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

Ο Σαλονικιός
(O Salonikios)

(The Salonika Man)

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the joyful Greek song "O Salonikios", which was sung by Stratos Dionisiou. It is in the elafro-laiko style of music, a newer version of laiko music that arose in the 1980's.

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.

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!

ABOUT THE PHOTO: The three musicians whose collaboration produced this song: Christos Nikolopoulos, Stratos Dionisiou, Lefteris Papadopoulos. Christos Nikolopoulos composed the music, and was a self-taught musician. Stratos Dionisiou was the original artist. Lefteris Papadopoulos is a Greek lyricist, poet, author, and journalist.

Song lyrics are provided for educational purposes. If you like the song, please purchase either the album or a download from an authorized source.

Hristos Nikopoloulos, Dionisiou, Lefteris Papadopoulos

About Stratos Dionisiou

Stratos Dionisiou's parents were refugees who had fled Anatolia, 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. 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. His career took a hiatus when he was arrested on drug charges in 1973, and was imprisoned for 3 years. Upon his release, he resumed his musical career. His success continued into the 1980's, and this song "O Salonikios" became a hit during this era, in 1985.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: Stratos Dionisiou was the original artist to record this song.

Stratos Dionisiou

About Christos Nikolopoulos

According to imdb.com, Christos Nikolopoulos (Χρήστος Νικολόπουλος) was born on July 11, 1947 in Kamohori, Imathia, Greece. His first taste of learning to play music as a child came when his cousin showed him how to play a few things on the accordion. Later, he borrowed his older brother's bouzouki and learned to play that. Eventually, he attended music school, learning to read music and play by ear.

To help out his family financially, Nikolopoulos began to play professionally at the age of 14 years old. At age 16, he relocated to Athens to advance his musical career, often playing for just a meal. In 1968, his compositions came to the attention of famous singer Marinella. She introduced his songs to her ex-husband Stelios Kazantzidis. These connections helped Nikolopoulos achieve his first major hit song as a composer, "Νυχτερίδες κι αράχνες" ("Bats and Spiders"). He went on to compose many songs which have become part of Greece's cultural legacy.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: Christos Nikolopoulos plays his bouzouki.

Christos Nikolopoulos

Song: O Salonikios – The Salonika man, 1985

Lyrics: Lefteris Papadopoulos

Music: Christos Nikolopoulos

Original Artist: Stratos Dionisiou

Dance Style: Tsifteteli or Syrtos

Τραγουδι: Ο Σαλονικιός, 1985

Στίχοι: Λευτέρης Παπαδόπουλος

Μουσική: Χρήστος Νικολόπουλος

Πρώτη εκτέλεση: Στράτος Διονυσίου

 

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Listen to MP3 Clips of This Song

Note Sung by John Bilezikjian

 

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Lyrics

Θεσσαλονίκη (Thessaloniki) is located in northern Hellada/Greece and is considered the second largest city in the country. The English term refers to it as Salonika. In Greek language a person from this region is refered to as Σαλονικιός (Salonikios for a male) or Σαλονικιά (Salonikia for a female). Or, Θεσσαλονικιός (Thessalonikios for a male) Θεσσαλονικιά (Thessalonikia for a female). The books of the Bible titled "Thessalonians" were the Apostle Paul's letters to the new church in Thessaloniki.

In the text below, numbers in parentheses refer to footnotes that appear below the translation.

