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

Νερό Και Χώμα
(Nero Ke Homa)

(Water and Soil)

 

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the popular Greek song "Nero Ke Homa" (Νερό Και Χώμα), which was sung by Melina Aslanidou and Michalis Kouinelis. 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 this Song

Although this song is technically categorized as hip-hop, it was recorded and performed in laiko (Greek folk music) style. It is also considered to be Pontian (Anatolian Greek) rap.

When this song is performed live, without the presence of a hip-hop artist, it gives a totally different flavor. Some recordings carry an Oriental flair, particularly with accompaniment of the Anatolian Greek Pontian kemence instrument. The kemence is still used, typically found in Pontus, the Black Sea region of present-day Turkey. This instrument is known as karadeniz in the Turkish language.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: Panayiota poses with a musician friend holding a kemence.

The specific version of this song performed with the Pontian lyre (Ποντιακή Λύρα), known as kemence (κεμεντζέ) can be found on the album called Akoma Onirevoume (Άκομα Ονειρεύομαι).

The version used for this translation is a collaboration between Melina Aslanidou and Michalis Kouinelis' band Stavento. Both Melina Aslanidou and Michalis Kouinelis are of Anatolian Greek Pontian heritage. This song has been a huge hit!

Belly dancers working in nightclubs that attract younger Greek audiences in their 20s-40s might find this song appealing to use as a dramatic entrance piece, perhaps with wings. Maybe not everyone would agree, but I personally would use it for that.

About Michalis Kouinelis

Michalis Kouinelis, who created the music and lyrics for this song, is a Greek hip-hop singer, the founder and lyricist for the hip-hop group Stavento. Kouinelis was born in Alexandroupoli, Greece in 1979, and launched his music career with release of his first album in 1997, in connection with the group Babylon.

In 2014, he became a judge for the Greek televised reality music competition The Voice of Greece.

About Melina Aslanidou

Melina Aslanidou was born to Greek parents as Symela Aslanidou in 1974 in Stuttgart, Germany. Her family later moved to Greece. She started with music at an early age, singing with the Paralimni Choir, which exposed her to the music of Pontus, Thrace, and Byzantium.

Aslanidou began her musical career in 2000 with th.e band Oi Apenanti and released an album with them. After leaving the band, she released her first solo album in 2003, with the second following in 2005. Additional releases followed, along with concert tours. In 2014 and 2015, she served as a coach for the musical competition television show The Voice of Greece, which further boosted her popularity.

In January 2017, Aslanidou and Michalis Kouinelis released their collaboration on the song "Nero Ke Homa", and it became one of the biggest hits of the year.

Song: Nero Ke Homa (Water and Soil), 2016

Lyrics: Michalis Kouinelis (ΜΕΘ)

Music: Michalis Kouinelis (ΜΕΘ)

Original Artist: Melina Aslanidou and Michalis Kouinelis (ΜΕΘ)

Instrumental solos on the Pontian Kemence: Pavlos Triantis

Dance Style: Belly Dance and Hip-Hop Fusion

Album: Me Fonazoune Me To Mikro Mou

Τραγουδι: Νερό Και Χώμα, 2016

Στίχοι: Μιχάλης Κουινέλης (ΜΕΘ)

Μουσική: Μιχάλης Κουινέλης (ΜΕΘ)

Πρώτη Εκτέλεση: Μελίνα Ασλανίδου & Μιχάλης Κουινέλης (ΜΕΘ)

Ποντιακή Λύρα: Παύλος Τριαντης

Άλμπουμ: Με Φωνάζουνε Με Το Μικρό Μου

 

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Lyrics

Several different versions of this song have been recorded. The one used for this translation was the one in the official music video at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5juMI_oCV6A  

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Aslanidou Sings

Aslanidou Sings

Aslanidou Sings

Πες μου pes mou Tell me —
που να βρω τώρα pou na vro tora Where can I find now
νερό και χώμα nero ke homa water and soil
να πλάσω αγάπη na plaso agapi to sculpt a love?
να 'χει άλλο χρώμα na 'hee alo hroma To have a different color?
αφού η καρδιά μου afou ee kardia mou Since my heart
φοράει ένα σώμα forai ena soma is wearing one body
και τα φιλιά μου ke ta filia mou and my kisses
έχουν ένα στόμα ehoun ena stoma have one mouth.
     

