Didebai Ensemble
St'epants'minda

Didebai Ensemble was created in 1996 in St'epants’minda, a highland town in Khevi1 that sits beneath the stunning Trinity Church of Gergeti2 and the 5,033-meter-high Mount Qazbeg. 

 

Under the directorship of Nutsa Piranishvili, three women lead the group: Manana Pitskhelauri, Eter Maisuradze and Pikria Khaik’ashvili.  

 

The sixteen members come from many of the surrounding villages and meet twice a week to rehearse and exchange their knowledge of local and national folk songs.

 

1A highland in northeast Georgia. Read more about Khevi here.  

 

2Built in the 14th century, the Holy Trinity Church sits at 2,170 meters high, beneath the glorious Mount Qazbeg. 

Didebai Ensemble - Vin Shakhda Da Mqinvar Ts'verzeda
+ Song Info

+ Lyrics

Vin Shakhda Da Mqinvar Ts’verzeda

(scroll down for English translation)

 

Vin shakhda da mqinvar ts’verzeda

Vin shakhsna da rk’inis k’arebi

/Haralali hari haralo, Hari haralali Haralo/

 

Khmali var da khmalta bat’oni

Vakht’ang mepisa da nakoni

/Haralali hari haralo, Hari haralali Haralo/

 

Vin shakhda da mqinvar ts’verzeda

Vin shakhsna da rk’inis k’arebi

/Haralali hari haralo, Hari haralali Haralo/

 

Translation:

 

Who Met On The Glacier’s Peak?

 

Who met on the glacier’s peak?

Who opened the iron door?

 

I am a sword, the master of swords

I am the sword of King Vakht'ang 


Who met on the glacier’s peak?

Who opened the iron door?

Didebai Ensemble - Mokheuri Iavnana
+ Song Info

A healing song / lullaby from the highland of Khevi

 

Iavnanas were traditionally sung in Georgia and throughout the Caucasus to ward off spirits, also called ''lords'' (bat'onebi), that brought sicknesses such as smallpox, measles and mumps to children. 

 

The follow excerpt about the Iavnana is taken from page 125 of ''Violet on the Mountain: An Anthology of Georgian Folk Poetry,'' translated and edited by Kevin Tuite.  It begins by speaking about the violet and the rose, two flowers that are frequently referenced in the Iavnana songs:

 

''Kot'et'ishvili notes that in a certain folk tale, the violet is associated with the 'queen of the underworld,' and the rose with its king. In both cases, the violet is linked with a woman and the rose with a man. The Western reader would never imagine that this charming lullaby, with its sumptuous images of satin, gold, and rubies, was addressed to the supernatural beings that the traditional Caucasians dreaded more than others.  The word 'lords' (bat'onebi) is a euphemism for those contagious diseases, measles and smallpox, which until recently exacted a horrible toll of death and disfigurement among the children of the Caucasus.''

+ Lyrics

Mokheuri Iavnana

(scroll down for English translation)

 

Iavnane vardov nane

Iavnani neo

/Iam gashala vardebi

Iavnani neo/

 

Natli mtsemlis mamidasa

Iavnani neo

/Dzirs gavupen khalichasa

Iavnani neo/

 

Davugoreb okros k’oshk’sa

Iavnani neo

/Zed movupen ia-vardsa

Iavnani neo/

 

Iavnane vardov nane

Iavnani neo

/Iats shen khar,

vardits shen khar

Iavnani neo/

 

Translation:

 

Iavnana From Khevi

 

Iavnane my rose nane

Iavnani neo

The violet has bloomed

Iavnani neo

 

The godmother’s aunt

Iavnani neo

I will make a carpet on the floor

Iavnani neo

 

I will build her a gold tower

Iavnani neo

I will decorate it with violets and roses

Iavnani neo

 

Iavnana, my rose, nana

Iavnani neo

You are a violet

You are a rose

Iavnani neo

Didebai Ensemble - Gaprindi
+ Song Info

Written by Shalva Arabuli, a love song performed by Khvicha Arabuli, a member of Didebai Ensemble from the Khevsur village of Juta in Khevi.  

+ Lyrics

Gaprindi

Text: Shalva Arabuli

 

(scroll down for English translation)

 

Mivdivart gaghmidan gvighimis endzelai

Mivdivart daghest’nis utsnobi bilik’it

/Shen k’rtebi me k’i sul skhva dzala medzleva

Da albat sul male gadavalt p’irikit/

 

Mivdivart gvkhvdebian dek’a da kviani

Ar minda gzis bolom ertmanets gagvqaros

/Dghes rotsa shentan var mtebi mqav tavdebad

Merts’mune samotkhed mekhat’vis samqaro/

 

Da mere rodesats chavalt gzis bolomde

Shens euls gakhedav mag tvalta tsialit

/Me leksad gajakheb didi khnis molodins

da ts’aval khevsurets tskhvagvari t’rpialit/

 

