Folk Songs

Turkey: Vallahades (Valahades) variety

RAINMAKING RITUAL SONG "PIRPIRUNA"

Description: Two villagers of Mursallı perform singing a ritual song, which has the function to invoke the rain in times of drought. A girl, wearing a skirt made of green branches, sang and danced through the streets and went from house to house. Singing this "Pirpiruna" (= Pirpirouna; also known as Perperuna, Dodola) an informant remembers an old lullaby used to be sung by her grandfather.

Cite as: Pirpirúna Rainmaking ritual song "Pirpiruna"; performers: Serap Konuk, Fatma Binay, camera/ interview: Thede Kahl, Andreea Pascaru, transcription/ translation: Thede Kahl, Sotirios Rousiakis, editor: Antonio Fichera, Helmut Sandeck, retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID-number: mace1251TRV0001a.

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MY OFFICER SURPRISES ME WITH ROSES

Description: Wedding song in septuple time (7/8) from Karakollar in the Çine/Aydın region of Turkey, belonging to the folklore of the Vallahades (Muslim Greeks) from West Macedonia. As the population exchange (better: the agreed mutual expulsion) between Greece and Turkey in the early 1920s was based on religion, the Greek speaking Muslim population was forced to emigrate. The Muslim Greeks had to leave their homeland in the Western Macedonian regions of Kozani/Kojani and Grevena/Grebene and settled in different regions of Turkey. Today their descendants only have a limited knowledge of Greek. Only a few people remember Greek songs from their homeland. This song represents a dialogue between a returning soldier, a young woman and the mother-in-law. The likely incomplete text and the change in the speaker's perspective make it difficult to understand the lyrics of the song. The parents of the singer came from the Tsourchli (Tsurhli, Çurhli) village in the Grevena (Grebene) region in West Macedonia (today Agios Georgios).

Cite as: Ériti ʃymbéis mu mi róĭða mi trandáĭfila – My officer surprises me with roses; performer: Arife Kara, camera/ interview: Thede Kahl, Andreea Pascaru, transcription/ translation: Thede Kahl, Sotirios Rousiakis, editor: Antonio Fichera, retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID-number: mace1251TRV0030a.

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GIRL WITH THE BLOND HAIR

Description: This traditional love song is well known in several areas of Greece and can be found with the same melody in Western and Central Macedonia. It is a dialogue between a girl and a young man. He asks when she will be home alone to come visit her. They wait for a moment until all relatives are gone: her mother with the neighbours, her father in Ventzia (Grevena/Grebene area) and her brothers at school. This recording was made in Cappadocia in the village of Yeșilburç, which was originally inhabited by Karamanlides (Turkish-speaking Greek Orthodox Christians). Since 1923 it has been the home of the Vallahades (patriyotlar), successors of the refugees from the Grevena/Grebene area in Western Macedonia (Greece). The singer’s parents came from the village of Kivotos (Kriftsi).

Cite as: Kóri mi n-da ksanθá maʎá – Girl with the blond hair; Performer: Adile Soylu; camera/interview: Thede Kahl, Andreea Pascaru; transcription: Thede Kahl, Sotirios Rousiakis; translation: Sotirios Rousiakis; editor: Ani Antonova, retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID: mace1251TRV0008a

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WHERE WERE YOU, MY LITTLE PIGEON?

Description: In the village of Yeșilburç, which was originally inhabited by Karamanlides (Turkish-speaking Greek Orthodox Christians), is now home to Vallahades (patriyotlar), successors of the refugees from the Grevena/Grebene area in Western Macedonia (Greece). This Muslim population contributed their own songs, including this dialogue between a couple, which deals with the fear of the rebels (klephts) and the gang leaders in the mountains. It is remarkable that the Christian local name for the month of October (Saint Demetrius) has been maintained.

Cite as: P-ústan p'iriʃtirúla mu? – Where were you, my little pigeon? Performer: Adile Soylu; camera/interview: Thede Kahl, Andreea Pascaru; transcription: Thede Kahl, Sotirios Rousiakis; translation: Sotirios Rousiakis; editor: Antonio Fichera, retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID: mace1251TRV0009a

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MY BROKEN HEART

Description: The Treaty of Lausanne (1923) seals the expulsion of 1.5 million Christians from Turkey to Greece and of around 0.5 million Muslims from Greece to Turkey. The treaty used religious affiliation as a criterion for national assignment and thus for resettlement. The same fate struck the Greek-speaking Muslims of Western Macedonia. The lady singing here is living today in Cappadocia (Turkey), but her parents were still born in the Grevena/Grebene area (Greece). The traumatic event of the Greek-Turkish population exchange has been dealt with in a few sad songs. Here the suffering person wishes that she was never born, or at least at other times. An old motif is the occurrence of a mythical plant that makes sterile anyone who eats from it; even if it should be mythical, the singer considers it to be Biarum tenuifolium. The text is reminiscent of the widespread Greek folk song about the immortal amaranth.

