Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri
Zemo Kedi

Born in 1944 to a musical family,1 Maqvala Ts’ik’lauri has played an irreplaceable role in the history of her village, Zemo Kedi’s, musical life. 


In the Shiraki Valley on the border of Azerbaijan, Zemo Kedi was settled by Mtiul people in the first quarter of the 20th century when the highlanders were encouraged to move to the plains where they were given land and the opportunity to work. 


As a child, Maqvala frequently participated in events at the Cultural House – from singing, to theater, to dance. She began working there herself in 1964, at the age of twenty. By 1971, she was director of chorus and orchestra, a position she has filled with passion and grace for the last forty-three years.  She and her late husband Gogia K'avtiashvili (1937-2011), a poet and musician, wrote many songs together.  Their collaboration brought to life timeless, beautiful songs, many of which you can find on her page.


Maqvala is joined by friends on many of these recordings: Givi Lazviashvili (voice), Tamar Kavtaradze (voice), Tamuna K’obaidze (voice), and Gia Kavtaradze (bass panduri and voice).


1Visit Ensemble Mandili and Nat’o Ts’ik’lauri to hear Maqvala sing with her sister, Nat'o.

Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri - Kalo Khalebit Nakargo
+ Song Info

This beautiful love song was written by Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri.

+ Lyrics

Kalo Khalebit Nakargo        

Text & Music: Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri                                             

(scroll down for English translation)


Kalo khalebit nakargo                                                  

Ch’iamaias darada                                                      

Tser margalit’ebs nu pant’av                                        

Bedi mogadga k’arada                                                 


K’i ar dakhval dagogomanob                                        

Tma gighelavs rogorts qana                                          

Venatsvale me shen gamchens                                      

Vints am kveqnad mogiqvana                                       


Net’avi chemi gagkhada

Ar damt’ovebde tsalada

Nu gamkhdi bedit dachagruls

Martla korbudas darada


Ho da shen t’k’bilad idzine

Me unda ghame vateno

Shen chemo ubraloebav

Shen chemo bedis santelo




Woman, embroidered with beauty marks

Like a ladybug

Don't throw away your pearls

Luck has come knocking at your door


Don't come with heavy steps, come on tiptoes

Your hair waves like a cornfield

Blessings on the person who birthed you,

The one who brought you into this world


I wish you were mine

Don't leave me alone

Don't give me unfortunate fate

Don't leave me like a stag, companionless


And you sleep sweetly

I know I won't sleep all night long

You, my simplicity

You, candle of my soul                           

Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri - K'akheto
+ Song Info

A patriotic song about K’akheti, the lowland region in eastern Georgia where Maqvala was born and raised.  The region is known for the beautiful Alazani River, abundant vineyards and striking views of the Caucasus Mountains. 

+ Lyrics


(scroll down for English translation)


Ros gaipurchkneba ia da enzela, Maisis dilaso

Mashin mertskhali chamoukrolebs, Alaznis p’iraso


Samotkhis k’utkhia edemis baghnari,

Modi da nakheto

Rogor ar gimghero, rogor ar shegako,

Chemo k’akheto


Shirakis velo, alaznis velo, amts’vanebulo

K’akhuro suprav, k’akhuri ghvinit, damshvenebulo


He he hari harale


Gtkhov chveni mkharets moinakhulot,

Tundats ts’amier

Da moisminot t’k’bili kartuli mravalzhamier


K’akheli glekhits moinakhulet mkhreb gamartuli

Da ak ikhilet tsek’va tamashi dzveli kartuli


He he hari harale






When violets and snowdrop bloom on a May morning

Then a swallow will fly across the Alazani River2


It is part of heaven, this garden of Eden

Come and see it!

How can I not sing to you, not praise you

My K'akheti!

Shiraki Valley,3 Alazani Valley, all in green

Adorned with a K’akhetian feast, and K’akhetian wine

Just come visit our region for a while!

And listen to a sweet Georgian ''Mravalzhamier''4


Come meet the K’akhetian peasants

And witness old Georgian dances and games


1Situated in eastern Georgia, K'akheti is a region that centuries ago was an independent kingdom. Telavi is the capital of K'akheti. 


2Having its source in the Greater Caucasus, the Alazani River flows through K'akheti and forms the border between Azerbaijan and Georgia before it runs into the Mt'k'vari River.


3An arid area on the border of Azerbaijan in southeastern Georgia where Maqvala's village lies. It is an area where shepherds bring their flocks to graze during the wintertime before ascending to summertime pastures.


4''Mravalzhamier'' means ''long life.''  ''Mravalzhamier'' songs are often song at the feast table to wish longevity and prosperity. 

Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri - Chemi Sakheli Karo
+ Song Info

A love song called ''My Name is Wind.'' A man tries to convince the woman that loves him that he is too wild for her and she should find someone else.

+ Lyrics

Chemi Sakheli Karo

(scroll down for English translation)


Martla medzakhdi tu utseb dagtsda,

Chemi sakheli karo

Shen jer bavshvi khar, da meshinia,

Ar shemiqvaro karo

Me meshinia ar moikhiblo,

Am damtskhvreuli gzebit

Am ats’ets’ili chemi tskhovrebit

Ghelvit ts’ukhilit gznebit


Ts’adi ikrole dzlier bevria

Vints chemze uk’et uk’et galobs

Ar vitsi gza hom ara geria

O ak ra ginda, ra ginda karo


Tskhvagan shukebits bevri untiat,

Sakhlits didi akvts kharots

Tskhovreba mattvis sap’nis busht’ia,

Shen tu daberav karo

Me k’i ukhednel velur rashivit,

Vghelav vintebi vtskharob

Sul skhva karishkhals vetamashebi,

Ar shemiqvaro, karo


Ts’adi ikrole dzlier bevria

Vints chemze uk’et uk’et galobs

Ar vitsi gza hom ara geria

O ak ra ginda, ra ginda kalo




My Name, Which is the Wind


Did you really just call or cry to me

My name, which is the wind

You are but a child

And I fear you're falling in love with me

I am afraid you'll become charmed

By the ruined roads of my chaotic life,

Worried and confused in your thoughts for me


Fly away, there are many others

Who sing better than I!

