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Fernando_e_Rita

κυρ Κωστάκη έλα κοντά

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ΚΥΡ ΚΩΣΤΑΚΗ ΕΛΑ ΚΟΝΤΑ || Signor Kostaki venga vicino

Μουσική: Παραδοσιακό || Musica: tradizionale

Στίχοι: Παραδοσιακό || Versi: tradizionali

Εμένα μου το είπανε || Me lo hanno detto

κυρ Κωστάκη έλα κοντά || signor Kostaki venga vicino

ανθρώποι μερακλήδες || uomini che se ne occupano

τα μελιτζανιά || le melanzane

να μην τα βάλεις πια || non metterle più

Πως την καλύτερη ζωή || Come la vita migliore

κυρ Κωστάκη έλα κοντά || signor Kostaki venga vicino

την κάνουν οι μπεκρήδες || la fanno gli ubriaconi

πάπια χήνα μου || papera oca mia

να 'χεις το κρίμα μου || abbi la mia colpa

Στη βρύση που 'πινα νερό || Alle fontane dove ho bevuto acqua

κυρ Κωστάκη έλα κοντά || signor Kostaki venga vicino

τώρα το πίνουν άλλοι || ora bevono altri

δεν ξαναπερνώ || non ci passerò più

από τούτο το στενό || da questo vicolo

Έναν καιρό ήμουν άγγελος || Una volta ero messaggero

κυρ Κωστάκη έλα κοντά || signor Kostaki venga vicino

τώρα αγγελίζουν άλλοι || ora annunciano altri

έλα ταίρι μου || vieni compagno mio

και πιάσ' το χέρι μου || e prendi la mia mano

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As most of the folk songs it's a bit enigmatic - hints on forgotten history and includes local expressions not easy to understand. One is τα μελιτζανιά να μην τα βάλεις πιά alluding at a jailbird (someone in and out of jail where the aubergine some perceive as purple, others as dark blue was worn) in particular, or at being not free, the sense of freedom-deprivation coming from outside (Turkish occupation?) or inside (such as being in love or poor or whatever). That latter reading can be perceived from another folk song, from Rodos:

ΤΑ ΜΕΛΙΤΖΑΝΙΑ

Πέρδικα της ακρογιαλιάς

και ψάρι της θαλάσσης

-τα μελιτζανιά να μην τα βάλεις πιά-

Μεσ' την καρδιά μ'εφύτρωσε

δεντράκι με τους κλώνους

-Ελενίτσα μου, Μπαξεβανίτσα μου-

Ανθεί και βγάζει βάσανα

καρπεί και βγάζει πόνους

-θάλασσα περνώ μα δε σε λησμονώ -

Τ'αηδόνια της ανατολής

και τα πουλιά της δύσης

-τα μελιτζανιά να μην τα βάζεις πιά -

Ολά γλυκά θα κελαηδούν

όταν θα μου μιλήσεις

τα μελιτζανιά να μην τα βάζεις πιά

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

So, the song about Mr. Kostaki might be translated as follows.

They've told me

- Mr. Kostaki, come here -

the upbeat people:

- Stop wearing aubergine colors -

That a better life

- Mr. Kostaki, come here -

you'll see when you are drunk.

My duck, my goose - take my sins upon you.

From that fountain source of my drinking water

- Mr. Kostaki, come here -

others drink now.

And I don't pass on that lane anymore.

I used to be a guest from heaven

- Mr. Kostaki, come here -

Now others are welcomed (there).

Come, my mate, take my hand.

Mr. Kostaki seems to be blaming himself for having stupidly trusted the smart people - and maybe lost his house? Or is the tap where he used to take his drinking water a metaphor? At least the dictionaries say that ducks and geese may be associated with someone who behaves as a simpleton or stupid. Mr. Kostaki was evidently duped into something. They said: come here and gave him a boot. Whatever is was, the situation is recognizable by many of us and therefore I am curious to know. Who can tell?

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Thank you so much Vitaly2, I really enjoyed the translation and your annotations. I happened to listen to this song a number of times

yesterday by Giorgos Vasilakis from the album "Aroma Polis"....

Alona :D

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and while we are delving into the song, here's Dalaras

with Xronis Aidonidis and children's choir

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Community work does help - to someone whose thought has gone astray (especially since she has one point in common with Mr. Kostaki: thinking too much.). I was looking for some historical events that would have caused the bitterness of Mr. Kostaki. But nothing had happened - except of life. Life happened with its teachings. Upon consideration I realized that this is JUST a love song. Mr. Kostaki is bitter not because of some trifle happenings such as an earthquake, a war or loss of his household - it was a much more important loss: loss of his trust. Possibly to someone who still lives on that lane being avoided now by the sensitive Mr.Kostaki, to someone who is, as we say in Russian, a splinter in the heart. Those readers and listeners who are in love, they certainly knew from the beginning, and those who think too much - missed the point (me). OK, discovered America again.

