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

Την Πατρίδα Μ' Έχασα
(Tin Patrida M' Ehasa)

(I Lost My Homeland)

 

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the Pontian song "Tin Patrida M' Ehasa" (Την Πατρίδα Μ' Έχασα), which was sung by Giannis Kourtidis and Ahileas Vasiliadis. Also included is a pronunciation guide for the Greek lyrics so you can sing along if you like.

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 Pontus

This song's lyrics were created in the the Pontian dialect of Greek, whose roots lie in the language of ancient Greece rather than the Modern Greek spoken in the country Greece today. Pontian was the language spoken in Pontus. The Modern Greek language was never spoken in Pontus. In addition to having their own language, the majority of Pontians (including my great-grandparents) were also fluent in Ottoman Turkish.

Pontus is a region within modern-day Turkey that lies on the south side of the Black Sea. Since ancient times, Pontus covered a large mountainous region, and possessed great wealth, including silver mining. The Turkish people call this region Karadeniz.

Historically, Pontus consisted of a primarily Hellenic (Greek) population, although some other ethnic groups lived there as well. Due to invasion in the 17th century, this primarily Greek region became part of the Ottoman empire and remained part of it until the fall of the Ottoman regime after World War I. The overthrow of the empire led to the forced mass exodus of millions of Anatolian Greeks and other Christians.

To this day, there are many crypto Christian Pontians. If you visit the region, you will encounter many who still speak the Pontian language!

About this Song

This song comes from the Pontian region of Trapezounda (Τραπεζούντα), which is known today as Trabzon. It is located in the Black Sea (Karadeniz) region of present-day Turkey. Its lyrics are sung in the Pontic dialect of the Greek language.

There is also a beautiful Turkish version of this song, with the same melody but with different lyrics and meaning. The Turkish version, which has been recorded by many Turkish artists, is called "Ben Seni Sevduğumi", which I believe translates to "You will love me".

This gorgeous song was also the main soundtrack song for a Turkish drama series Sen Anlat Karadeniz (Σεν Ανλατ Καραντενιζ), which was televised in 2018.

Translator's Note

Although I am of Pontian Anatolian Greek heritage and grew up with the culture, arts and language, sadly I am not 100% fluent in the ancient Pontian language. I do, however, understand a lot, and I know our songs because I grew up with them. I like to ensure my translations are precise, so I collaborated with my Pontian mother, Evangelia Symeonidou-Bakis (Ευαγγελία Συμεωνίδου-Μπακη) to cross check, allowing me to provide you with the best accuracy!

About Giannis Kourtidis

Giannis Kourtidis is a prominent performer of traditional Pontian music. He was born in Thessaloniki in 1954, to parents originating from Pontos. He grew up in a purely Pontian village, and his family spoke the Pontic dialect of Greek in the home. At age 12, at a wedding in the village, someone pushed him forward to sing. He continued singing, starting with folk songs. His contact with first-generation refugees shaped his journey as an artist.

In 1993, Kourtidis opened an entertainment center, which he referred to as "the Temple of Pontus". It served as a hub of community life for Thessalonians, for about 10 years.

Among all the songs Kourtidis performed, his best-known is "Tin Patrida M' Ehasa".

ABOUT THE PHOTO: The photo shows Panayiota, the translator for this song, posing with Giannis Kourtidis.

About the Akadila

The lyrics of this song mention "monasteries without akadila". Akadila is the Pontic word for the Greek word kadilia (καντηλα). It translates to "vigil lamp" or "oil lamp". In Christian Greek Orthodoxy, our churches contain many kadilia. These liturgical lamps burn a wick in oil, rather than burning a candle. Many people also have them in their homes.

The kadilia can be hung, or it can have a flat bottom allowing it to sit on your counter. It usually contains holy oil and holy water.

A round object with a central prong known as a kadilithra (καντηλήθρα) floats in the votive cup. The kadilithra can be one of two shapes — it can either be shaped like a 3-point star, or it can be round. The top of the kadilithra is metal, and the bottom is covered with a backing made of fireproof cork-like material. The silver-plated metal on the top usually features Byzantine stamping and design. There is a center hole for lighting the wick.

The final piece is a fitilia (Φυτιλια), which is a long, thin piece made from wax. The color is usually either pink or tan.

The kandili is found in churches, monasteries, homes, and at Greek Orthodox cemeteries. In the USA, for fire hazard purposes, some state and local laws don't allow live fire.

In Greece, a kandili appears in almost every grave site. Family members pass it to light for their loved ones.