Gaprindi am gulshi chamots’va avdari

Gaprindi am gulshi daghamda dabindda

/Gaprindi vitsi rom gzebi gakvs savali

Gaprindi da sheni gaprenats ar minda/

 

Translation:

 

Fly Away

We're going to the other shore

Where the snowdrops are smiling
We're going on an unknown Dagestani trail
You are startled but I've been given a greater strength
Soon, perhaps, we will pass over the border

We're traveling a rocky, rhododendron-covered path
I don't want the end of this road to separate us
But today you are with me and the mountains bear witness
The whole world seems a paradise to me

Later, when we reach the end of the road
Your sparkling eyes will look on your lone love
I'll recite all the beautiful poetry you have been waiting for
And with the strength of my love, I’ll go to Khevsureti

As you fly away, bad weather comes to this heart
As you fly away, night and darkness falls
Fly away, I know you have a long road ahead
Fly away, though how I wish you wouldn't fly away.

Didebai Ensemble - Mokhevis Kalo Tinao (1)
+ Song Info

Didebai Ensemble sings two versions of this famous Georgian song. This version is the lesser-known variant.

 

+ Lyrics

Mokhevis Kalo Tinao

 

Mokhevis kalo tinao

Chemtan ts’amodi shinao

Sheni sts’orebi datkhovdnen

Shen ras uzikhar shinao

Vai didi mokhevis kalo

Ra lamazi rame kharo

Net’avi sheni alersi

Vin ginda rom gaakharo

Mokhevis kalo tinao

Chemtan ts’amodi shinao

 

Translation:

 

Tina, Woman From Khevi 

 

Tina, woman from Khevi

Come inside my house

At your age all the others are married

So what are you sitting at home for?

You great Mokhevian woman!

You are so beautiful

I want your caresses

Who do you want to make happy?

Woman from Khevi, Tina

Come inside my house

Didebai Ensemble - Mokhevis Kalo Tinao (2)
+ Song Info

Didebai Ensemble sings two versions of this famous Georgian song. 

+ Lyrics

Mokhevis Kalo Tinao

 

Mokhevis kalo tinao

Chemtan ts’amodi shinao

Sheni sts’orebi datkhovdnen

Shen ras uzikhar shinao

Vai didi mokhevis kalo

Ra lamazi rame kharo

Net’avi sheni alersi

Vin ginda rom gaakharo

Mokhevis kalo tinao

Chemtan ts’amodi shinao

 

Translation:

 

Tina, Woman From Khevi

 

Tina, woman from Khevi

Come inside my house

At your age, all the others are married

So what are you sitting at home for?

You great Mokhevian woman!

You are so beautiful

I want your caresses

Who do you want to make happy?

Woman from Khevi, Tina

Come inside my house

Didebai Ensemble - Karisagan Gadmot'anilo Velzeda
+ Song Info

This song is from the soundtrack of the film ''Uk’an Nask’meli Jvarosnebi.'' The music director for the film was Shalva Azmaiparashvili.

+ Lyrics

Karisagana Gadmot’anilo Velzeda

(scroll down for English translation)

 

O ho ho karisagana

Gadmot’anilo velzeda

/Shen magondebi kalau

Ramdeni dilats tendeba/

 

Shen siqvarulis kar-tsetskhlo

Dammonebelo sulisa

/Shen tsetskhlis mamk’idebulo

Damts’velo chemis gulisa/

 

Chemi tskhovrebis imedo

Chemo mzev, chemo mtvareo

/Ra sats’amlavi mach’ame

Tavi rom shemaqvareo/

 

Qvela laghebshi ch’irime

Mirchvenis sheni tavio

/Gaghmidan gadmomdzakhode

Viknebi sheni kmario/

 

Kheli mamk’ida gavqevi

Gadavvlet mta da bario

/Turme sizmarshi vqopilvar

Guls medeboda alio/

 

Translation:

 

Carried By the Wind

 

You are carried by the wind

Into the valley

I’ll remind you, woman

How many mornings will rise

 

Your love’s wind-fire

My soul is enslaved

Oppressed by the fire

My heart is burned

 

You are the hope of my life

My sun, my moon

What poison did you feed me

That has made me love you so much?

 

Of all of the freedoms, my darling

I prefer you

Call me from across the river

And I will be your husband

 

She took my hand and I followed

We crossed over the mountains and plains

It turned out I was in a dream

My heart was enflamed

Didebai Ensemble - Mokheuri Shairi
+ Song Info

A joke song from Khevi.

+ Lyrics

Mokheuri Shairi

(scroll down for English translation)

 

Kalav egeti tetri khar

Rogorts saqdarshi k’irio

/Mamagondebi teoze

Ts’amovjdebi da vts’irio/

 

Tetri var tetrsa mindorsa

Tetrsa gavishli k’aravsa

/Me shengan dats’unebuli da

Qeims ar mivtsem salamsa/

 

Kalau sheni rai mamts’ons

Banaze gadmadgonao

/Ts’auqvanelsa gadagdeb

Movides shemodgomao/

 

Akedana da shenamde

Vardi gaskhia qelamde

/Net’ia k’i damidzakhebde da

Sul prenit moval shenamde/

 

Translation:

 

A Joke Song from Khevi

 

(boy)

Woman, you are as white

As the limestone of the church

When I am reminded of you often

I will need to sit down and cry

 

(girl)

I am white in the white field

I will set up a white tent

You have rejected me

You do not even say hello

 

(boy)

Woman, what do I like about you?

I am on the roof

Come autumn

I will capture you rather than take you as a wife

 

(girl

From here to where you are

There are roses up to your neck

I wish you would just call me

And I will fly to you

Didebai Ensemble - Bralia Shavo Qorano
+ Song Info

This poem was set to song by Eter Maisuradze, one of the directors of Didebai Ensemble.  

 

This text about the raven might be a reference to Vazha-Pshavela's essay Commemoration of the Dead and the Rites.  Donald Rayfield in The Literature of Georgia: A History says the essay ''describes bullocks and sheep awaiting slaughter while men sing a mosagonari [a mourning song] 'I beg you ravens' in which the dead hero ironically commits his body to the carrion-eaters.''  The raven symbolizes a forewarning of devastation and death.

+ Lyrics

Bralia Shavo Qorano

Music: Eter Maisuradze

 

Bralia shavo qorano

Chemis leshita zdzghebode

Chakhvide ch’alas ibano

Maghla mukhebze sjdebode

 

Uts’iok’ebde dabla bars

Maghla mtas emukrebode

Memre ikneba t’ialo

Topis nishanze zsgebode

 

Translation:

 

It is Your fault, Black raven

 

It is your fault, black raven

That you ate my decaying flesh 

Went down to the grove to bathe

And then sat high up in the oak trees

 

You caused trouble down in the fields

You threatened the high mountains

But then, raven

You are frightened by gunshots

Didebai Ensemble - Kalav, Brdzolis Ts'in Gikhile
+ Song Info

A love song.

+ Lyrics

Kalav, Brdzolis Ts’in Gikhile

(scroll down for English translation)

 

Kalav, brdzolis ts’in gikhile

Shamamemat’a imedi

Erti atze verk’inebi

Tu k’i shen gamighimebdi

Sik’vdilsats arad chavagdeb

Tu k’i shen damit’irebdi

 

Eg sheni shavi dalalni

Dats’nuli saro mgonia

Shenebr sad ari sit’urpe

Am kveqnad monagonia

Shentvis daghup’ul vazhk’atssa

Tavi mdzinare mgonia

 

He he he he he

/Shentvis daghup’ul vazhk’atssa

Tavi mdzinare mgonia/

 

Vazhk’atssa guli rk’inisa

Kalis sit’urpe parada

Khelt unda hkondes makhvili

Mteli almasis darada

Shengan naksovi mandili

Mt’risagan damiparavda

 

Kalau shenma tolebma

Shamamik’ides alia

Am gulshi tsetskhls ver chaakrob

Vit darialis ts’qalia

Tu k’i ushenod vera vdzleb

Ra vkna ra chemi bralia

He he he he he

/Tu k’i ushenod vera vdzleb

Ra vkna ra chemi bralia/

 

Translation:

 

Woman, I Saw You Before The War

 

Woman, I saw you before the war

And it gave me hope

I could fight against ten men

If you were smiling at me

I could disregard even death

If you would cry for me

 

That black braid of yours

Reminds me of a cypress

Where else can one find beauty like yours -

In this world it is ficticious

For you, a dead brave man

Seems to be sleeping only

 

The iron heart of a courageous man

With a woman’s beauty as his shield

He should have a sword

Of diamonds in his hand

Your knitted headscarf

Saved me from the enemy

 

Woman, your eyes

Lit a flame in me

All the water from Darial1

Couldn’t quell the fire in my heart

Is it my fault? What can I do

If I can’t live without you?

 

1In Khevi the Darial Pass (1,450 meters) is one of the most important historical passes in the Caucasus that connects Vladikavkaz in Russia to Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi.  Within the gorge flows the Tergi River.

Didebai Ensemble - Kalma Damts'qevla Lamazma
+ Song Info

This unrequited love song is based on a poem by Galak't’ion T’abidze, a much-loved Georgian poet of the 20th century. 

 

Georgia’s State Ensemble Erisioni recorded this song. 

+ Lyrics

Kalma Damts’qevla Lamazma

Text: Galak't'ion T'abidze

 

(scroll down for English translation)​

 

Kalma damts’qevla lamazma

Mkhurvale lalis bageti

/Ertma ver mitkhra atasma

Ra davashave ageti

Aralali da ra davashave ageti da/

 

Magram am ghmertma rogorts tkva

/Guli siamit danama/

Tu vinmem guli momik’la

Iseve imis danama

/Iseve imis danama da

Tu vinmem guli momik’la

Aralali da iseve imis danama da/

 

Menat’reba eg khma t’k’bili

/Sad ar damdevs misi chrdili/

Miqvars mag khmis gagoneba

Ver ts’avshale magondeba

Ver ts’avshale magondeba da

 

/Miqvars mag khmis gagoneba

Ver ts’avshale magondeba

Aralali da ver ts’avshale magondeba da/

 

/Aralali da ver ts’avshale magondeba da/

 

Translation:

 

A Beautiful Woman Cursed Me

Text: Galak't'ion T’abidze

 

A beautiful woman cursed me

With her hot lips

Though no one can tell me

What I have done

Was is my fault?

