Filler
Photo of Shira

 

 

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

Θα Σπάσω Κούπες
(Tha Spaso Koupes)

(I Will Break Cups)

 

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the traditional Asia Minor song "Tha Spaso Koupes" (Θα Σπάσω Κούπες). (Asia Minor is the land mass where modern-day Turkey resides.) 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 this Song

This song is also known as "Tsifteteli" or "Smyrneiko Tsifteteli" (Σμυρναίικο Τσιφτετέλι). The word "koupes" in the song title translates to "mug" but for this song it generally refers to a glass cup.

I have found another song in Greek with the same melody but different lyrics by Roza. In her version, she uses many Arabic words, including references to Damascus and Alexandria. These were very common lyrics in this era, as we were all traveling back and forth, plus many of us were indigenous to the Arabic-speaking regions. There was also extensive connection prior to the fall of the Ottoman empire. The title of Roza's version is "Yiamo", which in Arabic refers to "uncle", or "Amo" in Sham (Syrian Arabic) dialect. A quick web search of video sites reveals some songs in Arabic with the title "Ach Yamo". When I listen closely, I can hear a tiny bit of the melody for "Tha Spaso Koupes" in some places.

In 1916, Karekin Proodian recorded this song in the United States, in Turkish. He was an Armenian singer whose family originated from the Black Sea part of Turkey, then settled in Massachusetts in the USA. Proodian was a renowned folk singer and oud (lute) player of that era. For this song, his recording was accompanied by a qanoun (stringed instrument) and a floyera (flute). Some sources mistakenly attribute this recording to Kemany Minas, an Armenian singer and violinist.

The song "Law Habaitak" in Arabic by George Wassuf and Najwa Karam is the same melody as "Tha Spaso Koupes", but in the dabke musical style. I wonder how old it is!

About Eleftheria Arvanitaki

Eleftheria Arvanitaki, one of the artists to record 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: Tha Spaso Koupes (I Will Break Cups)

Lyrics: Traditional Asia Minor *

Music: Traditional Asia Minor *

Musicians Who Have Recorded This:

In Greek
  • Eleftherios Menemenlis and Giorgos Tsanakas, 1907
  • Smyrneiki Estoudiantina, 1908
  • Elliniki Estoudiantina, 1909
  • Marika Papagika, 1928. Recorded in New York City.
  • Kostas Karipis, 1928. Recorded in Athens, Greece.
  • Roza Eskenazi, 1934. ("Yiamo")
  • Elvira Kakki, 1937. ("Matia Mou Megala")
  • Antonia Sakellariou, 1941
  • Kostas Roukounas, 1970's
  • Eleftheria Arvanitaki, 1984
  • Hristos Dantis, 1996
  • Shantel, 2007
  • Marina Satti, 2016 ("Koupes")
In Turkish
  • Ovanes Efendi, 1909 ("Tsiftetelia"). Recorded in Smyrna (Izmir)
  • Karekin Proodian, 1916 ("Chifta Telly Canto", sometimes written as "Chifta Telly Gazel")
In Arabic
  • George Wassouf and Najwa Karam, 1996 ("Law Habaytak")

Dance Style:

  • Belly Dance (with the Greek version)
  • Debke (with the Lebanese version)

* Asia Minor is the land mass where modern-day Turkey resides.

Τραγούδι: Θα Σπάσω Κούπες

Στίχοι: Παραδοσιακό Μικρά Ασία

Μουσική: Παραδοσιακό Μικρά Ασία

Άλλοι Ερμηνευτές:

Στα Ελληνικά
  • Ελευθέριος Μενεμενλής & Γιώργος Τσανάκας, 1907
  • Σμυρναίικη Εστουδιαντίνα, 1908
  • Ελληνική Εστουδιαντίνα, 1909
  • Ρόζα Εσκενάζυ, 1934. ("Γιάμο")
  • Ελβίρα Κάκκη, 1937. ("Mάτια Mου Mεγάλα")
  • Αντώνη Σακελλαρίου, 1941
  • Κώστας Ρουκουνας, 1970's
  • Ελευθερία Αρβανιτάκη, 1984
  • Χρήστος Δάντης, 1996
  • Σαντελ, 2007
  • Μαρίνα Σάττι, 2016 ("Κούπες")
Στα Τουρκικά
  • Οβανες Εφεντι, 1909, Στα Τουρκικά ("Τσιφτετέλια")
Στα Αραβικά
  • Τζορντζ Ουασουφ and Ναζουα Καραμ, 1996

 

 

---------------

Lyrics

Many versions of this song have been recorded. Translations for 10 of them appear below.

  1. Eleftherios Menemenlis and Giorgos Tsanakas, 1907
  2. Marika Papagika, 1928
  3. Kostas Karipis, 1928
  4. Roza Eskenazi, 1934, song title of "Yiamo"
  5. Elvira Kakki, 1937, song title of "Matia Mou Megala"
  6. Kostas Roukounas, 1970's
  7. Eleftheria Arvanitaki, 1984
  8. Hristos Dantis, 1996
  9. Shantel, 2007
  10. Marina Satti, 2016

 

Eleftherios Menemenlis and Giorgos Tsanakas, 1907

Eleftherios Menemenlis (Ελευθέριος Μενεμενλής) and Yiorgos Tsanakas (Γιώργος Τσανάκας) recorded this song in Constantinople (where modern-day Istanbul is located) before the Greeks were driven out of Turkey. Some sources say it was released in 1907, whereas others say 1910 or 1912. There is also a recording in the same time period by the 1908 Smyrneiki Estoudiantina (Σμυρναίικη Εστουδιαντίνα), as well as a 1909 recording by the Elliniki Estoudiantina (Ελληνική Εστουδιαντίνα). Several more exist from this era as well.

This song comes from Asia Minor, which is the land mass where modern-day Turkey resides. Greeks and Turkish people lived among each other for hundreds of years. As a result, Turkish words sometimes appear in traditional songs such as this one that were part of folk culture for Greeks whose families came from the region.

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Εχθές το βράδυ σε 'δα στ' όνειρό μου ehthes to vradi se 'da st' oniro mou Last night I saw you in my dream.
εχθές το βράδυ σε 'δα στ' όνειρό μου ehthes to vradi se 'da st' oniro mou Last night I saw you in my dream:
πως είχες τα μαλλάκια σου pos ihes ta malakia sou how you had your hair
ριγμένα στο λαιμό μου rigmena sto lemo mou draped on my neck.
     
