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Mandili Ensemble & Nat'o Ts'ik'lauri

Directed by Nat’o Ts’ik’lauri, Mandili Ensemble was created in 1996 in Ts’inubani. 


Nat’o grew up singing with her parents and siblings1 in Zemo Kedi.  She later moved to Tbilisi where she attended the Zakaraidze Music School and graduated from the faculty of choral conducting.


Mandili Ensemble is just one example of Nat’o’s tireless work over the years teaching panduri2 and singing in an effort to keep Georgian folk music alive.


Ensemble members: Nat’o Ts’ik’lauri; Guram Beridze; Rusudan K’ork’ot’ashvili; Liana Ts’ik’lauri; Tsiura K’ut’ibashvili; Nino Zakaidze; Leila Zakaidze; Mari Gavasheli; Khat’una Mdzeluri; Nat’o Gobejishvili; Tamar Popkhadze; Tamar Goglodze


To hear another artist from Ts'inubani, visit the page of Mariam Ch'inch'arauli.


1Nato’s sister Maqvala Ts’ik’lauri is a fine musician who lives and teaches in Zemo Kedi, where they were born.  Maqvala’s recordings can be found on her own page, and recordings of the sisters singing together can be found here, with Mandili Ensemble.


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

Mandili Ensemble & Nat'o Ts'ik'lauri - Ts'aiqvanes Tamar Kali
+ Song Info

These lyrics are loosely based on a poem by Shota Nishnianidze (1929-1999), ''Apkhazuri K'anat'at'a.''

+ Lyrics

Ts’aiqvanes Tamar Kali

(scroll down for English translation)


Ts’aiqvanes tamar kali apkhazetshi, dieloda

Mots’ame khar shen sakartvelo


Lurja tskhenits sheuk’azmes tamar kalsa, dieloda

Mots’ame khar shen sakartvelo


Didubeshi ikorts’ina tamar kalma, dieloda

Mots’ame khar shen sakartvelo




Tamar Has Been Taken


Young Tamar has been taken to Abkhazia

You are the witness, Georgia


They gave Young Tamar a beautiful gray horse

You are the witness, Georgia


Young Tamar was married in Didube

You are the witness, Georgia

Mandili Ensemble & Nat'o Ts'ik'lauri - Jamata
+ Song Info

A song about a legendary robber from Svaneti who used to raid the village of Ghebi.


Nat'o learned this song from her mother.


Another version of this song was first recorded in 1958, in Glola, Rach'a by Grigol Chkhik'vadze.

+ Lyrics


(scroll down for English translation)


Svansa jamatas amboben

Dzlier at’erobda ghebsao

K’ari-k’ar dauaraqe

Ushgulel khaldeshlebsao


Ghebulno akhalo vazhno

Chveni dghe aris dghesao

Qvelani sheviaraghdet

Tavzari davtset mt’ersao


Tavgadakachlul jamatas

Shishisgan sulis sdzvrebao

Sheurtskhevs mots’ipuloba

Badzgebshi uk’udzvrebao


Jamata gakhda parshia

Perdshi pintikhi khvdebao

Siskhli gadasdis ghvarada

Svani jamata k’vdebao


Es imit’om jamatao

Ar gvishvebdi mgzavradao

Ts’agvartmevdi chokha-nabads

Dagvadebdi valadao






They say that Svan1 Jamata

Terrorized Ghebi- He waited for

The Khaldeshli Family of Ushguli3

At their doorsteps


Young brave men of Ghebi

Today is our day

Let’s all take up arms

And scare off the enemy


The heart of bold Jamata

Is seized with fear

Let his maturity be disgraced

For he is hiding in the holly bushes!

Jamata’s flesh was minced

By a bullet in his side

Blood escapes in torrents

Svan Jamata is dying


This is because, Jamata

You did not let us travel!

You robbed us of our chokhas4

And you always left us in debt!


1Svaneti is a region in Georgia, perched high in the Caucasus Mountains in the northwest of the country.  The local language is Svan, one of four Kartvelian languages spoken in Georgia.  Due to its isolation, Svaneti more than other regions has retained many of its ancient customs throughout the centuries, including its unique choral singing tradition.  


