Gogia Todadze & Valo Shinjik'ashvili
Melaani

Gogia and Valo, aged seventy-five and eighty-five respectively at the time of recording, are long-time neighbors and friends.  They are from Melaani, a village set amidst rolling hills of K'akhetian vineyards.  

 

Both men were members of the well-known Gurjaani Ensemble during the Soviet Union and have sung together for decades.

Tskhra Dzma Kherkheulidze - Gogia Todadze
+ Song Info

During the 1625 Battle of Marabda against the Iranian army, nine Georgian brothers died alongside their sister and mother defending the homeland.  

 

To hear another song about the Nine Brothers Kherkheulidze, visit the page of Sopia K'akhabrishvili.

 

Below is a translation of Lado Asatiani's poem ''The Nine Kherkheulidze Brothers'' which explains more of the story behind this song. This translation is from page 178 of Venera Urushadze's ''Anthony of Georgian Anthology'' published in 1958.

 

The Nine Kherkheulidze Brothers

 

Nine brothers lived and toiled together.

They ploughed and sowed on field and plain.

Where'er they worked the fields were blessed

With fragrant hay and golden grain.

And now upon that very field

The brothers come to fight the foe.

Dawn, creeping from the eastern sky,

Lights up Marabda field, and lo!

Shields, banners, swords, the cross gleam in

The sun's first rays. The trumpets blow!

The Georgians forward rush with cries:

"For Kartli, strike! Down with the foe!"

A living mass of fire and steel

Rolls on the field. Foremost of all

The brothers fight, devoid of fear,

And stand together like a wall.

They watch the youngest of the nine

To see that he fall not behind.

Though very young, his every blow

Cleaves through a helmet swift as wind,

The sword grows redder, death-shots pour,

The earth with mortal clay is spread.

The field once golden now runs red

With the blood of a myriad dead.

The enemy breaks through... Soon four

Of the brothers sink on the ground.

A horseman bearing Georgia's flag

Rides quick away for the hills bound.

The roaring mass of fire and steel

Is hushed and scattered on the field.

The sun's last rays now gleam on cold

Dead eyes and broken limb and shield.

The scythe of death a harvest reaps

Of men who died for their country;

Their names, not born to die, will live,

Their souls will light the heavens high.

+ Lyrics

Tskhra Dzma Kherkheulidze

(scroll down for English translation)

 

Marabdis velze ibrdzoda                      

Kherkheulidze dzmania                       

/Tskhra iqo, tskhrave daetsa,

Tskhram brdzolit suli dalia/

 

Deda tana hqavs shvilebsa

Gmiri kartveli kalia

Shvilebi rom chaukhotses

Tviton aigho khmalia

Bevri momkhvduri chak’apa

Adina siskhlis ghvaria

 

Bevri momkhvduri chak’apa

Adina siskhlis ghvaria

Mat ar dautmes mamuli

Da moikhades valia

 

Mat ar dautmes mamuli

Da moikhades valia

Marabdas dadga mzis skhivi

Mt’ris saplavebze ghamea

 

Translation:

 

Fighting in the Marabdi Valley1

Were the Kherkheulidze brothers

There were nine, all nine died    

Nine souls perished in struggle

 

A mother of many children

A heroic Georgian woman

When the children all died

She herself took the sword

She struck many down

Blood came in torrents

 

She struck many down

Blood came in torrents

They didn’t endanger

The value of the fatherland

 

They didn’t endanger

The value of the fatherland

At night there is a ray of sun

For the dead of Marabda

 

1During the 1625 Battle of Marabda against the Iranian army, nine Georgian brothers (the Kherkheulidze brothers) died alongside their sister and mother defending the homeland.  

Samamulo Omis Monatsileta
+ Song Info

Poetry by Mirza Gelovani (1917-1944), a Georgian poet who died fighting in the Soviet ranks during World War II. He was posthumously rewarded the Shota Rustaveli State Prize in 1975.

+ Lyrics

Samamulo Omis Monatsileta 

Poetry by Mirza Gelovani

 

Dzmata saplavze tsetskhli inteba                

Shinmousvleli dzmebi gvakhsovdes           

Movalt nislebad movalt ts’vimebad                        

Jarisk’atsebad agharasodes                       

 

Kharobs samshoblo, mgheris buneba       

Aravis akhsovs mts’are ts’utebi                   

Dabrundebian budes mertskhlebi             

Chven k’i verasdros ver davbrundebit     

 

Ar davbrundebit, ver davbrundebit                      

Ver vagugunebt dzmobis k’erias    

Tkventvis vibrdzodit rotsa vibrdzodit       

Tkventvis vibrdzodit rats gvibrdzolia         

 

Erti qumbaro gveqo samives                       

Tkveni mzisatvis tavi gavts’iret                 

Bevrni viqavit erti samara                          

Tkhilis gulivit gavinats’ilet                           

 

Magram sitsotskhle isev grdzeldeba           

Shinmousvleli dzmebi gvakhsovdes           

Movalt nislebad, movalt ts’vimebad           

Jarisk’atsebad agharasodes                         

 

Translation:

 

There is a fire lit at the brothers' graves

We will remember these unripe men

We will come in fog, we will come in rain

But those soldiers will never come again

 

The homeland delights, nature sings

But no one remembers the bitter minutes

The swallows return to their nests

But we shall not

 

We won’t return, we can’t return

We can no longer light our brothers' hearths

We fought for you when we fought

What did we fight for?

 

One grenade was enough for three

We died for your light of day

We were many in one grave

Packed like nuts in a shell

 

But life goes on

May we remember our lost brothers

For we will come in fog, we will come in rain

But the soldiers will never come again

Samasi Aragveli - Gogia Todadze
+ Song Info

The song tells of three hundred men from the highlands of PshaviKhevsureti 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 BugechashviliBabuli Janirashvili and Didebai Ensemble.

+ Lyrics

Samasi Aragveli

 

Uch’k’nobelia sitsotskhle

Samasi aragvelisa

Samasi gmirma mtielma

Arts’ivis prtebi sheiskha

Da gadmoprindnen tbilisshi

Erek’les rotsa uch’irda

 

Da gadmoprindnen tbilisshi

P’at’ara k’akhs rom uch’irda

Qvelas goneba uch’rida

Da qvelas khmalits uch’rida

Ati meomris ts’inashe

Erti kartveli dgeboda

Ismoda tskhenis pekhis khma

Tskhenits k’i qalqze dgeboda

 

Tsam daiqara ghrublebi

Lurji ghrublebi tsisani

/Mat ar dautmes mamuli

Javrits ar ch’ames mt’risani/

 

Mat ar dautmes mamuli

Javrits ar ch’ames mt’risani

Da darchnen marad

Ertgulad shvilebi aragvisani


Translation:

 

The story of  the Three Hundred Aragvelians1

Will never fade

Three hundred Mtiul2 heros

Like wings of an eagle

Flew down to Tbilisi

When King Erek’le3 was in need

 

They flew down to Tbilisi

When young men were needed

All of them were cut down

All with blades were cut down

In front of one Georgian 

Stood ten enemies

He heard the sound of hooves

For the horse too was prancing

 

The sky was scattered with clouds

Blue clouds filled the sky

They were loyal to the fatherland

For sorrow alone doesn't eat the enemy

Those children from Aragvi4

Will remain eternally honored

 

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.

 

2People from the highland of Mtiuleti in northeast Georgia, along the Aragvi River. Read more about Mtiuleti here.

 

3King Erek'le II, also referred to as Heraclius II of Georgia, reigned as King of Ka'kheti from 1744-1762. 

 

4The 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.