Ααααα, ααααα aaaa, aaaa Aaaa, aaaa!
γιανιγιόρουμ μπεν yianiyiorum ben I'm burning [with love]! (1)
αμάν αμάν, αμάν, αμάν aman aman aman aman Aman aman aman aman! (2)
σεβιγιόυρουμ σεν seviyorum sen I love you! (3)
     
Έλα μικρο μου ela mikro mou Come my little one (4)
να σε φιλήσω na se filiso so I can kiss you.
έλα μικρο μου ela mikro mou Come my little one (4)
να σε φιλήσω na se filiso so I can kiss you.
και μη' φοβάσαι ke mi' fovase And don't be afraid
το χάρο αν νικήσω to haro an nikiso if I beat the Grim Reaper. (5)
     
Ααααα, ααααα aaaa, aaaa Aaaa, aaaa!
γιανιγιόρουμ μπεν yianiyiorum ben I'm burning [with love]! (1)
αμάν αμάν, αμάν, αμάν aman aman aman aman Aman aman aman aman! (2)
σεβιγιόυρουμ σεν seviyorum sen I love you! (3)
     
Οπα, οπα, εεεεεε Opa, opa, eeeeeehhhh Opa, opa, (6) eeeeeehhhh
γειά σου Χρήστο Αραπάκη yia sou Hristo Arapaki Hello, Christos Arapakis! (7)
     

Instrumental

Instrumental

Instrumental

     
Θα σπάσω κούπες tha spaso koupes I will break cups (8)
για τα λόγια που `πες ya ta loyia pou 'pes because of the words you said.
θα σπάσω κούπες tha spaso koupes I will break cups (8)
για τα λόγια που `πες ya ta loyia pou 'pes because of the words you said.
θα σπάσω ποτηράκια tha spaso potirakia I will break many little cups
για τα γλυκά λογάκια ya ta glika logakia for the sweet words.
     
Ααααα, ααααα aaaa, aaaa Aaaa, aaaa!
γιανιγιόρουμ μπεν yianiyiorum ben I'm burning! (1)
ααααα, ααααα aaaaa aaaaa aaaaa, aaaaa
αμάν αμάν, αμάν, αμάν aman aman aman aman Aman aman aman aman! (2)
σεβιγιόυρουμ σεν seviyorum sen I love you! (3)
     
Οοοοπα να σε χαρώ καμώματα μου oooopa na se haro kamomata mou Opa! (6) How much I enjoy your mischief!
     
Γειά σου Μητσάκη μου yia sou Mitsaki mou Hello my Mitsaki! (7)
  1. The words "yianiyiorum ben" are Turkish, not Greek.
  2. "Aman" is a Greek exclamation that can mean "Oh!" or "Oh my!" or "Oh boy!" Although it is spelled in the original Greek with an accent over the second "ά" (i.e., αμάν), some singers accent the first syllable. Listen carefully to the song to determine which it is for a given singer.
  3. The words "seviyorum sen" are Pontian Turkish, not Greek. It's the dialect of Turkish spoken by the people from Pontus, which is the region to the south of the Black Sea. Regular Turkish would be "seviyorum seni".
  4. "Little one" is not necessarily a reference to age. It can be an endearment between adults.
  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."
  6. "Opa!" is a Greek exclamation that usually goes with enthusiasm, joy, or excitement.
  7. This is one musician calling out to another musician named "Christos Arapakis" or "Mitsaki".
  8. The word "coupes" actually translates to "mug". However, for this song it's referring to a glass cup.

 

Marika Papagika, 1928

Marika Papagika recorded her 1928 version of this song in the United States, in New York City.

This song comes from Asia Minor, which is the land mass where modern-day Turkey resides. Greeks and Turkish people lived among each other for hundreds of years. As a result, Turkish words sometimes appear in traditional songs such as this one that were part of folk culture for Greeks whose families came from the region.

This song contains a couple of words from Arabic. Greeks and people in present-day Arabic-speaking countries such as Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt have been living among each other for thousands of years. Many Greeks kept their Greek heritage alive within ethnic enclaves while speaking Arabic in public. Others acquired mixed language skills through marriage, etc. It is only natural that some Greek songs contain some Arabic words.

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Θα σπάσω κούπες tha spaso koupes I will break cups (1)
για τα λόγια που `πες ya ta loyia pou 'pes because of the words you said.
θα σπάσω κούπες tha spaso koupes I will break cups (1)
για τα λόγια που `πες ya ta loyia pou 'pes because of the words you said.
και ποτηράκια ke potirakia And many little cups
για τα πικρά λογάκια ya ta pikra logakia for the bitter words.
     
Αμάν αμάν, αμάν aman aman aman Aman aman aman! (2)
γιανιγιόρουμ μπεν yianiyiorum ben I'm burning [with love]! (3)
αμάν αμάν, αμάν aman aman aman Aman aman aman! (2)
σεβιγιόυρουμ σεν seviyorum sen I love you! (4)
     
Αααχ, αχ, τσιφτετέλι aaah, ah, tsifteteli Aaah ah tsifteteli!
Αμάν αμάν, για λελέλι aman, aman, ya leleli Aman aman (2) ya leleli. (5)
αααχ, αχ, τσιφτετέλι aaah, ah, tsifteteli Aaah ah tsifteteli!
Αμάν αμάν, για λελέλι aman, aman, ya leleli Aman aman (2) ya leleli. (5)
     
Εχθές το βράδυ σ' ειδα στο όνειρό μου ehthes to vradi s' ida stο oniro mou Last night I saw you in my dream.
εχθές το βράδυ σ' ειδα στο όνειρό μου ehthes to vradi s' ida stο oniro mou Last night I saw you in my dream:
πως είχες τα μαλλάκια σου pos ihes ta malakia sou how you had your hair
ριγμένα στο λαιμό μου rigmena sto lemo mou draped on my neck.
     
