Filler
Photo of Shira

 

 

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

Καίγομαι, Καίγομαι
(Kegome, Kegome)

(I'm Burning, I'm Burning)

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the popular Greek song "Kegome, Kegome" (Καίγομαι, Καίγομαι), which was originally sung by Sotiria Leonardou and later recorded by Glykeria. Also included is a pronunciation guide for the Greek lyrics so you can sing along if you like.

The song whose lyrics appear on this page is a different song from another released in 1951 which was also named "Kegome, Kegome". That one was sung by Stella Haskil and Takis Binis.

This beautiful, deep and sad song debuted in the 1983 Greek movie Rembetiko. In the movie, as Sotiria Leonardou's character Marika takes the stage to perform, she sees images of her husband beating her. The stage is typical of the legendary Greek nightclub Cafe Aman, which was where all Greeks, Turks, Armenians, Arabs, Jews gathered peacefully for entertainment and socializing.

The Rembetiko movie which featured this song was inspired and created by the life of one of the greatest Greek-Armenian Rebetises, Evangelia Atamian. Even though Evangelia was of Armenian decent, she still captured the hearts of Greeks and enjoyed a successful career. Her second husband, Niko (Ninos) Nikolaidis, was an entertainer and acrobat. Evangelia adopted the stage name Marika Ninou and performed with her husband as Duo Nino. They also collaborated with several other great artists of that time.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: This photo shows Sotiria Leonardou, the original artist, in a performance.

For belly dancers thinking of using this song in a performance, Panayiota offers this perspective:

This song has a special meaning to Greeks that dancers need to be aware of. Although the lyrics mention a backstabbing lover, the song also refers to the fall and burning of Smyrna (known today as Izmir, Turkey) in September 1922. Many songs of this era that sing about burning and fires typically refer to this tragedy.

I have seen this song used in belly dance shows. I would not recommend it for a fun, happy performance. "Kegome, Kegome" is extremely intense and sorrowful. It could be appropriate as a veil piece. I would not use this for any Greek celebratory event.

This song could make your audience cry. I personally can’t get half way through the lyrics without crying.

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.

Sotiria Leonardou

About Sotiria Leonardou

Sotiria Leonardou, the original artist for this song, was born in Athens, Greece. She learned to sing and dance at an arts school. Her rise to fame occurred as a result of her appearing in the 1983 motion picture Rembetiko, a role which earned her the award for Best Actress at the Thessaloniki Film Festival.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: This photo shows actress/singer Sotiria Leonardou.

Sotiria Leonardou

About Nikos Gatsos

Nikos Gatsos, the lyricist for this song, was born in southern Greece in 1911. He attended the University of Athens for two years, where he studied history, literature, and philosophy. He became a published poet, with his work featured in magazines.

After World War II, Gatsos began writing lyrics for songs. His body of work explores the human condition, with songs about sacrifice, injustice, evil, and the pains of love. He also wrote about Greek-specific issues such as the sorrows of exile.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: This photo features lyricist Nikos Gatsos.

Nikos Gatsos

About Stavros Xarhakos

Stavros Xarhakos, the composer of this song, was born in 1939 in Athens. Beginning around 1963, he began composing music for theater and cinema. He studied in Paris for four years, then studied at the Juilliard School of Music. He is known worldwide for composing the musical score for the 1983 motion picture Rembetiko.

Stavros Xarhakos

Song: Kegome, Kegome – I’m Burning, I’m Burning, 1983

Lyrics: Nikos Gatsos

Music: Stavros Xarhakos

Original Artist: Sotiria Leonardou

Has Also Been Sung By:

  • Glykeria
  • Haris Alexiou
  • Eleftheria Arvanitaki
  • Maria Soultatou
  • Melina Aslanidou

Τραγουδι: Καίγομαι, καίγομαι, 1983

Στίχοι: Νίκος Γκάτσος

Μουσική: Σταύρος Ξαρχάκος

Πρώτη εκτέλεση: Σωτηρία Λεονάρδου

Μοντέρνες Εκτελέσεις:

  • Γλυκερία
  • Χάρις Αλεξίου
  • Ελεύθερια Αρβανιτάκη
  • Μαρία Σουλτατου
  • Μέλινα Ασλανίδου

 

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Lyrics

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Αμάν Αμάν Aman aman! Oh oh!
     

