Episode 5: Ρεμπέτικα ΙΙ (special)

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Episode 5: Ρεμπέτικα ΙΙ (special)
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We have already walked through the lands of pre-war Ρεμπέτικα, so in episode 5, the time has arrived to continue, by crossing the border and discover what’s out there, beyond the Second World War and τεκέδες! And what better guide than Σώτος Ζαχαριάδης – a painter of these musical landscapes and native speaker of μπουζούκι – to take us there with his stories? Make sure you have your passports ready for the next episode of Αγάπη, Τσίπουρο, Μπουζούκι & Roll, Dear Listeners: the post-war Ρεμπέτικα (Rebetika)

(and because we sometimes forget essential stories, in the middle of Life’s rushing turmoil…)

The second I put on

my grandfather’s brown jacket,

I had the sensation I was going

to have a meeting with Fate.

It surely lives away

from all comfort!

Fate’s address is not on

Easy Life street.

I took the few things I had,

my paintings…

“Είμαι ένας ζωγράφος” –

everything I find on the road

shall be my ink!

Tomorrow I may be broke,

dancing Ρεμπέτικα…

Further consolations than this,

τσίπουρο, and μπουζούκι…?

– Stories! Stories to paint!

It just makes me sad

all those which will remain to be told…

but, then again,

there is always time

for another one:

The song “Νίκος ο Τρελάκιας” (Crazy Nikos) is inspired by the life of Nikos Mathesis, an important composer of rempetiko. He was always in trouble. Once, to protect himself, he killed a guy, Kostas Strigklas. The two men, who had fought several times in the past, had made an incredible agreement. Nikos abided by it. As he described it later: “on Good Friday, I went to his grave and I got high and then I crapped! Because we had an agreement that whoever kills the other, he will go to crap on his grave! And so I did “.

Song list (by order of appearance):

1. Αλήτη μ’ είπες μια βραδιά, by Σωτηρία Μπέλλου (You called me bum one night)

2. Μάγκας βγήκε για σεργιάνι, by Μάρκος Βαμβακάρης & Β.Τσιτσάνης ((A tough guy went for an amble)

3. Μ’ έχεις μαγεμένο, by Δημήτρης Γκόγκος aka Μπαγιαντέρας (You have bewitched me)

4. Μάρω (Έλα στο λιμάνι), by Χατζηχρήστος (Maro [Come to the port])

5. Νύχτωσε χωρίς φεγγάρι, by Στέλλα Χάσκιλ (A night without a moon)

6. Γιατί με ξύπνησες πρωί, by Β.Τσιτσάνης (Why did you wake me up in the morning)

7. Ντροπιασμένος στη ζωή, by Πρόδρομος Τσαουσάκης (Ashamed in the life)

8. Ατακτη, by Μάρκος Βαμβακάρης (Naughty)

9. Δε ρωτώ ποια είσαι, by Β. Τσιτσάνης & Χ. Λαμπράκη (I don’t ask who you are)

10. Τα ομορφα τα γαλανά σου μάτια, by Μάρκος Βαμβακάρης (Your beautiful blue eyes)

11. Μάνα μου Ελλάς (Τα ψεύτικα τα λόγια), by Σταύρου Ξαρχάκου & Στίχοι Νίκου Γκάτσου (My mother Hellas [The fake words])

12. Στου Θωμά το μαγαζί, by Σταύρου Ξαρχάκου & Στίχοι Κώστα Φέρρη (At Thomas’ place)

13. Contratto per Karelias, by Vinicio Capossela (Contract for Karelias)


Additional material for extra-curious listeners:

Σώτος’ Ρεμπέτικα paintings
Ρεμπέτικο (1983) movie soundtrack:
Recent Ρεμπέτικα-based albums made by foreign musicians:

Other episodes:

Post Author: Bernardo Guerra Machado

It has been 24 years of having dense, made in Portugal eyebrows. Despite not being able to drink from champagne flutes due to his big nose, he has recently concluded a master in Evolution and Human Behaviour. Feels passionate about gathering unexpected stories and understanding the process of learning a new culture.

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