Αμάν αμάν, αμάν aman aman aman Aman aman aman! (2)
γιανιγιόρουμ μπεν yianiyiorum ben I'm burning [with love]! (3)
αμάν αμάν, αμάν aman aman aman Aman aman aman! (2)
σεβιγιόυρουμ σεν seviyorum sen I love you! (4)
     
Αααχ, αχ, τσιφτετέλι aaah, ah, tsifteteli Aaah ahh tsifteteli!
αμάν αμάν, για λελέλι aman, aman, ya leleli Aman aman (2) ya leleli. (5)
αααχ, αχ, τσιφτετέλι aaah, ah, tsifteteli Aaah ahh tsifteteli!
αμάν αμάν, για λελέλι aman, aman, ya leleli Aman aman (2) ya leleli. (5)
  1. The word "coupes" actually translates to "mug". However, for this song it's referring to a glass cup.
  2. "Aman" is a Greek exclamation that can mean "Oh!" or "Oh my!" or "Oh boy!" Although it is spelled in the original Greek with an accent over the second "ά" (i.e., αμάν), some singers accent the first syllable. Listen carefully to the song to determine which it is for a given singer.
  3. The words "yianiyiorum ben" are Turkish, not Greek.
  4. The words "seviyorum sen" are Pontian Turkish, not Greek. It's the dialect of Turkish spoken by the people from Pontus, which is the region to the south of the Black Sea. Regular Turkish would be "seviyorum seni".
  5. In Arabic, "leli" is derived from the word "leil" for "night", and therefore "ya leli" would mean "O Night" in Arabic. Arabic-speaking singers often improvise using the syllables "leleli" in the same way an English-language song might use nonsense syllables such as "tra la la".

 

Kostas Karipis, 1928

Kostas Karipis recorded his 1928 version of this song in Athens, Greece.

This song comes from Asia Minor, which is the land mass where modern-day Turkey resides. Greeks and Turkish people lived among each other for hundreds of years. As a result, Turkish words sometimes appear in traditional songs such as this one that were part of folk culture for Greeks whose families came from the region.

This song contains a couple of words from Arabic. Greeks and people in present-day Arabic-speaking countries such as Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt have been living among each other for thousands of years. Many Greeks kept their Greek heritage alive within ethnic enclaves while speaking Arabic in public. Others acquired mixed language skills through marriage, etc. It is only natural that some Greek songs contain some Arabic words.

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Εχθές το βράδυ σ' ειδα στ' όνειρό μου ehthes to vradi se 'ida st' oniro mou Last night I saw you in my dream:
πως είχες τα μαλλάκια σου pos ihes ta malakia sou how you had your hair
ριγμένα στο λαιμό μου rigmena sto lemo mou draped on my neck.
     
Αμάν αμάν, αμάν, αμάν aman aman aman aman Aman aman aman aman! (1)
γιανιγιόρουμ μπεν yianiyiorum ben I'm burning [with love]! (2)
αμάν αμάν, αμάν, αμάν aman aman aman aman Aman aman aman aman! (1)
σεβιγιόυρουμ σεν seviyorum sen I love you! (3)
     
Αααχ, αααχ aaah, aaah Aaah, aaah,
ικιτέλι μ' ikiteli m' My saz! (4)
άμαν γιάλα, τσιφτετέλι aman yalla, tsifteteli Aman (1) let's go, (5) tsifteteli!
αααχ, αααχ aaah, aaah Aaah, aaah,
ικιτέλι μ' ikiteli m' My saz! (4)
άμαν γιάλα, τσιφτετέλι aman yalla, tsifteteli Aman (1) let's go, (5) tsifteteli!
     
Ααααμααααν aaaamaaaan Aman! (1)
     
Για ρεεει, μεντέτ αμάν αμάν ya rei, mentet aman aman Oh lord, help me, aman, aman! (1)
άμaν γιάλα γιάλα Aman yalla, yalla Aman (1) let's go, let's go! (5)
     
Next is a spoken section that is difficult to understand, but appears to be in Turkish. According to Dilek Koksal, a native speaker of Turkish it is probably speaking the refrain:

Instrumental

Instrumental

Instrumental

     
Θα σπάσω κούπες tha spaso koupes I will break cups (6)
για τα λόγια που `πες ya ta loyia pou 'pes because of the words you said,
και ποτηράκια ke potirakia and many little cups
για τα γλυκά λογάκια ya ta glika logakia for the sweet words.
     
Αμάν αμάν, αμάν, αμάν aman aman aman aman Aman aman aman aman! (1)
γιανιγιόρουμ μπεν yianiyiorum ben I'm burning [with love]! (2)
αμάν αμάν, αμάν, αμάν aman aman aman aman Aman aman aman aman! (1)
σεβιγιόυρουμ σεν seviyorum sen I love you! (3)
     
Αααχ, αααχ aaah, aaah Aaah, aaah,
ικιτέλι μ' ikiteli m' My saz! (4)
άμαν γιάλα, τσιφτετέλι aman yalla, tsifteteli Aman (1) let's go, (5) tsifteteli!
αααχ, αααχ aaah, aaah Aaah, aaah,
ικιτέλι μ' ikiteli m' My saz! (4)
άμαν γιάλα, τσιφτετέλι aman yalla, tsifteteli Aman (1) let's go, (5) tsifteteli!
     
Γεια σου Καρίπη μου Yia sou Karipi mou Hello, my Karipi! (7)
Γεια σου yia sou Hello!
     
Γεια σου Ογδοντάκη μου Yia sou Ogdodakis mou Hello, my Ogdodakis! (8)
  1. "Aman" is a Greek exclamation that can mean "Oh!" or "Oh my!" or "Oh boy!" Although it is spelled in the original Greek with an accent over the second "ά" (i.e., αμάν), some singers accent the first syllable. Listen carefully to the song to determine which it is for a given singer.
  2. The words "yianiyiorum ben" are Turkish, not Greek.
  3. The words "seviyorum sen" are Pontian Turkish, not Greek. It's the dialect of Turkish spoken by the people from Pontus, which is the region to the south of the Black Sea. Regular Turkish would be "seviyorum seni".
  4. A "saz" is a stringed musical instrument from Asia Minor, which is where modern-day Turkey resides. According to Demetri Tee, a musician, the literal translation for "ikiteli" is "2 strings". It's a reference to instruments that use double courses of strings. It also refers to a particular style of playing the violin, where the second string is tuned on the nut, allowing both strings to be played together, yielding a sensual sound.
  5. "Yalla" is an Arabic word which means, "Let's go!" or "Come on!"
  6. The word "coupes" actually translates to "mug". However, for this song it's referring to a glass cup.
  7. This is one musician calling out to another musician named "Karipi". The singer for this recording is Kostas Karipis, so this is probably one of his members of his band calling out to him.
  8. This is a one of the musicians calling out to Yiannis Dragatsis (Γιάννης Δραγάτσης) the violinist. This violinist was also known as Ogdodakis (Ογδοντάκης). He came from a large family of musicians known as Ogdondakides (Ογδοντάκηδες).