Who knows, you may take the wrong road

But what is it that you want here?


There are other places with brighter lights

With bigger houses

They live in a soap bubble that you can blow away

But I am a wild horse, disturbed

Lit up and burned down

I'm a wind that plays with bigger tempests  -

Do not fall in love with me.

Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri - Ra Dila Unda Gatendes
+ Song Info

A love song by Gogia K’avtiashvili.

+ Lyrics

Ra Dila Unda Gatendes

Text & Music: Gogia K’avtiashvili

(scroll down for English translation)


Ra dila unda gatendes

An ra saghamo dadgeba

Rom sheni sark’melis gverdit

Ar chaviaro gangeba


Sanam tvals dagk’rav daglandav

Gul saguleshi kvavdeba

Mukhli chkarobs da gza titkos

Ar sts’qdeba, ara tavdeba


Tu ver gikhile ik mdgari

Sadats gchvevia p’irimzes

Gzas agich’releb t’arebit

Atasgan davkni bilik’ebs


Sheni panjrebis darajebs

Shens ambavs vk’itkhav t’iripebs

Vitsi simartles met’qvian

Ech’vs gadmiqrian kilik’ebs


Potlebs ahk’repen t’ot’idan

Sark’mels akhdian badesa

Usit’qvod damanakhveben

Shens momghimare bagesa


Da mere tundats mteli dghe

Sakhls viqo mijach’vebuli

Tvalebshi landad chamrcheba

Eg sakhe gaghimebuli




What Dawn Should Break


What dawn should break

What sun should set

When I do not climb

Through your window


Until I lay eyes on you

My heart shall be of stone

While my feet quicken their step

For the road has no start, nor end


If I don’t see you there

Where you used to be 

I'll paint the path to me in color

So that out of a thousand you'll recognize it


The willow trees, the watchmen at your window

I will ask them for news of you

I know they will tell me the truth

They will spare me from doubt 


Their leaves will reach out from the branches

And will open the curtains of your window

Without a word, they will show me

Your smiling lips


And then, if for the entire day

I am to be chained at home

My eyes will be haunted

By that smiling face

Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri - Deda
+ Song Info

A song about mother’s love. Text by Gogia K’avtiashvili. Music by Maqvala Ts’ik’lauri.


There are many poems by famous Georgian poets about mothers.  Marik’a Baratashvili’s ''To All The Mothers Of The World,'' Ilia Chavchavadze’s ''Lines To A Georgian Mother'' and Revaz Margiani’s ''Mother'' are a few examples.

+ Lyrics


Text: Gogia K’avtiashvili

Music: Maqvala Ts’ik'lauri

(scroll down for English translation)


Dedav sheni iavana

Akhsovs ak’vans sakhlis k’eras

Shvilebs rodi mogvts’qindeba

Sheni t’rpoba sheni mzera


Makhsovs dedav tbilad t’k’bilad

Ak’vanshi rom mimgherodi

Mashindeli t’k’bili nana

Akhlats mesmis chemo dedi


Iqavi svebednieri

Nu shedrk’ebi iqav mkhneda

Qvela shen shemognat’rodes

Saqvarelo chemo deda




Mother, I remember your lullaby

From the cradle

By our house’s hearth

When the children were upset,

Your love and your gaze...


I remember mother, warmly and sweetly

From the cradle when you were singing to me

The sweet lullaby from that time

I understand now, mother


Be happy and cheerful, my sweet mother

Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri - K'atso Kartvelo
+ Song Info

Text by Gogia K’avtiashvili. Music by Maqvala Ts’ik’lauri.



+ Lyrics

K'atso Kartvelo

Text: Gogia K’avtiashvili

Music: Maqvala Ts’ik’lauri


(scroll down for English translation)


Tsa shavad rad ighrubleba

Rad ts’evs burusi nislisa

Ek’lesiidan rad ismis

Zaris dzakhili riskhvisa


K’atso kartvelo, rad zikhar

Khmals rada lesav vistvisa

Nutu kartvelebs kartvelis

Gagheba gvinda siskhlisa


Ara mjeroda natkvami

Arasdros damijeria

Rom kartvels kartvelis guli

Odesme khelshi sch’eria


Albat versait ts’auvalt

Chvens ts’inap’arta chvevasa

Kishp’obas erturtisasa da

Ertadve p’irjvris ts’erasa




Georgian Man


The blackened cloudy sky

Where the fog lies

What is heard from the church?

What is the ringing of the bells for?


Georgian man, why are you sitting?

For whom are you sharpening your dagger?

Is it really possible that you would shed

The blood of your own people?


I don’t believe the saying

I've never believed

That a Georgian could hold in his hand

Another Georgian's bleeding heart


Perhaps they are doomed

Our forefathers' customs

We are one another’s rivals

Yet we cross ourselves the same way1


1Georgian Orthodox Christians cross themselves with the tips of their first three fingers brought toether and the last two pressed against the palm of the hand. The first three fingers express faith in the Trinity while the reamining two fingers represent the two natures of Jesus, divine and human. The sign of the cross is made by touching the hand sequentially to the forehead, lower chest, right shoulder and then left shoulder.  This is different than, for example, the practices of Roman Catholics and Western Christians.

Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri - Dghes Sad Iknebi
+ Song Info

A love song.


Text by Gogia K’avtiashvili; Music by Maqvala Ts’ik’lauri

+ Lyrics

Dghes Sad Iknebi    

Text & Music: Gogia K’avtiashvili 

(scroll down for English translation)


Dghe rad damibnele dghes rad memalebi

Rad ar mechvenebit rad ar gebralebi

Rad ar momanat’e, shenebr naghvlianad

Dghes shen lamazi shavi tvalebi


Me dghes shen dagedzeb,

Dghes shenzed vlotsulob

Khat’is ts’in santlebis alshi melandebi

Nu ts’akhval nugharsad,

Nu ts’akhval chemo k’argo

Nu ts’akhval torem damek’argebi


Rat’om mashinebs shentan ganshoreba

An rat’om mat’irebs me shenzed pikrebi

Tu mimat’oveb itsode k’argo

Am kveqanaze sul mart’o viknebi


Rogor momenat’ra dghes sheni nakhva

Rogor momedzala dghes shenze pikrebi

Net’av vitsode, net’av vits’ode

Net’av vitsode dghes sad iknebi




Where Will You Be Today?


Why did you darken the day and hide from me?

Why are you not even blaming me?

Why didn’t come today to give me sorrowful looks 

With your beautiful black eyes?


I've been looking for you and praying for you today

Visions of you by the icon lit by a candle flame  

Don’t go anywhere – Don’t go, my dear

Do not go, for you will be lost to me


Why do I fear parting from you?

Why do thoughts of you make me cry?

If you leave me my dear, I want you to know

I will be all alone on this earth


How I miss you today!

How I am thinking of you!

I wish I knew, I wish I knew

I wish I knew where you will be today.

Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri - Mtao Khat'ebis Savanev
+ Song Info

Text and music by Gogia K’avtiashvili.


The northeastern highlands of Georgia are home to many ancient shrines and places of prayer that are still worshipped today. This song speaks of four of these highlands (Pshavi, Khevsureti, Mtiuleti and Gudamaqari) and of the ancestors that tended to these sacred spaces. Maqvala's family comes from Gudamaqari.

+ Lyrics

Mtao Khat’ebis Savanev

Text & Music: Gogia K’avtiashvili

(scroll down for English translation)


Mtao khat’ebis savanev

Ghmerti gmparvelobt tavada

Tkvens sadideblad amovalt

Santlebit salotsavada


Nu dagvibarebt mlotsvelta

Khat’is k’ars movalt tavada

Amovimdzghvarebt k’urat’ebs

Shesats’irt dasak’lavada


Jvaro ts’inap’art nak’urtkho

Krist’es siskhlshi khar nabani

Mt’ers shentan ertad ebrdzodnen

Kebuli mama-p’ap’ani


Matsavit samshoblosatvis

Shevkhsnat samotkhis k’arebi

Ghmerto, gvimravle vazhk’atsni

Ts’inap’art shesadarebi


Ghmerto uk’urtkhe parkhmali

Khevsurs da gudamaqrelsa

Jvaro p’irjvari dasts’ere

Mtashi mtielta ak’vnebsa


Ar moishleba arasdros

Aragvelebis khseneba


Salotsavebis sheneba




Mountain, Safe Haven of the Icons


Mountain, safe haven of the icons

May God protect you

In order to praise you, we will come up

With candles to pray


There is no need to ask us, we who pray

For we'll come to you, to the door of the shrine

Following our bulls

Which will be offered as a sacrifice


The Sacred Cross of our ancestors

Washed with the blood of Jesus

Along with It they fought the enemies

Of our much-praised ancestors


Let's open the doors of Heaven

As our ancestors did, for the motherland

God, may more brave men be born

Men as good as our ancestors


God, bless the weapons

Of the men from Khevsureti and Gudamaqari

In the mountains make the sign of the cross 

Over the cradles of those from Mtiuleti


Never will they be forgotten

The people from Aragvi1

Who built sacred places of worship

In Mtiuleti, Pshavi and Khevsureti.2


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.


2Highland regions in northeastern Georgia.

Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri - Santlebi
+ Song Info

This song called ''Candles'' was written by Maqvala Ts’ik’lauri.

+ Lyrics


Text & Music: Maqvala Ts’ik’lauri

(scroll down for English translation)


Sionshi sheval da me santels avanteb

Da shenzed viloceb chumad

/Shens tavs shevavedreb, ghmerts chumi vedrebit

Sakhels ar vakhseneb sulats/


T’adarshi shevedi didebis t’adarshi

Raa sak’virveli an rad gaiotse

/Santeli avante, p’at’ara santeli

P’at’ara santelit, me shenze vilotse/


Da roca idumal khmit gavesaubre

Da roca gavande mas chemi naghveli

/Hoi saotsrebav es ra davinakhe

Tsremlad ighvreboda p’at’ara santeli/


Jvars sions vardzias sul pekhit movilvli

Da santels avanteb ts’mindas

/Oghont shen giqvarde, oghont shen gakhsovde

Met’i araperi minda/


T’adarshi shevedi didebis t’adarshi

Raa sak’virveli an rad gaiotse

/Santeli avante, p’at’ara santeli

P’at’ara santelit, me shenze vilotse/


Da roca idumal khmit gavesaubre

Da roca davande mas chemi satkmeli

Hoi saotsrebav es ra davinakhe

Tsremlad ighumeboda p’at’ara santeli


Goneba davk’arge chumad avkvitindi

Tsremlad vighvrebodit meca da santelits






I will enter Sioni1 and light a candle for you

I will pray in silence, your name to God

With silent words

I will not even say your name aloud


I entered the church

Striking and glorious

I lit a small candle, a small candle

And I prayed for you with this small candle


And when I spoke to the candle

When I told it my sorrow

My God – What did I see?

