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

Που 'Ναι Τα Χρόνια
(Pou 'Ne Ta Hronia)

(Where Are the Years?)

 

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the popular Greek song "Pou 'Ne Ta Hronia" (Που 'Ναι Τα Χρόνια), which was sung originally by Grigoris Bithikotsis, and later by Giorgos Dalaras. 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 Grigoris Bithikotsis

Grigoris Bithikotsis, the original artist who recorded this song, was a popular Greek singer-songwriter. He was born in Athens in 1922, to a low-income family.

As a teen-ager, Grigoris Bithikotsis would play guitar and sing at a local tavern. One evening in 1937, he heard three legendary rebetiko musicians playing bouzouki and singing Greek songs. This sparked his lifelong love for rebetiko and laiko music. He acquired a bouzouki, the stringed instrument that the refugees introduced into Greece, as soon as he was able. However, because his father disapproved of rebetiko music, he needed to hide his bouzouki at a friend's house and practice in secret.

As a political prisoner in 1947, he formed his own band and entertained the army officers in the evenings. After his release, he started a band and entered the recording industry.

Bithikotsis is a major legend in Greek music, both as a singer and as a composer.

Grigoris Bithikotsis

About Stavros Kouyioumtzis

Stavros Kouyioumtzis composed the music for this song. Other spellings frequently used for his surname include Kougioumtzis, Kouyoumtzis, or Koujioumtzis. He was born in Thessaloniki in 1932, the son of refugees who had fled Asia Minor to escape the Greek genocide after the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

Kouyioumtzis composed his first song in 1960, and became one of the most significant Greek composers of the 20th century.

Stavros Kouyioumtzis

About Giorgos Dalaras

Giorgos Dalaras was another artist who recorded this song, in 1969.

He featured "Pou 'Ne Ta Hronia" on his debut album titled Giorgos Dalaras, and this song became the biggest hit on it. His first true big break didn't arise until 3 years later, when an album he recorded with Haris Alexiou went gold.

In 1975, he decided to release an album titled 50 Years of Rebetiko Songs. It proved to be an immediate success, and created a revival of interest in rebetiko music.

Dalaras is a versatile musician who not only sings, but also can play the the guitar, bouzouki, baglamas, tzouras and oud.

Song: Pou 'Ne Ta Hronia (Where Are The Years), 1968

Lyrics: Akos Daskalopoulos

Music: Stavros Kouyioumtzis

Original Artist: Grigoris Bithikotsis with backup vocals by Haroula Labraki

Has Also Been Recorded By:

  • Giorgos Dalaras, 1969

Dance Style:

  • 9/8 Karsilamas
  • Belly dancing (only for dancers trained in dancing to Greek 9/8 rhythm)

Album: Episimi Agapimeni

Τραγούδι: Που 'Ναι Τα Χρόνια, 1968

Στίχοι: Άκος Δασκαλόπουλος

Μουσική: Σταύρος Κουγιουμτζής

Πρώτη Εκτέλεση: Γιώργος Μπιθικώτσης

Συμμετέχουν: Χαρούλα Λαμπράκη

Άλλους Ερμηνευτές:

  • Γιώργος Νταλάρας, 1969

Άλμπουμ: Επίσημη Αγαπημένη

 

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Lyrics

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Πήγα στα μέρη piga sta meri I went to the places
που σε είχα πρωτοδεί pou se iha protodi where I first saw you.
μικρό κορίτσι ήσουν

mikro koritsi isoun You were a young girl,
κι ήμουνα παιδί ke imouna pedi and I was a boy.
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Που 'ναι τα χρόνια pou 'ne ta hronia Where are the years,
ωραία χρόνια orea hronia beautiful years,
που 'χες λουλούδια pou 'hes louloudia where you had flowers
με' στη' καρδιά meh' sti' kardia inside your heart?
που είναι η αγάπη pou ine ee agapi Where is the love,
γλυκιά μου αγάπη glikia mou agapi my sweet love,
να μα' ζεστάνει

na ma' zestani to warm us
στη' παγωνιά sti' pagonia in the freezing cold?
     
Στ' αρχοντικό σου st' arhontiko sou At your mansion,
το σπιτάκι το φτωχό to spitaki to ftoho poor, (1)
ήρθα να κλάψω

irtha na klapso I came to cry
με παράπονο πικρό me parapono pikro with a bitter complaint. (2)
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Που 'ναι τα χρόνια pou 'ne ta hronia Where are the years,
ωραία χρόνια orea hronia beautiful years,
που 'χες λουλούδια pou 'hes louloudia where you had flowers
με' στη' καρδιά meh' sti' kardia inside your heart?
που είναι η αγάπη pou ine ee agapi Where is the love,
γλυκιά μου αγάπη glikia mou agapi my sweet love,
να μα' ζεστάνει

na ma' zestani to warm us
στη' παγωνιά sti' pagonia in the freezing cold?
     
Κλεισμένη η πόρτα klismeni ee porta The door is closed,
και χαμένα τα κλειδιά
ke hamena ta klidia and lost are the keys.
βρέχει στους δρόμους
vrehi stous dromous It's raining in the streets,
και στην άδεια μου καρδιά ke stin adia mou kardia and in my empty heart.
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Που 'ναι τα χρόνια pou 'ne ta hronia Where are the years,
ωραία χρόνια orea hronia beautiful years,
που 'χες λουλούδια pou 'hes louloudia where you had flowers
με' στη' καρδιά meh' sti' kardia inside your heart?
που είναι η αγάπη pou ine ee agapi Where is the love,
γλυκιά μου αγάπη glikia mou agapi my sweet love,
να μα' ζεστάνει

na ma' zestani to warm us
στη' παγωνιά sti' pagonia in the freezing cold?
  1. Refers to low income, impoverished. Can also mean low key or humble.
  2. This use of "bitter" refers to being so hard to swallow, painful.

 

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Translations of
Giorgos Dalaras' Songs On This Site

Translations on this web site of songs performed by Giorgos Dalaras (Yiorgos Dalaras) 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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