 

But as God said,

If someone has killed my heart

With his knife

The act was kind 

 

I miss that sweet voice

Her shadow follows me everywhere

I love hearing that voice

I can’t erase it

I will remember it

Didebai Ensemble - Samasi Aragveli
+ Song Info

This poem was written by Shot’a Nishnianidze and arranged by Khvicha Arabuli, who performs it on this recording.  Khvicha is a member of Didebai Ensemble and is from Juta Village, a Khevsur village in Khevi.

 

The song tells of three hundred men from the highlands of Pshavi, Khevsureti and Mtiuleti along the Aragvi River, who gathered together in 1795 and fought in the Battle of Krtsanisi against the invading Qajar Army.  They pledged to fight until their death, and only a few returned home. Many famous Georgian authors have paid tribute to the men in their writings. In 2008 they were canonized as martyrs by the Georgian Orthodox Church.  

 

To hear other versions of this song, visit the pages of Neli Bugechashvili and Babuli Jangirashvili.

+ Lyrics

Samasi Aragveli

Text: Shota Nishnianidze

Music: Khvicha Arabuli

 

(scroll down for English translation)

 

Hei sait midis mdumare lashkari

Siskhli abjarshi mjdari

/Aragvis t’ot’ivit damshrali

Pekh-kalamnianta jari/

 

Bat’oni ar hqavdat ertgulebs mepeta

Da lashkars medroshed vin udzghvis tavshi

/Samasmi arian da samas legendas

Natlis angelozi miudzghvis tsashi/

 

Mamulo egebis saplavshits pkhizloben

Larsharis, lomisis, gudanis qmebi

/Sheguebulni maradisobas

Rogorts karkashebs khmlebi/

 

Hei sait midis mdumare lashkari

Siskhli abjarshi

/Aragvis t’ot’ivit damshrali

Pekh-kalamnianta jari/

 

Translation:

 

Three Hundred Aragvians1
 

Where is the silent army going?

Blood in armor

Clad in bast shoes2

Dry like the branches of the Aragvi River3
 

They did not serve a lord

But were devoted to the king

And who leads the army with the flag?

They are three hundred, the three hundred legends

Are led by angels in the sky
 

Homeland, they are awakened in their graves

The children of Lashari, Lomisi, Gudani’s serfs4 

They are used to eternity

Like swords in a sheath
 

Where is the silent army going?

Blood in armor

Clad in bast shoes

Dry like the branches of the Aragvi River

 

1The three hundred men from the highlands along the Aragvi River, that gathered together in 1795 and fought the Battle of Krtsanisi against the invading Qajar Army.  They pledged to fight until their death, and only a few returned home. Many famous Georgian authors have paid tribute to the men in their writing. In 2008 they were canonized as martyrs in the Georgian Orthodox Church.

 

2Traditional shoes made of tree bark

 

3The major river of the eastern Georgian highlands of Khevsureti, Pshavi and Mtiuleti. The 112 kilometer long Aragvi was dammed in Zhinvali in 1986, forming the Zhinvali Reservoir which provides power to much of Georgia. The river eventually flows into the Mt'k'vari at Mtskheta. 

 

4Lasharis Jvari in Pshavi, Lomisi in Mtiuleti, and Gudani in Khevsureti are the principal sanctuaries to Saint George within those highland regions.

Didebai Ensemble - Samjer Shamove Kudos Dzirs
+ Song Info

There is no English translation available for this song. If you are able to provide one, please include it in an email to aurelia@tsutisopeli.com and we will udpate the page.

 

+ Lyrics

There is no English translation available for this song. If you are able to provide one, please include it in an email to aurelia@tsutisopeli.com and we will udpate the page.

 

Samjer Shamove Kudos Dzirs

Text and Music: Archil Geladze

 

Samjer shamove kudos dzirs

Mukhli mamdevda mglisao

/Megona sats’qal ch’abuk’sa

Sit’qvas avigheb p’irsa

Sit’qvas avigheb p’irsa/

 

Chems ts’in gacherda kalai

Uars ambobda dzlivsa

/Kalais uaris tkmaze

Peri gadmivlis mk’vdrisa

Peri gadmivlis mk’vdrisa/

 

Daits’vi chemi dats’vistvis

Nurts eghirsebi bedsa

/Shenzedamts at’irdebian

Sheni sts’orebi dghesa

Sheni sts’orebi dghes/

 

/Chemi guli okheria

Uk’etess shaiqorebsa

Uk’etess shaiqorebsa/

Didebai Ensemble - Sats'utro
+ Song Info

Poetry by Manana Geladze and music by Eter Maisuradze, one of the directors of Didebai Ensemble. 