Song: Tin Patrida M' Ehasa (I Lost My Homeland), 1999

Lyrics: Hristos Adoniadis

Music: Kostas Siamidis

Original Artists: Giannis Kourtidis & Ahileas Vasiliadis

Has Also Been Recorded By:

  • Kazım Koyuncu, 2004, in Turkish ("Ben Seni Sevduğumi")
  • Şevval Sam and Kazim Koyuncu as a duet, 2008, in Turkish ("Ben Seni Sevduğumi"), on album Hayde
  • Öykü Gürman, 2020, in Turkish ("Ben Seni Sevduğumi"), on album Öykü Gürman Akustik, Volume 1

Dance Style: Just for listening, not for dancing

Τραγούδι: Την Πατρίδα Μ' Έχασα, 1999

Στίχοι: Χρήστος Αντωνιάδης

Μουσική: Κώστας Σιαμίδης

Πρώτη Εκτέλεση: Γιάννης Κουρτίδης κ Αχιλλέας Βασιλειάδης

Άλλοι Ερμηνευτές:

  • Καζιμ Κογιουντσου, 2004, Στα Τουρκικά ("Μπεν Σενι Σεβντιγιμ")
  • Σιεβαλ Σαμ and Καζιμ Κογιουντσου, 2008, Στα Τουρκικά ("Μπεν Σενι Σεβντιγιμ"), on album Χαιντε
  • Οϊκιού Γκιουρμάν, 2020, Στα Τουρκικά ("Μπεν Σενι Σεβντιγιμ")

 

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Lyrics

The original language for this song was Pontic Greek, a dialect of Greek that was spoken in Pontus. For more background about Pontus, see my article "Musical Traditions of Pontus, the Black Sea Region of Present-Day Turkey".

Pontic Greek Language to English Version

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Την πατρίδα μ' έχασα tin patrida m' ehasa I lost my homeland,
έκλαψα κι πόνεσα eklapsa ke ponesa I cried and felt pain.
Την πατρίδα μ' έχασα tin patrida m' ehasa I lost my homeland,
έκλαψα κι πόνεσα eklapsa ke ponesa I cried and felt pain.
     
Λύουμαι κι αρροθυμώ lioume ke arothimo I'm crying and nostalgic.
ωι ωι, ωι ωι oi oi, oi oi Oh, oh, oh, oh.
ν' ανασπάλω κι επορω n' anaspalo ke' eporo I cannot forget.
Λύουμαι κι αρροθυμώ lioume ke arothimo I'm crying and nostalgic.
ωι ωι, ωι ωι oi oi, oi oi Oh, oh, oh, oh.
ν' ανασπάλω κι επορω n' anaspalo ke eporo I cannot forget.
     

Chorus #1

Chorus #1

Chorus #1

Μίαν κι άλλον σην ζωη μ' mian ki alon sin zoi m' Another time in my life,
σο πεγάδι μ', σην αυλή μ' so pegadi m', sin avli m' in my well, in my yard.
Μίαν κι άλλον σην ζωη μ' mian ki alon sin zoi m' Another time in my life,
σο πεγάδι μ', σην αυλή μ' so pegadi m', sin avli m' in my well, in my yard.
     

Chorus #2

Chorus #2

Chorus #2

Νέροπόν ας έπινα neropon as epina If only I could drink water,
ωι ωι, ωι ωι oi oi, oi oi oh oh, oh oh,
κι τα ομάτεα μ' έπλυνα ke ta omatea m' eplina and rinse my eyes.
Νέροπόν ας έπινα neropon as epina If only I could drink water,
ωι ωι, ωι ωι oi oi, oi oi oh oh, oh oh,
κι τα ομάτεα μ' έπλυνα ke ta omatea m' eplina and rinse my eyes.
     
Τα ταφία μ' έχασα ta tafia m' ehasa My graves I lost —
ντ' έθαψα κι ενέσπαλα   those I buried and haven't forgotten.
Τα ταφία μ' έχασα ta tafia m' ehasa My graves I lost —
ντ' έθαψα κι ενέσπαλα   those I buried and haven't forgotten.
     
Τ' εμετέρς αναστωρώ t' emeters anastoro I remember my own people.
ωι ωι, ωι ωι oi oi, oi oi Oh oh, oh oh!
κι σο ψώπο μ' κουβαλώ ke so psopo m' kouvalo And I carry them in my soul.
Τ' εμετέρς αναστωρώ t' emeters anastoro I remember my own people.
ωι ωι, ωι ωι oi oi, oi oi Oh oh, oh oh!
κι σο ψώπο μ' κουβαλώ ke so psopo m' kouvalo And I carry them in my soul.
     

