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Greece at War

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Published on Oct 28, 2006

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The Greco-Italian War was a conflict between Italy and Greece from October 28, 1940 to April 6, 1941. It marked the beginning of the Balkans Campaign of World War II.
The song is "Παιδιά της Ελλάδος Παιδιά" (Paidia tis Ellados Paidia), roughly translated into English as "Ye children of Greece". It became our national song in the winter of 1940 & a reminder of our struggle against the Italian invaders. It goes like this (a free translation by me):
"Wondering in the streets,
the mothers seek their children,
who vouched for victory,
when they left them
at the train station.

Yet, for those who are gone,
and have found glory,
mourning is inappropriate
let us be joyful for them.

Chorus:
Ye, children of Greece,
who fight a harsh war
on the mountains,
we pray to the sweet Virgin,
for your safe return.

I say to the women who love
and wake at their thought
and breathe a sigh,
that the bitterness of parting
and the quiver
are incompatible with the honest Greek women.

Ye girls of Zalongon*,
city-girls or village-girls
though we might hurt,
let us say with pride like the Souli women

Chorus:
Ye, children of Greece,
who fight a harsh war
on the mountains,
we pray to the sweet Virgin,
for your safe return.

With the victory laurels,
we're waiting for your return,
children".
*During our war of independence in 1821, near a mountain called Zalongon in Epirus, a Greek village was attacked by the Turks. The Turkish soldiers slew every male they could find. The women and children to avoid their fate (slavery), they joined hands, they danced their last dance and fell of the edge of a cliff on the mountain of Zalongon. There's a song named "the dance of Zalongon" written to honour these women who threw their kids of the edge of the cliff and then leaped to their own deaths and goes like this:
"Have joy and health, ill-fated world. Have joy and health, mountains and streams. But just as the fish can't live on sand, the women of Souli can't live without freedom".

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