P'avle Burduli

P’avlusha was born in 1927.  His village Nalemo is a small settlement in the historical region of Mtiuleti, just off the road that runs across the Caucasus Mountains towards Russia.  Nalemo sits beneath Lomisi, perched at 2300 meters, the ancestral place of prayer for the Mtiul people. P’avlusha is well known locally for singing shepherd songs. 

P'avle Burduli - Shirakshi Erti Metskhvare
+ Song Info

This ballad is about a young shepherd who has a nightmare that he will soon die and his flock will be harmed.


To hear another version of this song, visit the page of Zhora Kharaishvili.

+ Lyrics

Shirakshi Erti Metskhvare

(scroll down for English translation)


Shirakshi ertma metskhvarem

Sizmari nakha ziani

Adga da bich’as uambo

Bidza rom hqada ch’k’viani


Ts’ukhel is bidzav sizmarshi

Kari iqo da griali

Moglija chveni parekhi

Zetsis gaihkonda griali


An me movk’vdebi am sam dghes

An tskhvars mouva ziani

Ade da shvilo shin ts’adi

Shin khom ar aris ziani


Qvela mts’qemsebs daudzakha

Visats erti hqavs ziari

Qvelas tavisi gauqo

Darcha tskhraatas t’iali


Mejoge jogshi gagzavna

Lurja momgvaret t’iali

Mejogem lurjai moigvara

Nalebs gaihkonda griali


Shirakit alvanamdis

Shvidi dghis savali ari

Dilit ts’asuli piruzi

Saghamod alvanshi ari


Ts’in deda chamoegeba

Sats’qali tvaltsremliani

Shvilo rat mokhvel piruzi

Akhla khom dolis dro ari

Ra dros dolia dedavo

Sulis amosvlis dro aris




A Shepherd in the Shiraki1


In Shiraki one shepherd

Had a nightmare

He awoke and shared the dream

With his wise uncle:


''Last night Uncle, in my dream

There was wind and thunder

It destroyed our flock

The heavens rumbled


In the next three days, I will die

Or our flock will be harmed.''

''Let’s go home, my son

There is no trouble at home.''


The uncle called the other shepherds

With whom they shared the flock

He divided his sheep amongst them

There remained nine thousand sheep


He sent a herdsman into the herd

He asked him to bring them a horse

The herdsman brought the horse

The sound of horseshoes was thunderous


From Shiraki to Alvani2

Is a seven day walk

Piruzi left that morning

And by evening was already home


His mother met him at the door

This poor, teary-eyed woman

''Son, Piruzi, why have you come?

Now is time for the lambing.''

''What time for lambs, Mother?

It is time for the soul to rise!''


1The Shiraki in southeastern Georgia is an arid valley close to the border of Azerbaijan where many shepherds take their sheep to graze in the winter.


2Alvani is a village in K'akheti, a region in eastern Georgia, inhabited by Tush people who are tradtionally shepherds and originally from the highlands of Tusheti. 

P'avle Burduli - Mtas Qopna
+ Song Info

A shepherd song.


In reference to this folk poem, Donald Rayfield in "The Literature of Georgia: A History" says:


The poetry that teases shepherds reflects the conviction, expressed in the definition of ''man'' in a Tsova-Tush-Georgian dictionary, that a man is ''one who does not go among sheep''. Shepherds lack the charisma that Hellenic or Christian legends give them.  In Tush poetry the shepherd is made to say:


             I'm not fed up with the mountains

               Nor do I long for the valley,

               Nor to sleep and lie with beautiful women,

               Nor to talk with them.

              I prefer the red-eyed ewe

              And tugging at her forelock.


To hear other versions of this song, visit the pages of Leila Lachishvili and Gulo Natelashvili. 

+ Lyrics

Mtas Qopna

(scroll down for English translation)


Mtas amoihk’ida tvirtvili

Mts’qemso ahqare tskhvaria

Ar mogts’qindaa mtas qopna

Ar mogenat’reba baria

An lamaz kaltan alersi

Arts mastan saubaria


Artsa momts’qinda mtas qopna

Arts momenat’ra baria

Arts lamaz kaltan alersi

Arts mastan saubaria


Tvalts’itel shishak mirchevnav

Mteli parekhis tvalia




Being in the Mountains


The mountain has dew

Shepherd - Take your flock

Aren't you tired of being in the mountains?

Don't you miss the plains?

Or conversation with a beautiful woman

Or her caresses?


No, I'm not tired of the mountains

Nor have I missed the plains

Nor conversation with a beautiful woman

Or her caresses


I prefer one red ewe

The eye of the entire flock.

P'avle Burduli - Mtiulo, Mtashi Gazrdilo
+ Song Info

A shepherd ballad.

+ Lyrics

Mtiulo Mtashi Gazrdilo

(scroll down for English translation)


Mtiulo mtashi gazrdilo

Balghs rodis magimshivdeba

/Omshi shekhval da gamakhval

Guli ar shegishindeba/


Dilai iqo da tsioda

Kheebs potolo stsvioda

/Bumberaz k’avk’asionze

Jarebi gadmodioda/


Bukhris p’ir chamojdeboda

Shvili hk’itkhavda dedasa

Mtidan rom zvavi mohgoravs

Ara glejavsa dek’asa

An tsiv mtaze damrchalsa

Ara stsivaia bechavsa


Shvilo uts’ina stsioda

Aravin hqavda p’at’roni

Mkholod eg iqo st’anjavda

Erti erjulo bat’oni

Akhla k’i akhal ro ori

Ianits aqvavdebian

Ia vardi da dek’ani

Ertmanets ekhut’ebian




Mtiul Man, Raised in the Mountains


Mtiul man,1 raised in the mountains

You are not lonely without the lowlands

You will enter war and leave war

And your heart will not be scared


It was morning and it was cold

The leaves were falling from the trees

Over the giant Caucasus Mountains

The army was descending


Sitting at the mouth of the hearth

The son asked his mother:

''When the avalanche rolls down the mountain,

Does it not tear up the rhododendron?

And he who is up there -

Is he not miserably cold?''


''Son, yes, it was cold

And there was no protector

There was just one, tormented

Master, a nonbeliever

But now that there is a new one

Everything is blooming

The violets, roses and rhododendron

Gathered together''


1A person from Mtiuleti, an historical mountain province in northeast Georgia. Mtiuleti literally means ''land of the mountains.''