Friday, January 6, 2012

Νάνα Μούσχουρη - ΚΑΘΕ ΤΡΕΛΟ ΠΑΙΔΙ

This has a history, too, a very long one. I loved this song for years, at least since the late '70s, but had no idea what the words meant. On the British Concert Album, Nana Mouskouri announced the title as "Wilderness", so I assumed it was about a long, lonely walk through a barren landscape, or perhaps through a dark forest full of frightening sounds. Turns out it has nothing to do with any of that! 

Since I am having trouble seeing the subtitles, I assume you will too, so I will transcribe:

That daybreak
I said good morning to him, oh, oh.
That daybreak
I said good morning to him, oh, oh.

Every madcap young man
is holding in his hand
a kiss given by Virgin Mary
and a knife

and his mother doesn't sing
and his mother doesn't sing.

When someone's slaughtering two doves
the night is burning in his two hands
and the girl doesn't speak

and the girl doesn't speak.

It's a strange, spare, paradoxical and somewhat frightening poem about the duality of humankind, the beauty and the violence of youth, and the ways in which people are silenced by fear - or does it mean something else? What's a madcap young man, anyway? Now that I finally have the English lyrics, it's more mysterious than ever. (I did find the composer's name - Manos Hadjidakis - vaguely familiar, though I don't know if he also wrote these incredible words.)