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

Tin Tin Tini Mini Hanım
(Precious Little Lady with Mincing Gait)

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the Turkish folk song "Tin Tin Tini Mini Hanım". Also included are the Turkish lyrics so you can sing along if you like.

Some people say the correct title of this song is "Şeftali Ağaçları" ("Peach Trees").

Song lyrics are provided for educational purposes. If you like the song, please purchase either the album or a download from an authorized source.

Lyrics: Traditional
Music: Traditional

 

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Listen to MP3 Clips of This Song

Note Sung by Özel Turkbas
Note Sung by Bustan Abraham

 

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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.

 

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Lyrics

Turkish Lyrics

English Translation

Şeftali ağaçları, şeftali ağaçları,
Peach trees, peach trees,
Türlü çiçek başları, türlü çiçek başları! [Oh!] the types of flowers of their tops, the types of flowers of their tops!
Yaktı yandırdı beni, yaktı yandırdı beni,
She turned me on and set me afire, she turned me on and set me afire,
Yarin hilal kaşları, yarin hilal kaşları! [Yet] tomorrow [she'll regard me with] arched eyebrows, tomorrow arched eyebrows.
   
Tin, tin, tini mini hanım, Quietly, on tiptoe [you go], delicate little lady,
Tin, tin, tini mini hanım, Quietly, on tiptoe [you go], delicate little lady,
Seni seviyor canım, My soul loves you,
Seni seviyor canım. My soul loves you.
   
Bahçelerde idrişah, bahçelerde idrişah, In the gardens is a cherry tree, in the gardens a cherry tree,
Boyu uzun kendi Şah, boyu uzun kendi Şah. Its stature is great [like that of] the Shah himself, its stature is great [like] the Shah himself.
Iki gönül bir olsa, iki gönül bir olsa,
[But] if two hearts ever become one, if two hearts unite,
Ayıramaz Padişah, ayıramaz Padişah.
[Then] not [even] the Sultan can set them apart, not [even] the Sultan can set them apart.
   
Tin, tin, tini mini hanım, Quietly, on tiptoe [you go], delicate little lady,
Tin, tin, tini mini hanım, Quietly, on tiptoe [you go], delicate little lady,
Seni seviyor canım, My soul loves you,
Seni seviyor canım. My soul loves you.
   
Bahçelerde kereviz, bahçelerde kereviz, In the gardens, celery [grows], in the gardens [there is] celery,
Biz kereviz yemeyiz, biz kereviz yemeyiz. [Now] we should eat [our] celery! [- should we not?], we should eat celery!
Bahçelerde börülce, Bahçelerde börülce, In the gardens, black-eyed beans! In the gardens there are black-eyed beans.
Oynar gelin, görümce, oynar gelin, görümce. Come [with] dancing, my sister-in-law, come [to me] dancing, O sister-in-law.
   
Tin, tin, tini mini hanım, Quietly, on tiptoe [you go], delicate little lady,
Tin, tin, tini mini hanım, Quietly, on tiptoe [you go], delicate little lady,
Seni seviyor canım, My soul loves you,
Seni seviyor canım. My soul loves you.

 

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Where to Get Recordings of this Song

How to Make Your Husband a Sultan CD Cover

Note

Listen to Clip

Artist: Özel Turkbas
CD Title: How to Make Your Husband a Sultan

Bustan Abraham CD Cover

Note

Listen to Clip

Artist: Bustan Abraham
CD Title: Bustan Abraham

Bellydance Breakbeats CD Cover

 

Artist: Oojami
CD Title: Bellydance Breakbeats

 

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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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