Chorus #1

Chorus #1

Chorus #1

Μίαν κι άλλον σην ζωη μ' mian ki alon sin zoi m' Another time in my life,
σο πεγάδι μ', σην αυλή μ' so pegadi m', sin avli m' in my well, in my yard.
Μίαν κι άλλον σην ζωη μ' mian ki alon sin zoi m' Another time in my life,
σο πεγάδι μ', σην αυλή μ' so pegadi m', sin avli m' in my well, in my yard.
     

Chorus #2

Chorus #2

Chorus #2

Νέροπόν ας έπινα neropon as epina If only I could drink water,
ωι ωι, ωι ωι oi oi, oi oi oh oh, oh oh,
κι τα ομάτεα μ' έπλυνα ke ta omatea m' eplina and rinse my eyes.
Νέροπόν ας έπινα neropon as epina If only I could drink water,
ωι ωι, ωι ωι oi oi, oi oi oh oh, oh oh,
κι τα ομάτεα μ' έπλυνα ke ta omatea m' eplina and rinse my eyes.
     
Εκκλησίας έρημα eklisias erima Churches deserted,
μοναστήρεα ακάντηλα monastiria akadila monasteries without vigil lamps. (1)
Εκκλησίας έρημα eklisias erima Churches deserted,
μοναστήρεα ακάντηλα monastiria akadila monasteries without vigil lamps. (1)
     
Πόρτας και παράθυρα portas ke parathira Doors and windows
ωι ωι, ωι ωι oi oi, oi oi oh, oh, oh, oh,
επέμναν ακράνοιχτα epemnan akranihta remained wide open.
Πόρτας και παράθυρα portas ke parathira Doors and windows
ωι ωι, ωι ωι oi oi, oi oi oh, oh, oh, oh,
επέμναν ακράνοιχτα epemnan akranihta remained wide open.
     

Chorus #1

Chorus #1

Chorus #1

Μίαν κι άλλον σην ζωη μ' mian ki alon sin zoi m' Another time in my life,
σο πεγάδι μ', σην αυλή μ' so pegadi m', sin avli m' in my well, in my yard.
Μίαν κι άλλον σην ζωη μ' mian ki alon sin zoi m' Another time in my life,
σο πεγάδι μ', σην αυλή μ' so pegadi m', sin avli m' in my well, in my yard.
     

Chorus #2

Chorus #2

Chorus #2

Νέροπόν ας έπινα neropon as epina If only I could drink water,
ωι ωι, ωι ωι oi oi, oi oi oh oh, oh oh,
κι τα ομάτεα μ' έπλυνα ke ta omatea m' eplina and rinse my eyes.
Νέροπόν ας έπινα neropon as epina If only I could drink water,
ωι ωι, ωι ωι oi oi, oi oi oh oh, oh oh,
κι τα ομάτεα μ' έπλυνα ke ta omatea m' eplina and rinse my eyes.
  1. The Pontian word "akadila" is written in Greek as "kadilia". It refers to an oil lamp that is used in Greek Orthodox churches, monasteries, cemeteries, and homes for meditation and liturgical purposes. See the top of this page for additional information about the akadila and a photo.

 

Pontian to Modern Greek

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

Pontian

Modern Greek

Την πατρίδα μ' έχασα
Την πατρίδα μ' έχασα
έκλαψα και πόνεσα
έκλαψα και πόνεσα
την πατρίδα μ' έχασα την πατρίδα μ' έχασα
έκλαψα και πόνεσα έκλαψα και πόνεσα
   
Λύουμαι κι' αρροθυμώ
λιγώνομαι καί νοσταλγώ
ωι ωι, ωι ωι
ωι ωι, ωι ωι
ν' ανασπάλω κι' επορω
να ξεχάσω δε' μπορώ
Λύουμαι κι' αρροθυμώ
λιγώνομαι καί νοσταλγώ
ωι ωι, ωι ωι
ωι ωι, ωι ωι
ν' ανασπάλω κι' επορω να ξεχάσω δε' μπορώ
   

Chorus #1

Chorus #1

Μίαν κι άλλον σην ζωη μ'

μιά φορά ακόμα στη' ζωή μου
σο πεγάδι μ', σην αυλή μ'
στο πηγάδι μου, στη' αυλή μου
Μίαν κι άλλον σην ζωη μ'
μιά φορά ακόμα στη' ζωή μου
σο πεγάδι μ', σην αυλή μ' στο πηγάδι μου, στη' αυλή μου
   

Chorus #2

Chorus #2

Νέροπόν ας έπινα νερό ας έπινα
ωι ωι, ωι ωι ωι ωι, ωι ωι
και τα ομάτεα μ' έπλυνα
και τα μάτια μου να έπλενα
Νέροπόν ας έπινα
νερό ας έπινα
ωι ωι, ωι ωι
ωι ωι, ωι ωι
και τα ομάτεα μ' έπλυνα και τα μάτια μου να έπλενα
   
