Valoda Dzidzishvili

Valoda often stands in the doorway of the church he tends to every day which is on the highest hill of his beautiful village, Kerana.


The songs recorded from Valoda are self-composed shairis.1  With his kind face and calm demeanor, Valoda is ready at any time, anywhere, to sing for hours with his panduri.2 His recordings were made on an unusually hot morning in early May, under a large oak tree in the shade, brimming with the new growth of springtime.


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.


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.  

Valoda Dzidzishvili - Valodi Shairi
+ Song Info

+ Lyrics

Valodi Shairi

(scroll down for English translation)


Amogtkom lekso, amogtkom

Torem ikneba vk’vdebode

/Magram shen chemsa sakhsovrad

Am kveqnaze rchebode/


K’okht’a bich’i khar vaolodi

K’okht’a gikhdeba ts’veria

/Kalebis mosiqvarule, ghvino araqis msmelia/

Ekhlandelsa p’rok’urorsa ver gamaakvs ganacheni

/Gogo me shen genatsvale, dedashen k’i mamasheni/

Tskhvarshi viqav arkhilosa, uts’qevlia dedilosa

/Khom gerchivna shvilo sakhlshi,

Lamaz kaltan gedzinosa/

Pekhi pekhze gadagedoi, dzudzu khelshi gech’irosa




Valodi Joke Song


I am going to tell you a poem, I will tell you

Or else I will die

But you, in order to commemorate me

Must remain in the world


You are a handsome man, Valodi

With a handsome beard that suits you well

A lover of women, a drinker of wine and araqi1

Right now a jury 

Wouldn’t be able to sentence you


Girl, genatsvale2 to you, your mother, and your father

As I was with my flock in Arkhilo,3 my mom cursed at me:

You should rather be at home kid,

Sleeping with a beautiful woman

With a foot over a foot,

And a woman’s breast in your hand


1Hard liquor


2A term of endearment


3Short for Arkhilosts’qaro, a town in the municipality of Dedoplists’qaro in the Shirakis Valley, where shepherds annually go to in the wintertime to graze their sheep.

Valoda Dzidzishvili - Jarisk'atsi Shairi
+ Song Info

In this joke song, Valoda recalls the time as a young man when he was called from his village in Georgia to serve in the Soviet Army.

+ Lyrics

Jarisk'atsi Shairi

(scroll down for English translation)


Hei tkven javakhianno, gaumadzgharno dzilita

/Virebi mglebma garek’es, garmonita da st’virita/

Uk’an k’i k’oba mizdevda, tavisa lula topita

Samjer asrola zedized, topi ch’ekamda motkmita

Shvilma k’i tavi shests’ira

Deda dabrunda okhvrita

Dach’rili aris mdzimeta, veghar gamodis k’arshia

Ekimis kheli sch’irdeba, mk’urnali unda sakhlshia

T’ragik’ulad daighup’a, tavi shests’ira jarshia


Magram memduris p’at’ronsa guramas

Rom gadaagdo khramshia

/Mteli shroma da amagi, gadauqara ts’qalshia/


Unda mogiqvet ambavi, am mimdinare khnisao

Ekvsi tve iqo gasuli, ormotsdatekvsmet’ ts’lisao

Gamogvidzakhei saldatshi, otsi tskhramet’ ts’lisao

She dzidzishvilo valodi,

Shents kho khar magat khnisao

/Shents movale khar jarisa, k’anonis danakhvisao/

Aghmasrulebeli gadzebs, damjdara k’alos p’irsao

Uts’qeba moet’ania, k’itkhulobs dzidzishvilsao

Shapat mivighe uts’qeba, k’viras viqavi mzatao

Vemshvidobebi mshoblebsa, deda deidashvilsao

Da tan milotsavdnen gzebsa, ts’esia mshoblebisao

Chavskhedit mat’arebelshi tbilisshi,

Saatis tetrmet’isao

/Daidzra mat’arebeli, khma ismis borblebisao/

Tskhra dghe da ghame viaret, dziri ak khmeletisao

/Magram gamochnda k’risheb,

K’rishebi dzerzhivsk’isao/

Saatit dagvadzineben, ts’utit zomaven dzilsao

Rotsa ro ova is ts’uti, danishnul uprosisao

/Dezhurni sts’rapata qviris, p’adiom adgomisao/




Soldier's Joke Song


Hey, you Javakhetian,1 you insatiable sleeper!

