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

Ινδιάνα Μου Γλυκιά, also known as Έλμπι
(Indiana Mou Glikia, also known as Albi)

(My Sweet Indian Girl, also known as My Heart)



This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the popular Greek song "Indiana Mou Glykia" (Ινδιάνα Μου Γλυκιά), which was sung by Manolis Aggelopoulos. Also included is a pronunciation guide for the Greek lyrics so you can sing along if you like.

For more information about the laiko and rebetiko styles of music, see Introduction to Laiko / Rebetiko Music elsewhere on this web site.

This song was inspired by the Indian imported film Awaara, which was released in 1951. The Greek name for it is O Alitis Tis Vombais (Ο Αλήτης Της Βομβάης). During this period, movies from India were quite popular in Greece and Turkey, and Indian music influenced the compositions in Greece and Turkey at the time.

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 this Song

The word "Elbi" in this song is not a Greek word. It's the Arabic word for "my heart". Greeks and people in present-day Arabic-speaking countries have been living among each other for thousands of years. Many were Greeks kept their Greek heritage alive within Greek enclaves while speaking Arabic in public, others acquired mixed language skills through marriage, etc. It is only natural that some Greek songs are bilingual with some Arabic words.

About Manolis Aggelopoulos

Manolis Aggelopoulos was a Greek legend. He was born in 1939 in northern Greece, to a Romany family. As a child, he traveled throughout Greece with his family's caravan selling everything from carpets to watermelons. The caravan trucks contained a microphone, so young Aggelopoulos broadcast his singing over the loudspeakers along the way.

His big break came in 1959 when he recorded his first 45 rpm vinyl record, bringing the mix of Greek-Tsigane-Arabic fusion into the Greek music scene. For Greeks and Greek-Romany he was a superstar. His funeral in 1989 was massive, and people cried for 3 days.

Manolis Aggelopolous

About Theodoros Derveniotis

The composer of this song, Theodoros Derveniotis, (nickname ‘O Hondros’), was born in 1922 in Zagora, a village in Greece. In the custom of Greeks to name children after their father's parents, O Hondros was named after his grandfather, Theodoros D. Derveniotis, a legendary folk musician.

Although the younger Theodoros appreciated folk music, he gradually fell in love with Byzantine and European music. Starting at age five, he was a Byzantine chanter at his church. Around the 1950's, Theodoros decided to try his luck as a music composer. He was self taught in several Greek instruments and reading music.

Derveniotis went on to work and collaborate with some of the biggest stars in Greek Rebetiko/Laiko music, including the great singer Stelios Kazandzidis. In 1959, this partnership came to an end due to Derveniotis deciding he'd had enough of the low income of 300 drachmas on his compositions.

When one door closes, another opens. Derveniotis moved on to his next venture of opening up a Laiko/Light musical school. His fame continued to grow, and he created countless new compositions for some of the greateast stars of Greek music. Theodoros Derveniotis passed away in 2004.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: This photo shows Theodoros Derveniotis, the legendary composer of many songs in the Greek rebetiko/laiko genre.

Theodoros Derveniotis

About Vasilis Karapatakis

The lyrics for this song were a collaboration of the two legendary artists, Hristos Kolokotronis & Vasilis Karapatakis. Vasilis' real last name was Kapsalis. This Greek Roma legend composed and anonymously sold over 250 songs.

In 1922, Vasilis was born into a family of musicians and entertainers. His brothers Hilas and Thanasis were also successful musicians as well as their father Kostas Kapsalis. Together the talents combined knowledge in violin, laouto, guitar, voice and bouzouki. In 1945 Vasilis moved to Athens to try his luck in the entertainment industry. His dreams came true and he enjoyed a successful career between 1957 and 1963.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: Vasilis Karapatakis.

Collaborations between Stelios Kazantzidis, Hristos Kolokotronis and Vasilis Karapatakis have gone down in history as one of the best Laiko music trios. Their music was also controversial, as lyrics and music were sold among each other (and others) for a plate of food. There was also a great conflict of interest among the artists who chose to end their contracts with certain recording companies.

After his success in his prime, Vasilis opened a music school where he shared his knowledge and passions with his students. Vasilis Karapatakis passed away on March 27, 1974 after a long battle with cancer.

Vasilis Karapatakis

About Hristos Kolokotronis

According to the original recording in Greece, Hristos Kolokotronis wrote the lyrics for this song were written by Hristos Kolokotronis. He wrote over 100 songs for Stelios Kazantzidis.

