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

Μάνα Μου
(Mana Mou)

(My Mother)

 

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the popular Greek song "Mana Mou" (Μάνα Μου), which was sung by Stelios Kazantzidis. 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 Stelios Kazantzidis

Stelios was the composer and original artist for this song. He collaborated with Hristos Kolokotronis on writing the lyrics.

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 others took advantage of him.

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

ABOUT THE PHOTO: This photo is of Stelios Kazantzidis.

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 Kazantzidis

Song: Mana Mou (My Mother), 1988

Lyrics: Nikos Loukas

Music: Takis Soukas

Original Artist: Stelios Kazandzidis

Dance Style: Just for listening, not for dance

Album: Eleftheros (Free)

Τραγούδι: Μάνα Μου, 1988

Στίχοι: Νίκος Λουκάς

Μουσική: Τάκης Σούκας

Πρώτη Εκτέλεση: Στέλιος Καζαντίδης

Άλμπουμ: Ελεύθερος

 

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Lyrics

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Μάνα μου Mana mou My Mother,
πήρες το βάρος της ζωής pires to varos tis zoees you took the burden of life (1)
μέσα στα χέρια σου mesa sta heria sou in your hands.
κι ήταν ατέλειωτα της πίκρας ke itan ateliota tis pikras And [there] was never-ending pain (2)
τα νυχτέρια σου ta nihteria sou [in] your nights,
Μάνα μου Mana mou my Mother.
     
Παρηγοριά μου parigoria mou My solace
μες στις δύσκολες mes stis diskoles in my difficult
τις ώρες μου tis ores mou my times.
με την αγάπη σου me tin agapi sou With your love
μου γλύκαινες τις μπόρες μου mou glikenes tis bores mou you sweetened my burdens,
Μάνα μου Mana mou my Mother.
     
Ήσουνα στήριγμα isouna stirigma You were my support
κι η πιο γλυκιά παρέα μου ke ee pio glikia parea mou and my sweetest company.
η πρώτη λέξη μου ee proti lexi mou My first word
Mάνα, κι η τελευταία μου Mana, ke ee teleftea mou Mother, and my last.
Ήσουνα στήριγμα isouna stirigma you were my support
κι η πιο γλυκιά παρέα μου ke ee pio glikia parea mou and my sweetest company
η πρώτη λέξη μου ee proti lexi mou My first word
Mάνα, κι η τελευταία μου Mana, ke ee teleftea mou Mother, and my last.
     
Ααααχχχααααχχχ aaaahhhaaaahhh Aaahhhaaaahhh!
     
Μάνα μου Mana mou My mother!
     
Μάνα μου Mana mou My mother,
μέσα στου κόσμου την ψευτιά mesa stou kosmou tin pseftia in the lies of the world
δεν υποχώρησες den ipohorises you didn't back down.
κι όλες τις λύπες ke oles tees lipes And all the sorrows
που σου έδωσα συγχώρησες pou sou edosa sihorises that I caused you, you forgave,
Μάνα μου Mana mou my mother.
     
Όλα σε σένα τα χρωστάω ola se sena ta hrostao I owe it all to you,
ότι έγινα oti eyina what I became,
γιατί μου έδινες κουράγιο yati moue edines kourayio because you gave me courage
και δεν έσβηνα ke den esvina and I wouldn't lose my way. (3)
Μάνα μου Mana mou My mother.
     
Ήσουνα στήριγμα isouna stirigma You were my support
κι η πιο γλυκιά παρέα μου ke ee pio glikia parea mou and my sweetest company.
η πρώτη λέξη μου ee proti lexi mou My first word
Mάνα, κι η τελευταία μου Mana, ke ee teleftea mou "Mother", and my last.
Ήσουνα στήριγμα isouna stirigma You were my support
κι η πιο γλυκιά παρέα μου ke ee pio glikia parea mou and my sweetest company,
η πρώτη λέξη μου ee proti lexi mou my first word,
Mάνα, κι η τελευταία μου Mana, ke ee teleftea mou "Mother", and my last.
     
Ααααχχχααααχχχ aaaahhhaaaahhh Aaahhhaaaahhh!
     
Μάνα μου Mana mou My mother!
  1. The Greek word "varos" means "weight." This could mean actual weight, such as how much you weigh, or heaviness, but it could alternatively mean that something is heavy in your soul or in your heart.
  2. The Greek word "pikra" means "bitterness," but can also refer to pain.
  3. Literally, "be erased" or "get lost".

 

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Translations of
Stelios Kazantzidis' Songs On This Site

Translations on this web site of songs performed by Stelios Kazantzidis 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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