Erotokritos – Nikos Xilouris

The voice of Nikos Xilouris in the magnificent poem Erotokritos have embedded in everyone’s memory as if an indispensable combination: the ideal voice of Nikos Xilouris for one of the masterpieces of poetry and Greek music.

Who could anyway perform Erotokritos better than Xilouris, who is the voice of Crete, the man who taught simplicity in the way he performed his songs and in his life in general…

Xilouris is the ideal performer of this Cretan fable, the most mature story born by the Cretan Literature. He manages to combine lyricism with nobleness, virtues expressed in Kornaro’s text as well.

Erotokritos is a poem – fairy tale written by Vincenzo Kornaros (Vitsentzos Kornaros), a famous Cretan poet. It constitutes of  10.000 verses in five parts.

The story takes place supposedly in Ancient Athens, but the elements and details given belong to the Middle Age and the time of Kornaros.

The plot revolves around a man named Erotokritos and Aretousa, the daughter of the King of Athens. It is a famous love story with the young man who falls for the princess but cannot have her due to his inferior social class.

The lyrics presented here are slightly different from the original ones, since the version of the song does not have the initial lyric “Have you heard Aretousa of the sad news?”

This version with Xilouris is profoundly touching probably because it reflects his own experience as well. He got married to the woman he loved, without knowing her very well.

Every night he was singing to her from the street, because there was a huge social difference and their love was forbidden… As it happens with Erotokritos’ story as well.


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