The great Hristos Kolokotronis was one of the musical geniuses during the Golden Era (1955-1975) of the popular Greek laiko / rebetiko musical movement. Hristos was born in Kalithea (raised in Glikomilia, Trikala) on December 25, 1922 into a very historical and highly respected family. He was the great-great-great grandson of Theodoros Kolokotronis, a hero during the Greek Revolution in 1821. Hristos is known for his work as a singer, songwriter, composer and a briefly a journalist. He collaborated with many well-known and established musicians of that era. He is credited for having written close to 2,500 songs. Hristos Kolokotronis passed away in 1999.

As with many artistic collaborations, there was a serious fallout between Stelios Kazantzidis and Hristos Kolokotronis. This intense public battle led to them appearing in court with a lawsuit in the late 1990s. Although the lawsuit seemed fresh, it actually was based on hard feelings from the late 1950s when Kazantzidis left Columbia Records to branch off on his own.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: This photo is of Hristos Kolokotronis.

Stelios Kazantzidis published an autobiography in which he disclosed large amounts of personal information - not only about himself, but also about many other artists and companies that took advantage and cheated him. One of those mentioned was Hristos Kolokotronis, who proceeded to file a lawsuit against Stelios, the writer and the publishing company for slander, lies and humiliation. The Kolokotronis family also demanded a personal apology because Kazantzidis alleged that Hristos had an affair with a Greek Romany woman and fathered a child with her while married to someone else. Several other artists followed up with their own slander lawsuits.

Hristos Kolokotronis

Song: Indiana Mou Glykia, also known as Albi (My Sweet Indian Girl, also known as My Heart), 1958

Lyrics: Hristos Kolokotronis and Vasilis Karapatakis

Music: Theodoros Derveniotis

Original Artist: Manolis Aggelopoulos

Dance Style: Belly Dance

Τραγούδι: Ινδιάνα Μου Γλυκιά, also known as Έλμπι, 1958

Στίχοι: Χρήστος Κολοκοτρώνης k Βασίλης Καραπατάκης

Μουσική: Θόδωρος Δερβενιώτης

Πρώτη Εκτέλεση: Μανώλης Αγγελόπουλος

Χορός: Οριεντάλ, Χορό Της Κοιλιάς, Ανατολίτικος Χορός, Τσιφτετέλι, Χανούμικο, Κελικός Χορός




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

Greek Lyrics


English Translation

  Aaah, aaah, aaah, aaah, aaah Aaah, aaah, aaah, aaah, aaah
Με' στα χαρέμια me' sta haremia In the harems,
μακριά με' στου Βομβάη makria me' stou Bomvai far away in Bombay,
έλμπι, έλμπι, έλμπι elbi, elbi, elbi my heart, my heart, my heart. (1)
είναι εκείνη που ine ekini pou It is her who
χρόνια μ' αγαπάει hronia m' agapai for years has loved me,
έλμπι, έλμπι, έλμπι elbi, elbi, elbi my heart, my heart, my heart. (1)
Ινδιάνα μου γλυκιά Indiana mou glikia My sweet Indian woman,
θα σε κλέψω μια βραδιά tha se klepso mia vradia I will steal you one night.
θα σε κλέψω μια βραδιά tha se klepso mia vradia I will steal you one night,
Ινδιάνα μου γλυκιά Indiana mou glikia my sweet Indian woman.
  Aaah, aaah, aaah, aaah, aaah Aaah, aaah, aaah, aaah, aaah
Απ' τα χαρέμια ap' ta haremia From the harems
θα `ρθω για tha 'rtho ya I will come to
να σε κλέψω na se klepso to steal you,
έλμπι, έλμπι, έλμπι elbi, elbi, elbi my heart, my heart, my heart. (1)
μακριά από 'σένα makria apo 'sena Far away from you —
δεν μπορώ να αντέξω den boro na adexo I can't handle it,
έλμπι, έλμπι, έλμπι elbi, elbi, elbi my heart, my heart, my heart. (1)
  Aaah, aaah, aaah, aaah, aaah Aaah, aaah, aaah, aaah, aaah
Ινδιάνα μου γλυκιά Indiana mou glikia My sweet Indian woman,
θα σε κλέψω μια βραδιά tha se klepso mia vradia I will steal you one night,
θα σε κλέψω μια βραδιά tha se klepso mia vradia I will steal you one night,
δώσ' μου πίσω την καρδιά dos' mou piso tin kardia give me back the heart.
  1. "Elbi" is not a Greek word. It's the Arabic word for "my heart".



Translations of
Manolis Aggelopoulos' Songs On This Site

Translations of songs performed by Manolis Aggelopoulos on this web site include:



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.





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