I saw the small candle crying


I will visit Jvari2, Sioni, and Vardzia3 

All on foot, and I will light a holy candle

Merely love me, merely remember me!

I do not want anything else.


I lost consciousness and quietly cried

We cried together, the candle and I


1Sioni Cathedral of the Dormition. Originally constructed in the 6th-7th century, Sioni is a Georgian Orthodox cathedral in Tbilisi, Georgia.  Read more about the cathedral here


2Jvari, or the Monastary of the Cross, is a 6th century Georgian Orthodox monastery located just outside Mtskheta. Read more about Jvari here


3Vardzia is an impressive cave monastery site, built in the 12th century. Inside is the Church of the Dormition, which dates back to the 1180's, Queen Tamar's rule during the Golden Age of Georgia. Read more about Vardzia here

Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri - Tamar Mepe Da Rustavelis Sat'rpialo
+ Song Info

A love song about the beloved Queen Tamar (1160-1216) who ruled Georgia during its renaissance and Shota Rustaveli (1172-1216), one of the most famous Georgian poets and author of ''Knight In The Panther’s Suit.'' Although not much is known about Rustaveli himself, many believe that he was in love with the queen, on whose court he served as minister.


Maqvala learned this unique ballad from her uncle in Zemo Kedi.

+ Lyrics

Tamar Mepe da Rustavelis Sat’rpialo

(scroll down for English translation)


Ertkhel mkholod isits dzilshi

Kartvel kalta vnakhe k’reba

/Gepitsebit mati nakhva

Akhlats isev menat’reba/


T’akht’ze ijda tamar mepe

Momkhiblavi eshkhiani

/Marjvniv ejga tinatini

Martskhniv nest’an-darejani/


Gars ekhvivnen skhva kalebits

Rogorts mtvares varsk’vlavebi

/Tsaltsalk’e da qvela ertad

Sitsotskhle da net’areba/


Shemovida rustaveli

Is sulmnati da mgosani

/Khelshi ep’qra mots’its’ebit

Tavis ''vepkhvis t’qaosani''/


Taqvanistsa sts’orup’ovars

Mis ts’in mukhli moiqara

/T’akht’ze mjdommats gaighima

Da tsremlebi gadmoqara/




Tamar Mepe1 and Rustaveli’s2 Love Song


Once upon a time in my dreams

I saw a gathering of Georgian women

I swear to you that I saw it

And now I miss it, too


King Tamar sat on a throne

A fascinating beauty

On her right sat Tinatin

And on her left, Nest’an Darejan3


Around them a court of other women 

Like stars around the moon

Each unique but yet everyone together

Life and bliss


Enter Rustaveli, the sultan and poet

In his hand

He held in reverance

''A Knight in the Panther’s Suit2''


He worshipped Tamar's incomparable perfection

As in front of her he knelt

On the throne she sat smiling

As tears feel from her eyes



1Tamar of Georgia 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.  


2Shota Rustaveli was a 12th-13th century poet and one of the greatest contributors to Georgian literature.  He is author of the national epic poem ''Knight In The Panther's Suit'' which is considered a masterpiece.  Although not very much is known at Rustaveli, many believe that he was in love with Queen Tamar. In the prologue of his most famous work, he states that he wrote the poem in praise of Tamar.


3Tinatin and Nest'an Darejan are two prominant characters in Rustaveli's ''Knight In the Panther's Suit.''

Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri - Kalo, Vin Mogtsa Mshveneba
+ Song Info

A shairi1 sung between a man and a woman.


1The world ''shairi'' means a short poetic verse – The practice of shairoba was found in the northeast highlands of Georgia, where two singers would alternate improvisational comical verses, often above the drone of other singers at the table.

+ Lyrics

Kalo, Vin Mogtsa Mshveneba

(scroll down for English translation)



Kalo, vin mogtsa mshveneba

Mag shukur varsk’vlavisao

Nakhvas nu damigvianeb

Damt’irebulo dzmisao



Net’avi damits’unebde

Danamebebde tavsao

Vivlidi lashar ghelesa

Vazhebs vavlebdi tvalsao



A-kalo, mdzivi ra mdzivi

Satmeurisa minao



Ar minda sheni ch’irime

Mijavrdebian shinao



Shorit varsk’vlavis sadaro

Akhlos mjobnelo mtvarisa

Kalo rodemdi gat’aro

Otsnebad gulis darisa



Ra genaghvleba ikrolos

Zena karma da kvenama

Egeba ertad shegvqaros

Chvenma bedma da ts’erama




Woman, Who Gave You Such Beauty?



Woman, who gave you such beauty?

You shine like a beacon!

Please don’t be late to visit me

I am mourning my brother



I wish you didn’t like me

And would leave me alone

I'll go instead to Lashari's shrine1

To look at the boys


Ah woman, you are such a jewel 

Your hair is so shiny



Oh but I don't want it, my darling

For at home they are against it


Far away is where the stars are

But close is better, that's where the moon is

Woman, how long should I

Carry you as a dream in my heart?


