Saturday, 22 March 2008


“The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson.” – Tom Bodett

My mother talks of her school days now and then, and the stories she recounts are sometimes amusing, sometimes unbelievable, sometimes scary, sometimes sad, but always enjoyable to listen to. She used to go to a girls’ school and things then were very strict, but she also says that they had a good time of it. School uniforms, lots of homework, girlish pranks, secret loves, dreams and illusions, sighs and scrap books full of poetry and flowers.

A couple of times a year they used to be taken on excursions and that was the highlight of their year. Laughter and music, giggling and high jinks, covert glances at the cute young teacher that used to be every girl’s dream lover. No wonder when a Greek film of 1959, starring the fresh young face of Aliki Vouyouklaki that was destined to become Greece’s national star, came out it was an instant success. It is called “Το Ξύλο Βγήκε Απ΄Τον Παράδεισο” (Spare the rod and spoil the child) and it concerned a high school senior who falls in love with her teacher.

When I first saw the film, it was just like my mother’s school stories. A fresh and sparkling comedy with witty dialogue, an innocent script and two young good-looking actors who were to become a real life couple. Here is a song from the film, where on a school excursion, the young Aliki Vouyouklaki sings of her love for her teacher, Dimitris Papamichael.

I Have a Secret

I have a secret that shines in my glance,
The plains know it, the mountain has guessed it.
The nightingales sing of it on the tree boughs,
And the swallows have written it in the sky.
I have a secret that makes everything beautiful
And for the first time I am inundated with happiness.

I have a secret that has become tangled in my lips
Even though it is a single little word, just one.
When night the enchantress falls, the stars will write the word
And the jasmines will say it in their flowerpot.
I have a secret that has changed my life
But I have no intention of telling you what it is.

Έχω ένα Μυστικό

Έχω ένα μυστικό που στη ματιά μου μέσα λάμπει
Το ξέρουνε οι κάμποι το ΄χει μάθει το βουνό.
Το τραγουδούν τη νύχτα στα κλώνια όλα τ΄αηδόνια
Και το ΄χουν γράψει τα χελιδόνια στον ουρανό.
Έχω ένα μυστικό που όλα τα ομορφαίνει
Και πρώτη μου φορά με πλημμυρίζει η χαρά.

Έχω ένα μυστικό που μες στα χείλια μου έχει μπλέξει
Κι είναι μια λέξη μόνο μια λεξούλα μόνο μια.
Σαν έρθει η νύχτα η ξελογιάστρα τη γράφουν τ΄άστρα
Κι όλο τη λένε μες στη γλάστρα τα γιασεμιά.
Έχω ένα μυστικό που τη ζωή μου έχει αλλάξει
Μα δεν το ΄χω σκοπό ποτέ μου να σας το πω.

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