The donkeys were dispersed by wolves,

With an accordion and a flute

K’oba pursued them with his barrel gun

Three times in a row he shot,

His gun thundering a lament

A child sacrificed himself

His mother returned, moaning


He is badly wounded, he can’t even make it inside

He needs doctors' hands,

He needs treatment at home

He died tragically, sacrificing his life to the army…


But he argues with master Guram

That he got him in trouble

His entire work and labor, wasted away


I'll tell you a story

That happened fifty-six years:

They called us in, 19-20-year-old boys

You, Valodi Dzidzishvili

You are of that age

And you must go to soldier on, to obey rules

The commander is waiting for you,

At the top of the hill

He’s brought some notes

And inquires about you


I received the note from the army Saturday

And by Sunday I was ready

I bid my parents and relatives goodbye

And they blessed me on my way

We got on the train in Tbilisi

At eleven o’clock

The sound of the wheels started

We travelled for nine days and nights

Until the roofs of Dzerjivski2 appeared

We hardly rested, measuring sleep by the minute

When the time came someone shouted loudly

''Hurry up, get up!''


1Someone from Javakheti, a region in southwest Georgia.


2Dzerzhinsk is a city in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Russia, 500 kilometers east of Moscow.

Valoda Dzidzishvili - Shota Khutsishvili Shairi - Givia Galegashvili Shairi
+ Song Info

A medley of two joke songs. The first, Shota Khutsishvili, is about the state of the economy. The second, Givia Galegashvili, is about the director of Valoda's collective during communist times.



+ Lyrics

Shota Khutsishvili Shairi

(scroll down for English translation)


Chvensa meurneobashi reebi ar khdeba

/Laliashvilma svanidzes Shaapurtkha zeda/

Daerivnen ertmanetsa, da uk’urtkhei deda

Asiatas manetshia, mouvidat k’ont’ra

Veghar gaqves levi puli, chkhubi masze mokhda

Tavs martlulobs karseladze, rogorts direkt’ori

Asiatas manetshia, uts’eria kheli

Didi khnis gamotsdilia, st’azhiani mgeli

Eset meurneobasa, modi gaudzeli

Aset khazeinobasa, modi gaudzeli


Agharaperi aghar darcha, chventan shauch’meli

Qvelaperi gadach’ames, tskhvari, dzrokha, ghori

Martalia es ambavi da ar aris ch’ori

Raionis gverdshi aris, da ar aris ch’ori

Aba chventan gamogzavnet ertkhel revizori

Tu khutsishvil gamaigzavnit,

Aghar gvinda araperi

Male masts’vavs mag sakmesa

Bich’i ari arghuneli


Givi Galegashvili Shairi


Shenze leksi daits’era

Galegashvilo Givia

Ghame ro t’k’bilad gedzina

Rad gaimts’are dzilia

Direkt’orad rom gakhveli

Tavs moikhvie ch’iria

Shen direk’torad ver sheedzleb

K’atsi qopilkhar rbilia

Ak aseti k’atsi gvinda

Shromashi gamotsdilia

Sul qvela mglad gadaiktsnen

Permebshi akvt qvav-qornebi

Ginda vtkvat brigaderebze

Gaumadzghari ghorebi

Dach’ames mteli mindvrebi

Tivit nakebi gorebi

/Da dghes mshivrebi bghavian

Meurneobis ghorebi/




Didni gogo, didni gogo

Didni gogo, Lamara

/Mena sheni qurebisgan

Uk’ve gavkhvdi avara/




Shota Khutsishvili Joke Song


''What is not happening in our economy?''

Laliashvili spat to Svanidze1

They began to fight and insult one another

They had 100,000 rubles2 contraband

They couldn’t split the money and a fight started because of it

Like a director, Karseladze tries to justify it

''100,000 rubles,'' he wrote by hand

He is experienced, the long-standing wolf

Such an economy - Come, endure it!

Such leadership - Come, endure it!


There is no longer anything left for us to eat

They’ve eaten everything –

The sheep, the cow, the horse

This is a true story, it’s not gossip

This place is adjacent to the township, it’s not gossip

Well, please just this once send us an inspector

If you send Khutsishvili

We will no longer want anything

He will manage this work in no time

He is from Arghuni3


1Laliashvili, Svanidze, Karseladze: Dzidzishvili is most likely referring to locals here, by their last name.


2Russian currency, used in Georgia during the Soviet Union. The Georgian lari replaced the ruble in 1993, but older generations of Georgians sometimes still refer to money in rubles.


3A village next to Kerena, where Valoda Dzidzishvili lives.


Givi Galegashvili1 Joke Song


The poem is written about you

Givi Galegashvili

What embittered you

At night, when you slept so sweetly?

