Grigoris Bithikotsis sings Ena to helidoni, one of the most known and beloved Greek Songs, which translates to “Lone is the swallow”.
The song “ena to helidoni” is composed by Mikis Theodorakis, one of the most important Greek Composers and the lyrics are written by Odysseas Elytis, one of the two Greek Poets that have won a Nobel of Literature. Ena to helidoni is part of the poem Axion Esti, which is considered among the top poetic creations of the previous century.
Ena to helidoni is one of these defining moments in Art, where three major artists of different genres meet. Theodorakis, Elytis and Bithikotsis are three major personalities for Greece, each one with a leading role in his field of art.
Ena to helidoni is a song-poem referring to the Greek Civil War, and the use of swallow is metaphorical, referring to Greece as a country trying to gain its freedom. But this freedom, the turning of the sun in the poem, takes a lot of work and blood. Due to its lyrics and meaning, the song composed by Theodorakis was used as means of protest against the Greek Junta, the dictatorship from 1967-1974 in Greece.
The video featured here is part of a concert given in 1977 during the transition period of Greece towards democracy.
The translation of lyrics cannot really depict the strength and intensity of the poetic nuance in Elytis words,because his words cannot be rendered to English easily.