Recently, Nana Mouskouri released a CD with beloved nisiotika songs from various Greek islands. The Album is called Greek Songs from the Islands and some of these songs are:
- To louloudaki tou mpakse (the flower from the garden) with Haris Alexiou
- Αgapiomaste alla ( We love each other, but…) with Manolis Mitsias
- Mes’ tou Aigaiou (In the Aegean) with Natassa Theodoridou
- Ntari Ntari with Helena Paparizou
- Triantafyllaki with Nikos Aliagas
and many other songs from other singers, such as her daughter, Lenou.
The caring musicians and the selected singers transform the songs from the Greek islands to one of the most refreshing and comforting albums by Nana Mouskouri.
Nana talks about her album and says about the nisiotika songs:
My mother was from Corfu, had a nice voice, and I never forget all these traditional rhythms and “Erotokritos” that she sung to us. Bittersweet melodies and stories for ruthless rulers and lost loves, songs that gave us comfort, regardless of how sad they were. This is such a common thing in Greek music”.
Every time I heard them, while travelling to the world, or when I found myself in a Greek place in Germany or Canada, I returned to my roots thanks to these songs.
– Were there lyrics that would express your sorrow, your difficult childhood?
I find my entire youth in these nisiotika songs. Even if I don’t see my personal story there. I don’t need to actually. What comforts my pain is to enter the life of the hero.
And then, even if we haven’t experienced the stories of these songs, someone of our family has, and we recognize it when he hear the songs. We see our beloved expression, his story.
This is why the Greek traditional music is part of our common being, with all the happiness and sorrows.
Because you know, happiness and sadness live very close to each other. And if you haven’t met the one, you can’t respect or withstand the other. They are the two edges, and they have one common spot. They both have an end.
– When you sing traditional songs, do you feel sad about the Greece that doesn’t exist today?
When I sing today, I feel full of my country. I needed that, especially the last few years.
Traveling for more than half century all over the world, I was afraid that I was so busy trying to show other people that I am Greek that my people may forgot it.
But this Greece you are talking about still exists. Our root is ancient and has proven so durable, that it flourishes again. Because we do not seek to impose ourselves, but to survive.
The culture, the soul, the spirit of our country exist and are bigger than our debt. We are going through these tough times because we were spoiled. But we will make it again.