2A village with a rich and long history, Ghebi was in the same region as Svaneti until the principalities were divided in the 16th century. Today it is in Rach'a.


3A village in Upper Svaneti. Read more about Ushguli here.


4Part 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.  

Mandili Ensemble & Nat'o Ts'ik'lauri - Am Ghamit Shentan Ara Var
+ Song Info

A love song.


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

+ Lyrics

Am Ghamit Shentan Ara Var

(scroll down for English translation)


Am ghamit shentan ara var                     

Chems tvalts’in mkholod mtebia        

Vegharts k’aravshi shevsulvar           

Vegharts mtit gadmikhedia                  


Mts’qralad shemartul ts’arbivit           

Kedi ts’in gadameghoba                        

Me k’i akedan shenemde                       

Erti gaprenats meqopa                           


Ase mgonia zamtarma                        

Chemi gulis tkma shena khar           

Mtebs aket mart’o me davrchi            

Mtebs iket mkholod shena khar              


Shen chemo bedis varsk’vlavo          

Kalo shavtval ts’arbiano                      

Tsisk’ris mosvlamde melode              

Tu mosvla davagviano                        


Mtebze mgelivit gadmoval                  

Khev-khev davqvebi mdinares       

Rom k’eris shukze shegasts’ro              

Tvali nebivrad mdzinares                    


Rom sheni sitbo visuntko           

Da mere tundats gangebit           

K’vlav me da chemi nabadi         

Mtebs ikit gadvik’argebit              




Tonight I am not with you

There are only ridges in front of me

I can't enter the tent

Nor can I see the view ahead


Like the shape of an angry eyebrow

The mountains above me cut me off

To get from where I am to you

One flight would be suffice


So for this winter I think

I will remain with a lonely heart

Alone on my side of the mountain

Though you are so close


You are the star of my fate

Black-eyebrowed woman

Wait for me at the coming of dawn

If I arrive a little late


I will climb over the ridge like a wolf

From valley to valley, over the rivers

So that by the light of the hearth I'll come

To pamper your sleeping eyes


So that I can breathe in your warmth

And then if you hold your breath

I, in my shepherd cloak 

Will again vanish over the ridge

Mandili Ensemble & Nat'o Ts'ik'lauri - Chemo Tsitsinatela
+ Song Info

A love song.

+ Lyrics

Chemo Tsitsinatela

(scroll down for English translation)


Shen gimgheri shen gigalob

Chemo tvalebmaqvala

Modi chemo sikharulo

Molodinma damghala


Dasats’velad ts’amek’idnen

Tsetskhlovani tvalebi

Qaqachosats sheshurdeba

Sheni bagis khalebi


Miqvars miqvars brolis mk’erdze

Sheni bagis chanchkeri

Sheni erti gaghimebit

Samudamod damch’eri


Net’av ristvis gamighime

Mzis skhivebze damts’velad

Vis aunte eg sinatle

Chemo tsitsi natela




My Firefly


I'll sing to you, I'll serenade you

My blackberry-eyes

Come to me, my happiness

For I am tired of waiting


You are trying to burn me

With your fiery eyes

Even poppies are envious of the

Pretty birthmarks 'round your lips


I love your crystal breast

And the waterfall of your lips

With just one smile

You have eternally wounded me


I wonder why you beamed at me so

It burned worse than a ray of sun!

You illuminated me with that light

My firefly

Mandili Ensemble & Nat'o Ts'ik'lauri - Alazanze
+ 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 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 and we will update the page.




Alazanze chaiara nislma

Elvam dahk’ra qanebs naqamirals

/Alazanze mts’qemss undoda misvla

Rogorts irems mts’qurvalsa da qvirals/


Mts’qemsi ghamit iaraghsa hp’iravs

Gashlil dekars uprialebs kari

/Da chongurze shua tsetskhlis p’iras

Shairs ambobs mzetunakhav kalze/


Alazanze mobughrave irma

Lerts’mianshi sabanaod chadis

/Ikve mts’qemsma chveni soplis gmirma

T’qviit mk’erdi sheugheba nadirs/

Mandili Ensemble & Nat'o Ts'ik'lauri - Kal-Vazhis Sat'rpialo
+ Song Info

A love song sung between a man and a woman.



