Some people asked me about the cortinas I play between the tango tandas. The musical genre is called rembetiko. These rembetikos are original recordings from the 1930s and 1940s. Wikipedia says about rembetiko: […] Rembetiko is a kind of Greek cultural music that developed around ports and urban centres in the end of the 19th and up to the first half of the 20th century, with the bouzouki as its main instrument. […] Like several other urban subcultural musical forms such as the blues, flamenco, fado, and tango, rembetiko grew out of particular urban circumstances. Oftentimes, but by no means always, its lyrics reflect the harsher realities of a marginalized subculture’s lifestyle. Thus one finds themes such as crime, drink, drugs, poverty, prostitution and violence, but also a multitude of themes of relevance to Greek people of any social stratum: death, eroticism, exile, exoticism, disease, love, marriage, matchmaking, the mother figure, war, work, and diverse other everyday matters, both happy and sad.
See here a selection of four songs which I use among others to build cortinas:
- Minore tu teke by Ioannis Halkias, 1932
- O buffedsis by Jiorgos Batis, 1935
- Beikos by Spyros Peristeris, 1935
- Σούρα και μαστούρα, Δελιάς Ανέστης, 1936
Σούρα και μαστούρα
Όταν μπουκάρω στον τεκέ, τον αργιλέ τσακώνω
Και με τα φυλλοκάρδια μου τραβώ, τον ξελιγώνω
Του ντεκετζή ξηγήθηκα να τον ξαναπατήσει
Κατά κακή μου σύμπτωση σώθηκε το χασίσι
Και ξεμπουκάρω απ’τον τεκέ, μες στην ταβέρνα πάω
Δύο ποτηρίες εφετινό κάθομαι κοπανάω
Σούρας, τρελός, αν έγινα, κι έφυγα απ’ την ταβέρνα
Για το τσαρδί μου πάγαινα, είχα γίνει στην πένα
Drunk and intoxicated
If I go into tekes, I grab the argiles / and pull the heart of whole,
smoke it done / I’ll tell tekedsis, he should make it back full / an unhappy chance, is all the hashish /
(voice of stratos) jia sou anestos mou derwisch!
and I was storming out of the tekedes, and go into the tavern / booze and a few glasses of wine this year’s harvest / “crazy” by the drink, I leave the tavern, I’m going home and I’m in very good mood.
For further listening I recommend the album Rembetika Songs Of The Greek Underground 1925-1947
You can listen to it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJDJloPBN08