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

Πότε Βούδας πότε Κούδας
(Pote Voudas Pote Koudas)

(Sometimes Buddha, Sometimes Koudas)

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the popular Greek rebetiko song "Pote Boudas Pote Koudas" (Πότε Βούδας πότε Κούδας), which was sung by Nikos Papazoglou. Also included is a pronunciation guide for the Greek lyrics so you can sing along if you like.

Translator's note:

In my opinion, this is one of the tsifteteli national songs of Greece. Extremely popular. This is really the song of the century. If you want to impress a Greek crowd, especially a younger one, this is the song. Although we have so many incredible songs, this one has to be on your playlist if you to show people that you know your stuff with respect to Greek music.

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 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.

This revolutionary contemporary artist lost his battle with cancer in April 2011, just one month after his colleague and friend Manolis Rasoulis (the lyricist for this song) passed away from a heart attack.

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

Nikos Papazoglou

Song: Pote Boudas Pote Koudas - Sometimes Buddha, some times Koudas, 1986

Lyrics: Manolis Rasoulis

Music: Petros Vagiopoulis

Original Artist: Nikos Papazoglou

Has Also Been Recorded By: Despina Vandi

Τραγουδι: Πότε Βούδας πότε Κούδας, 1986

Στίχοι: Μανώλης Ρασούλης

Μουσική: Πέτρος Βαγιόπουλος

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

Πότε Βούδας, πότε Κούδας, πότε Ιησούς κι Ιούδας

pote Voudas, pote Koudas, pote Isous ki Ioudas

Sometimes Buddha, sometimes Koudas (1), sometimes Jesus and Judas.
Έχω καταλάβει ήδη της ζωής μου το παιχνίδι eho katalavi idi tis zois mou to pehnidi I have already figured out my life's game.(2)
Έχω καταλάβει ήδη της ζωής μου το παιχνίδι eho katalavi idi tis zois mou to pehnidi I have already figured out my life's game.
Πότε Βούδας, πότε Κούδας, πότε Ιησούς κι Ιούδας

pote Voudas, pote Koudas, pote Isous ki Ioudas

Sometimes Buddha, sometimes Koudas, sometimes Jesus and Judas.
     
Όλο ίδια και τα ίδια, του μυαλού σου ροκανίδια Olo idia k eta idia, tou mialou sou rokanidia

Always the same thing over and over, your mind full of wood chips

άλλο ο ανοιχτομάτης κι άλλο ο αυγουλομάτης alo o anihtomatis ke alo o avgoulomatis It's one thing to be open-eyed and another to be egg-eyed
άλλο ο ανοιχτομάτης κι άλλο ο αυγουλομάτης alo o anihtomatis ke alo o avgoulomatis It's one thing to be open-eyed and another to be egg-eyed
Όλο ίδια και τα ίδια, του μυαλού σου ροκανίδια Olo idia k eta idia, tou mialou sou rokanidia

Always the same thing over and over, your mind full of wood chips

     
Στο `πα μια και στο `πα δύο, στο `πα χίλιες δέκα δύο Sto ‘pa mia ke sto ‘pa dio, sto ‘pa hilies deka dio I told you once and I told you twice, I told you a thousand ten times twice
βρε δεν είναι εδώ το Σούλι, εδώ είναι του Ρασούλη vre den ine edo to Souli, edo ine tou Rasouli Yo! (3) This place is not Souli, here is Rasouli (4)
βρε δεν είναι εδώ το Σούλι, εδώ είναι του Ρασούλη vre den ine edo to Souli, edo ine tou Rasouli Yo! This place is not Souli, here is Rasouli
Στο `πα μια και στο `πα δύο, στο `πα χίλιες δέκα δύο Sto ‘pa mia ke sto ‘pa dio, sto ‘pa hilies deka dio I told you once and I told you twice, I told you a thousand ten times twice
     
Πότε Βούδας, πότε Κούδας, πότε Ιησούς κι Ιούδας

pote Voudas, pote Koudas, pote Isous ki Ioudas

Sometimes Buddha, sometimes Koudas, sometimes Jesus and Judas.
Έχω καταλάβει ήδη της ζωής μου το παιχνίδι eho katalavi idi tis zois mou to pehnidi I have already figured out my life's game.
Έχω καταλάβει ήδη της ζωής μου το παιχνίδι eho katalavi idi tis zois mou to pehnidi I have already figured out my life's game.
Πότε Βούδας, πότε Κούδας, πότε Ιησούς κι Ιούδας

pote Voudas, pote Koudas, pote Isous ki Ioudas

Sometimes Buddha, sometimes Koudas, sometimes Jesus and Judas.
  1. Koudas is the name of a famous Greek soccer player. The lyrics here are suggesting that we have different religions and we should respect each other.
  2. The song is saying that, " I know for myself what game or religion I follow." This is a great song to use when performing for a diverse audience representing different faiths, or for people who welcome all religions.
  3. "Vre" is a slang word that means something like "Hey!" or "Yo!"
  4. The verse is saying that this is not the historic Greek town of Souli, it is Rasouli's region. Rasouli is the surname of the lyricist for this song, and he was also a notable writer, composer, journalist and singer, born in Hraklio, Crete. He passed away in March 2011, a month before his best friend Nikos Papazoglou (the original artist for this song).

 

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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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