Balamo - Eleni Vitali (with Greek/Gypsy lyrics and English interpretation)





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Uploaded on Jul 22, 2009

Based on a Gypsy Greek folk song, this Dionysis Tsaknis composition is the basis of Tony Gatlif's Spanish Gypsy song Naci en Alamo in his film Vengo. Gatlif used the Spanish phrase "naci en Alamo" (meaning "born in Alamo"), which sounds like "Nas Balamo" (meaning "Leave outsider" in Greek/Gypsy). It is an example of how great music transcends languages, geography and cultures.

Here is a translation from a gypsy musician friend of plomari69:

Den eho topo, den eho elpida
-- I don't have a place, I don't have a hope
de tha me hasi, kamia patrida
-- no homeland will ever lose me
ke me ta heria mou ke tin kardia mou
-- and with my hands and my heart
ftiahno tsantiria sta onira mou
-- I make chadir (arabic-gypsy tent) in my dreams

Nas balamos, nas balamos
-- go away outsider(non gypsy), leave outsider
kai to loumno to afentiko
-- and the mean boss
nagia domles atze I balamo
-- does not accept the outsider (non-gypsy = white)

Ke ta ganikia mas otan chorevoun
-- and when our women dance
ne chastaromata pou se magevoun
-- with perfums and colours that put a spell on you
kounoune somata kai ta pite tous
-- they move their bodies and their jewels
mesa se klinoune stis agalies tous
-- they take their arms around you..
Note: Instead of "Naglia domles atze," Eleni uses different words in this version.

Here is my interpretation of this song (with some liberty taken for the sake of rhyming):

I've no place and nothing to look forward to
No homeland for me, what's there to do
With a heavy heart and trembling hands
I dream of setting up my tent in distant lands

Leave me alone, leave me alone
You only care about your own
I dont belong, I must go alone

And when our women dance
They put you in a trance
As their fragrances surround you
With their arms around you

You can see Dionysis's video on Youtube here


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