 

"Yiamo" by Roza Eskenazi, 1934

Roza Eskenazi was a Greek Jew. She was very famous and respected in the mid 20th century. Her song titled "Yiamo" ("Oh Uncle") uses the same melody as "Tha Spaso Koupes", but has different lyrics. She accompanies herself by playing finger cymbals.

This song contains some phrases in Arabic. Greeks and people in present-day Arabic-speaking countries such as Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt have been living among each other for thousands of years. Many Greeks kept their Greek heritage alive within ethnic enclaves while speaking Arabic in public. Others acquired mixed language skills through marriage, etc. It is only natural that some Greek songs contain some Arabic words.

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Ααααχ Τομπούλη μου aaaah Toubouli mou Oh, my Toubouli, (1)
μ' έκαψες με το ούτι σου m' ekapses me to outi sou you burned me with your oud!
     
'Αιντε, γι' άμο, γι' άμο, γι' άμο 'aide, yi' amo, yi' amo, yi' amo Come on, my uncle, my uncle, my uncle! (2)
για αϊνί, αχ γι' άμο ya aini, ah yi' amo My eyes, oh my uncle! (2)
'Αιντε, γι' άμο, γι' άμο, γι' άμο 'aide, yi' amo, yi' amo, yi' amo Come on, my uncle, my uncle, my uncle! (2)
ζαλάνες λέις γι' άμο zalanes leis yi' amo Why are you angry with me, my uncle? (2)
     
Έλα, γι' άμο, γι' άμο, γι' άμο ela, yi' amo, yi' amo, yi' amo Come on, my uncle, my uncle, my uncle!
Αραπίνα θα πεθάνω Arapina tha pethano Dark Arabian [woman], I will die.
έλα, έλα βρε τσαχπίνα ela, ela vre tsahpina Come, come, you playful [woman]!
θα περνάς με 'μένα φίνα tha pernas me 'mena fina You will have a great time with me!
     
Αραπίνα σκλάβος θα 'μαι Arapina sklavos tha 'me Dark Arabian [woman], I will be [your] slave,
και στην Αίγυπτο θα πάμε ke stin Egypto tha pame and we will go to Egypt,
Δαμασκόν και Σκεντερία Damasko ke Skederia Damascus, and Alexandria.
για χαμπίμπι αχ, Μαρία ya habibi, ah Maria Oh my love, (3) oh Maria!
     
Αμάν ντιχάμπαν, αμάν ντιχάμπαν aman dihaban, aman dihaban Aman (4) ____, aman ____!
αμάν ντιχάμπαν, γιαλα άλμπι aman dihaban, yalla albi Aman (4) ____, let's go, (6) my heart! (6)
αχ, γι' άμο ah, y' amo Oh, my uncle! (2)
     
Αααχ Γειά σου Λάμπρο μου aaah yia sou Lambro mou Hello, my Lambro! (7)
     
Αμάν γιάλα aman yalla Aman! (4) Come on! (6)
ω, ω, ω, ω γιάλα, γιάλα, για αΐνι o, o, o, o yalla, yalla, ya aini Oh, oh, oh, oh, come on, come on, (6) oh my eyes! (8)
     
αμάν για σίντι aman ya sidi Aman! (4) Oh sir! (9)
για λέλι, για λέλι ya leli, ya leli Ya leli, ya leli. (10)
  1. This refers to band member Agapio Tobouli (Αγάπιο Τομπούλη), who plays the oud (lute).
  2. These phrases are not Greek words. They are Arabic. In the Syrian dialect of Arabic, "zalan" means "he's angry with me", and "zalani" means "she is angry with me". "Lei" a dialect version of "leish", meaning "Why?" "Amo" means "uncle", but can also be used as a respectful way to address a man who is not a family member.
  3. "Ya Habibi" is not Greek. It's Arabic for "Oh, my darling" or "Oh, my sweetheart".
  4. "Aman" is a Greek exclamation that can mean "Oh!" or "Oh my!" or "Oh boy!" Although it is spelled in the original Greek with an accent over the second "ά" (i.e., αμάν), some singers accent the first syllable. Listen carefully to the song to determine which it is for a given singer.
  5. "Yalla" is not Greek. It's Arabic for "Let's go!" or "Come on!"
  6. "Albi" is not Greek. It's Arabic for "my heart".
  7. This is calling out to someone, probably a musician in the band, named "Lambro".
  8. "Ya aini!" is not Greek. It's a very common Arabic expression which literally means "Oh my eyes!" In this song, where the narrator is professing love to someone else, it would mean something similar to "my darling" with the idea being, "You are just as important to me as my eyes!" or alternatively, "My eyes are appreciating your beauty".
  9. "Sidi" is not Greek. It's an Arabic honorific, similar to "sir".
  10. In Arabic, "leli" is derived from the word "leil" for "night", and therefore "ya leli" would mean "O Night" in Arabic. Arabic-speaking singers often improvise using the syllables "leleli" in the same way an English-language song might use nonsense syllables such as "tra la la".

 

"Matia Mou Megala" by Elvira Kakki, 1937

A song named "Matia Mou Megala" (My Big Eyes) by Elvira Kakki's uses the same melody as "Tha Spaso Koupes". She was a Jewish Greek singer. The lyrics for this version were written by Minos Matsas (Μίνως Μάτσας), with musical arrangement by Spiros Peristeris (Σπύρος Περιστέρης).

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Μελανουράκι melanouraki Dark one, (1)
σαν περνάς μπροστά μου san pernas brosta mou As if you are passing in front of me
η απονιά σου ee aponia sou your heartlessness
μου σφάζει την καρδιά μου mou sfazi tin kardia mou stabs my heart.
σκλάβο σου, μικρό μου sklavo sou, mikro mou [I'm] your slave, my little one.
μ' έχεις και με τυραννάς m' ehis ke me tiranas You own me and you torture me.
και στη' γειτονιά μου ke sti' yitonia mou And in my neighborhood,
άλλον έχεις και γλεντάς alon ehis ke glendas you're enjoying yourself with someone else.
     