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Verse

Verse

Verse

Άιντε, κάντε όλοι στην μπάντα
Άιντε, κάντε όλοι στην μπάντα
ainde, kande oli stin banda, ainde, kande oli stin banda Come on, every one move to the side (1)
Come on, every one move to the side
να βγει να χορέψει, ο Σαλονικιός na vgi na horepsi, o Salonikios So he comes to dance, the Salonica man.
Άιντε, κάντε του λεζάντα ainde, kande tou lezanta Come on, give him the spotlight. (2)
την βραδιά να κλέψει, ο Σαλονικιός tin vradia na klepsi, o Salonikios So he steals the night, the Salonica man.
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Οι μπαγλαμάδες ν’ αρχίσουν τσιφτετέλια ee baglamades narhisoun tsiftetelia The baglamas (3) to start playing the tsifteteli songs (4)
ν’ ανάψουνε τα τέλια, ολοταχώς na anapsoune ta telia, olotahos to turn on the crowd / get in the mood, immediately
Και τα μπουζούκια να κάψουν το πατάρι ke ta bouzoukia na kapsoun to patari and the bouzoukia to burn the loft [a reference to the stage]
χορεύει και γουστάρει, ο Σαλονικιός horevi ke goustari, o Salonikios dancing and loving it is the Salonica man
     

Verse

Verse

Verse

Γλέντι όμορφο και φίνο glendi omorfo ke fino festive/celebration beautiful and dainty/cool
φούντωσε κι απόψε, ο Σαλονικιός foundose ke apopse, o Salonikios getting into the mood tonight, the Salonika man
Άιντε, στην υγειά του πίνω Aide, stin eeya tou pino Come on, I drink to his health.
να `ναι πάντα ωραίος, ο Σαλονικιός na ‘ne panda oreos, o Salanikios So he is always good, the Salonica man. (5)
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Οι μπαγλαμάδες ν’ αρχίσουν τσιφτετέλια ee baglamades narhisoun tsiftetelia The baglamas (3) to start playing the tsifteteli (4)
ν’ ανάψουνε τα τέλια, ολοταχώς na anapsoune ta telia, olotahos to turn on the crowd / get in the mood, immediately
Και τα μπουζούκια να κάψουν το πατάρι ke ta bouzoukia na kapsoun to patari and the bouzoukia to burn the loft [a reference to the stage]
χορεύει και γουστάρει, ο Σαλονικιός horevi ke goustari, o Salonikios dancing and loving it is the Salonica man
     
Άιντε, κάντε όλοι στην μπάντα ainde, kande oli stin banda, Come on, every one move to the side
γέμισε την πίστα, ο Σαλονικιός yemise tin pista, o Salonikios he filled the stage, the Salonika man
     

Instrumental Solo

Instrumental Solo

Instrumental Solo

     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Οι μπαγλαμάδες ν’ αρχίσουν τσιφτετέλια ee baglamades narhisoun tsiftetelia The baglamas (3) to start playing the tsifteteli (4)
ν’ ανάψουνε τα τέλια, ολοταχώς na anapsoune ta telia, olotahos to turn on the crowd / get in the mood, immediately
Και τα μπουζούκια να κάψουν το πατάρι ke ta bouzoukia na kapsoun to patari and the bouzoukia to burn the loft [a reference to the stage]
χορεύει και γουστάρει, ο Σαλονικιός horevi ke goustari, o Salonikios dancing and loving it is the Salonica man
     
Άιντε, κάντε όλοι στην μπάντα ainde, kande oli stin banda, Come on, every one move to the side
γέμισε την πίστα, ο Σαλονικιός yemise tin pista, o Salonikios he filled the stage, the Salonika man
  1. The word "banda" is old Greek slang which means "move to the side". It is not referring to the band.
  2. The Greek word "lezanta" translates to "caption", as in a photo with a caption. In this context, the song is saying to come on, here is our headliner or star.
  3. The baglamas is a Greek/Anatolian musical instrument.
  4. Tsifteteli is the Greek word for belly dancing, and it also refers to a musical style that is appropriate to use for belly dancing.
  5. The Greek word "oreos" means many things such as beautiful, nice, and attractive. In this context they also mean that he is always good in his life.

 

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Where to Get Recordings of this Song

Tapestry of the Dance

Note

Listen to Clip

Artist: John Bilezikjian
CD Title: Tapestry of the Dance

 

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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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