Saturday, 25 July 2009


“A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.” - Chinese Proverb

A Greek song tonight from Aristophanes’ play “The Birds”, first produced in 414 BC. Ancient Greek plays had much music, solo and choral songs in them. This of course was the inspiration for opera in Renaissance Italy.

Manos Hadjidakis (1925 – 1994) was one of the great Modern Greek composers who wrote “serious” music as well as many popular songs. He wrote the incidental music and for the songs in the play.

Maria Farandouri is a well-known singer who worked with Mikis Theodorakis primarily. She also collaborated with other composers and musicians (eg John Williams). Her rich husky voice is perfect for this song.

The Swans

So the swans on the banks of the Hebrus,
Tio, tio, tio, tio, tiotinx,
Mingle their voices to serenade Apollo,
Tio, tio, tio, tio. tiotinx,
Flapping their wings the while,
Tio, tio, tio, tio, tiotinx;
Their notes reach beyond the clouds of heaven;
All the dwellers in the forest
Stand still with astonishment and delight;
A calm rests upon the waters,
And the Graces and the choirs in Olympus
Catch up the strain,
Tio, tio, tio, tio, tiotinx.

1 comment:

  1. This is a very nice song. Amazing to think that the words were written 2500 years ago!
    The music really compliments the flying swan theme.