How melancholy gusts 

This powerful wind from the west

Maybe it shall blow us into each other

If that is our fate and fortune


1Also referred to as Lashari's Cross, a sanctuary to Saint George of Lashari.  Located in the northeast highland of Pshavi and famous throughout Georgia, the mountaintop shrine used to be the political and religious center for Pshavs.  The festivals of Lasharoba and Tamaroba (the latter referring to Lashari's sister shrine at Tamar-Ghele) are still celebrated every July in Pshavi.  It is worth noting that historically these summertime festivals also served as meeting places for young men and women who came from all valleys and mountains of eastern Georgia, which is why it is mentioned in love songs such as this one. 

In his publication ''The Political Symbolism of the Mid-Summer Festival in Pshavi (Northeast Georgian Highland), Then and Now'' Kevin Tuite says of Lashari and Tamar, ''These supernatural siblings take their names from historical personages who were, in fact, mother and son: Queen Tamar (reigned 1184-1215) and her son and successor George IV, known as Lashar Giorgi (reigned 1215-1222).''  

Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri - Deda Ghvtaeba
+ Song Info

Text by Gogia K’avtiashvili; Music by Maqvala Ts’ik’lauri. 


There are many poems by famous Georgian poets about mothers: Marik’a Baratashvili’s ''To All The Mothers Of The World,'' Ilia Chavchavadze’s ''Lines To A Georgian Mother'' and Revaz Margiani’s ''Mother'' are a few examples.


+ Lyrics

Deda Ghvtaeba

Text: Gogia K’avtiashvili

Music: Maqvala Ts’ik’lauri

(scroll down for English translation)


Deda ghvtaebaa eris simravle

Dedaa kveqnis manatobeli

Dedam gvshoba da deditve vsuntkavt

Dedaa chveni svet’itskhoveli


Me sheni tskera ar momts’qindeba

Shentan t’it’ini shentan baasi

Tundats gavides dedav mravali

Tundats gavides ts’eli atasi


Dghegrdzeli iqos dedav maradis

Sheni sakheli kveqnad mtoveli

Rats k’i am kveqnad sik’ete aris

Dedebo tkventvis minda qoveli




Mother Diety


Mother is the deity of a nation’s prosperity

A country’s luminary

Mother gives us life and breath

Mother is our Svet’iskhoveli1


I will never get bored of looking at you

Or of talking with you

Even if we are left with nothing

Even if a thousand years pass


May our mothers live on eternally

May their name be known

I wish for you dear mother

All of the kindness in the world



1The "Living Pillar Cathedral'' was built in the 11th century, although the site dates back to the 4th century.  Svet'itskhoveli is a Georgian Orthodox cathedral located in Mtskheta just twenty kilometers northwest of Tbilisi, Georgia's capital. It is known as the burial site of Christ's mantel and serves as a very important place of worship for Georgian Orthodox Christians.

Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri - Mdidari K'atsi, Gharibi K'atsi
+ Song Info

Author of poem unknown.


Maqvala’s late husband Gogia K’avtiashvili found this poem in a newspaper during the communist times and set it to song. The title is ''Rich Man, Poor Man.''

+ Lyrics

Mdidari K’atsi, Gharibi K’atsi

Music: Gogia K’avtiashvili

Text: Unknown

(scroll down for English translation)


Tskhovreba mart’o tskhadliv rodia

Zogjer sizmars hgavs tskhadzets ts’inaris

/Tsudits stsodnia k’argits stsodnia

Amit qopila mouts’qinari/


Aravis gvk’itkhavs did khans arapers

Sad gagvitenos sad dagvighamos

/Mosula vin gvk’itkha, ts’asvlas vin gvk’itkhavs

Chvens beds da ighbals tskhva sts’qveds uchvenod/


Vin iqo net’av vin iqo igi

Ase ugulo da ase mk’atsri

/Ra sakhelebi chamogviriga

Mdidari k’atsi da gharibi k’atsi/


K’atsis simdidre k’atsis dideba

Gulia tu mas guli akvs kvelis

/Mdidari k’atsi khshirad gvch’irdeba

Upro khshirad k’i gharibi gshvelis/


Da tu msurs akhlats gharibad movk’vde

Aba es gana gasak’viria

/Mdidrebi upro uk’et markhaven

Magram gharibni gulit t’irian/


Madloba upals man uts’qis mkholod

Ik vin ts’ava da ak vin darcheba

/Mash gaumarjos am supris p’at’rons

Kharis kedsa da glekhis marjvenas/




Rich Man, Poor Man

Life makes sense sometimes

When it resembles your latest dream

It’s never boring because

It knows both good and bad


No one ever asks us anything --

Where we would like the sun to rise and set

No one cares when we come and where we go from this world

Someone else is deciding our fate and fortune.


Who was it, I wish to know

So severe and heartless

That gave us our status on earth

As rich man or poor man?

A man’s wealth is a man’s glory

Only if his heart is generous

We often need a rich man

But are more often helped by a poor man


And if I wished to die poor

Would it be so strange a desire?

For the rich have upscale funerals

But the poor cry from their hearts.


Praise God, for only He knows

Who will go there and who will stay here

So long live he who supplied us this feast…

To the ox’s strength and to the peasant’s right hand!

Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri & Nat'o Ts'ik'lauri - Sakartvelos T'adzrebi
+ Song Info

This song by Gogia K'avtiashvili is about the strengh of Georgia's cathedrals.