Τα ταφία μ' έχασα τους τάφους μου έχασα
ντ' έθαψα κι' ενέσπαλα
αυτούς που έθαψα δε΄ξέχασα
Τα ταφία μ' έχασα
τους τάφους μου έχασα
ντ' έθαψα κι' ενέσπαλα αυτούς που έθαψα δε΄ξέχασα
   
Τ' εμετέρς αναστωρώ
τους δικούς μου ξαναθυμάμαι
Ωι ωι ,ωι ωι
Ωι ωι ,ωι ωι
και σο ψώπο μ' κουβαλώ
και στη΄ψυχή μου κουβαλάω
Τ' εμετέρς αναστωρώ
τους δικούς μου ξαναθυμάμαι
Ωι ωι ,ωι ωι και σο ψώπο μ' κουβαλώ και στη΄ψυχή μου κουβαλάω
   

Chorus #1

Chorus #1

Μίαν κι άλλον σην ζωη μ'

μιά φορά ακόμα στη' ζωή μου
σο πεγάδι μ', σην αυλή μ'
στο πηγάδι μου, στη' αυλή μου
Μίαν κι άλλον σην ζωη μ'
μιά φορά ακόμα στη' ζωή μου
σο πεγάδι μ', σην αυλή μ' στο πηγάδι μου, στη' αυλή μου
   

Chorus #2

Chorus #2

Νέροπόν ας έπινα νερό ας έπινα
ωι ωι, ωι ωι ωι ωι, ωι ωι
και τα ομάτεα μ' έπλυνα
και τα μάτια μου να έπλενα
Νέροπόν ας έπινα
νερό ας έπινα
ωι ωι, ωι ωι
ωι ωι, ωι ωι
και τα ομάτεα μ' έπλυνα και τα μάτια μου να έπλενα
   
Εκκλησίας έρημα
εκκλησίες έρημες
μοναστήρεα ακάντηλα
μοναστήρια χωρίς καντήλια
Εκκλησίας έρημα
εκκλησίες έρημες
μοναστήρεα ακάντηλα μοναστήρια χωρίς καντήλια
   
Πόρτας και παράθυρα
Πόρτας και παράθυρα
ωι ωι , ωι ωι
ωι ωι , ωι ωι
επέμναν ακράνοιχτα
έμειναν ορθάνοιχτα
Πόρτας και παράθυρα
Πόρτας και παράθυρα
ωι ωι , ωι ωι
ωι ωι , ωι ωι
επέμναν ακράνοιχτα έμειναν ορθάνοιχτα
   

Chorus #1

Chorus #1

Μίαν κι άλλον σην ζωη μ'

μιά φορά ακόμα στη' ζωή μου
σο πεγάδι μ', σην αυλή μ'
στο πηγάδι μου, στη' αυλή μου
Μίαν κι άλλον σην ζωη μ'
μιά φορά ακόμα στη' ζωή μου
σο πεγάδι μ', σην αυλή μ' στο πηγάδι μου, στη' αυλή μου
   

Chorus #2

Chorus #2

Νέροπόν ας έπινα νερό ας έπινα
ωι ωι, ωι ωι ωι ωι, ωι ωι
και τα ομάτεα μ' έπλυνα
και τα μάτια μου να έπλενα
Νέροπόν ας έπινα
νερό ας έπινα
ωι ωι, ωι ωι
ωι ωι, ωι ωι
και τα ομάτεα μ' έπλυνα και τα μάτια μου να έπλενα

 

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Pontian Anatolian Music Resources

Resources on this web site for Pontian Anatolian music and culture include:

Articles

Translations of Songs from Pontian Anatolian Greek Dialect into English and Modern Greek

  • Mana En Krion Neron (Mother Is Like Cold Water). By Giannis Tsanakalis. Many people consider this song to be a hymn to motherhood. Includes information about the traditional Pontian Anatolian folk dance known as "tik".
  • Sa Xena Ime Ellinas (In Foreign Lands I'm a Greek). By Stelios Kazantzidis. Unofficial anthem of the Greek diaspora. Includes information about the traditional Pontian Anatolian circle dance known as "omal".
  • Tin Patrida M' Ehasa (I Lost My Homeland). By Giannis Kourtidis & Ahileas Vasiliadis.

Translations of Songs in Modern Greek with Pontian References

  • Tou Pontou Panagia (The Virgin Mary of Pontus). By Themis Adamantidis. Includes cultural information about Monastery Panagia Soumela located in the Pontian mountains at Trapezounda.

Mainstream Greek Music with Pontian Influences

 

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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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