Verse

Verse

Verse

Όταν γεννιέται ο άνθρωπος otan geniete o anthropos When a person is born,
ένας καημός γεννιέται enas kaimos geniete a longing is born.
όταν φουντώνει ο πόλεμος otan foundoni o polemos The war breaks out,
το αίμα δε μετριέται to ema de metriete the blood is immeasurable.
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Καίγομαι, καίγομαι Kegome, kegome I'm burning, I'm burning.
ρίξε κι άλλο λάδι στη φωτιά rixe ke alo ladi sti fotia Throw more oil on the fire.
πνίγομαι, πνίγομαι pnigome, pnigome I'm drowning, I'm drowning.
πέτα με σε θάλασσα βαθιά Peta me se thalasa vathia Throw me in the deep sea.
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Καίγομαι, καίγομαι Kegome, kegome I'm burning, I'm burning.
ρίξε κι άλλο λάδι στη φωτιά rixe ke alo ladi sti fotia Throw more oil on the fire.
πνίγομαι, πνίγομαι pnigome, pnigome I'm drowning, I'm drowning.
πέτα με σε θάλασσα βαθιά Peta me se thalasa vathia Throw me in the deep sea.
     

Verse

Verse

Verse

Ορκίστηκα στα μάτια σου orkistika sta matia mou I swore on your eyes
που τα χα σαν Βαγγέλιο pou taha san Vagelio which were like a Bible to me
τη μαχαιριά που μου δωκες ti maheria pou mou dokes The backstabbing that you did to me
να σου την κάμω γέλιο na sou tin kamo yelio I will turn it into laughter.
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Καίγομαι, καίγομαι Kegome, kegome I'm burning, I'm burning.
ρίξε κι άλλο λάδι στη φωτιά rixe ke alo ladi sti fotia Throw more oil on the fire.
πνίγομαι, πνίγομαι pnigome, pnigome I'm drowning, I'm drowning.
πέτα με σε θάλασσα βαθιά Peta me se thalasa vathia Throw me in the deep sea.
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Καίγομαι, καίγομαι Kegome, kegome I'm burning, I'm burning.
ρίξε κι άλλο λάδι στη φωτιά rixe ke alo ladi sti fotia Throw more oil on the fire.
πνίγομαι, πνίγομαι pnigome, pnigome I'm drowning, I'm drowning.
πέτα με σε θάλασσα βαθιά Peta me se thalasa vathia Throw me in the deep sea.
     
Αμάν Αμάν Aman aman! Oh oh!
     

Verse

Verse

Verse

Μα συ βαθιά στην κόλαση ma si vathia stin kolasi But you are deep in hell
την αλυσίδα σπάσε tin alisida spase break the chain
κι αν με τραβήξεις δίπλα σου ke an me travixis dipla sou and if you drag me next to you
ευλογημένος να σαι evlogimenos na se you will be blessed.
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Καίγομαι, καίγομαι Kegome, kegome I'm burning, I'm burning.
ρίξε κι άλλο λάδι στη φωτιά rixe ke alo ladi sti fotia Throw more oil on the fire.
πνίγομαι, πνίγομαι pnigome, pnigome I'm drowning, I'm drowning.
πέτα με σε θάλασσα βαθιά Peta me se thalasa vathia Throw me in the deep sea.
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Καίγομαι, καίγομαι Kegome, kegome I'm burning, I'm burning.
ρίξε κι άλλο λάδι στη φωτιά rixe ke alo ladi sti fotia Throw more oil on the fire.
πνίγομαι, πνίγομαι pnigome, pnigome I'm drowning, I'm drowning.
πέτα με σε θάλασσα βαθιά Peta me se thalasa vathia Throw me in the deep sea.

 

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Translations of
Glykeria's Songs On This Site

Other translations of songs performed by Glykeria 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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