Μοναχογιός ο Κωσταντής
Kostantis the only son, young and cosseted,
his mother's only son, her precious darling.
She'd scrub him, comb his hair and send him off to school
and the teacher would teach him, teach him to read and write.
Kostantis grew up into a man, into a fine young lad
famed throughout the land, his mother's pride and joy.
Translated by Michael Eleftheriou
Μοναχογιός ο Κωσταντής
Μοναχογιός ο Κωσταντής, μικρός και χαϊδεμένος,
έναν τον έχει η μάνα του, έναν και κανακάρη.
Τον έλουζε, τον χτένιζε και στο σχολειό τον στέλνει
κι ο δάσκαλος τον διάβαζε, γράμματα τον μαθαίνει.
Αντρειώθηκεν ο Κωσταντής κι έγινε παλικάρι,
στη χώρα ήταν ξακουστός, στη μάνα του καμάρι.
Kostantis the only son, who would prove to be the most famous of all the Young Kostantis figures feted in song, is typical of songs onto which ‘akritic’ elements have been grafted: a hero called Kostantinos, an only son of a partnerless mother, a young and brave lad.
The musician and singer Karyofyllis Doitsidis (who along with the also singer Chronis Aidonidis - both from Karoti village near Didymoteicho in Thrace - was responsible for making the Thracian musical tradition more widely known) says he knew the song sung to this melody, but that it continued with verses from the well-known song of the ‘Murderous mother’. Perhaps because they were harsh and hard to listen to, the verses in question, in which the mother of the title kills her infant child to conceal her infidelity, were dropped in favour of others of a more heroic hue - and it is not the only instance of this happening. The song, which became widely known when it was recorded by the popular singer Giorgos Dalaras, but which is notable by its absence from every academic survey of the folk music of the Evros region, is now identified almost exclusively with Chronis Aidonidis. It was first published in 1981 by Pantelis Kavakopoulos1, who mentions that he recorded it sung by Chronis Aidonidis and his mother in their house in Pendeli in 1951 or 1952. Miranda Terzopoulou (2017)
1P. Kavakopoulos, Τραγούδια της βορειοδυτικής Θράκης, Thessaloniki 1981.
See also the song Kostantis
|Watch a different version of the song by Domna Samiou|
Live recording from a concert at the Hellenic Institute of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Studies, Venice, in 2004.