The lyrics of the song To mahairi by Giannis Koutras translated to English
To mahairi – English Lyrics
I always carry tightly under my belt
a small african steel dagger
— like those that blacks are used to playing with —
that I bought from an old merchant in Algiers.
I remember, as if it were now, the old shopkeeper,
who looked like an old oil painting by Goya,
standing next to long swords and tattered uniforms,
saying in a hoarse voice the following words :
“This here dagger that you want to buy
the legend wrapped with numerous stories
and everyone knows that those who owned it at some time,
each has murdered one close to him.
Don Basilio murdered Donna Julia with it,
his beautiful wife, because she was unfaithful.
Conte Antonio, one night, his wretched brother
was slyly murdering with this here dagger.
A black his young lover out of jealousy
and some Italian sailor a Greek boatswain.
From hand to hand it passed and into mine.
Many things my eyes have seen, but this one makes me quiver.
Come close and look at it, it has an anchor and a crest,
it’s light, why take it, it’s not even a quarter,
but I would advise you to buy something else.”
A small dagger I have tightly in my belt,
that a whim made me make it my own;
and because I hate no one in the world to kill,
I am afraid lest some day I turn it against myself …