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Vangelis and Irene Papas lyrics -  Rapsodies lyrics (English translation)

 Vangelis and Irene Papas: Rapsodies (lyrics)

*   1    Ti Ipermacho Stratigo (to my champion and commander)    6:51        Cover from Vangelis and Irene Papas album: Rapsodies
2 O! Gliki Mou Ear (Oh, my sweet Springtime) 8:40
3 Ton Nimfona Sou Vlepo (I see your bridal chamber, all bedecked) 1:36
* 4 Rapsodia (Rhapsody) 5:24
5 Tin Oreotita Tis Parthenias Sou (The beauty of your virginity and the splendor of your purity) 4:39
6 Christos Anesti (Resurrection) 7:20
** 7 Asma Asmaton (Song of songs) 11:14
Total playing time 45:52
* = instrumental

** = "Song of Songs" is a poetic, modern Greek translation of a portion of the Song of Solomon.Translation of Solomon's poem by Lefteris Papadopoulos
Music arranged, produced en performed (all instruments) by Vangelis
Vocals: Irene Papas.
Recorded at NEMO Studio (London), 1986
Sound Engineer: Jess Sutcliffe
Assistant Sound Engineer: John Martin
Orriginal album cover design: Nokos Kostopoulos.
Copyright owned by: Spheric B.V. Holland

See also Greek Rapsodies lyrics and transliteration

Irene Papas (or Pappas) (born near Corinth as Irini Lelekou (September 3 1929  - September 14, 2022) was a Greek actress and singer with a career spanning more than 50 years!
She performed in many plays and movies. For some of the plays Vangelis provided the score.
Irene Papas sings on the last Aphrodite's Child album "666" (1971) the song 'Infinity' (oo).
The first album they made together was "Odes" (recorded in 1978).
The second album they made together was  "Rapsodies" (recorded in 1986).

Lyrics transcribed from CD recording (lyrics not available on sleeve or in booklet).


Ti ipermacho stratigo (To the defending female general: to my champion and commander)

[The hymn is part of the "Cheretismi" (literally "Greetings", but here meaning "Hail Mary"s). In the early 7th century Konstantinople was besieged by the Avars while emperor Heraclius was missing fighting the Persians (to recover the Holy Cross, says the propaganda) and legend says that the Virgin Mary appeared on the walls of the city as a huge female warrior and wherever she passed the besiegers died, so they lifted the siege. The patriarch of Konstantinople immediately composed a big poem-hymn consisting of 24 stanzas (each starting from one letter of the greek alphabet) praising her and the very same night they sang it in churches without sitting throughout the night (So it was called "O Akathistos Ymnos", the non-sitting hymn). No, I don't believe it either, but it's a nice story. Anyway, now the poem embellished with lots of extra stuff is sung every Friday during the Lent (6 letters every day for the first 4 Fridays and the entire poem during the 5th), and this services are called "Cheretismi"; this is the basic hymn (not part of the poem though). So it is both happy and martial. The words are omitted by Vangelis but they are along the lines "Let's thank the defending [she-]general because she saved her city from disaster, and since you are so powerful, liberate me from all kinds of dangers so that I will yell to you "Hail, unmarried bride". "Unmarried Bride" is an oxymoron in Greek (Nymphe Anympheute), and it's a name for V.M. because according to Orthodox teaching she didn't get married to Joseph]


O! gliki mou ear lyrics (Oh, my sweet springtime [the season])

[This is sung during the thursday before Easter and it is supposed to be the lament of virgin Mary when she saw the dead Jesus]

-"The perfume-bringing women sprinkled the grave with perfumes, having come very early in the morning; Your all-pure mother started lamenting because you, Word, were dead. And the young girl" [this still means the V.M., never mind how old she was!] "was crying, with warm tears, tearing her insides"

- "Oh, my sweet spring, my sweetest child, where has your beauty set?"

[The word used is special for the setting of the sun, so the beauty of Jesus has set like the sun. And of course, Jesus was the Word, as in the beginning of John's gospel].

- "All the generations praise by [a] hymn your burial, [my Good/Beautiful]"

- "Oh, my sweet spring" [ etc.]


