Nik'oloz Gigoshvili

Nik’a sang in his village choir for twenty years before being given his first solo. Today he is the leader of the group, which is called Berik’atsebi (''Old Men'') and the possessor of an exquisite K’akhetian voice as well as a cellar full of some of the tastiest red wine. Nik’a sings beautiful ballads on the panduri1 and knows a great number of traditional songs off the top of his head. Just ask Nik’a about his repertoire and he will immediately pull the hand-written list from his breast pocket.


To hear another artist from K'ak'abeti, visit the page of Darejan Mirziashvili.


1A three-stringed, fretted lute common in all regions of northeastern Georgia. The instrument is most frequently used to accompany ballad singing.  Read more about the panduri here

Nik'oloz Gigoshvili - Shakara
+ Song Info

This song is the story of a man on the road home after a long day of work, with his ox named Sugar. 

+ Lyrics


(scroll down for English translation)


Amo p’iraghmartze shakara, sakhre ar amaghebino

Ise amit’a uremi, rom arts k’i gamagebino

Ise amit’a uremi, ichkare chemo shakara

Rom arts k’i gamagebino


Achkardi bindma mogvists’ro

Gugunebs niavkaria

Atsremlebula sul-dgmuli

Miquchda mta da baria

Atsremlebula sul-dgmuli, ichkare chemo shakara

Miquchda mta da baria


Agera im lurj mtazeda

Amobadrdeba mtvareo

Shoridan gamogvichndeba, chven sopeli mkhareo

Shoridan gamogvichndeba, ichkare chemo shakara

Chveni sopeli mkhareo


Gaukhardebat chvenebsa, tu ts’vanan adgebiano

/Me dokit ghvinos momidgmen,

Shen tivas dagiqriano/






Come up this steep road, Sugar

Don’t make me use the whip

Pull the cart

So that I don’t feel it

Pull the cart – quickly my Sugar

So that I don’t feel it

Twilight follows quickly

The wind is buzzing

To live is to shed a few tears

The mountains and valleys have gone silent

To live is to shed tears - quickly my Sugar 

The mountains and valleys have gone silent


Yonder, over the blue mountains

The moon will rise

And far in the distance

Our village will be in sight


Our family will be happy 

If they are asleep

They’ll awake to greet us

A jug of wine will be served to me

And hay will be laid out for you.

Nik'oloz Gigoshvili - Akhalgazrdobaze
+ Song Info

An unrequited love song about a woman from the highland of Khevi named Mzagho, and how quickly youth passes us by.

+ Lyrics


(scroll down for English translation)


K’argi jeili mets viqav

Ar vambob sat’rabakhosa

Ert kal mamts’onda mokheve

Chemtvis vedzakhdi mzaghosa


Khilis vards gavda tsvriansa

T’urpasa sabaghnarosa

Mk’lavda imisi survili

Ar mik’arebda akhlosa


Akhla is gaghma ts’indas ksovs

Gamoghmit me vtib akhosa

Unda gaghmidan gamoghmi

Da gamo gamamdzakhosa

Magram ragha dros ar minda

Guls dardi ganmiakhlosa

Ararts me vgevar elgujas

Agharts isa gavs mzaghosa


Ar minda daberebuli

Akhlodan daminakhosa

An chamamch’k’nari me vnakho

Da guli damedagosa


Chavlili akhalgazrdoba

Rogor ar damenanosa

T’iali ts’utisopelo

Chamamabere ra drosa




To Be Young


I too was good looking

I am not bragging

I liked this Mokhevian1 woman

I called her Mzagho


That succulent fruit was like a rose

Beautiful as a garden

My desire for her was killing me

But she would never let me get close


Today she weaves socks along the river

And I, across, hay the field

She calls for me

From one side to the other

But why now?

My heart grieves

I am no longer young Elguja

And she is no longer young Mzagho


I don’t want her to see up close

How I have aged

Nor do I want to see her faded beauty

Which will upset my heart


I regret

The time of my youth

Oh - This one-minute village!