+ Lyrics

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


Kal-Vazhis Sat’rpialo


Kalau silaghev gulisa

Mak’mare t’anjva pikrebi mts’veli

Stkvi sit’qva shvebisa


Vazhau qoil var k’ordisa

Amosuls mtebshi utskho alersi

Rad meqorebisa


Kalau shors viqav brdzolada

Shevmusre mt’eri veragi mt’eri

Mshvidobis mgmobeli


Vazhav garjilkhar sts’orada

Miqvars vazhk’atsi mkhne da mamatsi

Mshvidobis mdomeli


Kalau shentvis makvs es guli

Vazhav var sheni ertguli


Dghe gvakvs mziani nateldghiani

Brts’qinavs da daria


Vishromot, vilkhinot vikharot

Guls javri ar mivak’arot

Vadidot khalkhis diadi dzala

Kveqnis siqvaruli

Mandili Ensemble & Nat'o Ts'ik'lauri - Dideba
+ Song Info

Dideba is a saperkhulo or round dance ritual song from eastern Georgia.  


To hear another version of this song, visit the page of Nelkarisi Ensemble.



+ Lyrics


(scroll down for English translation)


Dideba da ghmertsa dideba

P’irvelad ghmerti vakhsenot-o

Da mere da ts’minda giorgi

Ts’minda giorgi tskhensa-o

Tskhensa zis da bedaursa-o

Khelshi uch’iravs matrakhi

Matrakhi da ghvtisa p’iruli

Ghvinit agvivse marani

P’urit agvivse k’alta-o

Ghmerts dideba chven mshvidoba-o

Sakartvelo gabrits’qindeba-o

Dideba da ghmertsa dideba




Glory and Praise to God

We should praise God first

And then Saint George

Saint George sits on a full-blooded horse

With a whip in his hand

We are granted God’s mercy

With wine we honor the wine cellar

With bread we honor the granary

Glory to God and to our peace

Georgia will shine

Glory and Praise to God!

Mandili Ensemble & Nat'o Ts'ik'lauri - Kartvelo
+ Song Info

This poem, set to song by Nat'o Ts'ik'lauri, was written by Gogia K'avtiashvili of Zemo Kedi.


To hear more of K'avtiashvili's poetry and songs, visit the page of Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri.

+ Lyrics


Text: Gogia K’avtiashvili 

Music: Nat’o Ts’ik’lauri 

(scroll down for English translation)


Kartvelo – vis dautme mits’a-ts’qali kartvelo

         Shemogt’iris mta da bari kartvelo

Kartvelo – dagekhura sakhlis k’ari kartvelo

         Rad darek’e glovis zari kartvelo

Kartvelo – rad ar mohk’vdi ghirseulad kartvelo

         Moghalat’e rad gits’odes kartvelo

Kartvelo – rad chaikre sakhlis k’era kartvelo

         Rat’om dagdes eris ts’qevla kartvelo

Kartvelo – rom gagits’qra bedists’era kartvelo

         Rad ar st’iri rad ar godeb kartvelo

Kartvelo – rad shegriskha krist’e ghmertma kartvelo

         Rad gagzarda net’av dedam kartvelo






Georgian, To whom did you give the land and water?

                   The mountains and plains cry for you.

Georgian, If only you closed the door to your house

                   Why did you ring the bell of mourning?

Georgian, Why did you not die a worthy death?

                    Why did they call you a traitor?

Georgian, Why did you smother your hearth?

                    Why is our nation cursed?

Georgian, Why is your destiny against you?

                    Why do you not lament?

Georgian, Why is God’s wrath upon you?

                     I wonder why your mother raised you.

Mandili Ensemble & Nat'o Ts'ik'lauri - Gogov Miqvarkhar Shen
+ Song Info

A song of unrequited love sung between a man and a woman.