+ Lyrics

Sats’utro

Text: Manana Geladze

Music: Eter Maisuradze

 

(scroll down for English translation)

 

Libo datkhrilo sats’utro

Ts’ukhilit ts’akhved sad tavo

Ak tu k’i ts’elshi gamt’ekhe

Ik rogor gavimartao

 

Makhsovda visi goris var

Tsuda mt’erobats vtsadeo

Mamulo sheni suntkva var

Zvarak’ad ganmitsadeo

 

Mamqope chemo gamcheno

Mamuls pitsvertskhlad natali

Net’ar iqvenit kartvelno

upals uqvaran martalni

 

Translation:

 

Life

 

Oh, Life

Where have you gone, so troubled?

If you have bent my back here

How can I correct it there?

 

I remember which hill I belong to

I tried to do the enemy wrong

I breathe for you, fatherland!

I sacrifice myself for you.

 

Let me live, creator

I am the homeland’s blood brother and light

Mercy on you, Georgians

The Lord loves those who are true

Didebai Ensemble - Shiola Ghudushaurze
+ Song Info

The Ghudushauri family was a large and wealthy clan from Khevi with lordly prerogatives in the valleys surrounding the village of Sno.  The Patriarch of Georgia His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II, also from Sno,  is an ancestor of the Ghudushauri family.

 

 

 

+ Lyrics

There is no English translation available for this song. If you are able to provide one, please include it in an email to aurelia@tsutisopeli.com and we will update the page.

 

Shiola Ghudushaurze

 

Tushebma utkhres tushebsa

/Gadvidet khevis mtazeda/

 

Ik rom shiolas akeben

/Imas mivudget k’arzeda/

 

Vintsa shiolas ats’itebs

/Kali urchilot jarzeda/

 

K’arze mivudgen shiolas

/Shiol gamodi gareta/

 

Nela ts’amadga shiola

/Chachkans ikhuravs tavzeda/

 

Akhlos maits’it mijnurno

/Me ver gamoval sharzeda/

 

Bevrs vazhas utamashnia

/Shiolas mok’le khmalzeda/

Didebai Ensemble - Vakot Vadidot
+ Song Info

This poem, ''Who Shall We Praise And Glorify,'' was written by the famous Georgian poet Davit Guramishvili (1705-1792),  and set to music by Pikria Khaik’ashvili, one of the directors of Didebai Ensemble.

 

Below is a synopsis of Guramishvili’s incredible life story, which led him to write often about the homeland.  This excerpt is taken from page 23 of Venera Urushadze's ''Anthology of Georgian Poetry.''

 

''David Guramishvili, a well-known Georgian poet, was born in 1705, in an obscure village near Tbilisi. Owing to constant invasions of Turks and Persians, he was forced to leave his native village and seek refuge in the hills. There he was captured by a robber band of Lazghins and carried off into Daghestan. He was later able to escape from captivity, and found his way to Russia. In Moscow he joined the suite of Vakhtang VI, King of Kartli, who had emigrated to Russia. After Vakhtang’s death, in the year 1738, he settled in Ukraine, in the small town of Mirgorod and enlisted in the Georgian Hussars regiment. He saw service in numerous campaigns in Europe. During the Seven Years’ War, in 1758, he was taken prisoner by the Prussians and was imprisoned in the citadel of Magdeburg. He was released in 1762, after which he returned to Ukraine, to his new estate, and devoted his attention to agriculture and literature. In 1792 he died a lonely old man, in a foreign land.''

+ Lyrics

Vakot Vadidot Vinao

Text: Davit Guramishvili 

Music:  Pikria Khaik’ashvili

 

(scroll down for English translation)

 

Vakot vadidot vinao

Ghmerti maghlta shinao

/Vintsa sheamk’o kveqana

Ghame dghed ganachinao/

 

Mzit, khmelit khit tur balakhit

Mta-bortsvi aghmochinao

/Qoveli mits’isagani

Mashingan gamachinao/

 

Vakot vadidot vinao

Ghmerti maghlta shinao

/Vintsa sheamk’o kveqana

Ghame dghed ganachinao/

 

Translation:

 

Who Shall We Praise and Glorify


Who shall we praise and glorify
God on high
Who adorned the world with beauty
Who separated night from day

From the sun down to the earth
Covered with trees and grass
From the tall mountains down to the hills
He created all that we see around us

Who shall we praise and glorify
God on high
Who adorned the world with beauty
Who separated night from day

Didebai Ensemble - Amagham Chemtan Ara Khar
+ Song Info

A love song.

 

To hear other versions of this song, visit the pages of Mandili Ensemble and Liza Karchaidze.

