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Σε Πήρα Σοβαρά
(Se Pira Sovara)

(I Took You Seriously)

 

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the popular Greek song "Se Pira Sovara" (Σε Πήρα Σοβαρά), which was sung by Sarbel Mixail Maronitis. 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.

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

"Se Pira Sovara" is a version with Greek lyrics of an old traditional Tunisian song called "Sidi Mansour" (Σιντι Μανσουρ), also known as "Ya Baba" (Για Μπαμπα).

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.

Interestingly, the original Arabic-language version of the song was recorded in Greece in 1975 by Mohamed Hanesh at Minos Studios. The Arabic lyric credits have been typically given to Mohammed Hammamet, Mohammed Hanesh and R. Regimia, although others claim the modern version was written by Sameh al Ajami.

The song's modern popularity arose from the recording by Saber Rebai (Sabir ibn Al-Hadi El Rebai), which was released in 2000 and inspired many others to record it, both in Arabic and in other languages. Its music video featured belly dancing by Anastasia Biserova and Samira Zopunyan, and was very popular.

About Sarbel

Sarbel was the original musician to release this traditional Tunisian song with these Greek lyrics. He was born in England to immigrant parents: his mother is Lebanese, and his musician father is a Greek Cypriot.

Sarbel majored in musical theater and dance. He represented Greece in the Eurovision music competition in 2007.

Song: Se Pira Sovara (I Took You Seriously), 2005

Greek Lyrics: Eleni Yianatsoulia

Music: Traditional Tunisian

Original Artist, Greek Version: Sarbel Mixail Maronitis with backup vocals by Eirini Merkouri

Dance Style: Belly dancing

Album: Paraxeno Sinesthima (Weird Feeling

Has Also Been Sung by:

In Arabic

  • Mohamed Hanesh (in Arabic, as "Sidi Mansour"), 1975
  • Mohammed Jarrari (in Arabic, as "Sidi Mansour"), 1975
  • Soulef (in Arabic, as "Sidi Mansour")
  • Saber Rebai (in Arabic, as "Sidi Mansour"), 2000
  • Melissa (Myriam Shehab) (in Arabic), 2013

In Other Languages

  • Guzin and Baha (in Turkish as "Allah Allah Ne Zaman"), 1975
  • Boney M (in English, as the hit song "Ma Baker"), 1977
  • İbrahim Tatlıses (in Turkish, as "Mavişim"), 1999
  • Viki Miljković (in Serbian, as "Mariš Li"), 2003
  • Reuven Hamalach (in Hebrew, as "Perach Shely"), 2010
  • Nazia Iqbal (in Urdu as "Za Yam Maghror Laila"), 2014
  • Albatrit Muçiqi (in Albanian, as "Jam Dehe Unë Më Raki"), 2014
  • Mama Baba (in German, as rap with instrumental by a Greek, Kostas Karagiozidis), 2019
  • Trim Jetullahu (as rap), 2019
Τραγούδι: Σε Πήρα Σοβαρά, 2005

Στίχοι: Ελένη Γιαννατσούλια

Μουσική: Παραδοσιακό Απο Τυνισία

Πρώτη Εκτέλεση: Σαρμπέλ Μιχαήλ Μαρωνίτης

Συμμετέχουν: Ειρήνη Μερκούρη

Άλμπουμ: Παράξενο Συναίσθημα

 

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Lyrics

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

Greek or Arabic Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Arabic Lyrics
يا عيوني Yaaaaa ayouni! Ohhhhh my two eyes!
يا عيني Ya aiiii aini! Oh myyyyy eyes!
يا عيني Yaaaaaa ain! Ohhhhh my eyes!
 

Laaaaaa ain

Nooooo my eyes!
     

Instrumental

Instrumental

Instrumental

     
Τι κι αν σε πήρα σοβαρά ti ke an se pira sovara And what if I took you seriously?
δεξιά κοιτάς κι αριστερά dexia kitas ke aristera You are looking right and left. (1)
ματιές να ρίχνεις και σε μας maties na rihnis ke se mas You should be looking at me too. (2)
παραμυθάκι Χαλιμάς paramithaki halimas Fairy tale fantasy: (3)
τέτοιο κορμί που το πας tetio kormi pou to pas where are you taking this body?
που το σκορπάς pou to skorpas Where do you give it?
που το σκορπάς pou to skorpas Where do you give it?
     