+ Lyrics

Sakartvelos Ta’dzrebi

Text & Music: Gogia K'avtiashvili

(scroll down for English translation)


Chukurtmiano t’adzrebo

Martlats rom gts’qalobt ghmertia

/Tkveni k’edlebis simagre

Santlis nadeni ts’vetia/


Mt’eri gch’arbobdat simravlit

Mk’erds siskhli dagidenia

/Magram jvari ar gastsvale

Tavi ar shegirtskhveniat/


Ramdeni dushmanis guli

Shurit rom gagik’vetia

/Martlats dzeglebad mdgarebo

Sibere dagmshvenebiat/


Iqaltoeli chukurtma

Vaches nakhat’i k’edlebi

/Idges uk’vdavad maradzhams

Ghmerto shen shegevedrebi/


Kartveli eris khmad ismis

Tkveni zarebis dzakhili

/Vints tkvens sits’mindes shelakhavs

Guls gaeqaros makhvili /


/K’idev gvezrdeba ak’vnebshi

Kartvelt lek’vebi mglisani

Ise ar amosts’qdebian

Javri shach’amon mt’risani/




The Churches of Georgia


Carved, ornamented churches

God have mercy on you

The strength of your walls

Comes from drops of candle wax


The enemies were more numerous

Yet you have their blood on your breast

And you did not change the cross

You were never ashamed

How many enemies

Due to their envy have you slayed?

You stand eternally immortal

God, we humbly pray to you

The Georgian nation’s voice can be heard

The toll of your bells

May the enemy who insults you

Be stabbed with a sword


We are raised in cradles

As Georgians, as wolf cubs

We will not die out 

We will eat the malice of our enemies

Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri - Mtielis Simghera
+ Song Info

A patriotic song about Mtiuleti, a highland in northeast Georgia where Maqvala's family comes from.

+ Lyrics

Mtielis Simghera

(scroll down for English translation)


Mtiel var mtashi gazrdili

Mt’ero ar shagishindebi

/Siskhlisa nagubarzeda

Pekhi ar mamitsurdebis/


Chemi samshoblos mta-velo

Shavad nu daibindebi

/Mtiel var mtashi gazrdili

Mt’ero ar shagishindebi/


Khmalze p’iris p’ir ts’amoval

Chumad ar mogep’arebi

/Gasch’eri khmali da mk’lavo

Gulo nu shamishindebi/


Khmali mome da khanjali

Abjari tundats khisao

/Mt’ers unda guli gavup’o

Ts’era gavkhado khmlisao/




Man from Mtiuleti1

I'm a Mtiul man, raised in the mountains

Enemy – I will not fear you

I will not drown 

In a pool of blood


In my homeland, the highlands

Twighlight won't turn to dark

I am a Mtiul man raised in the mountains

Enemy – I will not fear you


I will not hide quietly

I will come and face your sword

I will cut off your arm holding it

My heart will feel no fear


Give me a sword and a shield

Even if the armor is of wood

For the enemy is destined to die

And give up his sword.


1A highland in northeastern Georgia. Read more about Mtiuleti here.

Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri - Ch'ika Ghvino
+ Song Info

''A Glass of Wine'' by Gogia K'avtiashvili was originally written for the guitar although his wife Maqvala sings it here on the panduri.


This song was written to sing at supras, where the meal is based around ritualized toasts led by the tamada



+ Lyrics

Ch’ika Ghvino

Text & Music: Gogia K’avtiashvili

(scroll down for English translation)


Ch’ika ghvinit vadghegrdzelot sakartvelo

Ch’ika ghvinit dailotsos chveni eri

Ch’ika ghvinom gvidgheghrdzelos momavali

Gulk’etili gk’lavmagari mshvenieri


Ch’ika ghvinov shen chasakhldi oditganve

Siamt’k’bilad kartvel k’atsis gulshi zarad

Ch’ika ghvinit p’at’ivi vtset am chvens mamuls

Ch’ika ghvinis sadghegrdzelots iqos marad


Ch’ika ghvinov shen shemogvrchi eris gandzad

Ver ts’agleka veravitar drota zhamma

Ch’ika ghvinov dzlieri khar amiranze

Ch’ika ghvinov ver daglia mt’erta khmalma


Ch’ika ghvino ts’auktsiot chvens ts’inap’rebs

Ch’ika ghvinit shevsvat matis sadghegrdzelo

Ch’ika ghvino ar moak’ldes qvela ojakhs

Ch’ika ghvinit dagvelotsos sakartvelo




Glass of Wine

Text & Music: Gogia K’avtiashvili


With a glass of wine let’s toast to Georgia

May our nation be blessed!

May this wine gives us longevity

To an honest, strong and beautiful future!


Glass of wine, you settled here a long time ago

You bring harmony to a Georgian man's heart

May we pay our respects to our ancestors

May we toast forever with this glass of wine


Glass of wine you remain the treasure of our nation

Nothing and no one can ever take you away, never

Glass of wine, you are as strong as Amiran1

Even our enemies can't vanquish you


With this glass of wine let’s toast to our ancestors 

Let’s drink to their toast!

May there be no lack of wine for every family

With this glass, let's say Glory to Georgia!



1Character in Georgian mythology, similar to Prometheus. Amiran is the son of Dali, the Georgian goddess of wildlife.  He defies God by bringing the use of metal to humans and in punishment is chained with his dog Kursha to the Caucasus Mountains. Similar to Prometheus, an eagle eats Amiran’s liver every day and he is healed every night.

Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri - Chems Mkhareshi Tebervalshits Mudam Mzea
+ Song Info

Maqvala remembers this song, ''In Our Land There is Always Sun in February'' from the singing of Tina Makharadze, a Georgian singer from the Soviet times.


