Monday, February 28, 2005

It's Really Better When You Don't Do These Things Phonetically

How long have I been singing the Greek national anthem? Since I was what, 7? How many times did I get up in front of hundreds and hundreds of people to belt it into a microphone? At least 3, right? (oh man, I still can't believe I did a significant percentage of the Buffalo population has heard me sing...the horror.)

Have I ever known what the words meant?

I remember Dad explained it to me once - something about fallen bones and the holy Greeks, and "hair[e] o hair[e], eleftheria", which is "freedom is awesome!" - but I never got a real honest translation.

Thank God for Google, my friends, because the Greek national anthem could beat the crap out of the Star Spangled Banner. It's 100 verses long or some such craziness, but I won't subject you to that. I'm not evil.

The Hellenic National Anthem
A translation in English by Rudyard Kipling in 1918

We knew thee of old,
Oh, divinely restored,
By the lights of thine eyes
And the light of thy Sword

From the graves of our slain
Shall thy valour prevail
As we greet thee again-
Hail, Liberty! Hail!

Long time didst thou dwell
Mid the peoples that mourn,
Awaiting some voice
That should bid thee return.

Ah, slow broke that day
And no man dared call,
For the shadow of tyranny
Lay over all:

And we saw thee sad-eyed,
The tears on thy cheeks
While thy raiment was dyed
In the blood of the Greeks.

Yet, behold now thy sons
With impetuous breath
Go forth to the fight
Seeking Freedom or Death.

From the graves of our slain
Shall thy valour prevail
As we greet thee again-
Hail, Liberty! Hail!

Lyrics: --Dionysios Solomos, 1824

FROM THE GRAVES OF OUR SLAIN SHALL THY VALOR PREVAIL! And then, 100 years later, we shall attempt to turn Communist. But shhhh...that's on the down low.

(in case you couldn't tell, I'm hopped up on caffeine and procrastinating. As usual.)


Blogger Coral Clarke said...

The tune is better than ours, too.

2/28/2005 8:26 AM  
Anonymous Craig said...

So that singer whose name is Eleftheria Arvanitaki... does this mean her first name is "freedom" or is it "awesome?"

(maybe awesome. she is pretty hot.)

2/28/2005 3:15 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

By crosschecking the translations, you can see that it is Freedom. However, she is also awesome and her CD is the oldest in my current collection. If only other people knew who she was. sigh.

2/28/2005 5:03 PM  

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