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

Τι Λωζάνη, Τι Κοζάνη
(Ti Lozani Ti Kozani)

(What is the Difference Between Lausanne and Kozani?)

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the popular 1970's Greek laiko song "Ti Lozani Ti Kozani" (Τι Λωζάνη, Τι Κοζάνη), which was sung by Michalis Violaris. Also included is a pronunciation guide for the Greek lyrics so you can sing along if you like.

This song is in the 9/8 rhythm, and is the Greek karsilama style of 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 Michalis Violaris

Michalis Violaris, born January 9, 1944, is the stage name of Michalis Kyriakou, the original artist to record this song. He is a popular singer and composer of Greek and Cypriot music, a pioneer in building popularity within Greece for Cypriot songs performed in the Cypriot dialect. His song Ta Ryalia, which was performed in Cypriot dialect, reached the Top 10 in Greece in 1973.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: This photo shows Michalis Violaris, the original artist for this song.

Violaris grew up on Cyprus, and studied at the National Conservatory of Music in Larnaca. In 1962, he moved to Greece and obtained his degree at Athens University.

He became part of the musical movement called New Wave in Greece and his first musical collaborator was Greek composer Yannis Spanos. Violaris' songs made Cypriot music widely popular in Greece in the 1960s and 1970s. He won third prize at the Thessaloniki Song Festival in 1972 and in 1974 he came in second.

Michalis Violaris

About Yiannis Kakoulidis

Yiannis Kakoulidis, the lyricist for this song, was born in Athens, Greece in 1946, and died in 2015. He studied political science in Athens, and law in Paris. He moved from France to Switzerland in 1968 to escape demonstrations, worker strikes, and other unrest that eventually culminated in dissolution of France's National Assembly. It was during this time that he wrote "Ti Lozani Ti Kozani".

ABOUT THE PHOTO: The photo shows Yiannis Kakoulidis, the lyricist for this song.

Over the course of his career, he wrote over 500 Greek songs. He was a playwright, screenwriter, songwriter, and poet.

Yiannis Kakoulidis

Song: Ti Lozani Ti Kozani — What is the Difference Between Lausanne and Kozani?, 1971

Lyrics: Yiannis Kakoulidis

Music: Yiorgos Krimizakis

Original Artist: Michalis Violaris

Τραγουδι: Τι Λωζάνη, Τι Κοζάνη, 1971

Στίχοι: Γιάννης Κακουλίδης

Μουσική: Γιώργος Κριμιζάκης

Πρώτη εκτέλεση: Μιχάλης Βιολάρης

 

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Lyrics

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

The chorus is asking "What's the difference?" between two cities, one in Switzerland and one in Greece. It points out that both get snow. The narrator is singing about being lonely and cold. The final verse talks about feeling lonely while doing his military service, which is compulsory for young men in Greece.

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Verse

Verse

Verse

Δυο καφενεία, δυο σινεμά dio kafenia, dio sinema Two cafes, two cinemas.
παστέλι, ούζο και παστουρμά pasteli, ouzo ke pasturma Pasteli (ancient Greek honey sesame bar), ouzo and pastirma (beef).
πολλά κορίτσια, λίγοι γαμπροί polla koritsia, liyi gambri Many girls, few grooms,
και το βραδάκι, κρύο βαρύ ke to vradaki, krio vari and the night, heavy cold.
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Τι Λωζάνη, τι Κοζάνη tee Lozani, tee Kozani What is the difference between Lausanne and Kozani? (1)
χιόνια η μια και χιόνια η άλλη hionia ee mia ke hionia ee ali Snow in one, snow in the other.
Τι Λωζάνη, τι Κοζάνη tee Lozani, tee Kozani What is the difference between Lausanne and Kozani?
χιόνια η μια και χιόνια η άλλη hionia ee mia ke hionia ee ali Snow in one, snow in the other.
     

Verse

Verse

Verse

Λίγο με νοιάζει που είμ' μοναχός ligo meh niazi mou eem’ monahos It bothers me a little that I am alone.
με τρώει η πίκρα κι ο μαρασμός me troee ee pikra ke o marasmos The bitterness and withering is eating away at me.
στ' αναρρωτήριο ημέρες τρείς st’ anarotirio imeres tre-es In the infirmary for three days,
τώρα με ποιόν, να πα’ να πιεις tora me pion, na pa’ na piees and now, with whom can you go drink?
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Τι Λωζάνη, τι Κοζάνη tee Lozani, tee Kozani What is the difference between Lausanne and Kozani?
χιόνια η μια και χιόνια η άλλη hionia ee mia ke hionia ee ali Snow in one, snow in the other.
Τι Λωζάνη, τι Κοζάνη tee Lozani, tee Kozani What is the difference between Lausanne and Kozani?
χιόνια η μια και χιόνια η άλλη hionia ee mia ke hionia ee ali Snow in one, snow in the other.
     

Verse

Verse

Verse

Το βράδυ βόλτα στο μαχαλά to vradi volta sto mahala At night, a stroll in the neighborhood. (2)
μου 'κλεισε μάτι μια κοπελιά mou ‘kleese mati meea kopelia a girl winked at me.
για ένα φιλί θα θέλει γάμο ya ena feelee tha thelee gamo [in exchange for] a kiss, she will want marriage,
κι έτσι για πάντοτε τη χάνω keh etsee ya pantote tee hano and thus forever I lose her.
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Τι Λωζάνη, τι Κοζάνη tee Lozani, tee Kozani What is the difference between Lausanne and Kozani?
χιόνια η μια και χιόνια η άλλη hionia ee mia ke hionia ee ali Snow in one, snow in the other.
Τι Λωζάνη, τι Κοζάνη tee Lozani, tee Kozani What is the difference between Lausanne and Kozani?
χιόνια η μια και χιόνια η άλλη hionia ee mia ke hionia ee ali Snow in one, snow in the other.
     

Verse

Verse

Verse

Οι μέρες φεύγουν, φεύγει ο καιρός ee meres fevgoun, fevgee o keros The days are passing, time is passing,
φεύγουν οι νύχτες, μένει ο καημός fevgoun ee nihtes, menee o kaimos nights are passing, longing remains.
κι εσύ να στέκεις πιστός φρουρός ke esee na stekees pistos frouros And you are loyally standing guard,
να περιμένεις να 'ρθει ο εχθρός na perimenis na’rthee o ehthros and you wait for the enemy to come.
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Τι Λωζάνη, τι Κοζάνη tee Lozani, tee Kozani What is the difference between Lausanne and Kozani?
χιόνια η μια και χιόνια η άλλη hionia ee mia ke hionia ee ali Snow in one, snow in the other.
Τι Λωζάνη, τι Κοζάνη tee Lozani, tee Kozani What is the difference between Lausanne and Kozani?
χιόνια η μια και χιόνια η άλλη hionia ee mia ke hionia ee ali Snow in one, snow in the other.
  1. Lausanne is a city in Switzerland. Kozani is a town in northern Greece. Literally, the words say, "What Lausanne, what Kozani?" but it means "What's the difference?"
  2. "Mahala" is an old rebetiko word for "neighborhood". Today, it is also used for the Roma district, but that’s not the context in this song. The word also appears in Arabic and Turkish.

 

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Where to Get Recordings of this Song

Belly Dance!

 

Artist: Chris Kalogerson
CD Title: Belly Dance!

 

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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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