Cite as: Valanduméɲi mu karðʝá – My broken heart; Performer: Adile Soylu; camera/interview: Thede Kahl, Andreea Pascaru; transcription: Thede Kahl, Sotirios Rousiakis; translation: Sotirios Rousiakis; editor: Antonio Fichera, retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID: mace1251TRV0010a

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I WAS TRAVELLING ABROAD

Description: Traditional wedding song in 2/4 time, which was brought to Turkey by the Greek-speaking Vallaades/Vallahades or "Patriots", Muslims of the Grevena/Grebene region in Western Macedonia, as part of the Greek-Turkish population exchange (Treaty of Lausanne, 1923). It's about a man who has travelled a lot in the world. Although he met many women along the way, he only really liked one. To see if she is the right one forever, he has to touch her hand, and only if she blushes, she is the right one.

Cite as: Iɣó sta kɕéna gʹiʑirúsa – I was travelling abroad; Performer: Adile Soylu; camera/interview: Thede Kahl, Andreea Pascaru; transcription: Thede Kahl, Sotirios Rousiakis; translation: Sotirios Rousiakis; editor: Antonio Fichera, retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID: mace1251TRV0011a

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A GOLDEN CANDLE IS BURNING

Description: Traditional dance song in 7/8 time, which was brought to Turkey by the Greek-speaking Vallaades/Vallahades or "Patriots", Muslims of the Grevena/Grebene region in Western Macedonia, as part of the Greek-Turkish population exchange (Treaty of Lausanne, 1923). It is about the love for a woman who has already turned the heads of many men, but the singer of the song marries her anyway.

Cite as: Χriʃí lambáða kʹéĭiti – A golden candle is burning; Performer: Adile Soylu; camera/interview: Thede Kahl, Andreea Pascaru; transcription: Thede Kahl, Sotirios Rousiakis; translation: Sotirios Rousiakis; editor: Antonio Fichera, retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID: mace1251TRV0012a

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FIVE MICE

Description: This is a funny children song about the wedding of mice that celebrate taking a single grain of wheat to many unusual places. The dialect (Vallahades variety) was brought to Turkey by the Greek-speaking Vallaades/Vallahades or "Patriots", Muslims of the Grevena/Grebene region in Western Macedonia, as part of the Greek-Turkish population exchange (Treaty of Lausanne).

Cite as: Péndi pundik'éĭ – Five mice; performer: Adile Soylu; camera/ interview: Thede Kahl, Andreea Pascaru; transcription: Thede Kahl, Sotirios Rousiakis; translation: Sotirios Rousiakis; editor: Antonio Fichera; retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID number: mace1251TRV0013a.

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YOU, MY FLYING BIRDS (THE FALL OF CONSTANTINOPLE)

Description: The Fall of Constantinople on 29 May 1453 (Greek: Ἅλωσις τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, Turkish: İstanbul'un Fethi) marked the end of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, a state that has existed for almost 1,500 years. Several folk songs lament the downfall of the city and the Eastern church. Most of them refer to the monasteries of Salonica and Constantinople. The fact that a lament about the "loss" of the Hagia Sophia is sung by a Muslim woman in Turkey can only be explained by the fact that she belongs to the group of the Vallahades who fled to Turkey as Muslims with the population exchange (Treaty of Lausanne, 1923). In the long coexistence of Christians and Turks, this song and its theme has spread to both religious communities, as this example from Western Macedonia shows. In the Grevena/Grebene region of Greece we find the same theme today in some regional folk songs, but it is probably the first time that this motif has been recorded among Greek-speaking Muslims.

Cite as: Ísis puʎá m pitúmina – You, my flying birds; performer: Adile Soylu; camera/ interview: Thede Kahl, Andreea Pascaru; transcription: Thede Kahl, Sotirios Rousiakis; translation: Sotirios Rousiakis; editor: Antonio Fichera; retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID number: mace1251TRV0014a.

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SAMIOTISSA (GIRL FROM SAMOS)

Description: One of the most famous Greek folk songs is about the love of a young man for a girl from the island of Samos. The song was so well known among the first Greek emigrants in America that it can be found among the early gramophone recordings around 1900. Here the song is sung in the Macedonian-Greek dialect of the Vallahades (Vallachades), a Muslim group that was expelled to Turkey in the early 1920s. Turkish and Roma bands have also included the song, which is not part of the old local folklore of the Vallahades, in their repertoire. In Turkey, this song in 7/8 time is accompanied by a six-step Syrtos, whereas in Greece today it is accompanied by a Kalamatianos dance. The text varies from village to village and from person to person and in this case shows typical elements of Vallahades variety in the Grevena/Grebene region.