+ Lyrics

Gogov Miqvarkhar Shen

(scroll down for English translation)


Gogov miqvarkhar shen

Vits’vi me shenita

Me gdzulvar skhva giqvars

Davdivar bnelita


Ra vkna rom skhva miqvars

Gulit var damts’vari

Shen tavs mabraleb da

Ar makvs me sashveli


Mts’vav tsetskhli ushenod

Da dghe mibneldeba

Veli shen siqvaruls

Magram dro grdzeldeba


Nu mitsdi tsodo khar

Gulit nu mat’areb

Ghalat’i dznelia

Da shents gagamts’arebs




Girl, I love you



Girl, I love you

I burn for you

But you hate me and love another

And I am walking in the dark



Well what can I do ?

My heart burns, too

You blame me but

I have no escape


I am burning in fire without you

All my days have become dark

I wait for your love

But time goes on



Don’t wait for me, that’s pitiful!

Don’t carry me in your heart

Betrayal is hard

And you will suffer

Mandili Ensemble & Nat'o Ts'ik'lauri - Arts'ivi
+ Song Info

This song is based off of the poem entitled ''Eagle,'' written by Vazha-Pshavela.1


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


(scroll down for English translation)


Arts’ivi vnakhe dach’rili

Qvav-qornebs eomeboda

Ets’ada bechavs adgoma

Magram veghara dgeboda


Tsal mkhars mits’aze miitrevs

Gulisp’ir siskhli stskheboda

Vah dedas tkvensas qovebo

Tsud dros chagigdavt khelada

Toro nakhavdit tkven bumbuls

Gashlils gapant’uls velada




This translation is from Venera Urushadze's 1958 ''Anthology of Georgian Poetry.''  


The Eagle

By Vazha-Pshavela1


In haughty pride, though wounded sore,

An eagle fought the raven-crow.

The bird in desperation strove

To rise but fell in frenzied woe.

His right wing swept the blood-stained ground;

His bosom shone in crimson glow.

"Alas! you smite, O ravens wild,

When I am wounded, fallen low.

Were I not struck, your feathers black

Would surely deck the plains below!"


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 ''son from Pshavi.'' He was born and raised in the village of Chargali where a museum for him, opened in 1961, exists today.

Mandili Ensemble & Nat'o Ts'ik'lauri - Aragvis Kheobazeda
+ Song Info

A love song.

+ Lyrics

Aragvis Kheobazeda

(scroll down for English translation)


Aragvis kheobazeda

Ts’qaro chamodis ank’ara

Ts’qaroze kali gamodis

Lamazi loqeb qarqara




In the Aragvi Gorge1


In the Aragvi gorge

Falls a spring of pure water 

A woman with beautiful cheeks

Arrives at the fountain


1The major river of the eastern Georgian highlands of Khevsureti, Pshavi and Mtiuleti. The river eventually flows into the Mt'k'vari at Mtskheta.

Nat'o Ts'ik'lauri & Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri - Irmas Dat'irili
+ Song Info

This mourning song was written for Irma Ts'ik'lauri, an intelligent and creative soul who died in her late teens in the early 1990's.  


Her uncle Gogia K'avtiashvili wrote this poem, and her aunt Nat'o Ts'ik'lauri composed the melody.

+ Lyrics

Irmas Dat’irili

Text: Gogia K’avtiashvili

Music: Nat’o Ts’ik’lauri


(scroll down for English translation)


Shen t’adzris angelozi khar

Da salotsavi santeli

Samotkhis sasupevelshi

Irma dagadges nateli


Rogor gshvenoda sidinje

Sitsili mch’ekar khmiani

Auchkareblad lamazad

Sheni simgheris ts’k’riali


Aghar mogvikhval am kveqnad

Ats’ mits’as mibarebuli

Gadakhundeba taroze

Sheni ts’igni da rveuli


Shen t’adzris angelozi khar

Da salotsavi santeli

Samotkhis sasupevelshi

Irma dagadges nateli




Irma's Mourning Song

Text: Gogia K'avtiashvili

Music: Nat'o Ts'ik'lauri

You are the church’s angel

The sacred candle

In the paradise of Heaven

Irma, you will shine eternal


Your dignified charm

Your thunderous laugh

Your beautiful grace

The clarity of your song


You will not come back to us

For you are buried in the earth

Your books and your notes

Will fade on the shelf


You are the church’s angel

The sacred candle

In the paradise of Heaven

Irma, you will shine eternal

Nat'o Ts'ik'lauri & Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri - Sakartvelos Kalebi
+ Song Info

This song, called ''Georgia's Women,'' is based on Lado Asatiani's poem, ''Sakartvelo Iqo Mati Saotsnebo Sakheli.'' 


