To mahairi – Giannis Koutras


Giannis Koutras sings To mahairi, a famous Greek song which means “The dagger” in English. It is a song written by Nikos Kavvadias and composed by Thanos Mikroutsikos.

Nikos Kavadias was a Greek poet, renowned for the poems he wrote, based on his nautical experiences. Kavadias was a Greek born abroad; he returned to Greece as a child with his family, finished school and started working for a shipping company. Still in his 20s,  he went on board as a sailor this time with a freighter. He was travelling for a long time with several ships, stopping only for a few years during the Second World War. He died from stroke on board. Kavadias wrote poems about his life and the lives of the sailors when shipping abroad; his poems stand out for their amazing depiction of the nautical life and its harsh moments, but also for the mixture of nautical Рslang language with the regular spoken Greek language that actually accentuated the effect of his words.

The song “To mahairi” is a perfect example of these poems, as its lyrics refer to a dagger he bought from Algiers, its long history and meaning. ¬†Although this song is not directly associated with his life as a sailor, the influences are more than evident in his verses – narration, which is full of legends, stories and myths, things that affect and influence the lives of sailors.

The song was originally sung by Vassilis Papakonstantinou.

Lyrics: Nikos Kavadias
Music: Thanos Mikroutsikos
Performed by: Giannis Koutras
Other performances: Giorgos Dalaras, Alkestis Protopsalti, Giannis Kotsiras

 

 

To mahairi 

Leave a Comment