Neli Bugechashvili
Tokhliauri

Neli was born in the mountains of Pshavi1 in 1958, in the village of Shuapkho.  At the age of two, her family moved from the mountains to eventually settle in K’akheti. 

 

Although she has spent most of her life in the plains, Neli feels very connected to the mountains where she was born.  Her musical talents come from both of her parents; her mother had a wonderful singing voice, and her father was well-known for his panduri2 playing.

 

Today, Neli is married and has one daughter and lives in the village of Tokhliauri.

 

1A highland region in northeastern Georgia. Read more about Pshavi here

 

2A 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

Neli Bugechashvili - Chemi Samshoblo
+ Song Info

Neli remembers this patriotic song about Georgia as one of her father’s favorites.  

 

To hear another version of this song, visit the page of Mikheil Sepiashvili.

 

 

+ Lyrics

Chemi Samshoblo  

(scroll down for English translation)

 

Amoshukdi amobrts’qindi
Mzeo okros tmebiano
Gaikhare sakartvelo
Tval uts’vdenel mtebiano

 

Or zghvas shua monarnare
Mits’avis ar qvarebia
Shotas mkhares, vazhas mkhares
Vin ar gaukharebia

 

Amoshukdi amobrts’qindi
Mzeo okros tmebiano
Gaikhare sakartvelo
Gagimarjot kartvelebo!

 

Translation:

 

My Homeland

 

Rise and shine in your magnificence

You, the golden-haired sun

Glory to you, Georgia

And to the boundless mountains

 

Existing between two seas1

Is a land loved by everyone

Shota’s2 side, Vazha’s3 side

Who is not joyful?

 

Rise and shine in your magnificence

You, the golden-haired sun

Glory to you, Georgia

And to the boundless mountains

 

1The Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.

 

2A twelfth century Georgian poet, author of the famous ''Knight In The Panther's Skin,'' and one of the greatest contributors to Georgian Literature. Read more about Rustaveli here.

 

3Luka Razikashvili (1861-1916) was one of Georgia’s most famous poets and writers. He wrote under the pen name Vazha-Pshavela, which literally means ''son from Pshavi.'' He was born and raised in the village of Chargali where a museum for him, opened in 1961, exists today.

Neli Bugechashvili - Samasi Aragveli
+ 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 artists sing about the Three Hundred Aragvians, visit the pages of Babuli Jangirashvili and Didebai Ensemble.

+ Lyrics

Samasi Aragveli

(scroll down for English translation)

 

Chokit movdivar k’rts’anisit

Tkven sadideblad gmirebo

Tkveni daghlili tvalebis

Chak’otsnas davap’irebo

 

Mt’ris urdos jikur ek’vetnen

Nap’erts’k’als qridnen tvalebit

Dzaghlik’ats jishis khevsurni

Gogoturivit pshavelni

 

Vai rom veghar aantet

Mibnelebuli bukhari

Aragvet veghar daliet

Aragvis ts’qali mkukhari

 

Pekhi ver dadgi ertkhela

Sak’utar k’eris zghurblzeda

Veghar gak’otsat dedama

Dach’ril dak’ech’nil shublzeda

 

Vepkhvebs da lomebs vjobivart

Algets lek’vebi mglisani

Mze chamovtskhrilet mits’aze

Mtvares vesrolet isari

 

Translation:

 

Three Hundred Aragvians1

 

I am coming to K'rts'anisi,2 

Dressed in a chokha3 

To praise you, heroes

Your tired eyes

Will be kissed by my lips

 

You clashed with the enemy

The sparking eyes of

Those ferocious Khevsurs

Were like Gogoturi4 from Pshavi5

 

You no longer light

The fireplace anymore

You don’t drink

The water from the Aragvi6 anymore

 

You will no longer set foot

In the warmth of your own house

And your parents won’t kiss you 

On your wounded forehead any longer

 

Your fighting surpassed tigers, lions and

The Wolf cubs of Alget’i7

You brought the sun down to the ground

And shot an arrow to the moon

 

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.

