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الموضوع: pirates

  1. #1
    efi Guest

    Question pirates

    Dear friends, here is a song that I have recently come across. Nor the music neither the poetry is amazing. What is interesting about it though is its topic: the pirates.

    During 1930 a team of Greek and French specialists undertook the first extensive recording of Greek folk songs. From Asia Minor refugees a relatively small number of songs were recorded, which are included in a very nice CD of the Musical Loographical Archive of Greece. The songs were sung and musically accompanied by amateur singers that would sing for the community in occasions and parties for their pleasure and with no payment. The song attached here is from the Black See coast.

    To understand the feelings and the situations under which these songs were sung, I would like to refer to Hertzfeld and quote him:

    ‘The refugees [that were included in the exchange of the populations between Greece and Turkey], although divided among themselves by both class and place of origin, struck the local people as forming a closely knit and unified community of their own. The newcomers soon came to sense the local hostility to their presence, which they reciprocated with and attitude of cultural condescension (see as well Cowan, and Hirshon). They reacted by developing strongly commercial forms of solidarity:

    At that time, all the Mikrasiates were very united who had settled in Rethimno, and they had many shared parties. Very fine parties. It seems that the apokries [pre-Lenten Carnival] they made merry each evening at one house, all of them together! Each one brought his meal, and they gathered in the particular house –each time at a different one- and each knew, most of them at least- how to play some musical instrument; my mother could play the mandolin when she was young, and they held parties ….’

    (Michael Herzfeld, a place in History: social and monumental time in a Cretan town) Princeton studies, New Jersey 1991)

    I chose to add one song here that talks about pirates. I find the topic particularly interesting, as it is one that is broadly circulated in the Greek islands, the Asia Minor cost and beyond.

    Here are the lyrics that reveal a world of pirates.
    Εγω κουρσαρος ημουνα,
    Κι αφεντις μου κουρσαρος,
    Κι ο πιο μικρος μας αδελφος
    Ηταν πρωτοκουρσαρος,
    Μια Παρπαρια κουρσευαμε,
    Μια Πολη μας τρομαζει,
    Κι αυτα τα δωδεκα νησια,
    Χαρατσι μας πλερωνουν,
    Πεντε φεργαδες ημαστε,
    Κι οι πεντε αρματωμενοι,
    Κι απ τον πουνεντι φυγαμε,
    Και στον λεβαντι παμε,
    Πιακε μας νοτος και βοριας,
    Μαιστρος, τραμουντανα,
    Λιμιωνα δεν ευρικαμε,
    Να παμ’ να κατεβουμε,
    Κατς στους μιλους πηγαμε,
    Κατω στον Αι-Γιωργη,
    Βγαλαμε βαρτια στο γιαλο
    Και βαρτια στο καραβι,
    Και βαρτια στιν ακρογιαλια,
    Και βαρτια απο πανω,
    Τ’ απαν’ η βαρτια μας εφωναξε,
    Λυπητερα μας λεει
    ‘Μουχταρ πασας μας πλακωσε
    με ολην την αρμαδα’
    ‘ποιος ηταν του Τζανετι ο γιος,
    τ’ αξιο το παλικαρι;
    κανεις, κανεις δε φωναξε,
    κανεις δε συλλογιστε
    και του Τζανετι ο γιος εφωναξε,
    το αξιο το παλικαρι,
    ‘εγω ειμαι τοθ Τζανετι ο γιος,
    τ’αξιο το παλικαρι,
    ι εγω καραβια σ’εκαψα,
    φεργαδες σου βουλιαξα,
    και τωρα που με πιακες,
    γλυτομονι δεν εχς
    ορτα λαβαντα παιδια,
    τραβηξτε παλαμαρια,
    κι εμε γραφει η πλωρη μοθ,
    πολεμο για να κανω,
    αιντε στην πρυμνη, βρε παιδια,
    ρωμεικα παλικαρια,
    σημερις γεννηθηκαμε,
    σημερις θα χαθουμε,
    για του Χριστου μας το ονομα,
    ελευτερια να βρουμε.’
    Ριχνουν τα τοπια σαν βροχη,
    Κρουσουμια σαν χαλαζι,
    Κι αυτα τα λιανοντουφεκα,
    Σαν αμμος της θαλασσης,
    Ολον υγια μας και χαρα,
    Χαρα στα παλικαρια
    Χαρα στα οινιωτικα παιδια,
    Ρωμεικα παλικαρια’.