Ton nimfona sou vlepo lyrics (I see your bridal chamber)

[This is sung the Sunday before easter and refers to the parable of the stupid virgins who were invited to a wedding but because the groom was late they burned the oil from their lamps so they could not join the procession afterwards, when the groom came, while the clever virgins still had their oil (of course they had taken advantage of the fact that they could see from the light of the stupid ones, and anyway the fault was the groom's, since he was late, but I understand it means that a good Christian should always be prepared because you never know when the second coming will be here.

- "I see your bridal chamber decorated, my Savior; but I have no clothes [appropriate] to come inside. Please, make the clothes of mysoul shine, oh Lightgiver, and save me"


Tin oreotita tis parthenias sou lyrics (The beauty of your Virginity)

[Words: (When Gabriel saw)]
- "The beauty of your virginity and the super-shining of your chastity, surprised he cried to you, mother-of-god:
(But we don't learn what Gabriel said, at least here)"


Christos Anesti lyrics (Christ is risen: Resurrection)

[This is the basic Easter hymn. Background: Easter is the biggest religious holiday in Greece, much bigger than X-mas; also it is later than the Catholic Easter, so the weather is good enough for the celebration to be outdoors. The liturgy is at midnight, and everybody has a big candle. At some point the lights go off, and the priest lights his candle from the lamp-that-never-goes-off and then the priest lights the candles of the nearby persons and they give the light to others and soon everybody has a lit candle and tries to avoid turning into an auto-da-fe from the candles of the neighbors, and at exactly midnight the priest starts singing the "Christos Anesti" hymn, the bells start ringing like mad, fireworks go off, and everybody starts kissing everybody around him, and then when people go home the head of the family uses the candle to make a cross with smoke at the lintel of the front door (to keep evil from entering) and lights the lamp in front of the icons with the same candle, and the lamp is supposed to stay on till next year - I mean of course an oil lamp. And for the next 40 days, the greeting is not Good morning or whatever, but "Christos Anesti", to which one issupposed to answer "Alithos Anesti" (Truly he has risen)]

- "Christ is risen from the dead, having beaten Death by [his own] death and having given the gift of life to those in the graves."


Asma asmaton lyrics (The song of songs)

"Song of Songs" is a poetic, modern Greek translation of a portion of the Song of Solomon. Translation of Solomon's poem by Lefteris Papadopoulos.

[Well, I shouldn't dare translate the only work of the bible that I like as a work of art, but just to give you an idea of what parts of the book are included, plus it is a "poetic" modern Greek translation so it might not be exact]

-"How beautiful you are, my beloved, how beautiful you are!"
"Your look is sweet and tender like a pigeon's."
"None of the beautiful women can compete with you:"
"You are like a lilly, and they are like thorns."
"Your red lips are like a red thread."
"Your pink cheeks behind your veil look like a pomegranate that was cut in two."
"Your two breasts look like twin gazelles that went out to graze among the lilly flowers."


"Kiss me, kiss me with all the kisses you have in your mouth make me drunk with the sweetest wine of your embrace and your name is perfume, myrrh spilled on the floor."
"You are the fragrance of all the perfumes together Yes, when you touch me I get more drunk than when I drink My man, you only deserve to be loved."
Beautiful, flawless you are my beloved

(Double sigh)

"You have stolen my heart, my beloved, my sister with a single glance from you, with a single pearl on your neck."
"Your two sweet lips drip honey; honey and milk slowly flow under your tongue."
"You are a closed garden, fool of flowers, my beloved."
"A spring with flowing water, "
"A paradise of coolness, a paradise of fragrances your every [unintelligible] Cinammon, sweet-reed, nard and saffron, and sweet-smelling roots, and insence, and myrrh, and aloe, and every perfume you can name, smells on you."


"Rise, North Wind; Come, South Wind, blow on my branches, to scatter my fragrances everywhere"
"Rise, North Wind; Come, South Wind, blow on my branches, to scatter my perfumes everywhere (twice) And let my man come down, to the garden that belongs to him, to taste whatever fruit he wants from its branches, to taste whatever fruit he wants from *MY* branches"
[Faraway voice]
"Beautiful, sweet like a pigeon's, none of the beautiful women"
.... [voice disappearing]


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The information on this WEB is ONLY for private use
Transcribing of the Greek lyrics, translation and additional comments by PERICLES KONDOS (received via Fergus Lalor)

For more information, go to Movements, Rapsodies page

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