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

Οι μάγκες δεν υπάρχουν πια
(Oi Manges den Yparhoun Pia)

(Real Men Don't Exist Any More)

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the popular Greek song "Oi Manges den Yparhoun Pia" (Οι μάγκες δεν υπάρχουν πια), which was sung by Nikos Papazoglou. 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 THE PHOTO: This photo shows a group of manges.

About the Mangas

This song refers to the mangas, a slang word for people who were part of an urban counterculture movement in Greece in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The word "mangas" in Greek is not spelled with the letter “n”. However, many old rebetes who use this word in their musical lyrics do pronounce an “n” sound, even though it does not appear in the Greek spelling.

An equivalent term in English might be "real men" or "manly men" or "macho men". Some refer to the mangas as fictional characters, but they were actually very real. Not everyone can be a manga. There were bad ones thought of as bullies, and respectable ones thought of as brave or crafty. The term can at times be used as a compliment. Women may also be referred to as mangisa or mangiora. A number of rebetiko songs featured mangas as characters in the titles and lyrics.

Mangas are closely associated with the history of rebetiko music, though they existed before. The term arose at the time of the 1821 Greek revolution. The soldiers were separated into groups, and one of the groups was given this name. For some, the term represents survival skills. At the time, the word mangas carries a positive, respectful meaning.

Mangas tended to belong to the working class, and walked with a swagger. They often wore a jacket, a tight belt, a felt hat, striped pants, and pointy-toed dress shoes. They smoked cigarettes, often had moustaches, and enjoyed a reputation of being popular with the ladies.

Personal observations by Panayiota, the translator:

Today, the slang word manga still exists to describe men whose behavior fits the stereotype. Although it often now carries negative connotations, there are still situations in which it has positive qualities.

For example, in my work I encounter many men who try to test their boundaries, and at that point it may no longer be possible to converse politely. The Mangisa in me comes out and I put them in their place.

A nightclub dancer can use her inner Mangisa to speak their language, displaying attitude. In this context, it is for self defense and self respect to make them understand she is not naïve, nor can she be played like a deck of cards. All dancers should have an inner Mangisa. It's a form of street smarts.

Greek Manges

About Nikos Papazoglou

Born in Thessaloniki, Nikos Papazoglou was a popular singer, songwriter, and music producer. He began performing at the local level in the 1960's. In the mid-1970's, he met Manolis Rasoulis when they worked together on a project to create a musical based on a play by Aristophanes.

Following this, they teamed up in 1978 with Dionysis Savvopoulos and Nikos Xydakis to create a groundbreaking music album that achieved critical acclaim. Some credit this work with changing the course and perception of Greek popular music.

Building on this success, Papazoglou and Rasoulis collaborated again the following year to create another commercially successful work, Ta Dithen.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: The singer in the photo is Nikos Papazoglou.

Nikos Papazoglou

Song: Oi Manges den Yparhoun Pia – Real Men Don't Exist Any More, 1979

Lyrics: Manolis Rasoulis

Music: Nikos Xidakis

Original Artist: Nikos Papazoglou

Τραγουδι: Οι μάγκες δεν υπάρχουν πια, 1979

Στίχοι: Μανώλης Ρασούλης

Μουσική: Νίκος Ξυδάκης

Πρώτη εκτέλεση: Νίκος Παπάζογλου

 

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Lyrics

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Οι μάγκες δεν υπάρχουν πια Ee manges den yparhoun pia Real men don't exist any more.
τους πάτησε το τρένο tous patise to treno They’ve been run over by the train
με μάγκικο σαλπάρανε me magiko salparane They sailed away in the Mangiko way
με ναργιλέ σβησμένο me argile svismeno with the hookah extinguished.
     
Μεγάλωσε ο μπαγλαμάς megalose o baglamas The baglama (1) grew big
κι έγινε σαν βαπόρι ke egine vapori and became a steam boat
παλιοί καημοί στ' αμπάρι του pali-i kaimi st’abari tou old sorrows in its hold (2)
στο πουθενά η πλώρη sto pouthena ee plori and the bow (3) into nowhere
     
Σε λαϊκή στεκότανε se laiki stekotane (The Grim Reaper) was standing at the farmer's market(4)
ο Χάρος και πουλιότανε o Haros ke pouliotane he (5) was selling himself.
και μια γριά, καλή γριά ke mia gria, kali gria And an old lady, a nice old lady
του αγοράζει δυο κιλά tou agorazi dio kila she bought two kilos from him.
     
Οι μάγκες δεν υπάρχουν πια Ee manges den yparhoun pia Real men don't exist any more.
τους πάτησε το τρένο tous patise to treno They’ve been run over by the train
με μάγκικο σαλπάρανε me magiko salparane They sailed away in the Mangiko way
με ναργιλέ σβησμένο me argile svismeno with the hookah extinguished.
  1. The baglama is a musical instrument from Anatolia (the land mass known as modern-day Turkey).
  2. The hold is the lower part of a boat, below the deck.
  3. The prow is the front part of a boat.
  4. The Greek word "laiki" refers to an outdoor farmer's market where people can buy fruits and vegetables. Vendors may also offer other items such as blankets, clothes, etc. However, usually an outdoor market with tablesand stands that sells these household items would be known as the "Roso Pondi" (Russian Pondian). It refers to the people who relocated to Russia from the Pondian Black Sea regions of Asia Minor. Not all districts have these markets, but most do. Often, Greek Romany people will be among the vendors, perhaps driving around in their trucks with megaphones promoting their fruits, vegetables, household goods, etc. Although people do shop at regular grocery stores, they also will go to these farmer's markets which are held once a week in each city/town throughout Greece.
  5. In ancient Greek mythology, Charon was the son of Erebus (darkness) and Nyx (goddess of the night). In modern Greek the word Haro (referencing Charon) is frequently in the same way the Grim Reaper or Death might be referenced in English. For example – "Htipise o Haros tin porta" means "Death was knocking on my door."

 

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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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