A Boy’s Solitude

Since the 1920s the narrative of the Greek popular song tells one major story:

There is a dejected guy (“Το πικραμένο αγόρι”)

who cannot have the girl he loves because of his possessive mother (“Μπιζέρισα”)

and there is a friend who asks him to go together for a walk to the moon (“Πάμε μιά βόλτα στο φεγγάρι”, here with the original lyrics).

The pattern of the Greek song and the function of the Greek family are based on this story.

The story has worked its way through several arts
such as painting (Yiannis Tsarouhis), theater (Karolos Koun), dance (Dimitris Papaioannou), lyrics (Nikos Gatsos), and film (Michalis Cacoyannis), and song (Stelios Kazanzidis) but nobody captured it as devastatingly as Manos Hadjidakis did in his 1958 ballet Ερημιά/Solitude:

“Κάθε τρελό παιδί”

Στίχοι – Μουσική: Μάνος Χατζιδάκις. Πρώτη εκτέλεση: Νανά Μούσχουρη

Κείνο το πρωί του είπα καλημέρα
…κείνο το πρωί του είπα καλημέρα.

Κάθε τρελό παιδί 
έχει στο χέρι

φιλί της Παναγιάς
κι ένα μαχαίρι.

Κι η μάνα του δεν τραγουδά
… κι η μάνα του δεν τραγουδά.

Κάθε που σφάζονται
 δυο περιστέρια

η νύχτα καίγεται 
στα δυο του χέρια.

Και το κορίτσι δε μιλά
… και το κορίτσι δε μιλά.

June 27, 2014

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