Mariza Koch sings Tzivaeri, one of the most touching and beloved traditional folk songs of Greece. Tzivaeri means precious stone or treasure, and it refers to the most precious and invaluable thing that someone can have. In this song, Tzivaeri refers to the people who left Greece and immigrated to other countries; this is a very common theme in Greek songs since the mid 50s when numerous Greeks left their motherland to make their own, better, destiny somewhere else.
Ksenitia, meaning foreign land, is the main theme here as well. The song is the lament of a mother missing her child; in Greek language child doesn’t necessarily refer to a kid, but it’s a general descriptive word for both men and women and is commonly used by Greek mothers even if their child is over 40 years old. Tzivaeri features a characteristic theme of the islands, the repetition of words that give significant emphasis to the communicated message, words of despair and sorrow beyond measure.
Tzivaeri is a folk song, and belongs to the genre of Nisiotika and there is no evidence on its particular composer or lyric writer, as with most of the traditional songs in Greece.