A group of his friends are singing to him, advising him.
Για στάσου μη' παρακαλάς
ya stasou mi' parakalas Hold up, don't beg.
σε ντίβες τέτοιες, μην κολλάς
se dives teties, min kolas Don't get hooked on such divas.
είναι ωραία, τι μ' αυτό
ine orea, ti m' afto She is beautiful, what now?
Sarbel Replies
την αγαπώ, την αγαπώ tin agapo, tin agapo I love her, I love her!
His friends reply.
πολλοί της λένε σ' αγαπώ
poli tis lene s' agapo Many are telling her, "I love you."
μη' της το πεις ποτέ αυτό mi' tis to pis pote afto Don't ever tell her that!
     
Για δες κορμί ya des kormi Sarbel: "Just look at that body!"
τέλειο telio Friends: "Flawless!"
χειλιών γραμμή hilion grami Sarbel: "Lining of lips!"
άψογη apsogi Friends: "Perfect!"
μάτια μαγικά
matia mayika Sarbel: "Majestic eyes!"
μάτια μπλε
matia blue Friends: "Blue eyes!"
διαπεραστικά diaperastika Sarbel: "Striking eyes!"
ναι, ναι, ναι ne, ne, ne Friends: "Yes, yes, yes!"
     
Την αγαπώ tin agapo Sarbel: "I love her!"
Πω, πω, πω! po, po, po! Friends: "Ohhh boy!"
Θα της το πω tha tis to po Sarbel: "I will tell her!"
Ά, πα, πα! a, pa, pa! Friends: "Ohhh NO!"
Θα της το πω tha tis to po Sarbel: "I will tell her!"
Ώχ! Αμάν!
ox, aman! Friends: "Oh my!"
Και ας πληγωθώ ke as pligotho Sarbel: "Even if I get hurt!"
     
Now Sarbel is talking to her.
Είσαι ένα ποίημα
ise ena pima Sarbel: "You are a poem!"
Μήπως είσαι κύμα
mipos ise kima Irini: "Maybe you are a wave."
Θεέ μου πως μ' αρέσεις
The-e mou pos m' aresis Sarbel: "My God, how much I like you!"
Μήπως με πονέσεις
mipos me ponesis Irini: "Maybe you will hurt me."
Πες μου τ' όνομα σου
pes mou t' onoma sou Sarbel: "Tell me your name!"
Τα παράνομα σου
ta paranoma sou Irini: "Your illegal ways."
Κόμπο να μη' δέσεις
kopo na mi' desis Sarbel: "Don't bother to tie the knot."
Τόσες αντιθέσεις toses adithesis Sarbel: "So many contradictions!"
     

Instrumental

Instrumental

Instrumental

     
In Arabic
الله، الله Allah, Allah God, God
يا بابا Ya baba Oh, Papa
و سالم اليك W salam aalaik And greetings
يا بابا Ya baba Oh, Papa
الله، الله Allah, Allah God, God
يا بابا Ya baba Oh, Papa
و سالم اليك W salam aalaik And greetings
يا بابا Ya baba Oh, Papa
     
سيدي منصور Sidi Mansour Mr. Mansour
يا بابا Ya baba
Oh, Papa
و نجيك نزور Wenjeek enzoor I'll come to visit you
يا بابا Ya Baba Oh, Papa
     