+ Lyrics

Chvens Mkhareshi Tebervalshits Mudam Mzea

(scroll down for English translation)


Chvens mkhareshi tebervalshits hqvavis ia     

Gazapkhulis es p’irveli motsikuli                  

Chvens mkhareshi tebervalshits mudam mzea 

Da siqvaruls vit sagules edzebs guli, chvens mkhareshi                    

Tebervalshits mudam mzea

/Da siqvaruls vit sagules, edzebs guli/                    


Naadrevad ipurchkneba chvenshi vardi            

Da mertskhalits naadrevad dadgams budes      

Mets imit’om naadrevad shemiqvardi             

Shen chems gulshi mertskhalivit daibude, mets imit’om                               

Naadrevad shemiqvardi                                 

/Shen chems gulshi mertskhalivit daibude/   


Shen khom chemi tviteuli suntkvats itsi           

Aba ra makvs gulshi shengan damarkhuli        

Vardebis da qaqachota tsetskhlit its’vis          

Tebervalshi dats’qebuli gazapkhuli, vardebis da                   

Qaqachota tsetskhlit its’vis                               

/Tebervalshi dats’qebuli gazapkhuli/                           




In our land violets bloom in February  

This is spring's first mediator

In our land there is always sun in February

And the heart searches for potential love


The rose flourishes prematurely

And swallows make their nests early

Because of thisI too loved you prematurely

You are in my heart like a swallow,

You have nested in it like a swallow


You know my every breath

There is nothing in my heart unbeknownst to you

What do I have buried in my heart from you?

Roses and poppies are burning like a fire

In February the spring has begun

Roses and poppies are burning like a fire

It’s February and spring has begun

Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri - Mamulo
+ Song Info

A song called ''Fatherland'' about the hardships Georgia has faced. Written by Gogia K’avtiashvili.

+ Lyrics


Text: Gogia K’avtiashvili

(scroll down for English translation)


Nats’amebi khar mamulo

Tsremli gdenia tvalita

Ramdenjer dagch’res dagk’odes

Topit isrit da khmalita


Utskho mkhareshi mihqavdat

Mot’atsebuli balghebi

/Gits’vavden soplebs kalakebs

Ichekheboda baghebi/


Miatetrebda shav bnel gzas

Khalkhis sakonlis parebi

Idga motkma da godeba

Tsremlit etkhrodat tvalebi


Tskhenis blokvebit gateles

P’uris da keris qanebi

/Magram ver mogsp’es ver chagk’les

Urjulot rjulianebi/


Sauk’unobit gars gert’qva

Bermukhas mumli mkukhari

Ver shesdzles sheni ts’aktseva

Ver dagingries bukhari


Aseti glova mamulo

Vitsi rom bevrjer gvkonia

/Magram shen shvilta dajabna

Aravis gaugonia/





Text: Gogia K'avstiashvili


You are tortured, my homeland

You have tears in your eyes

How many times have they wounded you

With gun, arrow and sword?


They captured your children

And sent them to foreign lands 

They burned your cities and villages

Leaving your gardens in ruin


There was a black, darkened road

Filled with cattle and flocks of sheep

Full of lamentation and wailing

And tears streaming from people’s eyes

They destroyed with their horses

Your fields of corn and wheat

But the faithless couldn’t kill

You, the faithful


They surrounded you for centuries

Like a swarm of flies around an old oak

They did not manage to knock you over

They could not destroy your hearth


Such sadness, my homeland

I know you’ve experienced it many times

But never have I heard 

Of your people being surpassed by another

Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri - Tolia
+ Song Info

Love song


Text by Gogia K’avtiashvili; Music by Maqvala Ts’ik’lauri.

+ Lyrics


Text: Gogia K'avtiashvili

Music: Maqvala Ts’ik’lauri

(scroll down for English translation)


Tsis larzhvardshi moparpat’e

Tolia khar, tolia

Shenze k’argi me am kveqnad

Arts aravin mqolia, arts aravin mgonia


Mets gamichnda shentan ertad

Tsashi prenis survili

Radgan shentan vigrdzen t’rpobis da

Siqvarulis ts’qurvili


Rat’om me are shemidzlia

Shenebr prena laghoba

Albat me rom toliebtan

Ar mkonia balghoba, ar meghirsa balghoba


Gogov shenma siqvarulma

Amishala pikrebi

Tu masts’avli shenebr prenas

Mets sul shentan viknebi





Text: Gogia K'avtiashvili

Music: Maqvala Ts’ik’lauri


You fly through the azure sky

You are a seagull, a seagull

It seems to me in my life

I've never had better than you


The desire grew in me too

To fly in the sky with you

Because with you I feel

The thirst for love

Why is it not possible for me

To fly freely like you?
Perhaps because I was not raised

Alongside seagulls


Girl, your love

Has scattered my thoughts

If you teach me how to fly like you

I will forever be by your side

Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri - Jvari Ts'inasa
+ 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 the village of Zemo Kedi in K'akheti, where Maqvala remembers it being sung at village weddings. 


To hear other versions of this song from Pshavi and Khevi, visit the pages of Tsiura Beriashvili, Lashari Ensemble and Didebai Ensemble.

