How does a Greek traditional lullaby sound?

written by Europeana Sounds on September 21, 2015 in Content and Europeana Music and Guest post with no comments

This is a guest post by Marianna Anastasiou, The Music Library of Greece of the Friends of Music Society, CC BY-NC. This post appeared first on September 21, 2015 on Europeana Sounds blog.

How does a Greek traditional lullaby sound? How did women used to put babies to sleep in Greece 100 years ago? You can find the answer while listening to the most popular greek lullaby here on Europeana, entitled “Sleep my pampered child” (Kimisou chaidemeno mou, Κοιμήσου χαϊδεμένο μου)!

We are privileged to listen to an original song recording made in 1996 in Petrota, a village in the prefecure of Evros, in Northern Greece.

The amateur singer, Kiriaki Vetidou, recollects a traditional song that mothers used to sing while rocking their babies in their arms to put them to sleep.

Mrs Kiriaki Vetidou in 1996 in Petrota, Evros, Greece. FMS CC BY-NCMrs Kiriaki Vetidou in 1996 in Petrota, Evros, Greece. FMS CC BY-NC

The song has a chromatic melody in a free rhythm. If you concentrate on the lyrics you can hear the mother, in her effort to comfort and relax her baby as she states that she has taken care of some basic needs like the provision of her/his trousseau as well as the best quality of clothes and jewellery from Istanbul and Venice. Of course this comment serves as an ethnological observation, on acknowledging Constantinople/Istanbul, Turkey and Venice, Italy as the most active commercial centres of the times.

Mrs Kiriaki Vetidou in 1996 in Petrota, Evros, Greece. FMS CC BY-NCMrs Kiriaki Vetidou in 1996 in Petrota, Evros, Greece. FMS CC BY-NC

Here is a free translation of the lyrics:
Sleep my pampered child while I am lulling you
and rocking you in my arms to put you to sleep.
Sleep because I have ordered your trousseau in Constantinople
and your clothes and jewelry in Venice
Oh, nani, nani, my darling baby.



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