Αμάν, αμάν γιάλα

aman, aman yalla Aman, aman! (2) Come on! (3)
μάτια μου μεγάλα
matia mou megala My big eyes.
πίνω, πίνω και μεθώ pino, pino ke metho I drink, I drink and get drunk
τον καημό μου να ξεχνώ ton kaimo mou na xehno to forget my sorrow.
με φωνάζουνε μπεκρή me fonazoune bekri They call me a drunk,
και η αιτία είσαι εσύ ke ee etia ise esi and you are the reason.
     
Πες μου μικρό μου pes mou mikro mou Tell me, my little one,
τι με βασανίζεις ti me vasanizis why torture me
και την καρδιά μου ke tin kardia mou and my heart?
με πίκρες την ποτίζεις me pikres tin potizis With bitterness you water it.
στο 'πα και στο ξαναλέω sto 'pa ke sto xanaleo I told you and I tell you again:
μ' άλλον μη γυρνάς m' alon mi yirnas don't go wandering with another man,
και απ' τη γειτονιά μου πάψε πλέον να περνάς ke ap' ti yitonia mou papse papse na pernas and stop passing through my neighborhood.
     

Αμάν, αμάν γιάλα

aman, aman yalla Aman, aman! (2) Come on! (3)
μάτια μου μεγάλα
matia mou megala My big eyes.
πίνω, πίνω και μεθώ pino, pino ke metho I drink, I drink and get drunk
τον καημό μου να ξεχνώ ton kaimo mou na xehno to forget my sorrow.
με φωνάζουνε μπεκρή me fonazoune bekri They call me a drunk,
και η αιτία είσαι εσύ ke ee etia ise esi and you are the reason.
     
Αμάν γιάλα οοοο aman yalla ooooo Aman! (2) Come on! (3) Ooooo!
Γιάλα γιαβρουμ yalla yavrum Come on, (3) my love! (4)
     
Όπα γιάλα οοοο opa yalla ooooo Opa! (5) Come on! (3) Ooooo!
  1. Can refer to either dark skin or dark hair.
  2. "Aman" is a Greek exclamation that can mean "Oh!" or "Oh my!" or "Oh boy!" Although it is spelled in the original Greek with an accent over the second "ά" (i.e., αμάν), some singers accent the first syllable. Listen carefully to the song to determine which it is for a given singer.
  3. "Yalla" is not Greek. It's Arabic for "Let's go!" or "Come on!"
  4. The word "yavrum" appears in both Turkish and the Anatolian dialects of Greek, and mean "love".
  5. "Opa!" is a Greek exclamation that usually goes with enthusiasm, joy, or excitement.

 

Kostas Roukounas, 1970's

This song comes from Asia Minor, which is the land mass where modern-day Turkey resides. Greeks and Turkish people lived among each other for hundreds of years. As a result, Turkish words sometimes appear in traditional songs such as this one that were part of folk culture for Greeks whose families came from the region.

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Εχθές το βράδυ σ' είδα στο σκοτάδι ehthes to vradi s' 'ida sto skotadi Last night I saw you in my dream
με άλλον και μιλούσες me alon ke milouses with another man
και με κατηγορούσες ke me katigorouses and speaking badly of me.
     
Άμαν άμαν, άμαν άμαν aman aman aman aman Aman aman aman aman! (1)
σεβιγιόυρουμ σεν seviyorum sen I love you! (2)
Άμαν άμαν, άμαν άμαν aman aman aman aman Aman aman aman aman! (1)
σεβιγιόυρουμ σεν seviyorum sen I love you! (2)
     
Ααααααα Aaaaaaa Aaaaaaa
     
Αααχ, αααχ aaah, aaah Aaah, aaah!
ικιτέλι μ' ikiteli m' My saz! (3)
Άμαν άμαν aman aman Aman aman! (1)
τσιφτετέλι tsifteteli tsifteteli!
     
Θα σπάσω κούπες tha spaso koupes I will break cups (4)
για τα λόγια που `πες ya ta loyia pou 'pes because of the words you said,
και ποτηράκια ke potirakia and many little cups
για τα πικρά λογάκια ya ta pikra logakia because of the bitter words.
     
Άμαν άμαν, άμαν άμαν aman aman aman aman Aman aman aman aman! (1)
σεβιγιόυρουμ σεν seviyorum sen I love you! (2)
φύγε απ' τη Μανούλα σου βρε fiye ap' ti Manoula sou vre Leave [the home of] your Mommy
και έλα με ταμεν ke ela me tamen and come with me.
     
Ααααααα Aaaaaaa Aaaaaaa
     
Αααχ, αααχ aaah, aaah Aaah, aaah!
ικιτέλι μ' ikiteli m' My saz! (3)
Άμαν άμαν aman aman Aman aman! (1)
τσιφτετέλι tsifteteli tsifteteli!
     

Instrumental

Instrumental

Instrumental

     
Εχθές το βράδυ σ' είδα στο όνειρό μου ehthes to vradi s' ida sto oniro mou Last night I saw you in my dream:
πως είχες τα μαλλάκια σου pos ihes ta malakia sou how you had your hair
ριγμένα στο λαιμό μου rigmena sto lemo mou draped on my neck.
     
Άμαν άμαν, άμαν άμαν aman aman aman aman Aman aman aman aman! (1)
γιανιγιόρουμ μπεν  yianiyiorum ben I'm burning [with love]! (5)
φύγε απ' τη Μανούλα σου ρε fiye ap' ti Manoula sou re Leave [the home of] your Mommy
και έλα με ταμεν ke ela me tamen and come with me.
     
Ααααααα Aaaaaaa Aaaaaaa
     
Αααχ, αααχ aaah, aaah Aaah, aaah!
ικιτέλι μ' ikiteli m' My saz! (3)
Άμαν άμαν aman aman Aman aman! (1)
τσιφτετέλι tsifteteli tsifteteli!
  1. "Aman" is a Greek exclamation that can mean "Oh!" or "Oh my!" or "Oh boy!" Although it is spelled in the original Greek with an accent over the second "ά" (i.e., αμάν), some singers accent the first syllable. Listen carefully to the song to determine which it is for a given singer.
  2. The words "seviyorum sen" are Pontian Turkish, not Greek. It's the dialect of Turkish spoken by the people from Pontus, which is the region to the south of the Black Sea. Regular Turkish would be "seviyorum seni".
  3. A "saz" is a stringed musical instrument from Asia Minor, which is where modern-day Turkey resides. According to Demetri Tee, a musician, the literal translation for "ikiteli" is "2 strings". It's a reference to instruments that use double courses of strings. It also refers to a particular style of playing the violin, where the second string is tuned on the nut, allowing both strings to be played together, yielding a sensual sound.
  4. The word "coupes" actually translates to "mug". However, for this song it's referring to a glass cup.
  5. The words "yianiyiorum ben" are Turkish, not Greek.

