The Brave Man
Don’t weep for the brave man, even if he misses his mark.
For if he misses once, if he misses twice, he is still brave.
His door is always open, his table forever laid
ready for his friends.
[When his friends rejoice, joy to the brave man!]
Translated by Michael Eleftheriou
Τον αντρειωμένο μην τον κλαις
Tον αντρειωμένο μην τον κλαις όσο ε όσο κι αν α- όσο κι αν αστοχήσει,
μ’ αν αστοχήσει μια, μ’ αν αστοχήσει μια και δυο,
μ’ αν αστοχήσει μια και δυο πάλι ε πάλι αντρειωμέ- πάλι αντρειωμένος είναι,
πάντα 'ν’ η πόρτα του ανοιχτή κι η τάβλα ντου στρωμένη
και κατρερεί τους φίλους του.
[Χαροκοπούν οι φίλοι του, χαρά στον αντρειωμένο.]
Slow table song from Crete. Originating from the villages at the foot of the White Mountains in the prefecture of Chania, it belongs to a category of songs called rizítika (foothill songs) by researchers.
These songs were usually sung by groups alternately, as a call and response, with the lead singing the lyric with the utmost seriousness and his companions repeating it in antiphonal unison. Originally performed without an instrumental accompaniment, rizítika are never danced. They tell of historical even Is of the recent or distant past, but also of the everyday life, death, honour, friendship, love and youthful courage and are sung to some thirty known melodies.
“The brave man” has symbolically become linked to celebrated Cretans like Eleftherios Venizelos* and to the heroic struggles of the Cretan people (Battle of Crete, Nazi executions of resistance fighters). On this particular recording, it is the lyre and a lute that provide the response to the singer’s call.
* Eleftherios Venizelos (1864 1936) was a Greek politician, chief minister of the autonomous Cretan State before its annexation by Greece and seven times Prime Minister of Greece. He played a pivotal role in the country's political affairs between 1910 and his death, in Paris, in 1936. Leader of the Liberal party, he maintained a consistently combative stance towards the Greek royal family.
Miranda Terzopoulou (2018)
Studio recording, 1979.