When you were set up as a director

You got yourself into big trouble

You can’t be a director

You are a soft man

We want the kind of man in this position

Who has experience working
Everyone becomes a wolf

They have ravens in their farms, their cornfields

The party leaders are insatiable pigs

They have consumed everything, 

Even hills praised for their haystacks

And nowadays they shout, hungry

The pigs of our economy



Melt girl, melt girl

Melt girl, Lamara

Just in contemplation of you

I have become good-for-nothing


1The director of Valoda's collective during communist times.

Valoda Dzidzishvili - Dushetis Meurnobis Keri Schivili
+ Song Info

This is a satirical joke song. In taking the perspective of a field of barley, it tells the story of when in the Soviet Union it was publicized that the local economies were flourishing when in fact people were starving.



+ Lyrics

Dushetis Meurnobis Keri Schivili

(scroll down for English translation)


Ai ras schivis kerio

Rom shaitsvala perio

Ar gindodit rad damteset

Rodis geubnebodit

Isev is dghe damidgeba

Rats sharshan mishvrebodit


K’ombaini ara gkondat

Daimaze stsdebodit

/Musham tselebit gamtiba

Ertmanetshi vkhvdebodit/


/Tkven k’i tsetskhli momik’idet

Dakhe rasa shvrebodit/


Chemi tsodvit kva its’veba

Tsashi sts’vdeba alia

/Ras michadit direktsia

Es khom tkveni bralia/


Gadambuget gaikharet

Mash dauk’art daira

/Tavis khelit tsetskhls mik’idebs

Tedua da zaira/


Isev brigadelad ari

Chveni gogo zaira

/Isev dats’vas velodebi

Tu dauk’res daira/


Mekhanik’a tavs martlulobs

K’okht’a bich’i rauli

Gana pikrobs im ambebsa

Ro akv danashauli


Tsot’a puli ushovnia

Erti ori shauri


Ek’onomist’i ras it’qvis

Aslamazi lena

Tavis sakme k’arka maiqav

Ts’qnarad aris mela

Sts’ore p’asukh k’i ar gagtsems

Aslamazi lena


/Tu ch’k’uashi ar daujdeba

tsera titis bghvera/


Chveni k’ant’oris mushebi

K’oniak’sa svaven

/Tu revizori mivida

Rbil sk’amze daisvamen/


Vin miuvat revizori

Khutsishvili Shota

/Imas upro magra uqvars

K’oniak’is botla/


Sad ts’avide aghar vitsi

Vnakho samartalia

P’rop’k’avshirebshi shaveli

Shavabrale tavia

P’rop’k’avshiris tavmjdomares

Mots’qalebit shavkhede


Imanats k’i damat’ia

Erti amas shaikhede

She okhero gagvetsale

Gagvits’qale guli


Ekhla keri vighas gvinda

Qvelasa gvak guli


/Isev ise mindorshi var

Damts’var dadaguli/


Veghar get’qvit rat’om aris

Aghara mak gageba

/Tesamen da aghar undat

Boloi chemi agheba/


Vegharaper veghar get’qvit

Gamipuch’da guneba

/Kaghaldebze its’reba

Gegmebis shesruleba/

Amas vchivi kerio

Rom mamividees mt’erio




The Barley


Oh, how the barley complains

When it changes color:

If you didn’t want me,

Then why did you plant me?

I will witness the same 

As what you did to me last year:


You didn’t have a combine

And you were experimenting so much that

The worker cut me with a haying scythe 

When we came into contact


And you made a fire on me

Look at what you did --

By my sin, a rock will burn

The flame reaches the sky

What were you thinking, committee?

This is your fault!


You burnt me and then you were happy

You played the tambourine

With your own hands you set me on fire

Tedua and Zaira


She is again a cadre

Our girl – Zaira

I am waiting for the sound of the tambourine 

Or to be burned again


The mechanic justifies himself

A handsome guy, Raul

He doesn’t think, regarding this story

That he is at fault


He has earned a little money

One or two Shaur1

What does the economist,

Beautiful Lena, say?

She took care of her business well

And she is calm, that fox

She never gives correct answers

Beautiful Lena


Our office workers

Are drinking cognac

If the inspector visits

They offer him a soft chair


Who could the inspector be?

Shota Khutsishvili?

More than all of the workers

He loves the cognac bottle

I no longer know where I can go

To seek justice

I visited the trade union

And ingratiated myself

I looked at the head of union

With kind eyes

He, too, ignored me

Just look at him!