 

Eleftheria Arvanitaki, 1984

Eleftheria Arvanitaki released this song on the album Ελευθερία Αρβανιτάκη.

This song comes from Asia Minor, which is the land mass where modern-day Turkey resides. Greeks and Turkish people lived among each other for hundreds of years. As a result, Turkish words sometimes appear in traditional songs such as this one that were part of folk culture for Greeks whose families came from the region.

The lyrics contains a few words in Arabic. Greeks and people in present-day Arabic-speaking countries such as Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt have been living among each other for thousands of years. Many Greeks kept their Greek heritage alive within ethnic enclaves while speaking Arabic in public. Others acquired mixed language skills through marriage, etc. It is only natural that some Greek songs contain some Arabic words.

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Θα σπάσω κούπες tha spaso koupes I will break cups (1)
για τα λόγια που `πες ya ta loyia pou 'pes because of the words you said.
θα σπάσω κούπες tha spaso koupes I will break cups (1)
για τα λόγια που `πες ya ta loyia pou 'pes because of the words you said.
και ποτηράκια ke potirakia And many little cups
για τα πικρά λογάκια ya ta pikra logakia for the bitter words.
     
Αμάν αμάν, αμάν aman aman aman Aman aman aman! (2)
γιανιγιόρουμ μπεν yianiyiorum ben I'm burning [with love]! (3)
άαααα, αμάν αμάν aaaaa, aman aman Aaaaa! Aman aman! (2)
σεβιγιόυρουμ σεν seviyorum sen I love you! (4)
     
Αααααααα aaaaaa Aaaaaa!
Αααααααα aaaaaa Aaaaaa!
τσιφτετέλι άμαν, άμαν chifteteli aman, aman, Chifteteli! Aman aman! (2)
για λελέλι ya leleli ya leleli. (5)
     
Αααααααα aaaaaa Aaaaaa!
Αααααααα aaaaaa Aaaaaa!
τσιφτετέλι άμαν, άμαν chifteteli aman, aman, Chifteteli! Aman aman! (2)
για λελέλι ya leleli ya leleli. (5)
     

Instrumental

Instrumental

Instrumental

     
Εχθές το βράδυ είδα στο όνειρό μου ehthes to vradi ida stο oniro mou Last night I saw you in my dream.
Εχθές το βράδυ είδα στο όνειρό μου ehthes to vradi ida stο oniro mou Last night I saw you in my dream:
πως είχες τα μαλλάκια σου pos ihes ta malakia sou how you had your hair
ριγμένα στο λαιμό μου rigmena sto lemo mou draped on my neck.
     
Αμάν αμάν, αμάν aman aman aman Aman aman aman! (2)
γιανιγιόρουμ μπεν yianiyiorum ben I'm burning [with love]! (3)
αμάν αμάν, αμάν aman aman aman Aman aman aman! (2)
σεβιγιόυρουμ σεν seviyorum sen I love you! (4)
     
Αααααααα aaaaaa Aaaaaa!
Αααααααα aaaaaa Aaaaaa!
τσιφτετέλι άμαν, άμαν chifteteli aman, aman, Chifteteli! Aman aman! (2)
για λελέλι ya leleli ya leleli. (5)
     
Αααααααα aaaaaa Aaaaaa!
Αααααααα aaaaaa Aaaaaa!
τσιφτετέλι άμαν, άμαν chifteteli aman, aman, Chifteteli! Aman aman! (2)
για λελέλι ya leleli ya leleli. (5)
  1. The word "coupes" actually translates to "mug". However, for this song it's referring to a glass cup.
  2. "Aman" is a Greek exclamation that can mean "Oh!" or "Oh my!" or "Oh boy!" Although it is spelled in the original Greek with an accent over the second "ά" (i.e., αμάν), some singers accent the first syllable. Listen carefully to the song to determine which it is for a given singer.
  3. The words "yianiyiorum ben" are Turkish, not Greek.
  4. The words "seviyorum sen" are Pontian Turkish, not Greek. It's the dialect of Turkish spoken by the people from Pontus, which is the region to the south of the Black Sea. Regular Turkish would be "seviyorum seni".
  5. In Arabic, "leli" is derived from the word "leil" for "night", and therefore "ya leli" would mean "O Night" in Arabic. Arabic-speaking singers often improvise using the syllables "leleli" in the same way an English-language song might use nonsense syllables such as "tra la la".

 

Hristos Dantis, 1996

Hristos Dantis' version of this song appeared as Track 6 on the album 18 Paradosiaka Kai Ena (Foni Voontos), written in Greek as 18 Παραδοσιακά Τραγούδια (Φωνή Βοώντος), which was released in 1996. Its musical style is that of rock Oriental.

This song comes from Asia Minor, which is the land mass where modern-day Turkey resides. Greeks and Turkish people lived among each other for hundreds of years. As a result, Turkish words sometimes appear in traditional songs such as this one that were part of folk culture for Greeks whose families came from the region.

The lyrics contains a few words in Arabic. Greeks and people in present-day Arabic-speaking countries such as Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt have been living among each other for thousands of years. Many Greeks kept their Greek heritage alive within ethnic enclaves while speaking Arabic in public. Others acquired mixed language skills through marriage, etc. It is only natural that some Greek songs contain some Arabic words.

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Θα σπάσω κούπες tha spaso koupes I will break cups (1)
για τα λόγια που `πες ya ta loyia pou 'pes because of the words you said.
θα σπάσω κούπες tha spaso koupes I will break cups (1)
για τα λόγια που `πες ya ta loyia pou 'pes because of the words you said.
και ποτηράκια ke potirakia And many little cups
για τα πικρά λογάκια ya ta pikra logakia for the bitter words.
     