+ Lyrics

Jvari Ts’inasa

(scroll down for English translation)


Jvari ts’inasa marjvniv mkharesa

Ghmerto shen dasts’er

Am nepiont jvarsa

Dagvalotsine shenis dzalita

Gvamravle nepe p’at’ardzalita

Shiadzenine tskhra vazh ert kali

Angelozisa hkondet matk’vali

Jvari ts’inasa marjvniv mkharesa




In Front of The Cross 


In front of the cross

Stand to the right 

God, bless the bridegroom

Bless us with your strength

Bridegroom, may you prosper

May you have nine sons and one daughter

Take angel steps

In front of the cross

Stand to the right

Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri - Ra K'argia Chveni Sopeli
+ Song Info

A song from the Soviet period promoting the hard work of women in the fields. 

+ Lyrics

Ra K'argia Chveni Sopeli

(scroll down for English translation)


Qana kalebs veghar it’evs

Vardebivit mopenils

Silamazit tvals mogt’asebs

Es p’at’ara sopeli


Ra k’argia chveni sopeli

Ra k’argia es gogonebi


Mzes amosvlas ar atsdian

Mzes qanashi khvdebian

Tval zhuzhuna gogonebi

Vazhebs ejibrebian


Am didebas shekharian

Qvelas unda gmiroba

Gogonebma tavmjdomarea

Mistses mt’k’itse p’iroba


Bich’o mkharshi mogdgomia

Gishris nats’naviani

Dat’rialebs rogorts jara

Okros varsk’vlaviani




How Nice Is Our Village


The women look like roses

Dotting the cornfield

You've never laid eyes on

Such a beautiful little village


How good is our village!

How nice are our girls!

The women don’t let the sun rise

They meet it in the cornfield

Girls with radiant eyes

Competing with the boys


How good is our village!

How nice are our girls!

This glory makes them happy

Everyone wants to be heroic

The girls vow to the leader

That they will work hard


How good is our village!

How nice are our girls!

Boy, standing at your side

Is a girl with a jet-black braid1

Like a golden starry spinning wheel

She is turning and turning


How good is our village!

How nice are our girls!


1Georgian women typically have dark hair and traditionally wore it in braids.

Maqvala Ts'ikl'auri - Jarji
+ Song Info

+ Lyrics


(scroll down for English translation)


Jikhvtan navali k’ldeebi

Rom nakhot gagik’virdebat

Imat nats’olsa nadgomsa

Tolni ar moek’ideba


[Jarjim nu mizdev jikhvebsa

Mogineleben t’ialni

Ar daijera jarjima

Skhvats bevr mamtsdara ch’k’viani]


Jarjim chakheda jikhvebsa

Ra mshvenierni ts’vanano

Rka rkaze gadaudvia

Angelozebsa hgvanano


Chamoukrola vazhk’atsma

Khirimit sp’ilos dzvlianit

Ts’in jikhvta uk’an jarjima

K’ldeeze gadighes griali


Amoiq’vanes vazhk’atsi

T’iris pshavetis mtania

K’arebze gamoasvenes

K’ldit dapletili t’ania


Sakhsovrad jarjis saplavze

Daakres jikhvis rkania

Zed gauk’etes ts’arts’era

Jarji jikhvtagan mk’vdaria






You would be amazed if you knew

Where the wild goats1 roam on the cliffs

These places can't be seen or touched

Not even by the birds


[Jargi, don't hunt the wild goats

For they will exhaust you!

But Jarji didn’t believe them

And other wise men have been mistaken, too]


Jarji looked at the wild goat

He thought it was so beautiful

With its antlers gathered together

It resembled an angel


The young man rushed ahead

With his ivory hilted sword

But the wild goat jumped off the cliff  

With a rumble, Jarji fell too


The mountains of Pshavi are crying

For the young man who was taken

They brought in his body and laid it to rest 

Ripped and torn by the rocks


On his grave, in remembrance of Jarji

They placed the wild goat's antler

And on it they inscribed

''Jarji, killed by the wild goat''


1The Caucasian tur, a mountain-dwelling caprid found in most of the Caucasus. They live in rough mountainous terrain between 800 and 4,000 meters above sea level.

Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri & Nat'o Ts'ik'lauri - Dailotsos Sakartvelos Mta-Veli
+ Song Info

A patriotic song about Georgia that sisters Maqvala and Nat’o Ts’ik’lauri have sung together since their childhood.  

+ Lyrics

Dailotsos Sakartvelos Mta-Veli

(scroll down for English translation)


Dailotsos sakartvelos mta-veli

Dailotsos kveqnad shromis dideba

Dailotsos is diadi kartveli

Vis shukitats dghes nateli brts’qindeba

Chems samshoblos sakartvelo hkvia da

Mis shvils itsnobs kveqnad qvela diada

Karishkhlis dros igi medgrad vidoda

Mshvidobis dros is itsavda mshvidobas


Vin dastvalos tsaze varsk’vlavt tsimtsimi

Kartvel gmirta mk’erdze ordent mravloba

Vin dastvalos bednierta ghimili

Da bednier tskhovrebistvis madloba

Chems samshoblos msgavsi kveqnad sad ari

Tsa-piruz-khmelet zurmukht’i sad ari

Iavnana skhva kartuli sad ismis

Sadghegrdzelo zhamieris khma ismis




Blessed Be

Blessed be the mountains and valleys of Georgia

Blessed be the glory of work in this land

Blessed be she whose light illuminates the day

Georgia is the name of my homeland 

Her children are known for their greatness

She stands steadily through the storms 

And guards times of peace


Who can count the twinkling stars in the sky

Like medals on the breasts of Georgian heroes?

Who can count happy smiles

Or the feeling of gratefulness for a fortunate life?

Where is there a land similar to my country?

Where else is there a turquoise sky and emerald land?

Where else does one hear the sound of a lullaby

Or the sound of people toasting to prosperity?