    I was a pirate,
    And my master was a pirate,
    And our younger brother,
    Was a first-head pirate,
    We were plundering a Berber land, [Tunisia, or Algeria]
    A city is scared of us,
    And these twelve islands,
    Pay us a tribute,
    We were five ships,
    And the five armoured.
    And we left by northwestern wind,
    And we go towards the southeast,
    We were struck by southern and northern winds
    Maestros, tramoundana [I don’t know these winds, sorry…]
    We did not find harbour,
    So that we get down,
    We went down to the mills,
    Down to St.George,
    We put people on a shift [to watch what is happening] on the shore,
    And a shift on the ship,
    And a shift on the shore,
    And a shift above,
    And the shift from above called us:
    And the shift from above called us:
    With sad voice it tells us:
    ‘Mukhtar Pasa is over us,
    With all the flit’
    ‘Who is the son of Janeti,
    The capable young man?’
    No one, no one answered,
    No one thought;
    And the son of Janeti shouted,
    The capable youth,
    ‘ I am the son of Janeti,
    The capable youth,
    And I have burnt your ships,
    I made boats sink,
    And now that you got hold of me,
    There is no escape
    Orta lavanta [I don’t know this nautical term] kids,
    Pull up the ropes that hold the clothes,
    And it is written on the frontal part of my boat
    To make war,
    Go to the back of the boat kids,
    Robust youth of rum-Greek,
    We were born today,
    Today and we will perish [from life, die]
    For the name of Christ,
    In order to find freedom.’
    They throw the bombs like rain,
    Iron balls like hale,
    And the shootings,
    Like the sand of the see.
    To all of us happiness,
    Happiness to the robust youth,
    Happiness to the sons of Inoi,
    The Rum-Greek youth.

    In this song we have to do with a case of bandits on a boat that clash with the Sultan’s fleet. The transition from the condition of initiating violence [we were plundering a Berber land, a city is scared of us, and this twelve islands, pay us a tribute,] they become fighters of freedom [Robust youth of rum-Greek, We were born today, Today and we will perish [from life, die] For the name of Christ, In order to find freedom.’]. This is a rare but clear case where the pirates are viewed with sympathy and understanding in popular imagination.

    To further understand the topic, I need to ask you to add any songs with all information possible that you may have of songs in Greek that talk about pirates.

    Here is the biography of the participants in the recordings, as they were explained to Melpo Merlie and Dimitri Loukopoulo at during the recording at 1930. I give these details here so that you get an idea of what the participants thought of themselves. They all come from Inoi, a town nearby Trabzon. It is noteworthy that the dialect of the singers is not pontic Greek, but the softer Asia Minor dialect.

    Grigoriadi Sevasti (singing): 50 years old, illiterate, worker came to Greece with the exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey at 1922.

    Theodorou Despoina (singing): 36 years old, born in Inoi. She finished a school for boys because there was no school for girls. She became a kinder garden teacher and worked for a year in Fatsa, a village three hours away by boat. Unmarried, and sister of Christos Eftihiades.

    Sergiades theodoros (instrumental): born in Inoi, 50 years old. Worker and musician. He plays the violin. He went to school for a while. His address is: kastraki, Stathmos Larissis, Ksilini Gefira.

    Leoglu Despina (singing): born in Inoi, 50 years old, illiterate, unmarried. Her father used to have a small supermarket [bakalik] store. Her mother and her grandmother –her name was Ligeri- were ‘tragoudianoi’, known singers. Her address: Sinikismos, 48 or factory of dough, ‘Vion’.

    Sergianoglou Anastasia (singing): She came to Greece at 1924 with the exchange of populations. She is staying at the Sinikismo aeriofotos.

    Koubarnta Eleni (singing): She came to Greece at 1924 with the exchange of populations. She is staying at the Sinikismo aeriofotos.

    Mistopoulou Elpiniki: She came to Greece at 1924 with the exchange of populations. She is staying at the Sinikismo aeriofotos.

    Eftixiades Christos (singing): he brought the abovementioned women that sing to be recorded. He resides in Piraeus, Kolokotroni Street.
    الملفات المرفقة الملفات المرفقة

  2. #2
    تاريخ التسجيل
    Jul 2005

    إفتراضي Efi

    Now that's what I call a contribution from an Anthorpologist.

    A wonderful Hicaz song.

    thanks Efi

  3. #3
    تاريخ التسجيل
    Mar 2006
    Paris, France


    Thanks for this interesting song (I wouldn't go as far as "wonderful"...). As for this "tramoundana" wind, in southern France, "Tramontane" is the northwest > southest wind. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tramontane

    Keep sending those files !


  4. #4
    تاريخ التسجيل
    Sep 2005
    البلاد المنخفضة.....Netherlands


    thank you very much Efi for your elaborated post ...
    i thought they mean with the 12 islands , the ones that used to be in front of Algiers (the ones the name "Al-Jazayer "in arabic comes from, which literally means "the islands ") ..however looking at wikipedia , mentions they were only 4 islands i just thaught of Algeirs because it was a famous pirate city on its own

  5. #5


    We received the following message from an unknown source (unsigned) in reaction to this thread:
    I am writing you only to mention that I read the message of your member efi about pirates for pirates forum . Well parparia is not at Tunisia, or Algeria is a village at Chios an island at Aegean sea and the 12 islands are probably a complex of 12 in Aegean sea also (we call it dodekanisa)
    Thank you.

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