+ Lyrics

Amagham Chemtan Ara Khar

(scroll down for English translation)

 

Amagham chemtan ara khar         

Chem tvals ts’in mkholod kedia    

Vegharts k’aravshi shevsulvar       

Vegharts ts’in gadmikhednia          

 

Dzalad shemartul ts’arbivit        

Mtebi ts’in gadameghoba              

Me k’i akedan shenamde             

Erti gaprenats meqopa           

 

Kedze mgelivit gadmoval              

Khev-khev chavqvevi mdinares    

Rom mtvaris shukze shegasts’ro    

Tvalebi laghad mdzinares                     

 

Shen chemo ghamis varsk’vlavo    

Kalo shav-ts’amts’amiano               

Bindis mosvlemde gpitsade             

Erti mosvla davagviano             

 

Vai tu a khar giqvarvar        

Da agharts rame t’arebi            

K’vlav me da chemi nabadi     

Keds ikit gadvik’argebi     

 

Translation:

 

Tonight You Are Not With Me

 

Tonight you are not with me

There are only ridges in front of me

I can’t enter my tent

Nor can I see the view ahead

 

Like the shape of an angry eyebrow

The mountains above cut me off

To get from where I am to you

One flight would suffice

 

I will climb over the ridge like a wolf

 From valley to valley, over the rivers

 So that by the moonlight I would arrive

 To your freely sleeping eyes

 

You are my night’s star

Black eyelashed woman

I swear that before twilight

I will come

 

If it is to be you that loves me

I can’t bear anything else

I, in my shepherd cloak

Will vanish over the ridge

Didebai Ensemble - Shav K’ldesa Shavi Qorani
+ Song Info

This text about the raven might be a reference to Vazha-Pshavela's essay Commemoration of the Dead and the Rites.  Donald Rayfield in The Literature of Georgia: A History says the essay ''describes bullocks and sheep awaiting slaughter while men sing a mosagonari [a mourning song] 'I beg you ravens' in which the dead hero ironically commits his body to the carrion-eaters.''  The raven symbolizes a forewarning of devastation and death.

+ Lyrics

Shav K’ldesa Shavi Qorani

(scroll down for English translation)

 

Shav k’ldesa shavi qorani

Hai qorani

/Chava da chaekaneba/

 

Chava da leshit gadzgheba

Hai gadzgheba

/Amasvla daezareba/

 

Rai ginda chemgan qorano

Hai qorano

/Ras damt’rialeb tavzeda/

 

Shens jibrze egre gavkhdebi

Hai gavkhdebi

/Khorts ver mip’ovnit dzvalzeda/

 

Ertai var ertkhel movk’vdebi

Hai movk’vdebi

/Ertkhel vat’ireb dedasa/

 

Ertkhel sjobia sik’vdili

Hai sik’vdili

/Sul mudam daghonebasa/

 

Translation:

 

Black Raven on the Black Cliff

 

The black raven on the black cliff

Flies down

 

It flies down and eats decaying flesh

It will be too lazy to fly back up

 

What do you want from me, raven?

Why do you fly around my head?

 

To counter you, I will become thin

You will not be able to find the flesh on my bones

 

I am alone and will die 

And my mother will cry only once

 

It is better to die once

Then to be forever melancholic

Didebai Ensemble - Jvaris Ts'inasa (from Khevi)
+ Song Info

Jvaris Ts’inasa was a ritual song traditionally performed at weddings throughout the eastern Georgian highlands as well as in Rach’a and Javakheti. This variant is from Khevi.

 

To hear other variations of this song from other regions, visit the pages of Lashari Ensemble, Tsiura Beriashvili and Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri.

+ Lyrics

Jvaris Ts’inasa (Mokheuri)

 

Jvaris ts’inasa

Shen krist’e ghmerto

Dasts’ere jvari

Akhal qoilta

Akhal shaqrilta

Jvaris ts’inasa

 

Translation:

 

In Front of the Cross (from Khevi)

 

In front of the cross

Jesus Christ

Marry these new flowers1

The new bride-groom

In front of the cross

 

1New couples in Georgia are referred to as flowers.

Didebai Ensemble - Natlis Mtsemlis Dideba
+ Song Info

This round dance song is an invocation to the angel called Natlis Mtsemeli, who Georgians assimilate to Saint John the Baptist: Natlis Mtsemeli has two meanings, ''The Baptist'' or the more literal translation, '''The Giver of Light.'' The cult to Natlis Mtsemeli was strong in the northeastern highlands of Georgia, particularly in Khevi, Mtiuleti and Khevsureti where he was mostly referred to as K'viria.

 

K'viria was believed to be the most powerful khat'i1 by the people of Khevi, Mtiuleti and Khevsureti. They believed he adminstered the justice of God within their societies, and mostly was responsible for the birth and protection of the first-born son, the heir of the clan. 

 

1In the northeastern highlands of Georgia, Khat'i, which literally means ''icon" or ''sign,'' is one of the many words used to describe the pre-Chrisitian divinities that are still worshipped by locals in the forms of syncretic religion - a result of pagan beliefs restructured within the concepts of Christian Orthodoxy. Other names for the khat'is are ''angeloz'' (angels), ''khvtishvili'' (children of God), ''saghmto'' (divinity), and ''jvari'' (the Cross). Khat'is are subordinate to God, and the community considers itself vassals to the dieties. They are venerated for their protection, but are also feared for their power to possess and punish.  Sacrificial rites are performed to them at their sanctuaries, and they are often personified through folk tales and songs.

