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

Ζήτω Τα Παράλογα
(Zito ta Paraloga)

(Long Live the Absurdity)

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the popular Greek laiko song "Zito ta Paraloga" (Ζήτω Τα Παράλογα), which was sung by Pashalis Terzis. Also included is a pronunciation guide for the Greek lyrics so you can sing along if you like.

Advice from the translator on using this song in a dance performance:

This song is very popular, and may be used for Greek Independence Day month. However, please respectfully use caution if using a Greek flag as a prop for any celebration. The Greek flag is extremely meaningful to Greek people and must be respected. There is a cross on the upper left section. If you enter holding a stick with the Greek flag attached, please mindfully set the flag down in a respectful place such as a table top after you have finished waving it. Please avoid accidentally stepping on the flag, throwing it, or sitting on it. I don't recommend using a Greek flag as a belly dance veil. If you follow these recommendations you won’t offend your clients!

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 Pashalis Terzis

Pashalis Terzis was the original artist for this song. He was born in Greece, in a suburb of Thessaloniki. In his early teens, he began to sing with friends. In the 1960's, he moved to Athens and sang backup vocals for established artists.

Terzis recorded his first album of his own in 1982, which was titled Leo. Since then, he has released a total of 20 albums over the years. His older songs remain popular. Currently, he is taking a hiatus from singing due to health issues.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: The photo shows Pashalis Terzis.

Pashalis Terzis

Song: Zito Ta Paraloga – Long Live the Absurdity, 1998

Lyrics: Nikos Vaxavanelis

Music: Vasilis Kelaidis

Original Artist: Pashalis Terzis

Τραγουδι: Ζήτω Τα Παράλογα, 1998

Στίχοι: Νίκος Βαξαβανέλης

Μουσική: Βασίλης Κελαϊδής

Πρώτη εκτέλεση: Πασχάλης Τερζής

 

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Lyrics

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

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Μία πάνω μία κάτω Mia pano mia kato One up, one down,
μες στον κόσμο το φευγάτο mes ston kosmo to fevgato in the busy/rushed world.
Μία πάνω μία κάτω Mia pano mia kato One up, one down,
δε βαριέσαι κι άσπρο πάτο de variesε ke aspro pato eh, forget about it. (1)
Θ’ αμαρτήσω και θ’ αγιάσω Tha amartiso ke tha ayaso I will sin and I will become a saint,
ο παπάς κάνει το ράσο o papas kani to raso the priest wears the religious robe.
Όσα έρθουν κι όσα πάνε Osa erthoun ke osa pane As many come and as many go
τη ζωή δεν τη φοβάμαι ti zoi den ti fovame I'm not afraid of life.
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Ζήτω τα παράλογα, ζήτω η Ελλάς Zito ta paraloga, zito ee Ellas Long live the absurdity! Long live Greece! (2)
ζήτω τα παλιόπαιδα, ζήτω μας και μας Zito ta paliopeda, zito mas ke mas Long live the bad boys! And long live us too!
Ζήτω τα παράλογα, ζήτω η Ελλάς Zito ta paraloga, zito ee Ellas Long live the absurdity! Long live Greece!
ζήτω τα παλιόπαιδα, ζήτω μας και μας Zito ta paliopeda, zito mas ke mas Long live the bad boys! And long live us too!
     
Μία μέσα μία έξω Mia mesa mia exo One in one out
σε ποιον ψεύτη να πιστέψω se pion psefti na pistepso which liar should I believe?
Τι κι αν ξέμεινα στον άσσο ti ke an xemina ston aso even if I’m left with an ace (3)
τη θηλιά θα κάνω λάσο ti thilia tha kano laso I will make the noose into a lasso
Θα σαλτάρω κι ό,τι γίνει tha saltaro ke oti gini I will jump high, and no matter what happens
θα πατήσω στη Σελήνη tha patiso sti Selini I will step on the moon.
Το χρυσάφι ήταν μπακίρι to hrisafi itan bakiri the gold was copper
δε θα κάνω το φακίρη de tha kano to fakiri but I don't have the power to change it. (4)
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Ζήτω τα παράλογα, ζήτω η Ελλάς Zito ta paraloga, zito ee Ellas Long live the absurdity! Long live Greece!
ζήτω τα παλιόπαιδα, ζήτω μας και μας Zito ta paliopeda, zito mas ke mas Long live the bad boys! And long live us too!
Ζήτω τα παράλογα, ζήτω η Ελλάς Zito ta paraloga, zito ee Ellas Long live the absurdity! Long live Greece!
ζήτω τα παλιόπαιδα, ζήτω μας και μας Zito ta paliopeda, zito mas ke mas Long live the bad boys! And long live us too!
     

Instrumental Solo

Instrumental Solo

Instrumental Solo

     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Ζήτω τα παράλογα, ζήτω η Ελλάς Zito ta paraloga, zito ee Ellas Long live the absurdity! Long live Greece!
ζήτω τα παλιόπαιδα, ζήτω μας και μας Zito ta paliopeda, zito mas ke mas Long live the bad boys! And long live us too!
Ζήτω τα παράλογα, ζήτω η Ελλάς Zito ta paraloga, zito ee Ellas Long live the absurdity! Long live Greece!
ζήτω τα παλιόπαιδα, ζήτω μας και μας Zito ta paliopeda, zito mas ke mas Long live the bad boys! And long live us too!
  1. Literally, the words "aspro pato" mean "white bottom of your glass". One meaning of this could mean "cheers" or "bottoms up". It means drinking the entire contents of your glass so you can see the white bottom. In the context of this particular song, it is an idiom that means "Who cares?" or "Forget about it."
  2. The word in the lyrics is actually "Ellas". "Hellas", "Ellas", or "Hellada" is the way people refer to Greece in the Greek language. "Hellines" means "Greek man". "Hellinida" is female. The word "Greece" is the English word to describe Hellas. If you want to impress a Hellene (Greek person), refer to them using the above words.
  3. This is a reference to an ace in a deck of cards. In this context, it means being left with nothing.
  4. The original lyrics say, "I'm not a fakir." [Type of magician.] The point is that the narrator is saying he won't pretend it's actually gold, and he's not a magician who can change it into gold.

 

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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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