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

'Χτες Το Βράδυ Στην Ταβέρνα
('Htes To Vradi Stin Taverna)

(Last Night at the Tavern)

 

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the popular Greek song "'Htes To Vradi Stin Taverna" ('Χτες Το Βράδυ Στην Ταβέρνα), which was sung by Stratos Dionisiou. Also included is a pronunciation guide for the Greek lyrics so you can sing along if you like.

The Hellenic (Greek) people, young and old, love the laiko style 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!

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 Stratos Dionisiou

Stratos Dionisiou's parents were refugees who had fled Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) to escape the genocide, and when he was only 13 years old, his father died. As a young man, while working as a tailor in Thessaloniki, Stratos Dionisiou also performed in the nightclubs as a musician. He moved to Athens to advance his singing career, recording his first song in 1959. He began achieving commercial success with a series of hits in the 1960's, followed by a successful U.S. tour.

Just as it seemed his career was taking off, he was arrested in 1973 on charges of possessing a gun and cannabis, and imprisoned for two years. He resumed his music career after serving his time, and remained a successful musician for the rest of his life.

Stratos Dionisiou

Song: 'Htes To Vradi Stin Taverna (Last Night At The Tavern), 1968

Lyrics: Panayiotis Kamilieris

Music: Antonis Repanis

Original Artist: Stratos Dionisiou

Dance: Hasapiko

Τραγούδι: 'Χτες Το Βράδυ Στην Ταβέρνα, 1968

Στίχοι: Παναγιώτης Καμηλιέρης

Μουσική:  Αντώνης Ρεπάνης

Πρώτη Εκτέλεση: Στράτος Διονυσίου

 

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Lyrics

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

'Χτες το βράδυ 'htes to vradi Last night
στην ταβέρνα stin taverna at the tavern
ήμουν σκεπτικός imoun skeptikos I was pondering,
καθισμένος στη' γωνιά μου kathismenos sti' gonia mou seated in my corner,
μελαγχολικός melanholikos melancholy.
γέμιζα το ποτηράκι yemiza to potiraki I was filling the little cup,
και το έπινα ke to epina and was drinking it,
και σκεπτόμουνα ke skeptomouna and was thinking
πώς ήμουν και πώς έγινα pos imoun ke pos eyina how I was, and how I turned out.
     
Ζούσα μια ξένοιαστη ζωή zousa mia xeniasti zoi I was living a carefree life
πριν σε γνωρίσω prin se gnoriso before I met you,
προτού μ' ανάψεις τη' φωτιά protou m' anapsis ti' fotia before you lit [the] fire
μεσ' στην καρδιά mes' stin kardia in my heart.
μεσ' στην ταβέρνα mes' stin taverna In the tavern,
τώρα βρίσκομαι για σένα tora vriskome ya sena I now find myself yours.
πίνω μα η σκέψη μου pino ma ee skepsi mou I'm drinking as my thoughts
σε 'σένα τριγυρνά se 'sena trigirna wander to you.
     
Μ' έχουν χάσει m' ehoun hasi They've lost me (1) —
οι δικοί μου και οι φίλοι μου ee diki mou ke ee fili mou my people (2) and my friends,
και το γέλιο έχει σβήσει ke to yelio ehi svisi and the laughing has been erased
απ' τα χείλη μου ap' ta hili mou from my lips.
την ταβέρνα τώρα έχω μόνη συντροφιά tin taverna tora eho moni sidrofia Now, the tavern is the only companion I have
και για 'σένανε δεν θέλω να μου λένε πια ke ya 'senane den thelo na mou lene pia to tell me about you any more.
     
Ζούσα μια ξένοιαστη ζωή zousa mia xeniasti zoi I was living a carefree life
πριν σε γνωρίσω prin se gnoriso before I met you,
προτού μ' ανάψεις τη' φωτιά protou m' anapsis ti' fotia before you lit [the] fire
μεσ' στην καρδιά mes' stin kardia in my heart.
μεσ' στην ταβέρνα mes' stin taverna In the tavern,
τώρα βρίσκομαι για 'σένα tora vriskome ya 'sena I now find myself yours.
πίνω μα η σκέψη μου pino ma ee skepsi mou I'm drinking as my thoughts
σε 'σένα τριγυρνά se 'sena trigirna wander to you.
  1. Slang for I'm nowhere to be found, I haven't been around, I haven't seen them.
  2. "My people" can mean family and inner circle of close friends.

 

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Translations of
Stratos Dionisiou's Songs On This Site

Translations on this web site of songs performed by Stratos Dionisiou 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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