 

Read below for more detailed information on the origin of the name K'viria, an excerpt translted from the French from page 334 of George Charachidze's ''Le système religieux de la Géorgie païenne,'' Collection [Re]Découverte, 2001.

 

''The name of K'viria needs to be linked to the Christian Saint K'viriak'e, which is Saint Cyriacus. One of the most popular Georgian calendars already in use in the 14th century was using the following names for months: 'June' = Ioanobis-tve, 'July' = K'virik'obis-tve, 'August' = Mariamobis-tve, 'November' = Giorgobis-tve. [...]  It seems reasonable to admit that Saint Cyriacus, very popular in Georgia, has given his name to the pagan God, and the deformation from K'viriak'e into K'viria is normal. The Georgian name for Sunday, 'K'virak'e' that we find under this form in the chronics of the Atabag in the 15th century has become, in modern Georgian, 'K'vira'. It is probable that the name of the Saint has followed the same evolution.''

+ Lyrics

Natlis Mtsemlis Dideba

(scroll down for English translation)

 

Hai dideba da natlis mtsemelsa

Dideba da k’vire khtishvilsa

Dideba da dideba qvela ts’mindasa

Movedit shens moedanzeda

Santlita da gast’ekhelita

Gagvaqole sheni ts’qaloba

Dideba da natlis mtsemelsa

Dideba da dideba qvela ts’mindasa

Hai hai kalebo da didi dideba

 

Translation:

 

Glory to the Baptist

 

Glory to the Baptist, the giver of light

Glory to K’viria’s Cross1

Glory to the Virgin Mary

We have come to your place of prayer

With candles and a ritual cakes

Grant us your mercy

Glory to the Baptist, the giver of light

Glory to the Virgin Mary

Women, great glory

 

1Read ''Song About'' for more detailed information on K'viria.

Didebai Ensemble - Qazbegze
+ Song Info

This song is based on a poem written by Vazha-Pshavela1 in 1886.

 

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

Qazbegze

Text: Vazha-Pshavela

 

(scroll down for English translation)

 

Es gazapkhulits movida

Age chamoshra mtania

/Aghelvebula aragvi

Pshav-Khevsuretis ts’qalia/

 

Ants’vanebula midamo

Mtebze gashlila tskhvaria

/Suqvela damshvenebula

Maghla mta dabla baria/

 

Zeimobs deda buneba

K’ek’lutsad monartavia

/Pandurze mgheris mokheve

Mzes gausts’ora tvalia/

 

Sitsotskhle sikharulia

Ia da vardi hqvavian

/Modi da nakhet qazbegi

Ra t’urpa sanakhavia/

 

Translation:

 

Qazbegi1

 

This spring has come

The mountains' snow has melted

The Aragvi2 is agitated

Like all waters of Pshavi and Khevsureti

 

The environment is green

Sheep are scattered over the mountains

Everything has become ravishing -

The high mountains and the low plains

 

Nature is celebrating

Flirtatious

The people of Khevi3 sing and play the panduri4

With the sun in their eyes

 

Life is a joy

Violets and roses are blooming

Come and see Qazbegi

It is so beautiful to see!

 

1Qazbegi is the former name of St'epants'minda, the town in Khevi that Didebai Ensemble is from. The village sits beneath the 5,033-meter-high Mount Qazbeg, the third highest mountain Georgia.

 

2The major river of the eastern Georgian highlands of Khevsureti, Pshavi and Mtiuleti. The 112 kilometer long Aragvi was dammed in Zhinvali in 1986, forming the Zhinvali Reservoir which provides power to much of Georgia. The river eventually flows into the Mt'k'vari at Mtskheta. 

 

3A highland in northeast Georgia where Mount Qazbeg and the town of St'epants'minda are located. Read more about Khevi here.

 

4A 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.

Didebai Ensemble - Aragvis Ch'alebi
+ Song Info

An unrequited love song.

+ Lyrics

Aragvis Ch’alebi

(scroll down for English translation)

 

Ambobdi aragvis ch’alebi

Skhva ch’alebs araprit ar gavso

/Mravali mdinare minakhavs

Skhva eshkhi dahk’ravso aragvso/

 

At’ekhil ch’alebshi davrbodi

Siamem qelamde agvavso

Qvavilebs giqridi nats’navshi

Chiodi qvavili ar makvso

Ghimilit shagkhede tvalebshi

Gak’otse tu ara ar makhsovs

 

Me minda simghera geduri

Rom sik’vdils tvalebshi vuquro

/Vitsi rom amaod genduri

Guls rogor momtsemdi ugulod/

 

Translation:

 

The Groves of the Aragvi1
 

You were saying that the groves of the Aragvi

Are not like any other

You said, I have seen so many rivers

But the Aragvi has a different charm

 

I was running in the groves

Filled with pride

I was weaving flowers into your braid

You were complaining-  ''I don’t have a flower''

I looked at you with a smile in my eyes

I don’t remember if I kissed you then or not
 

I want a swan song

That looks death in the eyes

I know that I am futilely angry with you

How can you give me your heart so heartlessly?

