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Geske

Της αμύνης τα παιδιά

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To someone from "une peuplade sans musique" (that's a Jacques Brel quote), it is totally amazing how the Greeks turn History into song. And how much Greek history one may learn from the songs.

ΤΗΣ ΑΜΥΝΗΣ ΤΑ ΠΑΙΔΙΑ || The boys in the army

Μουσική: Παραδοσιακό, διασκευή: Σταύρος Ξαρχάκος || Music: traditional, arranged by Stavros Ksarchakos.

Στίχοι: Παραδοσιακό || Lyrics: traditional

Μια μέρα θα το γράψει η ιστορία || One day History will write it down

που έδιωξε απ' την Αθήνα τα θηρία || who kicked the big guys out of Athens,

που έδιωξε βασιλείς και βουλευτάδες || who kicked out kings * and parliamentaries,

τους ψευταράδες και τους μασκαράδες || those who told lies, those who wore masks.

Και στην άμυνα εκεί όλοι οι αξιωματικοί || And there in the army are all the good guys

πολεμάει κι ο Βενιζέλος || Venizelos * too is fighting

που αυτός θα φέρει τέλος || the one who will bring it to an end

και ο κάθε πατριώτης θα μας φέρουν την ισότης || and every single patriot, they will bring us Equality

Η Παναγιά που στέκει στο πλευρό μας || The Holy Virgin is on our side

δείχνει το δρόμο στο νέο στρατηγό μας || she shows the way to our young general

τον ήρωα της εθνικής αμύνης || the hero of the nation's army

που πολεμάει και διώχνει τους εχθρούς || who is fighting and beating the enemies.

Της αμύνης τα παιδιά διώξανε το βασιλιά || The boys in the army, they kicked out the king

και του δώσαν τα βρακιά του || and they handed him his trousers *

για να πάει στη δουλειά του || that he might go off to work

τον περίδρομο να τρώει με το ξένο του το σόι || that he might eat himself sick on his strange foreign food.

Έλα να δεις σπαθιά και γιαταγάνια || Come on and look at the swords and sabres *

που βγάζουν φλόγες και φτάνουν στα ουράνια || which spit fire and reach up to the skies

εκεί ψηλά ψηλά στα σύνορά μας || up there, up, on our borders,

τρέχει ποτάμι το αίμα του εχθρού || a river flows, the blood of our enemy.

Της αμύνης τα παιδιά διώξανε το βασιλιά || The boys in army, they kicked out the king,

της αμύνης το καπέλο έφερε το Βενιζέλο || the army's hat was put on by Venizelos,

της αμύνης το σκουφάκι || the army's cap

έφερε το Λευτεράκη || Lefteraki put it on

Notes.

Kings: specifically, Constantine I, king of Greece 1913-17 and 1920-22.

Venizelos: not the homonymous present minister of culture (who wouldn't pass the physical for any army), but the statesman, 1864-1936, born in Crete and started his career figthing Crete's way out of the Ottoman empire and into Greece. As prime minister under king Constantine, he disagreed with the king about who to support in WW1, and since he supported the winners, the king was ousted in 1917 (not permanently though). Venizelos later implemented the dream of taking Asia Minor into Greece, with disastrous results (for a description, listen to "Μικρά Ασία").

Trousers: I suspect this is about the "european trousers" versus the greek man's wear, either baggy trousers or pleat skirt. The first (bavarian) king of Greece, Otto, forced into exile in 1862, liked to wear the foustanella in Germany as sign of devotion to Greece. I don't know if Constantine did so as well.

Sabre: actually the slightly curved turkish sabre, with the wide, flat, concave end, is often called yatagan in English too.

References:

The song is on Σταύρος Ξαρχάκος - Συναυλία - http://www.dalaras.com/diskoi/albums/stavr...os_xarhakos.htm

For the history notes I checked R. Clogg "A concise history of Greece", an excellent book, and widely available (even in Greek and Turkish).

Did I hear someone say I'm a bit overserious about this?

What do you mean :D - a bit? :p

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Some corrections to your translation and historical reference:

"Αμυνης" is translated to "Defence". It refers to the National Defense movement (Εθνική ’μυνα), that was a military organisation that made a coup and brought Venizelos in power.

που έδιωξε απ' την Αθήνα τα θηρία || that it (the national defense movement) sent the beasts away from Athens

Και στην άμυνα εκεί όλοι οι αξιωματικοί || And there in the Defense are all the officers

δείχνει το δρόμο στο νέο στρατηγό μας || she shows the way to our new general

τον ήρωα της εθνικής αμύνης || the hero of National Defense

Της αμύνης τα παιδιά διώξανε το βασιλιά || The boys of Defense, they kicked out the king

τον περίδρομο να τρώει με το ξένο του το σόι || that he might eat himself sick, along with his foreign family

της αμύνης το καπέλο έφερε το Βενιζέλο || the Defense's hat has brought Venizelos,

έφερε το Λευτεράκη || has brought Lefteraki (refers to Venizelos, whos first name was Eleftherios - Lefteris)

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