off on his own.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: This photo is of Hristos Kolokotronis.

Stelios Kazantzidis published an autobiography in which he disclosed large amounts of personal information - not only about himself, but also about many other artists and companies that took advantage and cheated him. One of those mentioned was Hristos Kolokotronis, who proceeded to file a lawsuit against Stelios, the writer and the publishing company for slander, lies and humiliation. The Kolokotronis family also demanded a personal apology because Kazantzidis alleged that Hristos had an affair with a Greek Romany woman and fathered a child with her while married to someone else. Several other artists followed up with their own slander lawsuits.

Hristos Kolokotronis

About Vasilis Karapatakis

The music for this song was composed as a collaboration between Vasilis Karapatakis and Stelios Kazantzidis.

Vasilis' real last name was Kapsalis. This Greek Roma legend composed and anonymously sold over 250 songs.

In 1922, Vasilis was born into a family of musicians and entertainers. His brothers Hilas and Thanasis were also successful musicians as well as their father Kostas Kapsalis. Together the talents combined knowledge in violin, laouto, guitar, voice and bouzouki. In 1945 Vasilis moved to Athens to try his luck in the entertainment industry. His dreams came true and he enjoyed a successful career between 1957 and 1963.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: Vasilis Karapatakis.

Collaborations between Kazantzidis, Kolokotronis & Karapatakis have gone down in history as one of the best Laiko music trios. Their music was also controversial, as lyrics and music were sold among each other (and others) for a plate of food. There was also a great conflict of interest among the artists who chose to end their contracts with certain recording companies.

After his success in his prime, Vasilis opened a music school where he shared his knowledge and passions with his students. Vasilis Karapatakis passed away on March 27, 1974 after a long battle with cancer.

Vasilis Karapatakis

Song: Glikia Felaha Klapse – Cry, My Sweet Village Girl, 1960.

Lyrics: Hristos Kolokotronis (Thessalos)

Music: Stelios Kazantzidis & Vasilis Karapatakis (Kapsalis)

Original Artists: Stelios Kazantzidis & Marinella (Duet)

Τραγουδι: Γλυκιά φελάχα κλάψε, 1960.

Στίχοι: Χρήστος Κολοκοτρώνης (Θεσσαλός)

Μουσική: Στέλιος Καζαντζίδης & Βασίλης Καραπατάκης (Καψάλης)

Πρώτη εκτέλεση: Στέλιος Καζαντζίδης & Μαρινέλλα

 

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Lyrics

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Verse

Verse

Verse

Γλυκιά φελάχα κλάψε Glikia felaha klapse Cry, my sweet village woman (1)
μες στην όμορφη βραδιά mes stin omorfi vradia in the beautiful night
και τα δάκρυα σου θάψε ke ta dakria sou thapse and bury your tears
κάτω απ' τη χουρμαδιά kato ap’ti hourmadia under the palm tree. (2)
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Κλαίει απόψε πληγωμένη klei apopse pligomeni She is crying in pain tonight
της φελάχας η καρδιά tis felahas ti kardia the village woman's heart.
κλαίνε τ' άστρα, το φεγγάρι klene t’astra, to feggari The stars are crying, the moon.
κλαίει και η χουρμαδιά klei ke ee hourmadia The palm tree is also crying.
Κλαίει απόψε πληγωμένη klei apopse pligomeni She is crying in pain tonight
της φελάχας η καρδιά tis felahas ti kardia the village woman's heart.
κλαίνε τ' άστρα, το φεγγάρι klene t’astra, to feggari The stars are crying, the moon.
κλαίει και η χουρμαδιά klei ke ee hourmadia The palm tree is also crying.
     

Verse

Verse

Verse

Τον άπιστο φελάχο ton apisto felaho The unfaithful man (3)
που αγάπησες τρελά pou agapises trela whom you loved like crazy,
κάποια άλλη τον κρατάει kapia ali ton kratai some other woman is holding him
στην δική της αγκαλιά stin diki tis agkalia in her own embrace.
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Κλαίει απόψε πληγωμένη klei apopse pligomeni She is crying in pain tonight
της φελάχας η καρδιά tis felahas ti kardia the village woman's heart.
κλαίνε τ' άστρα, το φεγγάρι klene t’astra, to feggari The stars are crying, the moon.
κλαίει και η χουρμαδιά klei ke ee hourmadia the palm tree is also crying
κλαίει και η χουρμαδιά klei ke ee hourmadia the palm tree is also crying
κλαίει και η χουρμαδιά klei ke ee hourmadia the palm tree is also crying
κλαίει και η χουρμαδιά klei ke ee hourmadia the palm tree is also crying
κλαίει και η χουρμαδιά klei ke ee hourmadia the palm tree is also crying
  1. The word "fellaha" in the original Greek lyrics is actually from the Arabic language. It is the female version of "farmer", and refers to a rural or village woman.
  2. The word "hourmadia" refers to a particular type of palm tree that bears dates and is found in Arabic-speaking regions.
  3. The word "fellaho" in the Greek lyrics is actually derived from the Arabic word "fellah". It is the male version of "farmer".

 

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Translations of
Stelios Kazantzidis' Songs On This Site

Other translations of songs performed by Stelios Kazantzidis on this web site 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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