Notes From the Translator
There is quite a bit of variation in the verses you will see in different versions of this Turkish song from the Black Sea region, and it seems that new verses are still being invented. I have chosen here only the most popular standard ones. Sometimes the order of the verses is different in different versions.
English translations of this song that you may see on some Web sites are terribly unsatisfactory owing to the fact that they are computer-generated translations based on word-for-word dictionary equivalents. Turkish is notoriously unsuitable for such translation, as it is an extremely idiomatic language and bears no relation whatsoever to English grammatical construction or syntax.
On top of that, much of this song is fanciful, deliberately playful nonsense, making no sense in some passages other than that it rhymes. In order to translate it sense for sense rather than word for word, which would be completely incomprehensible, I have supplied English words in square brackets that have no basis in the Turkish text at all, much the same way that the King James Bible, in order to make sense, puts in italics English words the meaning of which was not in the original ancient languages being translated.
Where to Get Recordings of this Song
About the Translator
Many thanks to Joseph B. Stahl for creating this song translation for this web site!
Joseph B. Stahl is a retired New Orleans lawyer who has also worked as a taxicab driver, longshoreman, radio commentator at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships, and an editor of, and contributor of articles and paintings to, Tennis Week magazine (1974-2007).
Mr. Stahl, who has been fluent at various times in French, Spanish, modern Greek and Arabic, has been fascinated with and an admirer of the Turkish language and people, has been studying Turkish since 1962, and has many very dear and highly esteemed Turkish friends.
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