Cite as: Saɲótisa – Samiotissa (Girl from Samos); performer: Adile Soylu, Öskur Güler; camera/ interview: Thede Kahl, Andreea Pascaru; transcription: Thede Kahl, Sotirios Rousiakis; translation: Sotirios Rousiakis; editor: Antonio Fichera; retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID number: mace1251TRV0015a.

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GIRLS, DON'T GET MARRIED

Description: This satirical song belongs to the folklore of the Vallahades (Vallachades), a Muslim group that was expelled from Western Macedonia to Turkey in the early 1920s (Treaty of Lausanne). The theme of this song is a warning to women about getting married and about the descent into married life. Once they are married, they lose a lot of freedom and will are placed under the strict supervision of their parents-in-law, while the children later prevent them from engaging in personal activities.

Cite as: Kuríʧa mi pandréviʃti – Girls, don’t get married; performer: Adile Soylu; camera/ interview: Thede Kahl, Andreea Pascaru; transcription: Thede Kahl, Sotirios Rousiakis; translation: Sotirios Rousiakis; editor: Antonio Fichera; retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID number: mace1251TRV0016a.

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SETTING UP A TRAP

Description: Adile Soylu sings a song she learned from her mother, who was born in the western Macedonian region of Grevena/Grebene. The Greek-speaking Muslim group of the Vallahades (Vallachades, patriots) had to leave their homeland as part of the Christian-Muslim population exchange between Greece and Turkey (Treaty of Lausanne). In order to understand the song, one must bear in mind that the handkerchief has a high symbolic content in Greek folk poetry. It could be presented to the chosen one as a token of love; moreover, before wallets were used, it served as a storage place for money and thus symbolized wealth.

Cite as: Éʃtipsa paíða – Setting up a trap; performer: Adile Soylu; camera/ interview: Thede Kahl, Andreea Pascaru; transcription: Thede Kahl, Sotirios Rousiakis; translation: Sotirios Rousiakis; editor: Antonio Fichera; retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID number: mace1251TRV0017a.

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YOU ARE WHITE

Description: This song belongs to the cycle of wedding laments. A wedding is not only a joyful occasion, but also the moment to say goodbye to the family home. There are numerous complaints from mothers who "lose" their daughter that day, but also from daughters who do not want to be taken away by the "stranger". This dramatic dialogue between mother and daughter on the wedding day was sung at the weddings of the Vallahades (Vallachades, patriots), a Greek-speaking Muslim ethnic group who, due to the population exchange between Greece and Turkey (Treaty of Lausanne 1923) had to leave their West Macedonian homeland in the Grevena/Grebene area and now live in Cappadocia.

Cite as: Áspri íʃi k'i féɲiʃi – You are white; performer: Adile Soylu; camera/ interview: Thede Kahl, Andreea Pascaru; transcription: Thede Kahl, Sotirios Rousiakis; translation: Sotirios Rousiakis; editor: Antonio Fichera; retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID number: mace1251TRV0018a.

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WHO SAID THAT BROTHERS DO NOT LOVE EACH OTHER

Description: This song is about the mother's longing for her children, united in their desire to do something good for their mother. It was sung at weddings of the Vallahades (Vallachades, patriots), a Greek-speaking Muslim ethnic group who, due to the population exchange between Greece and Turkey (Treaty of Lausanne 1923), had to leave their West Macedonian homeland in the Grevena/Grebene area and now live in Cappadocia.

Cite as: Pços éʎiʝi t-aðérfça ðem-buɲóndi – Who said that brothers do not love each other; performer: Adile Soylu; camera/ interview: Thede Kahl, Andreea Pascaru; transcription: Thede Kahl, Sotirios Rousiakis; translation: Sotirios Rousiakis; editor: Antonio Fichera; retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID number: mace1251TRV0019a.

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I WALKED AROUND A SUMMER LONG

Description: Love song from the repertoire of the Vallahades (Vallachades, patriots), a Greek-speaking Muslim ethnic group who, due to the population exchange between Greece and Turkey (Treaty of Lausanne 1923) had to leave their West Macedonian homeland in the Grevena/Grebene area and now live in Cappadocia.

Cite as: Ʝírisa éna kaluk'éri – I walked around a summer long; performer: Adile Soylu; camera/ interview: Thede Kahl, Andreea Pascaru; transcription: Thede Kahl, Sotirios Rousiakis; translation: Sotirios Rousiakis; editor: Antonio Fichera; retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID number: mace1251TRV0020a.

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