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

Η Δουλειά Κάνει Τους Άντρες
(I Doulia Kani Tous Andres)

(Work is What Makes the Men)

 

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the popular Greek song "I Doulia Kani Tous Andres" (Η Δουλειά Κάνει Τους Άντρες), which was sung by Eleni Roda in the 1967 movie Troumba. Also included is a pronunciation guide for 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 Eleni Roda

Eleni Roda was the original artist for this song, performing it in the 1967 Greek film Troumba. Her birth name was Eleni Papadimopoulou. She was born in Larissa, Greece in 1942. She began her career as an actress, having graduated from Dimitris' Rondiras' drama school and appeared in 16 movies. She then turned her focus to singing, appearing in many Greek live music clubs with prominent Rebetiko musicians of her time. She now runs and sings at her own taverna in Paleo Faliro.

About Lefteris Papadopoulos

Lefteris Papodopoulos created the lyrics for this song. He was born in Athens in 1935, as the son of Greek refugees who had fled to Greece from the genocide in Turkey in the 1920's. Although he built a career in journalism, Papadopoulos has been a major force in Greek music, penning the lyrics for about 1,200 songs and collaborating with many great artists of the 20th century. The work he did with Manos Loizos (the composer of this song) is considered a landmark of his career.

Song: I Doulia Kani Tous Andres (Work is What Makes The Men), 1967 (in the movie Troumba)

Lyrics: Lefteris Papadopoulos

Music: Manos Loizos

Original Artist (in the Film Troumba): Eleni Roda

Has also been recorded by Dimitris Efstathiou on the album O Stathmos, 1968

Dance: Hasapiko

Also Featured on Roda's 1974 Album I Atithasi

Τραγούδι: Η Δουλειά Κάνει Τους Άντρες, 1967

Στίχοι: Λευτέρης Παπαδόπουλος

Μουσική: Μάνος Λοίζος

Πρώτη Εκτέλεση: Ελένη Ρόδα

Δημήτρης Ευσταθίου, Άλμπουμ – Ο Σταθμος, 1968

Άλμπουμ: Η Ατίθαση

 

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Lyrics

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Το πλαστό το πασαπόρτι to plasto to pasaporti The phony passport (1)
σαν και την καρδιά σου μόρτη san ke tin kardia sou morti [is] like your heart, you bum.(2)
σαν τη' κάλπικη καρδιά σου san ti' kalpiki kardia sou Like your phony heart,
τη σκληρή ti skliri

the tough [heart].

     
Μη' βροντοχτυπάς τις χάντρες mi' vrodohtipas tis handres Don't bang the [koboli] beads. (3)
η δουλειά κάνει τους άντρες ee dulia kani tous Andres The work is what makes the men:
το γιαπί, το πιλοφόρι, το μυστρί to yapi to pilofori to mistri the building site, the trough [of mortar], the trowel.
     
Ρημαδιό ζωή και σπίτι rimadio zoi ke spiti Our life and home [are] destroyed
απ' τα χούγια σου, αλήτη ap' ta houyia sou, aliti [because of] your bad habits, punk.
που μετράς το αντριλίκι pou metras to adriliki You measure your manliness
με βρισιές me vrisies with swearing.
     
Μη' βροντοχτυπάς τα ζάρια mi' vrodohtipas ta zaria Don't bang around the dice. (4)
όσοι είναι παλικάρια osi ine palikaria All those that are respectable young men, (5)
τη' ζωή τους την περνούν στις σκαλωσιές ti' zoi tous tin pernoun stis skalosies They pass their lives on top of scaffolding.
     
Μη' βροντοχτυπάς τα ζάρια mi' vrodohtipas ta zaria Don't bang around the dice. (4)
όσοι είναι παλικάρια osi ine palikaria All those that are respectable young men, (5)
τη' ζωή τους την περνούν στις σκαλωσιές ti' zoi tous tin pernoun stis skalosies They pass their lives on top of scaffolding.
  1. "Pasaporti" is a Greek-lish term, meaning it's an English word that has been adapted into the Greek language. Greek-lish was created, not on purpose, by the earlier Greek immigrants. When they couldn't always pronounce the English terms properly, they modified the words among each other in conversation, and eventually made them part of Greek vocabulary. I even use some Greek-lish terms, but I try very hard not to because eventually it may cause the Greek language to disappear. Unfortunately, in the Greek schools of the diaspora, there are many 1st or 2nd generation Greek teachers who teach using Greek-lish terms. This doesn't support proper Greek language education. Meanwhile, in Greece today (and for many years), it is fashionable to casually use English terms. And so we have the Greek diaspora clinging to the Greek language while in Greece the newer generation prefers to use English terms, even adapting these terms in their own way if they can't properly pronounce them.
  2. "Morti" can have a similar meaning to manga, a type of counterculture that once existed among working class Greek men. More information about mangas can be found with another song translation on this web site. In Italian, it means "death".
  3. Greek men used to carry a string of beads known as koboli beads, and many still do. These are sometimes known as "worry beads".
  4. Reference to gambling.
  5. The word palikaria can mean respectable, affluent, brave, and young. It has all these meanings.

 

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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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