So, I corrected the above translation considering the following: "meraklides" don't carry a negative meaning. They are just upbeat people, party-goers. Let's get some drinks and go home - that's what they say. Cheer up - don't wear those boring colors (I don't believe that deep-purple is mentioned as mourning color anywhere except in fashion magazines - for those mourners who want to be different from common folks. It's just a boring color. I remember reading somewhere that Tony Blair appeared at an event in a suit of this color, nothing to do with mourning.). They do use this color in prisons - what can be more boring?

So, the fountain on that lane, once a source of happiness for his thirsty soul, is now not his, but belongs to others - apparently those who are now welcomed guests from the heaven instead of Mr. Kostaki. And he is left alone asking "Why?" instead of partying with the boozers. Mr. Kostaki, let's collect our "whys" and give them to the ducks, or geese. You still had a good company - your bouzouki, I assume? Take my hand, lets go rollerblading. :D

I hope there will be no confusion if I post here a free translation of this song - trying to match the meter, but true to the meaning?

And, as I just noticed, some lines were swapped in the Dalaras' singing against the version from the stixoi.gr site. This difference does not seem essential though.

Theyve told me: lets go for a drink

- Kir Kostaki, come along

All those merry people:

Past is in the past cheer up and have a drink.

That I will have a better life

- Kir Kostaki, come along

with a bottle of wine.

My duck, my goose you take my sins upon you.

Where I was once a welcome guest

- Kir Kostaki, come along

Now the others call their home.

I dont want to pass on that lane ever again.

That spring I drunk my water from

- Kir Kostaki, come along

Now the others call their own,

Come, my mate, lets go now take my hand.

P.S. Now, I have impression that the whole action is happening at a feast or some kind of holiday or party (music, music!). At the end Mr. Kostaki decided to go for a dance - good for him.

After all, the song sounds pretty much ironic (and the humor is his): Mr. Kostaki is at a loss: why wasn't he born one of those merry (and good) people who love wine and are loved by women. He is a melancholic who loves drinking from a pure spring of water, and then is deprived of this one source of his happiness.

And I have a strong suspicion that the song he wrote not just to express his melancholy - but in the hope that it will be heard by the owner of that water spring, maybe at the same party? :D

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Before delving into this song - as Alona mentioned :razz: - made a dissertation from the previous post I decided I better write a new one.

My husband (who is my first reader and critic) suggested that it is not necessarily a love song but something we might call A Song of Broken Connection. When he recently visited a place of his childhood and youth he experienced similar feelings of loss and alienation for something still hard to let go: might be a lover, a friend or a group of people or even a building or a street where you avoid to go now, after you realized that others call it their home. (I guess a Jew whose family used to be a part of Salonika might feel this way). This time I agree with my husband. :)

Mr. Kostaki seems one of those whose heart is shaped in a weird way: not smooth on the surface but rough with nooks and crevices, similar to the structure of the brain; and splinters are not pulled out so easily they sink and take roots (Oy-wey that my husband would not approve, but Ive already started).

Now, after that activity, I had invited Mr. Kostaki for in the previous post :) , has revived the part of my brain that is prone to going astray (I mean imagination, of course) I think I would like to translate the melitzania part as Past belongs to the past.

Looking at all the aubergine-related songs, especially the following lovely one:

Καλώς ανταμωθήκαμε όλα τ' αγαπημένα

από καιρό χαρούμενα και καλοκαρδισμένα

βρε το γιαλό γιαλό, το γιαλό γιαλό

ψαράκια κυνηγώ

Καλώς ήρθαν τα σύννεφα και φέραν τον αγέρα

και φέραν τους μαρμαρινούς που λείπανε στα ξένα

βρε τα μελιτζανιά, τα μελιτζανιά

να μην τα βάλεις πια

Όσοι καθόμαστε κοντά αράδα την αράδα

να μας φυλάει η Παναγιά και η Αγιά Τριάδα

βρε δεν τα πας καλά, δεν τα πας καλά

σ' αυτόν το μαχαλά

It seems that such translation works better than those previously tried so I made a correction in my final version in the above post (final until the next correction and its a free translation anyway). Cheers to all who like mousaka. :D And to Mr. Kostaki of course - he is almost a houshold name now: "Stop playing Kir Kostaki" we would say. Or "Cheer up - past is past".

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