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

Στην αγορά του Αλ Χαλίλι
(Stin Agora Tou Al Halili)

(At the Khan al-Khalili Market Place)

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the popular Greek song "Stin Agora Tou Al Halili" (Στην αγορά του Αλ Χαλίλι), which was sung by Alkinoos Ioannidis. Also included is a pronunciation guide for the Greek lyrics so you can sing along if you like.

This song references Khan al-Khalili, a historic market in the heart of Cairo, Egypt. It was built in the 14th century, and served as a major caravanserai. Even today, Khan al-Khalili remains an important tourist attractiion.

This song appeared on Ioannidis' highly successful debut album, Stin Agora Tou Kosmou (In the World's Market).

North American belly dancers might find this song to be a beautiful option for dancing with a veil in the vintage American belly dance style that arose in the 1970's.

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 Alkinoos Ioannidis

At age 23, Alkinoos Ioannidis teamed up with composer / lyricist Nikos Zoudiaris to record a demo tape for an album titled Stin Agora Tou Kosmou (In the World's Market). It came to the attention of an established singer named Dimitra Galani, who helped them secure a contract with a record company. It was released in 1993.

The style of music Ioannidis is mostly known for is edehno. This is a genre of music that is newer than rebetiko. Vassilios "Billy" Chrissochos, UNESCO New York Director of Modern Music, describes it as "college light rock, usually played with acoustic guitars. They are usually romantic love songs."

Ioannidis has released 11 solo albums, most of which have gone gold or platinum. He has appeared as a guest singer on over 40 albums with other artists.

As a songwriter, Ioannidis has written songs for other artists, as well as writing music for dance and theater. His symphonic work has been performed both in Greece and abroad. His influences range from traditional Cypriot music, Greek composers of the last decades, Byzantine, classical, and rock.

Alkinoos Ioannidis

Song: Stin Agora Tou Al Halili – At the Khan Al Halili Market Place, 1993

Lyrics: Nikos Zoudiaris

Music: Nikos Zoudiaris

Original Artist: Alkinoos Ioannidis

Τραγουδι: Στην αγορά του Αλ Χαλίλι, 1993

Στίχοι: Νίκος Ζούδιαρης

Μουσική: Νίκος Ζούδιαρης

Πρώτη εκτέλεση: Αλκίνοος Ιωαννίδης

 

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Lyrics

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Verse

Verse

Verse

Ο άνεμος θα καίει στη γη του Νείλου o anemos tha kei sti yi tou Nilou The wind will be burning on the land of the Nile
μια αρχαία μυρωδιά θα μας μεθά mia arhea mirodia tha mas metha an ancient fragrance will intoxicate us
στον τροπικό όπως θα 'σαι του Καρκίνου ston tropico opos tha ‘se tou Karkinou and you will be lying at the Tropic of Cancer
μέσα σου θα γεννιέται μια θεά mesa sou tha yeniete mia thea inside you a goddess is being born
     

Verse

Verse

Verse

Μ' άγιο καπνό θα υφάνεις το χρησμό σου M ayio kapno tha ifanis to hrisimo sou with holy smoke you will weave your prophecy
για να μου δώσεις όταν θα ζητώ ya na mou dosis otan tha zito so you will give me whenever I ask
να μπω ιεροφάντης στο ναό σου na bo ierofantis sto nao sou to enter as Hierofant (1) into your temple
να σ' ερμηνεύσω και να ερμηνευτώ na se erminefso ke na erminefto to interpret you and to be interpreted
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Στην αγορά του Αλ Χαλίλι stin agora tou Al Halili at the market place of Khan al-Khalili (2)
θα πουλάν τα δυο σου χείλη tha poulan ta dio sou hili they will be selling your two lips
δυο περιουσίες και άλλη μια dio periousies ke alli mia worth two properties and one more [meaning the price is three pieces of land]
τέσσερις εγώ θα δώσω teseris ego tha doso I will pay four
θα πληρώσω όσο όσο tha pliroso oso oso I will pay whatever they ask
να μου κάνουν μια μελανιά na mou kanoun mia melania and they will give me an ink mark
να μου κάνουν μια μελανιά na mou kanoun mia melania and they will give me an ink mark
     

Verse

Verse

Verse

Θα σου αγοράσω στο Καρνάκ μπακίρια tha sou agoraso sto Karnak bakiria I will buy copper for you from Karnak [located in Upper Egypt, at modern-day Luxor]
με καλλιτέχνες θα τα πούμε ιθαγενείς me kalitehnes that a poume ithagenis We will spend time with native artists
τις νύχτες θα σου κάνω τα χατίρια tis nihtes tha sou kano ta hatiria during the nights I will do favors for you
όσα ποτέ σου δε σου έκανε κανείς osa pote de sou ekane kanis so many, as nobody else ever did for you
     

Verse

Verse

Verse

Θα 'μαι η πηγή στην όαση της Σίβας tha me ee piyi stin oasi tis Sivas I will be your source at the Siwa Oasis (3)
θα είσαι ο διαμαντένιος ουρανός tha ise o diamandenios ouranos you will be the diamond sky
Θα γίνεις η βασίλισσα της Θήβας tha yinis ee vasilisa tis Thivas you will become the queen of Thebes (4)
κι εγώ ένας μαγεμένος Φαραώ ke ego enas mayemenos Farao and I a spellbound Pharoah.
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Στην αγορά του Αλ Χαλίλι stin agora tou Al Halili at the market place of Khan al-Khalili
θα πουλάν τα δυο σου χείλη tha poulan ta dio sou hili they will be selling your two lips
δυο περιουσίες και άλλη μια dio periousies ke alli mia worth two properties and one more [meaning the price is three pieces of land]
τέσσερις εγώ θα δώσω teseris ego tha doso I will pay four
θα πληρώσω όσο όσο tha pliroso oso oso I will pay whatever they ask
να μου κάνουν μια μελανιά na mou kanoun mia melania and they will give me an ink mark
να μου κάνουν μια μελανιά na mou kanoun mia melania and they will give me an ink mark
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Στην αγορά του Αλ Χαλίλι stin agora tou Al Halili at the market place of Khan al-Khalili
θα πουλάν τα δυο σου χείλη tha poulan ta dio sou hili they will be selling your two lips
δυο περιουσίες και άλλη μια dio periousies ke alli mia worth two properties and one more [meaning the price is three pieces of land]
τέσσερις εγώ θα δώσω teseris ego tha doso I will pay four
θα πληρώσω όσο όσο tha pliroso oso oso I will pay whatever they ask
να μου κάνουν μια μελανιά na mou kanoun mia melania and they will give me an ink mark
να μου κάνουν μια μελανιά na mou kanoun mia melania and they will give me an ink mark
  1. In Ancient Greece, the "Hierophant" was the highest ranked religious lord or priest.
  2. Khan al-Khalili is a historic market place in the heart of Cairo, Egypt. It was built in the 14th century, and served as a major caravanserai. Even today, it remains an important tourist attractiion.
  3. The Siwa Oasis is a city on a large lake in the midst of Egypt's Western desert, remote from the Nile river. In ancient times, a famous oracle at this oasis was renowned for prophecies, and many people made the difficult trek through the Sahara desert to consult the oracle.
  4. Although Greece has a city named Thebes, this song is referencing a city in Egypt that was named Thebes during the era of the Greeks ruling Egypt. Today, that city is named Luxor. It is the site of the Karnak Temple, Valley of the Kings, and many other important ancient sites.

 

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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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