Pontian Kemence Instrumental Solo

Pontian Kemence Instrumental Solo

Pontian Kemence Instrumental Solo

     

Aslanidou Sings

Aslanidou Sings

Aslanidou Sings

Πες μου pes mou Tell me —
που να βρω τώρα pou na vro tora Where can I find now
νερό και χώμα nero ke homa water and soil
να πλάσω αγάπη na plaso agapi to sculpt a love?
να 'χει άλλο χρώμα na 'hi alo hroma To have a different color?
αφού η καρδιά μου afou ee kardia mou Since my heart
φοράει ένα σώμα forai ena soma is wearing one body
και τα φιλιά μου ke ta filia mou and my kisses
έχουν ένα στόμα ehoun ena stoma have one mouth.

   

Kouinelis Raps

Kouinelis Raps

Kouinelis Raps

Σε σένα πάλι

se sena pali To you again
το μυαλό μου
to mialo mou my brain,
κολλημένο και δε σώνομαι
kolimeno ke de sonome stuck [on] and can't be saved.
τα λόγια μου μπερδεύω
ta loyia mou berdevo My words I confuse/mix up —
όταν σε βλέπω και αγχώνομαι
otan se vlepo ke anhonome when I see you, I get nervous.
η γη κάτω απ' τα πόδια μου δονείται Παναγία μου
ee yi kato ap' ta podia mou donite Panayia mou Mary, mother of God, (1) the earth is vibrating under my feet!
και πάλι αναρωτιέμαι
ke pali anarotieme And again I wonder —
αφού ένα σώμα
afou ena soma since one body
έχει η καρδιά μου
ehi ee kardia mou my heart has,
και τα φιλιά μου
ke ta filia mou and my kisses
μόνο ένα στόμα
mono ena stoma only one mouth,
αποτελεί σχεδόν μυστήριο
apoteli shedon mistirio it's practically a mystery.
που αλλάζω όλο χρώμα
pou alazo olo hroma Since I keep changing color,
και στέκομαι μονάχος μου
ke stekome monahos mou and I stand alone,
και σκέφτομαι συνάμα
ke skeftome sinama and at the same time I'm thinking:
αυτό που ζω είναι χαρά afto pou zo ine hara is what I'm experiencing joy?
η μήπως κανα δράμα; ee mipos kana drama? Or maybe it is drama?
     

Aslanidou Sings

Aslanidou Sings

Aslanidou Sings

Πες μου

pes mou Tell me —
που να σ' ρίξω
pou na s' rixo Where can I drop you?
που να σ' αφήσω
pou na s' afiso Where can I leave you?
δάκρυ μου μονο
dakri mou mono My lonely tear,
δάκρυ μου περίσσο
dakri mou periso my excessive tear,
αφού η καρδιά μου
afou ee kardia mou since my heart
φοράει ένα σώμα
forai ena soma is wearing one body
και τα φιλιά μου
ke ta filia mou and my kisses
έχουν ένα στόμα ehoun ena stoma have one mouth.
     

Kouinelis Raps

Kouinelis Raps

Kouinelis Raps

Φυλακισμένη στο μυαλό μου filakismeni sto mialo mou [You're] a prisoner in my mind,
τα κλειδιά που να τα έβαλα ta klidia pou na ta evala where might I have put the keys?
ν' ανοίξω για να φύγεις n' anixo ya na fiyis so I can open it and let you go.
από μέσα μου πως σ' έβγαλα apo mesa mou pos s' evgala I got rid of you from my memory, (2)
να πω στον εαυτό μου na po ston eafto mou I tell myself,
μπας και ησυχάσω bas ke isihaso so that I can possibly relax.
να πάω εκεί που μ' αγαπούν na pao eki pou m' agapoun So I can go to where I'm loved,
λιγάκι να κουρνιάσω ligaki na kourniaso for a little while I nest,
κaι ίσως να σε ξεχάσω ke isos na se xehaso and possibly I'll be able to forget you
εκεί μες στη' ρουτίνα μου eki mes sti' routina mou there in my routine.

