May 29, 2010

When Turks and Greeks Sing Together

"Mes Tou Bosporou" by George Dalaras

This song causes much emotion for Greeks. It came out on an LP record issued by Minos Matsas, titled Asia Minor [Μικρά Ασία], created by composer Apostolos Kaldaras and lyricist Pythagóras, and featuring singers George Dalaras and Charis Alexiou. The album looked at the tragic events of the burning and evacuation of Smyrna in 1923 and the subsequent population transfer of Anatolian Greeks to the Greek mainland. Significantly it did not take the traditional Greek nationalist point of view about this Great Catastrophe. Indeed this present song tells of two people, a Turk and a Greek (Romios), singing together, celebrating the dignity of their respective nations. The date of its recording was also significant, 1972, the year of the collapse of the fascist Junta in Greece.

Music and lyrics: Apostolos Kaldaras / Pythagóras

Μες του Bοσπόρου τα στενά
ο Γιάννης κλαίει τα δειλινά
και ο Μεμέτης πλάι του
πίνει και τραγουδάει του

Τούρκος εγώ και συ Ρωμιός
και γω λαός και συ λαός
Εσύ Χριστό και γω Αλλάχ [x2]
όμως κι οι δυο μας αχ και βαχ [x2]

Με λίγη αγάπη και κρασί
μεθάω κι εγώ, μεθάς και συ
Πιες λίγο από το τάσι μου [x2]
αδέρφι και καρντάση μου [x2]

Τούρκος εγώ...


Mes stou Vosporou ta stena
o Yiannis klaigei ta dheilina
kai o Memetis plaï tou
pinei kai tragoudhaei tou

Tourkos ego kai esy Romios
Kai go laos kai sy laos
esy Christo kai go Allah
omos ki i dhyo mas ach kai vach

Me ligi agapi kai krasi
methao ki ego methas kai sy
pieis ligo apo to tasi mou
adherfi kai kardasi mou

Tourkos ego etc


In the narrows of the Bosporus
Yiannis weeps at sunset,
And next to him Mehmet
Drinks and sings to him.

I am a Turk and you are a Romios,
And you are a people and I am a people,
You have Christ and I have Allah
But the two of us share a common suffered destiny. [Turkish: ah kai vah]

With a little love and wine
I am getting drunk, you are getting drunk,
Drink a little from my cup,
My brother and my friend. [Turkish: kardasi]

George Dalaras with Glykeria live at the Herodes Atticus Odeon in Athens. The concert was held under the auspices of his Holiness the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew and UNESCO. Song can be heard at the 36:50 mark.