Αμάν αμάν, αμάν aman aman aman Aman aman aman! (2)
γιανιγιόρουμ μπεν yianiyiorum ben I'm burning [with love]! (3)
αμάν αμάν, αμάν aman aman aman Aman aman aman! (2)
σεβιγιόυρουμ σεν seviyorum sen I love you! (4)
     

Αααααααα

aaaaaa Aaaaaa!

Αααααααα

aaaaaa Aaaaaa!
τσιφτετέλι άμαν, άμαν tsifteteli aman, aman Tsifteteli! Aman aman! (2)
για λελέλι ya leleli Ya leleli. (5)
     

Instrumental

Instrumental

Instrumental

     
Εχθές το βράδυ σ' είδα στ' όνειρό μου ehthes to vradi se 'ida st' oniro mou Last night I saw you in my dream.
Εχθές το βράδυ σ' είδα στ' όνειρό μου ehthes to vradi se 'ida st' oniro mou Last night I saw you in my dream:
πως είχες τα μαλλάκια σου pos ihes ta malakia sou how you had your hair
ριγμένα στο λαιμό μου rigmena sto lemo mou draped on my neck.
     
Αμάν αμάν αμάν aman aman aman Aman aman aman! (2)
γιανιγιόρουμ μπεν yianiyiorum ben I'm burning [with love]! (3)
αμάν αμάν αμάν aman aman aman Aman aman aman! (2)
σεβιγιόυρουμ σεν seviyorum sen I love you! (4)
     

Αααααααα

aaaaaa Aaaaaa!

Αααααααα

aaaaaa Aaaaaa!
τσιφτετέλι άμαν, άμαν tsifteteli aman, aman Tsifteteli! Aman aman! (2)
για λελέλι ya leleli Ya leleli. (5)
     

Αααααααα

aaaaaa Aaaaaa!

Αααααααα

aaaaaa Aaaaaa!
τσιφτετέλι άμαν, άμαν tsifteteli aman, aman Tsifteteli! Aman aman! (2)
για λελέλι ya leleli Ya leleli. (5)
     

Instrumental

Instrumental

Instrumental

     
Νανα αααα nana aaaa Nana aaaa
Να να νααααχ na na naaaaah Na na naaaaah
     

Instrumental

Instrumental

Instrumental

     
Νανα αααα nana aaaa Nana aaaa
     

Αααααααα

aaaaaa Aaaaaa!

Αααααααα

aaaaaa Aaaaaa!
τσιφτετέλι άμαν, άμαν tsifteteli aman, aman Tsifteteli! Aman aman! (2)
για λελέλι ya leleli Ya leleli. (5)
     

Αααααααα

aaaaaa Aaaaaa!

Αααααααα

aaaaaa Aaaaaa!
τσιφτετέλι άμαν, άμαν tsifteteli aman, aman Tsifteteli! Aman aman! (2)
για λελέλι ya leleli Ya leleli. (5)
  1. The word "coupes" actually translates to "mug". However, for this song it's referring to a glass cup.
  2. "Aman" is a Greek exclamation that can mean "Oh!" or "Oh my!" or "Oh boy!" Although it is spelled in the original Greek with an accent over the second "ά" (i.e., αμάν), some singers accent the first syllable. Listen carefully to the song to determine which it is for a given singer.
  3. The words "yianiyiorum ben" are Turkish, not Greek.
  4. The words "seviyorum sen" are Pontian Turkish, not Greek. It's the dialect of Turkish spoken by the people from Pontus, which is the region to the south of the Black Sea. Regular Turkish would be "seviyorum seni".
  5. In Arabic, "leli" is derived from the word "leil" for "night", and therefore "ya leli" would mean "O Night" in Arabic. Arabic-speaking singers often improvise using the syllables "leleli" in the same way an English-language song might use nonsense syllables such as "tra la la".

 

Shantel, 2007

Shantel is the professional name for Stefan Hantel (Στεφαν Χαντελ), an artist who achieved his success in Turkey. He is of German descent. Shantel's version of this song is a modern club-style version with Jazz and Balkan influences, and it was released on the album Disko Partizani (Ντισκο Παρτιζανι). Shantel sings it in Greek, although there is some Turkish at the beginning. His recording also includes some female vocals by Canadian folk singer Brenna MacCrimmon.

This song comes from Asia Minor, which is the land mass where modern-day Turkey resides. Greeks and Turkish people lived among each other for hundreds of years. As a result, Turkish words sometimes appear in traditional songs such as this one that were part of folk culture for Greeks whose families came from the region.

The lyrics contains a few words in Arabic. Greeks and people in present-day Arabic-speaking countries such as Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt have been living among each other for thousands of years. Many Greeks kept their Greek heritage alive within ethnic enclaves while speaking Arabic in public. Others acquired mixed language skills through marriage, etc. It is only natural that some Greek songs contain some Arabic words.

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Segment in Turkish Segment in Turkish Segment in Turkish
Ne de güzel kulakların var Ne de güzel kulakların var What beautiful ears you have!
Ne de güzel kulakların var Ne de güzel kulakların var What beautiful ears you have!
Altın küpe ister Osman Aga Altın küpe ister Osman Aga She wants golden earrings, Lord Osman. (1)
Altın küpe ister Osman Aga Altın küpe ister Osman Aga She wants golden earrings, Lord Osman. (1)
     
In Greek In Greek In Greek
     
Θα σπάσω κούπες tha spaso koupes I will break cups (2)
για τα λόγια που `πες ya ta loyia pou 'pes because of the words you said.
θα σπάσω κούπες tha spaso koupes I will break cups (2)
για τα λόγια που `πες ya ta loyia pou 'pes because of the words you said.
και ποτηράκια ke potirakia And many little cups
για τα πικρά λογάκια ya ta pikra logakia for the bitter words.
     