για κοίτα όμως είσαι

ya kita omos ise But just look at you,
πίσω απ' την κουρτίνα μου piso ap' tin kourtina mou behind my curtain.
στέρεψα από νερό sterepsa apo nero I run out of water,

τέλειωσε και το χώμα

teliose ke to homa the soil is depleted too,

και η καρδιά μου δυστυχώς

ke ee kardia mou distihos and my heart unfortunately
έχει μόνο ένα σώμα ehi mono ena soma only has one body.
     

Aslanidou Sings

Aslanidou Sings

Aslanidou Sings

Πες μου pes mou Tell me —
που να βρω τώρα pou na vro tora Where can I find now
νερό και χώμα nero ke homa water and soil
να πλάσω αγάπη na plaso agapi to sculpt a love?
να 'χει άλλο χρώμα na 'hee alo hroma To have a different color?
αφού η καρδιά μου afou ee kardia mou Since my heart
φοράει ένα σώμα forai ena soma is wearing one body
και τα φιλιά μου ke ta filia mou and my kisses
έχουν ένα στόμα ehoun ena stoma have one mouth.
     

Kouinelis Raps

Kouinelis Raps

Kouinelis Raps

Τα έρμα τα φιλιά μου ta erma ta filia mou My poor kisses,
που φιλιά ποτέ δε' χόρτασαν pou filia pote de' hortasan they were never satisfied.(3)
τα χείλη σου αν φίλαγαν ta hili sou an filagan If they kissed your lips,
θα 'νοιωθαν ότι γιόρταζαν tha 'niothan oti yiortazan they'd feel that they were celebrating,
και θ' άρχιζε η καρδιά ke th' arhize ee kardia and the heart would start
πάλι να κοπανάει pali na kopanai to pound again,
όπως βροντάει ο ουρανός opos vrodai o ouranos the way that the sky thunders,
που κλαίει όταν πονάει pou klei otan ponai which cries when it is hurt
και μπάπα μπούπα οι βροντές ke baba bouba ee vrontes and thunder roars.
χτυπάς στο λέω άλλες χορδές htipas sto leo ales hordes I'm telling you, you're striking different chords
ένα φιλί αν σου 'δινα ena fili an sou 'dina If I gave you one kiss,
ένα φιλί στο στόμα ena fili sto stoma one kiss on the mouth,

θα 'κοβα τη' γη στα δυο

tha 'kova ti' yi sta dio I'd cut the world in half
να βρω νερό και χώμα na vro nero ke homa to find water and soil
     

Aslanidou Sings

Aslanidou Sings

Aslanidou Sings

Θέλω
thelo I want
να σε φιλήσω na se filiso to kiss you,
κaι ας αμαρτήσω ke as amartiso even if I will sin.
τα μέσα μου με σένα να γεμίσω ta mesa mou me sena na yemiso To fill up [my insides] with you.
φοβάμαι όμως fovame omos But I'm afraid
πως αν σ' αγγίξω pos an s' agizo that if I touch you,
άλλη πληγή ali pliyi another wound,
καινούρια πως θ' ανοίξω kenouria pos th' anixo [a] new [one] will open.

σ' έχω αγαπήσει

s' eho agapisi I've loved you,
σ' έχω ποθήσει
s' eho pothisi I've craved you.
νερό εγώ, χώμα εσύ
nero ego, homa esi I'm water, you're soil.
κάτι θ' ανθίσει
kati th' anthisi Something will blossom.
μα η καρδιά μου
ma ee kardia mou But my heart
φοράει ένα σώμα
forai ena soma is wearing one body,
και τα φιλιά μου
ke ta filia mou and my kisses
έχουν ένα στόμα ehoun ena stoma have one mouth.
     

Pontian Kemence Instrumental Solo

Pontian Kemence Instrumental Solo

Pontian Kemence Instrumental Solo

  1. The Greek lyrics just say "Mary", but Mary's name is being used as an exclamation the same way English speakers would swear or exclaim saying "Mary Mother of God!"
  2. Literally, "from inside me how I removed you".
  3. It means he never got enough kisses.

 

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Related Articles

 

 

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Translations of
Melina Aslinidou's Songs On This Site

Other translations of songs performed by Melina Aslanidou on this web site include:

  • Den Se Fovame (I'm Not Afraid of You). Political song protesting the European Union.
  • Ellada Eparhia (Greece's Countryside). About the decay of Greece's smaller rural communities.
  • Kegome Kegome (I'm Burning, I'm Burning). A modern version of the hit song from the movie Rembetiko.

 

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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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