What is your favourite Zeibekiko song and why?

By: | Post date: 2017-01-10 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Modern Greek, Music

My fellow Greeks have made excellent choices. So I have to choose another one.

My choice fails Achilleas Vortselas’ criteria. They are the right criteria, they are what makes a zeibekiko such a joy to dance to. But I’m choosing a zeibekiko which isn’t as danceable, isn’t as heavy, isn’t as underworld, but is just as great, and is in its way, transcendent.

At Nick Nicholas’ answer to What are the top 5 best Greek Songs of all time?, I named one such zeibebiko: Mikis TheodorakisOne Evening.

This is the other one by Theodorakis. Drapetsona. 1960. Lyrics: Tasos Livaditis.

Drapetsona was, then and now, a working class suburb of Peiraeus. And the lyrics match.

stixoi.info: Δραπετσώνα. The original performance by Bithikotsis, with Hiotis’ virtuoso obbligato.

Built with blood. Sorrow with every stone.
Bitterness and sobs with every nail.
Yet when we’d get back from work each evening,
me and her, dreams and kisses.

The wind and rain would beat it down,
but it was a haven, an embrace, a solace.
Ah, our little house, too, had a soul.

Take our wedding crowns, take our geranium.
There’s no life for us in Drapetsona any more.
Hold my hand, and let’s go, my love.
We’ll live, though we’re poor.

A bed and a cradle in the corner.
Stars and birds through the holes in the roof.
Sweat and sighs with each door.
A sky in each window.

And when the evening came,
the lads would party in the narrow alley.
Ah, our little house, too, had a heart.

Take our wedding crowns, take our geranium.
There’s no life for us in Drapetsona any more.
Hold my hand, and let’s go, my love.
We’ll live, though we’re poor.

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