To hear another version of this song, visit the page of Marik'a Aladashvili.

+ Lyrics

Sakartvelos Kalebi

(scroll down for English translation)


Dzvelad turme rotsa mt’rebis utvalavi jarebi

Modiodnen rom gaeghot sakartvelos k’arebi

Mama-k’atsebs gverdshi hqvada vit poladis parebi

/Da mt’rebs mattan ertad stsemdnen

Sakartvelos kalebi/


Sadats unda qopili iqvenen,  Marad daudzrakhveli

/Sakartvelo iqo mati, Sautsnebo sakheli/


Isev mt’k’itset idgnen turme vit met’ekhis k’edeli

Gmiri tina ts’avk’iseli, da maia ts’qneteli

Mati khmali tsetskhls aprkvevda mt’eri k’rtoda veragi

/Sakartvelos tsitspers hgavda, peri mati meranis/


Mamulistvis daikhotsnen,  marad daudzrakhvelni

/Sakartvelo iqo mati,  sautsnebo sakheli/




Georgian Women

In ancient times

When uncountable armies of enemies

Were coming to open the doors of Georgia

Men had shields of steel

Georgian women were fighting, too


Wherever they wanted to be, they were

Always beloved and accepted

Georgia was theirs

The place of their dreams


The heroines were standing as strong

As the walls of Metekhi Fortress 

Tina from Ts’avk’isi, Maia from Tskheneti

Their swords sparked and the enemies were frightened

The color of their horses resembled the Georgian sky

The color of pegasus


They died for their fatherland, without regret

And Georgia was the place of their dreams

Nat'o Ts'ik'lauri & Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri - Madziebulo Bedisa
+ Song Info

Poetry: Gogia K'avtiashvili

Music: Nat'o Ts'ik'lauri


This song refers to the many people who left Georgia after the fall of the Soviet Union in search of work and opportunity.


To hear more songs written by Gogia K'avtiashvili, visit the page of Maqvala Ts'ik'lauri.

+ Lyrics

Madziebulo Bedisa

Text: Gogia K’avtiashvili

Music: Nat’o Ts’ik’lauri  

(scroll down for English translation)


Skhvagan nu ts’akhval, kartvelo

Bedisa sadzebnelada

Shens mkhares hp’ove savane

Rogorts schveodat dzvelada


Nu miat’oveb eulad

Shens mama-p’ap’at k’erasa

Pupunebas da simdidres

Igi gerchivnos qvelasa


Mogagondeba samshoblo

Mze rom amova mts’vervalze

Momak’vdavs sastumalzeda

Is mogadgeba enaze


Gagakhsendeba khandiskhan

Nana namgheri dedisa

Uk’etes skhvagan ras nakhav

Madziebelo bedisa


Tu daibade kartvelad

Sulits Kartuli geghirsa

Ar mogasvenebs saplavshi

Zmaneba sheni kveqnisa


Tskhvagan nu ts’akhval, Kartvelo




To The Fate Seeker


Don’t go elsewhere, Georgian

In search of your fate

Find refuge in your home

As the old people did


Don’t desert

The hearth of your ancestors

Choose what is yours

Over comfort and wealth


You'll be reminded of your homeland

When the sun rises over its peaks

Its name will take root on your tongue

When you are on your deathbed


You will remember

The lullabies your mother sang

You, fate seeker

What have you seen elsewhere that is better?


If you were born as a Georgian

Your soul is that of a worthy Georgian

With no passion for your country

You will find no rest in the grave


Don’t go elsewhere, Georgian