Sopia K'akhabrishvili

Born in 1942, Sopia is the niece of Guram K’akhabrishvili, a well-known singer from the neighboring village of Mart’qopi.  Many of the songs Sopia sings she learned from her beloved uncle.


Her village is home to many churches, most notably the famously perched Ghvtaeba Monastary,1 which is located in the hills north of the village.


1Founded by Anton, one of the Thirteen Assyrian Fathers from Mesopotamia who are credited with founding monasteries throughout Georgia in the 6th century. 

Sopia K'akhabrishvili - Balada Kartvelze
+ Song Info

This poem ''Ballad of a Georgian'' was written by Otar K'up'rava.

+ Lyrics

Balada Kartvelze

Text: Otar K’up’rava

(scroll down for English translation)


Ase ambobda kartveli

Sp’arsetshi dat’qvevebuli

Rats unda mt’anjot mats’amot

Maints viknebi kartveli

Mshobels most’atses mk’erdidan

Vin gauts’evda mshoblobas

Gulshi varami mogrovda

/Ver ait’ana obloba/


Uarqav kartvelobao

Shakhs isi ebrdzanebia

Daades mdzime bork’ili

Ar daigmina zviadma

Kartvel k’atsobas kartveli

An rogor daivits’qebda

Suli mzesavit nateli

/Mshobel mtebisk’en its’evda/


Orive tvali dastkhares

Mk’lavits mohk’vetes marjvena

Shubut miak’res k’edelze

Ar uts’qevlia gachena

Dzarghvshi k’vlavs siskhli uchkepda

Da sakartvelos nateli

K’vdeboda gaidzakhoda

/Me kartveli var kartveli/


Gats’amebulis saplavze

Khe aghimarta maghali

Misi t’ot’ebis shrialshi

Ismoda vazhis ghaghadi

Boghmit aghivsnes sp’arselni

Ra sasts’auli khdebao

Ak rogor unda ikharos

/Kartvelis dzvlebze khemao/


Asjer mosch’res da asjerve

Akhlad dachardila mtsa-veli

Da shrialebda amaqad

/Me kartveli var, kartveli/




Ballad of a Georgian


Captured was he, this Georgian by the Persians

Let them torture and torment me,

I shall not cease to be Georgian

He was ripped from his parents' chest

He is an orphan now

Grief has filled his heart

No longer can he stand to be

An orphan in a foreign land


Renounce your Georgian identity,

The Shah orders him  

They put heavy chains on the brave man,

But he does not tremble

How could the son of Georgia forget who he is

His soul, bright as the sun

Longs for the mountains of his homeland.


They gouged out his eyes

They cut off his right arm

They pinned him to the wall with a spear

Yet he does not regret the day he was born

Blood still runs through his vessels

And the light of Georgia

He keeps shouting out loud,

''I am Georgian, I am Georgian!''


A tall tree grows on this tortured man's grave

His song can be heard from the tree

The Persians are furious, what is this miracle?

How can a tree blossom

On this Georgian man's grave?


They cut down the tree a hundred times

And a hundred more times the tree grew tall

Shadowing the surrounding hills and land

And it sings, ''I am Georgian, I am Georgian!''

Sopia K'akhabrishvili - Tskhra Dzma Kherkheulidze
+ Song Info

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


This song is based on a poem by Lado Asatiani called ''Tskhra Dzma Kherkheulidze,'' or Nine Brothers Kherkheulidze.   


Below is a translation of Lado Asatiani's poem ''The Nine Kherkheulidze Brothers'' which explains more of the story behind the song that Sopia sings.  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.


To hear another version of this song, visit the page of Gogia Todadze & Valo Shinjik'ashvili.

+ Lyrics

Tskhra Dzma Kherkheulidze

(scroll down for English translation)


Es aprenili papari

Tu mshobliuri nislia

Visia tskhra bedauri

Tskhra damakht’uli visia


Sait ts’avidnen ra iknen

Rat miat’oves rashebi

Mkhedrevo ase uts’qalod

Rat miat’ovet rashebi

Rashebi tamash-tamashad

Brdzolebshi natamashevi


Erti matgani dach’rili

Droshas ubeshi malavda

/Its’va siskhlisgan datslili

K’urtkheul iqos marada/




The Nine Brothers Kherkheulidze1


These flying manes

This native fog

Whose full-blooded horses are these?

These nine broken horses, whose are they?


What happened, where have they gone?

Why did these fast horses leave?

For riders – You are now without water 

And the swift horses have left

They are now sparring playing

Playing amidst the fighting


One of the men is wounded

He hides a flag in his bosom

He lies down, empty of blood

May Marada be sanctified!2


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


2The Iranian Safavid army defeated the Georgian forces in the Battle of Marabda on July 1, 1625.

Sopia K'akhabrishvili - Kartveli Deda
+ Song Info

During the 1625 Battle of Marabda against the Iranian army, nine Georgian brothers died alongside their sister and mother defending the homeland.  This battle followed after the Battle of Mart’qopi in the same year.  


This ballad is based on the poem ''Kartveli Deda'' (''Georgian Mother'') by Simon Chikovani (1902-1966).

+ Lyrics

Kartveli Deda

Text: Simon Chikovani

(scroll down for English translation)


Tskhra dze hqavda tskhra vazhk’atsi dedas

Shejach’vuli khmlit da muzaradit

Kartlis drosha daulotsa mkhedars

Ros dagveskha mt’eri mukhanati


Shejiritdnen guladebi tsetskhlshi

Chainerges mkholod vazhk’atsoba

Amkhnevebdat sakartvelos eshkhi

Tvitveulma khmali gaatsopa


Dastskhet bich’o ar sheirtes dari

Deda dakhvdat mk’lavis anabara

Medroshe shvils sheashvela lotsva

Momdevno dzes drosha chaabara


Dastskhet bich’o tmebi ganidzartsva

Tavdadebit akezebda mkhedart

Tskhra marjvenam drosha gadinatsvla

Daukhrelad daubrunda dedas

Tskhra marjvenit t’qvian gauara

Arts ertia daubrunda dedas




Georgian Mother

Text: Simon Chikovani


She had nine sons, nine brave young men

Chained in swords and helmets

She blessed the horseman on the flag of Kartli

When the treacherous enemy attacked us


The courageous ones rode through the fire

They swore only on bravery

They sharpened their swords

Encouraged by their love of Georgia


''Strike, boy, don’t wait for good weather''

Mother met up with them

She helped her flagman son by praying

He surrendered the flag

To the following brother


''Strike, boy,'' she winded her hair

She encouraged them with her devotion

Nine right hands handed off the flag

That without a scratch, returned to mother

Nine, by the right hand, shot by a bullet

Not one of them returned to mother