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

Θα τα κάψω τα λεφτά μου
(Tha ta Kapso ta Lefta)

(I Will Burn my Money)

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the popular Greek song "Tha ta Kapso ta Lefta" (Θα τα κάψω τα λεφτά μου), which was sung by Manos Papadakis and Popi Poli (duet). 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 Stelios Kazantzidis

Although Stelios Kazantzidis was not the original artist to perform this song, he did release his own version of it later.

The legendary Stelios Kazantzidis was born August 29, 1931 in Athens Greece, specifically Nea Ionia. He is among the most beloved musicians of our time. His music and words never get old. He was of Asia Minor and Pondian (Greek Anatolian) descent. Stelios or, as many love to call him, Stelara, was also loved due to his character and simplicity in life. Sadly, he did not make much from profit from his career as others took advanatage of him.

Stelios' music is all about love, immigration, pain, refugee, and poverty as is most music of this time. He is considered one of the fathers of Laiko music. Stelara has touched many people's lives. He remained so humble and simple until cancer took his last breath in 2001.

“I sing for the poor, the immigrants and the suffering people… generally for the lower social classes. They can’t go to the expensive night clubs. They buy my discs and they regard them as their Gospels.” – Stelios Kazantzidis

Personal notes by the translator:

The music of Stelios Kazantzidis is very dear to my heart. My grandmother and grandfather were often referred to as the young Kazantzidis and Marinella, while singing at family gatherings. Marinella was Stelios' first wife, and his biggest love.

If you want to impress Greeks, you need to remember Stelios' name. As much as Princess Diana was loved, so was Stelios. People cry black tears to his music.

Stelios Kazantzidis

About Pythagoras Papastamatiou

Pythagoras Papastamatiou, often credited by just his first name of Pythagoras, was the lyricist for this song. He was born in 1930, to parents who had met in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) shortly before the Greek genocide.

In 1945, he moved to Athens in order to attend drama school at the Athens Conservatory. In addition to writing song lyrics, he was also a playwright.

Pythagoras died of a heart attack in 1979.

Pythagorus and Stelios Kazantzidis

Song: Tha ta Kapso ta Lefta – I Will Burn my Money, 1967

Lyrics: Pythagoras Papastamatiou

Music: Vasilis Vasiliadis

Original Artists: Manos Papadakis and Popi Poli (duet)

Has Also Been Recorded By: Stelios Kazantzidis

Τραγουδι: Θα τα κάψω τα λεφτά μου, 1967

Στίχοι: Πυθαγόρας Παπασταματίου

Μουσική: Βασίλης Βασιλειάδης

Πρώτη εκτέλεση: Μάνος Παπαδάκης & Πόπη Πόλη

 

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Lyrics

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Θα τα κάψω tha ta kapso I will burn
τα ρημάδια τα λεφτά μου ta rimadia ta lefta my damned money
για να δω αν την καρδιά μου ya na do an tin kardia mou to find out whether it's my heart
ή το χρήμα αγαπάς ee to hrima agapas or money you love.
Πώς θα μάθω τι ζητάς Pos tha matho ti zitas How will I learn what you're asking for
κι αν αλήθεια μ' αγαπάς? ke an alithia m’ agapas? and whether you truly love me?
     
Πήρες την καρδιά μου Pires tin kardia mou Take my heart
πάρε και τα λεφτά μου pare k eta lefta mou and take my money
πάρ' τα και χαλάλι σου par’ta ke halali sou. take it, it's all for you.
Ξέρεις πως πονάω Heris pos ponao You know I'm in pain
ξέρεις πως ζητάω heris pos zitao you know I am asking you
μόνο την αγάπη σου mono tin agapi sou. only for your love.
     
Θα τα κάψω tha ta kapso I will burn
τα ρημάδια τα λεφτά μου ta rimadia ta lefta my damned money
για να δω αν την καρδιά μου ya na do an tin kardia mou to find out whether it's my heart
ή το χρήμα αγαπάς ee to hrima agapas or money you love.
Αμφιβάλλω και πονώ amfivalo ke pono I'm doubting, and in pain
κι άκρη δεν μπορώ να βρω ke akri den boron a vro I cant find a solution.
     
Πήρες την καρδιά μου Pires tin kardia mou Take my heart
πάρε και τα λεφτά μου pare k eta lefta mou and take my money
πάρ' τα και χαλάλι σου par’ta ke halali sou. take it, it's all for you.
Ξέρεις πως πονάω Heris pos ponao You know I'm in pain
ξέρεις πως ζητάω heris pos zitao you know I am asking you
μόνο την αγάπη σου mono tin agapi sou. only for your love.

 

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Translations of
Stelios Kazantzidis' Songs On This Site

Other translations of songs performed by Stelios Kazantzidis on this web site 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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Academic papers for school purposes may use information from this site only if the paper properly identifies the original article on Shira.net using appropriate citations (footnotes, end notes, etc.) and bibliography. Consult your instructor for instructions on how to do this.

If you wish to translate articles from Shira.net into a language other than English, Shira will be happy to post your translation here on Shira.net along with a note identifying you as the translator. This could include your photo and biography if you want it to. Contact Shira for more information. You may not post translations of Shira's articles on anybody else's web site, not even your own.

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