Aaaaa αμάν αμάν aaaaa aman aman Aaaaa aman aman! (3)
γιανιγιόρουμ μπεν yianiyiorum ben I'm burning [with love]! (4)
Aaaaa αμάν αμάν aaaaa aman aman Aaaaa aman aman! (3)
σεβιγιόυρουμ σεν seviyorum sen I love you! (5)
     
Αααααααα Aaaaaaaaa Aaaaaaaaa!
Αααααααα Aaaaaaaaa Aaaaaaaaa!
τσιφτετέλι, αμάν αμάν Tsifteteli, aman aman! Tsifteteli, aman aman! (3)
για λελέλι yia leleli Ya leleli! (6)
     
Αααααααα Aaaaaaaaa Aaaaaaaaa!
Αααααααα Aaaaaaaaa Aaaaaaaaa!
τσιφτετέλι, αμάν αμάν Tsifteteli, aman aman! Tsifteteli, aman aman! (3)
για λελέλι yia leleli Ya leleli! (6)
     

Instrumental

Instrumental

Instrumental

     
    Shake it, shake it
    Shake it sexy Mama
    Shake it, shake it Şiki
Şiki Baba shiki Baba Shake it, father
     
Θα σπάσω κούπες tha spaso koupes I will break cups (2)
για τα λόγια που `πες ya ta loyia pou 'pes because of the words you said.
θα σπάσω κούπες tha spaso koupes I will break cups (2)
για τα λόγια που `πες ya ta loyia pou 'pes because of the words you said.
και ποτηράκια ke potirakia And many little cups
για τα πικρά λογάκια ya ta pikra logakia for the bitter words.
     
αμάν αμάν αμάν aman aman aman Aman aman aman! (3)
γιανιγιόρουμ μπεν yianiyiorum ben I'm burning [with love]! (4)
Aaaaa αμάν αμάν aaaaa aman aman Aaaaa aman aman! (3)
σεβιγιόυρουμ σεν seviyorum sen I love you! (5)
     
Αααααααα Aaaaaaaaa Aaaaaaaaa!
Αααααααα Aaaaaaaaa Aaaaaaaaa!
ικιτέλι μ' ikiteli My saz! (7)
Άμαν άμαν aman aman Aman aman! (3)
τσιφτετέλι chifteteli Chifteteli!
     
Αααααααα Aaaaaaaaa Aaaaaaaaa!
Αααααααα Aaaaaaaaa Aaaaaaaaa!
ικιτέλι μ' ikiteli My saz! (7)
Άμαν άμαν aman aman Aman aman! (3)
τσιφτετέλι chifteteli Chifteteli!
  1. There was an Ottoman army officer named Osman Aga in the 17th century who became famous through writing his autobiography while being held prisoner by the Austrians after the Ottomans' unsuccessful attempt to conquer Vienna. It is unclear whether this is the person the song lyrics were referring to.
  2. The word "coupes" actually translates to "mug". However, for this song it's referring to a glass cup.
  3. "Aman" is a Greek exclamation that can mean "Oh!" or "Oh my!" or "Oh boy!" Although it is spelled in the original Greek with an accent over the second "ά" (i.e., αμάν), some singers accent the first syllable. Listen carefully to the song to determine which it is for a given singer.
  4. The words "yianiyiorum ben" are Turkish, not Greek.
  5. The words "seviyorum sen" are Pontian Turkish, not Greek. It's the dialect of Turkish spoken by the people from Pontus, which is the region to the south of the Black Sea. Regular Turkish would be "seviyorum seni".
  6. In Arabic, "leli" is derived from the word "leil" for "night", and therefore "ya leli" would mean "O Night" in Arabic. Arabic-speaking singers often improvise using the syllables "leleli" in the same way an English-language song might use nonsense syllables such as "tra la la".
  7. A "saz" is a stringed musical instrument from Asia Minor, which is where modern-day Turkey resides. According to Demetri Tee, a musician, the literal translation for "ikiteli" is "2 strings". It's a reference to instruments that use double courses of strings. It also refers to a particular style of playing the violin, where the second string is tuned on the nut, allowing both strings to be played together, yielding a sensual sound.

 

"Koupes" by Marina Satti , 2016

The title for Marina Satti's version of this song with a club remix beat is "Koupes" (Κούπες). It appeared in 2016 on Buddha Bar Twenty Years, which was one of the Buddha Bar compilation albums, released by George V Records. The songs on this 3-disc set were selected by DJ Ravin and Bob Sinclair, and "Koupes" was featured as Track 15 on the second disc.

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Εχθές το βράδυ σ' είδα στο όνειρό μου ehthes to vradi s' ida sto oniro mou Last night I saw you in my dream.
Εχθές το βράδυ σ' είδα στο όνειρό μου ehthes to vradi s' ida sto oniro mou Last night I saw you in my dream:
πως είχες τα μαλλάκια σου pos ihes ta malakia sou how you had your hair
ριγμένα στο λαιμό μου rigmena sto lemo mou draped on my neck.
     
Άμαν άμαν aman aman Aman aman! (1)
πια μικρό μην κλαίς pia mikro min kles Don't cry any more
άμαν άμαν aman aman Aman aman! (1)
και έχεις ότι θες ke ehis oti thes and you have whatever you want
     
Έλα μικρό μου να σε φιλήσω ela mikro mou na se filiso Come my little one, (2) so I can kiss you,
και μην φοβάσαι ke min fovase and don't be afraid
πως θα το μαρτυρήσω pos tha to martiriso that I will tell [our secret].
     
θα σπάσω κούπες tha spaso koupes I will break cups (3)
για τα λόγια που `πες ya ta loyia pou 'pes because of the words you said.
και ποτηράκια ke potirakia And many little cups
για τα πικρά λογάκια ya ta pikra logakia for the bitter words.
     
θα σπάσω κούπες tha spaso koupes I will break cups (3)
για τα λόγια που `πες ya ta loyia pou 'pes because of the words you said.
και ποτηράκια ke potirakia And many little cups
για τα πικρά λογάκια ya ta pikra logakia for the bitter words.
     
θα σπάσω κούπες tha spaso koupes I will break cups (3)
για τα λόγια που `πες ya ta loyia pou 'pes because of the words you said.
και ποτηράκια ke potirakia And many little cups
για τα πικρά λογάκια ya ta pikra logakia for the bitter words.
     
Άμαν άμαν aman aman Aman aman! (1)
πια μικρό μην κλαίς pia mikro min kles Don't cry any more
άμαν άμαν aman aman Aman aman! (1)
και έχεις ότι θες ke ehis oti thes and you have whatever you want
  1. "Aman" is a Greek exclamation that can mean "Oh!" or "Oh my!" or "Oh boy!" Although it is spelled in the original Greek with an accent over the second "ά" (i.e., αμάν), some singers accent the first syllable. Listen carefully to the song to determine which it is for a given singer.
  2. "Little one" is not necessarily a reference to age. It can be an endearment between adults.
  3. The word "coupes" actually translates to "mug". However, for this song it's referring to a glass cup.

 

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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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