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

Γκιούλμπαχάρ
(Gülbahar)

(Gülbahar)

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the popular Greek song "Gülbahar" (Γκιούλμπαχάρ), which was sung by Rena Dallia. Also included is a pronunciation guide for the Greek lyrics so you can sing along if you like.

Gülbahar is a common Turkish women's name. It means "rose of the spring". It was the name of two different wives of two different 15th century Ottoman Sultans.

Gülbahar Hatun was the Empress consort of Sultan Mehmed II, married in 1446. She was also the mother of Sultan Bayezid II. Some scholars believe her father was a Greek from the Black Sea region who converted to Islam and joined the Turkish military.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: This photo shows the first Gülbahar Hatun, the one who was the Empress consort of Sultan Mehmed II.

The second Ottoman Empress to use the name was Gülbahar Hatun II, whose birth name was Ayşe. She was married to Sultan Bayezid II, the son of the elder Gülbahar.

In this song, the name Gülbahar does not appear to be referring to either Ottoman wife. It seems to apply to a fictitious woman named Gülbahar.

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.

Gülbahar

About Vasilis Tsitsanis

Vasilis Tsitsanis was the composer for this song. Some sources say he was also the lyricist, while others attribute the lyrics to Eftihia Papayiannopoulou.

Tsitsanis was a versatile musician who learned to play violin, mandola, mandolin, and bouzouki. He collaborated with a number of singers to record the songs he had composed, with him accompanying them on bouzouki. His music helped launch several of his collaborators to fame and successful careers.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: Vasilis Tsitsanis as a young man.

Vasilis Tsitsanis

About Ec, the Lyricist

This song was written by a very famous lyricist named Eftihia Papayiannopoulou, whose nickname was EE Gria (the old lady).

The legendary Eftihia Xatzigeorgiou (Papayiannopoulou) was born in 1893, in the city of Aydin, which is close to Smyrna (today known as Izmir in Turkey). As a Greek Anatolian refugee, she felt the life, pain and suffering. Her talents as a lyricist in the 1950s through 1960s drew the attention of some of the greatest Laiko – Rebetes of that time. Her collaborations Apostolos Kaldaras, Stelios Kazandzidis, Vasilis Tsitsanis and Manos Hadjidakis, Manolis Hiotis, Babis Bakalis, to name a few.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: Eftihia Papayiannopoulou.

Eftihia had a falling out with Stelios Kazandzidis and Vasilis Tsitsanis regarding lyrics and intellectual property rights. In this era, women were not highly regarded and respected. The man always dominated and had the final word. Many of these men did not want others to know that there was a women behind their succuessful songs.

There is much judgment and criticism againt Eftihia Papayiannopoulou because she was an avid tzogadora (gambler). She lost her husband and daughter all within a close period, which led her to turn to it. Gambling is an addiction, and they should not be judged. In her desperation to have fast money she felt the need to sell the rights to her songs as opposed to retaining the rights to obtain a commission.

Eftihia Papayiannopoulou

About Rena Dalia

Rena Dalia was born as Eleftheria Papakosta in 1934 in Patra. She was one of 18 children with roots in Hpiros, Greece, and one of the greatest Laiko style singers. She had a succesful singing career in Greece as well as a touring career among the Greeks of the diaspora as well as in Arabia.

Rena Dalia

Song: Gülbahar – Gülbahar, 1950

Lyrics: Eftihia Papayiannopoulou

Music: Vasilis Tsitsanis

Original Artist: Rena Dallia

Has Also Been Sung By:

  • Maria Soultatou
  • Eleftheria Arvanitaki

Τραγουδι: Γκιούλμπαχάρ, 1950

Στίχοι: Ευτυχία Παπαγιαννοπούλου

Μουσική: Βασίλης Τσιτσάνης

Πρώτη εκτέλεση: Ρένα Ντάλλια

Μοντέρνες Ερμηνείες:

  • Μαρία Σουλτάτου
  • Ελευθερία Αρβανιτάκη

 

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Lyrics

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Κάποια βραδιά μαγική kapia vradia mayiki A magical night,
μέσα στο Μισίρι την είδα mesa sto Misiri tin ida I saw her in Egypt.
ήταν `ξωτική ομορφιά itan xotiki omorfia She was an exotic beauty,
η Γκιούλμπαχάρ η γλυκιά ee Gülbahar ee glikia the sweet Gülbahar. 
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Για ραμπίμ το για χαμπί Yarabbim to ya habi Oh God (1) to my love
Για ραμπίμ το για χαμπί Yarabbim to ya habi Oh God to my love
για ραμπίμ το για χαβάχ Yarabbim to ya hava Oh God of the air (2)
αχ λουλούδι μου Γκιούλμπαχάρ Ah louloudi mou Gülbahar  Ah my flower Gülbahar.
     
Αράπ χαβάς Arap havas Arabian melody
γιαβάς γιαβάς yavaş yavaş slowly, slowly (3)
μου το ’χες πει με φιλιά mou to’hes pi me filia you have told me with kisses
σαν σε κρατούσα αγκαλιά san se kratousa agalia as if I held you in my arms
Σκλάβος στο γλυκό της φιλί Sklavos sto gliko tis fili A slave to her sweet kiss
είμαι στο σεβντά της δεμένος ime sto sevda tis demenos I'm tied to her love
κλαίω, νοσταλγώ και πονώ kleo, nostalgo ke pono I'm crying, I’m remembering the past (4), and in pain
την Γκιούλμπαχάρ δεν ξεχνώ tin Gülbahar den xehno I can't forget Gülbahar 
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Για ραμπίμ το για χαμπί Yarabbim to ya habi Oh God (1) to my love
Για ραμπίμ το για χαμπί Yarabbim to ya habi Oh God to my love
για ραμπίμ το για χαβάχ Yarabbim to ya hava Oh God of the air (2)
αχ λουλούδι μου Γκιούλμπαχάρ Ah louloudi mou Gülbahar  Ah my flower Gülbahar.
     
Αράπ χαβάς Arap havas Arabian melody
γιαβάς γιαβάς yavaş yavaş slowly, slowly (3)
μου το ’χες πει με φιλιά mou to’hes pi me filia you have told me with kisses
σαν σε κρατούσα αγκαλιά san se kratousa agalia as if I held you in my arms
  1. The word "Yarabbim" is in Turkish. It means "Oh God". The Arabic equivalent is "Ya Rab".
  2. The word "hava" is Turkish, and means "air". It can also be used to mean a melody, just as in English the word "air" can be used to refer to a melody.
  3. The word "yavaş" is Turkish, and means "slow" or "slowly". In Turkish, the letter ş with the cedilla is pronounced like the "sh" sound in English.
  4. The Greek word "nostalgo" actually translates as "nostalgic", but in this context the words "remembering the past" fit better with what the lyrics are conveying.

 

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Translations of Songs Composed by
Vasilis Tsitsanis On This Site

Other translations of songs composed by Vasilis Tsitsanis 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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