 

1The major river of the eastern Georgian highlands of Khevsureti, Pshavi and Mtiuleti. The 112 kilometer long Aragvi was dammed in Zhinvali in 1986, forming the Zhinvali Reservoir which provides power to much of Georgia. The river eventually flows into the Mt'k'vari at Mtskheta. 

Didebai Ensemble - Tendebi Nurts Gatendebi
+ Song Info

There is no English translation available for this song. If you are able to provide one, please include it in an email to aurelia@tsutisopeli.com and we will update the page.

+ Lyrics

There is no English translation available for this song. If you are able to provide one, please include it in an email to aurelia@tsutisopeli.com and we will update the page.

 

Tendebi Nurts Gatendebi

 

Tendebi nurts gatendebi     

Dido ghameo stvlisao          

Amokhval nurtsa ts’amokhval                        

Tsisk’aro tenebisao

 

Amaghldi khadas mtvareo

Tsikhet ak’rikhar chrdilebi

Khadas ver mogtsemt mepeo

Mtskhetas ar shagetsilebi

 

Erti sitsa makvs satkmeli

Sat’surto samartalisa

Rat’om ar itsis garcheva

Mamatsisa da mkhdalisa

Didebai Ensemble - Amodi Mtashi Kalau Shavtvalav
+ Song Info

A love song sung between a man and a woman.

+ Lyrics

Amodi Mtashi Kalau Shavtvalav

Music: Nino Topadze

 

(scroll down for English translation)

 

Amodi mtashi kalau shavtvalav

Ushenod kalav, ghrublebit dardoben

Ertad gavuqvet tskhovrebis gza-savals

Kalau shavtvalav

Jobia davrchet mzestan da tsastana

Amodi chemtana

 

Elva khar vazha, ghrublebshi nakukhi

Movardnil grigals ar sheushindebi

Vitsi galaghebs shen chemi ghimili

Pikrebshi shena khar

Am ch’reli otsnebit, mets gealersebi

Vazhau elva khar

 

Kalau es guli shenia itsode

Ar menaneba me shentvis sitsotskhle

Gzas supras gagishli

Varsk’vlavni shen ggvanan

Gamqopebs mzestana

Ichkare kalo, nu damts’vi survilit

Amodi chemtana

 

/Agria ghmertma gvamqopos ertada

Lamazo chven sul erturti gvets’ada

Sitsotskhles shentan visurveb khelakhla

Chems gulshi shena khar

Shensavit kveqnad veravis ver vnakhav

Sitsotskhle shena khar/

 

Translation:

 

Come Up To The Mountains, Black-Eyed Woman
 

(boy) Come up to the mountains, black-eyed woman

Without you, even the clouds are sorrowful

Let’s follow life’s path together

Black-eyed woman

It’s better to stay with the sun and the sky

Come up with me

 

(boy) You are lightning, boy, thunder in the clouds

Not afraid of a storm

I know that my smile makes you happy

You are in my thoughts

In this colorful dream, I’ll caress you

Boy, you are lightning
 

(girl) Woman, know that this heart is yours

I won’t regret giving my life to you

I will spread out a feast for you on the road

You are like the stars dividing the sun

Hurry up woman, do not burn my desire

Come up with me
 

(boy) May God grant us a life together

Beautiful one, we’ve always liked one another

I will wish to spend my life with you

You are my heart

I will never meet another like you in this world

You are my life

Didebai Ensemble - Zogi Igeti Kalia / Mts’qemsis Ghighini
+ Song Info

This shepherd's love song was sung by Kolkheti Ensemble.

+ Lyrics

There is no English translation available for this song. If you are able to provide one, please include it in an email to aurelia@tsutisopeli.com and we will update the page.

 

Zogi Igeti Kalia / Mts’qemsis Ghighini

 

Zogi igeti kalia da

Dzalit maikhdens tavsao

K’okht’ad gaivlis khalkhshia

Maigheriebs qelsao

 

Mtidan ro kmari mouva da

Dzalit aqvarebs tavsao

Me sheni gamk’virvebia

Rogor manebeb tavsao

 

Gverds tavad magigordebi da

Shamagekhvevi qelsao

Am chemi mok’le ch’k’uita

Ghames jobia dghesao

Didebai Ensemble - Darialze
+ Song Info

There are no lyrics or translations available for this song. If you are able to provide more information, please include it in an email to aurelia@tsutisopeli.com and we will update the page.

 

To listen to another version of this song, visit the page of Liza Karchaidze.

+ Lyrics

There are no lyrics or translations available for this song. If you are able to provide more information, please include it in an email to aurelia@tsutisopeli.com and we will update the page.