 

2Where the Battle of K'rts'anisi took place in 1795, outside of Tbilisi. Read more about the battle here

 

3Part of a traditional male dress of the Caucasus. There are four versions of the garment within Georgia, and it is linked to a strong sense of national pride. Read more about the chokha here

 

4Legendary Khevsur shaman, known for having a love affair with the goddess Samdzimari.

 

5A highland region in northeastern Georgia. Read more about Pshavi here

 

6The 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. 

 

7A village nearby K’rts’anisi

Neli Bugechashvili - Khel Mart'oobas Rom Schivi
+ Song Info

A shairi1

 

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

Khel Mart'oobas Rom Schivi

(scroll down for English translation)

 

Khel mart’oobas rom schivi

Ara khar shesabralebi

Gaiar gamoiaret

Matodenia kalebi

 

Tu vinme mogets’oneba

Mere mets dagekhmarebi

Dilit mogit’an mzitevsa

Dilas davak’ar nalebi

 

Madlobeli var dedidzmav

Damkhmare mezoblisao

Vap’ireb tsolis moqvanas

Male gavmartav lkhinsao

 

Skhvas aras shevats’ukheb

Para damidis tskhvrisao

Magas k’i k’arg sakmes izam

Tu k’i matkhoveb virsao

 

K’ai nalebi dagik’rav

Chamoskhmul poladisao

Lursmnebi sadgha ishove

Albat dastale khisao

 

Translation:

 

You Complain That You Are Alone (joke song)

 

(uncle)

You complain that you are alone

But you’re not to be pitied

Going left and right

How many women have there been?

 

When you really like someone

Then I will help you

I'll bring the bride price in the morning

I’ll have the horseshoes ready

 

(nephew)

I am grateful, Uncle

You are a helpful neighbor

I plan to get married

And I will soon put on a party

 

I will not disturb anymore

I've got a flock

And you would be doing me a good deed

If you lend me your donkey

 

You have made such good horseshoes

Made of steel

But where did you find those nails?

Perhaps you carved them from wood…

Neli Bugechashvili - Vertskhlis Tasadamts Maktsia
+ Song Info

A love song, the poetry of which is based on that of Khvaramze Samukashvili.  

 

The famous Tush singer, Lela Tataraidze, popularized the song. 

+ Lyrics

Vertskhlis Tasadamts Maktsia 

(scroll down for English translation)

 

Vertskhlis tasadamts maktsia

Ro ghvinit agevsebodi

Shaperilim mkna ts’itlada

Shamsvamdi shagergebodi

 

Anam mkna vertskhlis satite

Ro khelze chagedebodi

An sheni namglis qana mkna

Ro pkhaze shagech’rebodi

 

Anam mkna vardi qoili

Ro gulze dageqrebodi

An sheni dzma mkna mots’ile

Arodis gageqrebodi

 

Vertskhlis tasadamts maktsia

Ro ghvinit agevsebodi

Shaperilim mkna ts’itlada

Shamsvamdi shagergebodi

 

Translation:

 

I Wish I Were A Silver Bowl

 

I wish I were a silver bowl

So that I could fill myself with wine for you

If I were of red color

You would drink me and be pleased

 

I wish I were a silver thimble

So that I could slip myself on your finger

Or for your sickle, a cornfield

Mowed down by your blade

 

I wish I were a rosebud

Spread over your heart1

Or your brother

Never separated from you

 

I wish I were a silver bowl

So that I could fill myself with wine for you

If I were of red color

You would drink me and be pleased

 

1Other variations on this song include, ''I wish I were a rosebud, so that I could shed my petals on your lips.'' And, ''I wish I were a golden ball of wool, so that I could unravel myself on your lap...I wish I were a cambric shirt, so that I could melt on your heart.''