How quickly I have grown old.


1A person from the highland of Khevi in northeast Georgia.

Nik'oloz Gigoshvili - Khidi
+ Song Info

Nik’a first heard this song when he attended Vazhaoba1 in the Pshav village of Napareuli, K’akheti, where he heard a trio of women sing it. Afterwards, he couldn’t get it out of his head. Part of the way home at the end of the day, he turned his car around, returned to the women and requested the lyrics.


To hear another version of this song in the Bats language, visit the page of Meri Jikhoshvili.


1An annual festival celebrating the life of Vazha-Pshavela (1861-1916), one of Georgia’s most famous writers and poets.  

+ Lyrics


(scroll down for English translation)


Soplis boloze ghelestan

Erti p’at’ara khidia

Am khidit chventan modian

Am khidit chvengan midian


Bebiachemi am khidze

Dadis otkhmotsi ts’elia

Bebia ambobs es khidi

Tamaris droindelia


Vin itsis k’idev am khidze

Ramdeni k’atsi gavao

Zogi p’irvelad shemova

Zogi k’i sulats ts’avao


Khidi isev darcheba

Radganats igi khidia

Ts’utisopeli egria

Sul modian da midian






Towards the end of the village at the stream

There is a small bridge

Through this bridge, people arrive

Through this bridge, people leave


My grandmother walks this bridge

Already for eighty years

My grandmother says: This bridge

Is from the time of Tamar Mepe1


Who else knows of this bridge?

How many men will leave?

Some arrive for the first time

And some leave forever


It is a bridge, after all

It will remain where it is

Unlike our one-minute village

Where everyone arrives and everyone leaves


1Tamar of Georgia, who reigned as queen of the country from 1184-1213 during Georgia's Golden Age. She was so beloved that Georgians refer to her to this day as ''Tamar Mepe'' or King Tamar.  She remains a very important cultural symbol and has been canonized by the Georgian Orthodox Church as Holy Righteous King Tamar.

Nik'oloz Gigoshvili - Samshobloze
+ Song Info

A patriotic song about Georgia. The first strophe loosely comes from Vazha-Pshavela’s1 ''Song'': ''Artsra t’ant mtsvia, arts pekhta.'' It is a popular verse and can be found in two other songs on the site -  The Pirtskhelani Family’s: ''Samshobloze'' and K’akha Mangoshvili's ''Khars Vegevar Naialaghars.''  The last verse in this song is frequently heard in folk repertoire.


1Luka Razikashvili (1861-1916) was one of Georgia’s most famous poets and writers. He wrote under the pen name Vazha Pshavela, which literally means the “son from Pshavi.” He was born and raised in the village of Chargali where a museum for him, opened in 1961, exists today.

+ Lyrics


(scroll down for English translation)


Khars vgevar, khars vgevar naialaghars

Rkebit mits’as vtkhri vbubuneba

Ghmerto samshoblo mitsotskhle

Dzilshiats amas vduduneb


Vazi da vazi da kartveli k’atsi

Ghmerts ertad gauchenia

Rotsa kartvel k’ats uch’irda

Vazs mashin gadurchenia


Irems rad uqvars mtis ts’qaro

Arts’ivs maghali mtania

Me raze miqvars samshoblo

Gana es sak’itkhavia


Net’ai net’ai vinats me miqvars

Net’ai vinats me miqvars

Imasats veqvarebode

Da mere tundats mtel sopels

Ch’irivit vejavrebode






I am like the buffalo when I work

I dig into the earth with my horns

''God, may the homeland save me''

Is what I murmur in my dreams

The vine and the Georgian man

God created them together

When the Georgian man was in need

He was saved by the vine


As a deer loves mountain water

And as the eagle loves flying high

I, without hesitation

Love my homeland


Oh how I wish that the one I love

Would love me in return

Even if it infected the entire village

With anger towards me