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

Οι Μνήμες
(Oi Mnimes)

(The Memories)

 

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the popular Greek song "Oi Mnimes" (Οι Μνήμες), which was sung by Eleftheria Arvanitaki. Also included is a pronunciation guide for the Greek lyrics so you can sing along if you like.

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 Eleftheria Arvanitaki

Eleftheria Arvanitaki, the original artist for this song, is a Greek folk singer known for singing rebetiko, laiko, and jazz musical styles. Born in 1957, she started her singing career as a member of the ensemble Opisthodromiki Kompania (Retrograde Company) that performed rebetiko music. She then spun off to launch a solo singing career in 1984 with an album that bore her name. She has toured extensively to perform at festivals and other live music events. Arvanitaki performed in the closing ceremony for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens.

Song: Oi Mnimes (The Memories), 2019

Lyrics: Lida Roumani

Music: Themis Karamouratidis

Original Artist: Eleftheria Arvanitaki with backup vocals by Themis Karamouratidis

Dance Style: Belly Dance

Album: Ee Mnimes (The Memories) (single)

Τραγούδι: Οι Μνήμες, 2019

Στίχοι: Λήδα Ρουμάνη

Μουσική: Θέμης Καραμουρατίδης

Πρώτη Εκτέλεση: Ελευθερίας Αρβανιτάκη
Συμμετέχουν: Θέμης Καραμουρατίδης

Χορός: Οριεντάλ, Χορό Της Κοιλιάς, Ανατολίτικο Χορό, Τσιφτετέλι, Χανούμικο, Κελικός Χορός

Άλμπουμ: Οι Μνήμες (single)

 

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Lyrics

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Η μνήμη χθες ee mnimi htes Yesterday, memory
με πήρε απ'το χέρι me pire ap' to heri took me by the hand.
δε' μ' άφησε στιγμή de' m' afise stigmi It didn't for a moment let me
να κλείσω μάτι na kliso mati close my eyes. (1)
προτίμησε να 'ρθει το μεσημέρι protimise na 'rthi to mesimeri It preferred to come in [the] afternoon,
και άραξε χωρίς να κρύψει κάτι ke araxi horis na kripsi kati and linger out in the open. (2)
     
Στο πάρτυ που sto parti pou At the party,
σε είδα να διαλέγεις se ida na dialegis I saw you choose,
και ξέμεινα χωρίς φιλί στην άκρη ke xemina horis fili stin akri and I was left off to the side with no kiss. (3)
στο πάθος που ζητάς να κυριεύεις sto pathos pou zitas na kirievis You demand to dominate the passion,
μα δε' σου κλείνει πάντοτε το μάτι ma de' sou klini pandote to mati but it doesn't always blink the eyes.
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Μόνο τις μνήμες να φοβάσαι mono tis mnimes na fovase You should only be afraid of memories
που ζητάνε pou zitane that are asking you
να τις κρατήσεις ζωντανές na tis kratisis zondanes to keep them alive,
και σε πονάνε ke se ponane and are hurting you.
Μόνο τις μνήμες να φοβάσαι mono tis mnimes na fovase You should only be afraid of memories
που μιλάνε pou milane that speak —
αυτές που γίνονται θεριό aftes pou yinonde therio those that become wild
και σε χτυπάνε ke se htipane and strike you.
     
Και είναι εκεί ke ine eki And it is there
για να κοιτάνε ya na kitane so they watch.
και όσα δεν θες ke osa den thes And everything you don't want,
στάχτη τα καις stahti ta kes you burn to ashes,
και πάνε ke pane and it's all gone.
     
Η μνήμη χθες ee mnimi htes Yesterday, memory
μου πήρε το κεφάλι mou pire to kefali took my head.
δε' μ' άφησε στιγμή de' m' afise stigmi It didn't leave me even for a moment
να ξεμυτίσω na xemitiso to get away at all.
με κέρασε, κaι εγώ me kerase, ke ego It treated me [to drinks], and
σε παραζάλη se parazali in a [drunken dizzy] daze.
προτίμησα να πιώ protimisa na pio I opted to drink
και να λυγίσω ke na liyiso and break down. (4)
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Μόνο τις μνήμες να φοβάσαι mono tis mnimes na fovase You should only be afraid of memories
που ζητάνε pou zitane that are asking you
να τις κρατήσεις ζωντανές na tis kratisis zondanes to keep them alive,
και σε πονάνε ke se ponane and are hurting you.
Μόνο τις μνήμες να φοβάσαι mono tis mnimes na fovase You should only be afraid of memories
που μιλάνε pou milane that speak —
αυτές που γίνονται θεριό aftes pou yinonde therio those that become wild
και σε χτυπάνε ke se htipane and strike you.
     
Και είναι εκεί ke ine eki And it is there
για να κοιτάνε ya na kitane so they watch.
και όσα δεν θες ke osa den thes And everything you don't want,
στάχτη τα καις stahti ta kes you burn to ashes,
και πάνε ke pane and it's all gone.
  1. Literally, just one eye, but here in this song it refers to both eyes.
  2. Literally, "it stayed around without hiding anything".
  3. Literally, "I ran out with no kiss on the side."
  4. This refers to becoming weak. "Ligizo" means "to bend."

 

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Translations of Songs Recorded by
Eleftheria Arvanitaki On This Site

Translations on this web site of songs performed by Eleftheria Arvanitaki 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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