Greece – Five traditional songs and stories from Athens

HRDC have been working with Elderly Open Care Centre of Palaio Faliro, documenting traditional songs that the elders have brought with them from their home villages and towns and using these songs to form networks which have now become small choirs. Three of these choirs, all members over 80, each performed for us.

  1. A potpourri of songs, that are called “kalamatiana”. The “Kalamatianos” is a traditional dance, a type of syrtos dance and it is danced all over Greece.  The dance pattern consists of twelve movements danced simultaneously by all dancers.
  2. “Tzivaeri” – The song is talks migration and expresses the mother’s distress for her children who have migrated.  The meaning of the word “Tzivaeri” is jewel, gold and provides us with an idea of the love a mother has to her children. The mother’s sorrow is endless because she advised her son to migrate due to difficulties but she misses him very much.
  3. “ Tiki tiki tak” - The song is originated from Ionia of Asia Minor. It is a happy love song that express the fears and hopes of the lovers. The first recordings were found in Smyrna in 1911 and in Istanbul in 1913.
  4. “I don’t want you anymore” - The song is urban style song, coming from Smyrna, Asia Minor.  The song is about a woman who doesn’t want her  husband/lover anymore because he makes her suffer. The first recording was found in old Smyrna somewhere in 1908.
  5. “Farewell, Virgin Mary” - It is perhaps the best known and the most traditional Greek song. The locations mentioned in the song are areas of Istanbul former Konstantinopolis. It is referring to some villages near the area and it is referring to the Virgin Mary explaining the activities that she would like to do in those villages.

Greek Songs – 1 from UCA on Vimeo.

Greek Songs – 2 from UCA on Vimeo.

Greek Songs – 3 from UCA on Vimeo.

Greek Songs – 4 from UCA on Vimeo.

Greek Songs – 5 from UCA on Vimeo.

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