Καλαματιανός/Kalamatianos (Song)

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Greek American
Age: 19
Occupation: Unemployed
Residence: Anaheim, CA and Thessaloniki, Greece
Date of Performance/Collection: April 21, 2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Greek

DESCRIPTION
Καλαματιανός (Kalamatianos) is a greek folk song that is performed alongside a folk dance with the same name. It is performed in a faster Syrtos, 4/4 rhythm.  It is commonly performed at festivals, parties, and Greek nightclubs.

“Καλαματιανός is a song with loose instrumentation, but more consistent lyrics that we’d dance to back in Greece.”

MAIN PIECE
ORIGINAL SCRIPT
Μήλο μου κόκκινο, ρόιδο βαμμένο
Μήλο μου κόκκινο, ρόιδο βαμμένο
Γιατί με μάρανες το πικραμένο
Παένω κ’ έρχομαι μα δεν σε βρίσκω
Παένω κ’ έρχομαι μα δεν σε βρίσκω
Βρίσκω την πόρτα σου μανταλομένη
Τα παραθυρούδια σου φεγγοβολούνε
Τα παραθυρούδια σου φεγγοβολούνε
Ρωτάω την πόρτα σου, που πάει η κυρά σου;
Κυρά μ’ δεν είναι ‘δώ, πάησε στην βρύση
Κυρά μ’ δεν είναι ‘δώ, πάησε στην βρύση
Πάησε να βρει νερό και να γεμίσει

ROMAN SCRIPT
To mílo mou eínai kókkino, roz vamméno
To mílo mou eínai kókkino, roz vamméno
Dióti me pikría to pikró

Páo kai érchomai allá den boró na se vro
Páo kai érchomai allá den boró na se vro
Vrísko tin pórta sas kleidoméni

Ta paráthyrá sas lámpoun
Ta paráthyrá sas lámpoun
Rótisa tin pórta sou, poú pigaínei i kyría sou?

I kyría den eínai edó, pígaine sti vrýsi
I kyría den eínai edó, pígaine sti vrýsi
Pigaínete na vreíte neró kai gemíste to

TRANSLATION
My red apple, my maroon-red pomegranate,
My red apple, my maroon-red pomegranate,
Why have you turned me bitter?
I come and go, but can’t find you
I come and go, but can’t find you
I opened your door, and it always is locked.

Your windows are always lighted
Your windows are always lighted
I ask at your door, “Where’s your lady?”

My lady is not here, she is at the well
My lady is not here, she is at the well
She’s gone to drink water.

BACKGROUND
My informant was born in Anaheim, California, however, she spent most of her childhood on Greece’s Mainland, particularly in Thessaloniki. Both of her parents grew up and emigrated from Greece only twenty years ago. SK, my informant, learned this song from dancing to it at “glendis” (greek folk dance nightclub parties of sorts) in which this song was performed in a variety of different forms, but with similar lyrics. SK says that she believes it’s some sort of universal message and story based on unrequited love that no matter who you are, you can relate to.

CONTEXT
This came from a friend of mine from church in Southern California. I got this folklore from a zoom call with her while she was quarantined back in Greece. I asked her to explain some traditional Greek cultural cornerstones she knows as she ate breakfast.

THOUGHTS
I personally agree with my informant that it is a Greek song based in this idea of unrequited love. It’s universal and can be put into any style of greek music you are doing to a Syrtos beat, whether it is more modern or traditional. The way it talks about chasing someone that you can’t seem to catch is something we see in so many different culture’s folklore as this idea of reaching for something that is just out of reach is a universal truth of life. The way greek people have interpreted it into a song like this one that is supposed to be danced to is absolutely fabulous.