Three beardless gents down from the City,
five hairs between them, what a pity.
Then bré bré bré a fourth sailed in,
from Tinos, five lonely hairs upon his chin.
When bré bré bré when the baldies saw him
they rushed out in welcome, looking trim.
– Greetings to you, big-bearded one,
where is it that you hail from?
– From the City of Constantine
to Venice I will cross the brine.
I want to buy a comb or three
because this beard is killing me.
Translated by Michael Eleftheriou
Ήρθαν τρεις σπανοί
Ήρθαν τρεις σπανοί απ’ την Πόλη,
πέντε τρίχες είχαν όλοι
ήρθε κι έ- μπρε μπρε μπρε, ήρθε κι ένας Τηνιακός.
Ήρθε κι ένας Τηνιακός,
πέντε τρίχες μοναχός.
Οι σπανοί όταν τον είδαν,
πήγαν και τον συνεπήραν1.
− Βρε καλώς τον πολυγένη
κι από πούθε κατεβαίνει;
− Απ’ την Πόλη κατεβαίνω
και στη Βενετιά πηγαίνω
θέλω ν’ αγοράσω χτένια
γιατί μ’ έφαγαν τα γένια.
1τον συνεπήραν: τον προϋπάντησαν
In societies in which a moustache and beard were essential elements of male beauty, and hirsute men were looked upon as models of manliness, it was logical that nature should be seen to have ‘marked’ men with sparse facial hair. In fact, being considered physically, but also mentally, deficient, they were often the butt of popular satire, which painted them as naïve or half-witted men who did pointless or bizarre things. Miranda Terzopoulou (2007)
Studio recording, 2005.
Watch a different version of the song by Domna Samiou. Live recording from the concert Carnival Songs with Domna Samiou at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall, at 4/3/2003.