A group of his friends are singing to him, advising him.
Για στάσου μη' παρακαλάς
ya stasou mi' parakalas Hold up, don't beg.
σε ντίβες τέτοιες, μην κολλάς
se dives teties, min kolas Don't get hooked on such divas.
είναι ωραία, τι μ' αυτό
ine orea, ti m' afto She is beautiful, what now?
Sarbel in Arabic
و سالم اليك W salam aalaik And greetings
يا بابا Ya baba Oh, Papa
His friends reply
πολλοί της λένε σ' αγαπώ
poli tis lene s' agapo Many are telling her, "I love you."
μη' της το πεις ποτέ αυτό mi' tis to pis pote afto Don't ever tell her that!
Sarbel in Arabic
وأشهد بالله W ashhad billaah I swear in the name of God
Friends in Greek
τέλειο telio "Flawless!"
Sarbel in Arabic
ما عشقت سواه Maashegt sewah I didn't love anyone other than her
Friends in Greek
Άψογη apsogi Perfect
Sarbel in Arabic
جرح الحبيب Jarh el habeeb The wounds of love
Friends in Greek
μάτια μπλε matia ble blue eyes
Sarbel in Arabic
علاج صعيب Aalaj saaeeb Its cure is difficult
Friends in Greek
ναι, ναι, ναι ne, ne, ne yes, yes, yes
Sarbel in Arabic
ويش حالي فيه wesh haly feeh What is happening
Friends in Greek
Πω, πω, πω! po, po, po! Ohhh boy!
Sarbel in Arabic
ملهوف اليه Malhouf aalaih I'm leaving [you] for her
Friends in Greek
Ά, πα, πα! a, pa, pa! Ohhh NO!
Sarbel in Arabic
وأشهد بالله Washhad billaah I swear in the name of God
Friends in Greek
Ώχ! Αμάν! ox, aman! Oh my!
Sarbel in Arabic
ماشفت سواه Maasheft sewah I never loved anyone but her. (4)
     
Sarbel in Arabic, Talking to Her Now
شحال يتيم يا بابا، ملهوف عليك يابابا Wenjeek ya seedi I will come to see you
Irini Responds in Greek
Μήπως είσαι κύμα
mipos ise kima Maybe you are a wave.
Sarbel in Arabic
بشموع في يدي Beshmooaa fi eedi With candles in my hands
Irini Responds in Greek
Μήπως με πονέσεις
mipos me ponesis Maybe you will hurt me.
Sarbel in Arabic
ول نار في قلبي Wel nar fey qalbi and fire in my heart
Irini Responds in Greek
Τα παράνομα σου
ta paranoma sou Your illegal ways.
Sarbel in Arabic
تحرق وريدي Tehreg wareedi Burns my veins
تحرق وريدي Tehreg wareedi Burns my veins
     

Instrumental

Instrumental

Instrumental

     
Now Sarbel is Talking to His Friends
Την αγαπώ tin agapo Sarbel: "I love her!"
Πω, πω, πω! po, po, po! Friends: "Ohhh boy!"
Θα της το πω tha tis to po Sarbel: "I will tell her!"
Ά, πα, πα! a, pa, pa! Friends: "Ohhh NO!"
Θα της το πω tha tis to po Sarbel: "I will tell her!"
Ώχ! Αμάν!
ox, aman! Friends: "Oh my!"
Και ας πληγωθώ ke as pligotho Sarbel: "Even if I get hurt!"
     
Now Sarbel is talking to her.
Είσαι ένα ποίημα
ise ena pima Sarbel: "You are a poem!"
Μήπως είσαι κύμα
mipos ise kima Irini: "Maybe you are a wave."
Θεέ μου πως μ' αρέσεις
The-e mou pos m' aresis Sarbel: "My God, how much I like you!"
Μήπως με πονέσεις
mipos me ponesis Irini: "Maybe you will hurt me."
Πες μου τ' όνομα σου
pes mou t' onoma sou Sarbel: "Tell me your name!"
Τα παράνομα σου
ta paranoma sou Irini: "Your illegal ways."
Κόμπο να μη δέσεις
kopo na mi desis Sarbel: "Don't bother to tie the knot."
Τόσες αντιθέσεις toses adithesis Sarbel: "So many contradictions!"
  1. This is a reference to being distracted by other people, checking them out.
  2. Literally, "drop me a look," the way we might talk about writing a letter as "drop me a line".
  3. The word "halimas" is an old expression from story telling books that refers to a fantasy such as Arabian nights or a dream.
  4. Literally, "I never saw anyone else."

 

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Related Translations

This song has been released in more than one language. Versions translated on this web site include:

  • Se Pira Sovara (I Took You Seriously). Lyrics partly in Greek, partly in Arabic. By Sarbel.
  • Sidi Mansour (Mr. Mansour). This is the original Tunisian folk song whose melody was used for "Se Pira Sovara". This link leads to the translation for the original Arabic lyrics.
  • Mavişim Mavilendim (My Blue-Eyed Darling, I'm Blue). This version of "Sidi Mansour" by İbrahim Tatlıses is sung in Turkish. Follow the link for the translation.

 

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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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