“On the seashore” is a song by Mikis Theodorakis made on a poem by the great Greek poet George Seferis. It is a poem about inevitable changes in our lives where we have to let go of things we love and cherish and move on. The song was written in 1962 .
It is a song that carries many of the distinct colours, phrases and sesnsations that make up what is Greece and I tried to couple those with photos that carry these feelings as well.
Here it is performed by Maria Farantouri.
Στο περιγιάλι το κρυφό
κι άσπρο σαν περιστέρι
διψάσαμε το μεσημέρι•
μα το νερό γλυφό.
Πάνω στην άμμο την ξανθή
γράψαμε τ’ όνομά της•
ωραία που φύσηξεν ο μπάτης
και σβήστηκε η γραφή.
Με τι καρδιά, με τι πνοή,
τι πόθους και τι πάθος
πήραμε τη ζωή μας• λάθος!
κι αλλάξαμε ζωή.
In a hidden seashore
white as a dove
we found ourselves in midday, thirsty,
but the water undrinkable.
On the golden sand
we wrote her name,
how beautifully the breeze came
and erased the writing.
We started our life with all our heart,
all our breath, all our passion — a mistake!
and we changed our life.
George Seferis was the pen name of Georgios Seferiadis (1900 — 1971). He was one of the most important Greek poets of the 20th century, and a Nobel laureate. He was also a career diplomat in the Greek Foreign Service, culminating in his appointment as Ambassador to the UK, a post which he held from 1957 to 1962.
Mikis Theodorakis , born July 29, 1925, is one of the most renowned Greek songwriters and composers. Internationally, he is probably best known for his songs and for his scores for the films Zorba the Greek), and Serpico. Politically, he identified with the left until the late 1980s and has consistently opposed oppressive regimes and was the key voice against the Greek Junta 1967-1974, which imprisoned him.
Maria Farantouri ,born in 28 November 1947, is a Greek singer and also a political and cultural activist. She has collaborated with prominent Greek composers such as Mikis Theodorakis