You bastard, get away from us

Don’t eat our hearts


''Now, why do we need barley?

When we all have money!''


I am again in the field

Miserly, worried to death


I can no longer tell you why it is -

I no longer have reason:

They sew my fields and then don’t want me

At the end, no one takes me


I can no longer tell you anything

I have lost all reason

In the papers they are writing about

The fulfillment of all of these plans


I, the barley, complain of this --

That I have such enemies


1Russian monetary unit used during the Soviet Union a 5-kopeck coin, equal to one-hundredth of a ruble.

Valoda Dzidzishvili - P'et'a Lagazashvili Shairi
+ Song Info

This joke song tells of the trouble Pet’a gets into when he steals lambs from a shepherd travelling with his flock.

+ Lyrics

Pet'a Lagazashvili Shairi

(scroll down for English translation)


Leksis simartleze gadis

Gind shekhvdes kva da rk’ini

Lagazashvilma p’et’ama

Ra sakme chaidina


Lagazashvilma p’et’ama

Ra sakme chaidina

Tskhvars mouqveba gzazeda

Moakvs mts’qemsebis bina

Morek’eba mankanas

Moechkareba shina


K’arka ujerebs mankanas

St’art’el t’ormuze p’edali

Ipikra bat’k’neb davhqidi

Jibei davart’qa mendali


Narimanidze nik’osa

K’ombali udev mkharzeda

Shekhede tavi bat’k’nebsa

Nakha skhvis mankanazeda


Sad migqav chemi bat’k’ani

An kho ar shastsdi ch’k’uazeda

Viqide chvena mit’ua

Rom movdiodit gzazeda

Narimanidze mit’ua

Shaukht’a mankanazeda


Tu iqide vit me vitsi

Ekhla mogiqvan ch’k’uazeda

Male aghmochnda mankana

Qazbegis shesavalezda

Mivida da gaacheres

Zed militsis k’arzeda


Lagazshvil P’et’ar

Ekhla get’ira dedao

Aghar gich’irsa mankanas

St’art’el t’ormuzi p’edali

Militsiashi aghmachnda

Gasrulda jibis mendali




P'et'a Lagazashvili Joke Song


The poem is about the truth

Even if it meets stone or iron

Pet’a Lagazashvili --

The things that he did!


He follows the sheep on the road

That are heading towards the shepherd's hut

Then drives off in his car

Speeding towards home


He starts the engine well

He knows how to brake, too

He was thinking of selling the lambs

And filling up his pockets


Nik’o Narimanidze

A shepherd’s staff in his hand

Saw that his own lambs

Were in another’s car

''Where are you taking my lambs?

Are you out of your mind?''

''We bought them,'' Pet’a said

''When we were coming down the road''

Narimanidze jumped on his car


''I would have known

If you bought these lambs

Now you will come to reason,''

Narimanidze said

Soon a car appeared on the Qazbegi read

He went and stopped the car

Which happened to be the border police


P’et’a Lagazashvili -

Now you are f 'ed

You will no longer use

Your car’s starter or brakes

You will be taken by the police

And your pocket-filling dreams are over

Valoda Dzidzishvili - T'onchalebze Shairi
+ Song Info

A joke song about a local woman named Sopik’o, who tires of her husband and seeks the companionship of other local men.  Valoda warns us that this song contains profane content.  

+ Lyrics

T'onchalebze Shairi

(scroll down for English translation)


Sopik’o var rik’oteli mshvenieri kali

/T’onchashia gamovtkhovdi, gavkhdi imat rdzali/


Aba ra vkna nu mamt’quvnebt, ar mivarga kmari

Rots davts’vebit ertada dzaan mdzinara ari


Lagashvili Archili sadzageli ari

Turma imas meets’ona chemi t’urpa tavi

Gamitsina gavutsine da chemik’ra tvali


Iman mashin isargebla uari ver vutkhari

Avde gulshi chavik’ari shemaqvara tavi

Imis tsolma rom gaigo, tavs deetsa zari


Chemi kmari dgheis shemdeg ch’k’uaze veghar ari

Sopik’oze gamatsvala khalkhshi mamch’ra tavi


Sopik’oze gadamtsvala khalkhshi mamch’ra tavi

Aba ras izam etero, ts’esi ise ari

Adek da shents imi kmar ts’aiqe

Is sai mk’atsri ari


Modi egre gagamkhnevos rogorts sk’olis zari

Sul dagavits’qos achik’o misi khmeli t’ani

Vanushasats gaugia kherk’eladze ari

Ert dghes moida da mitkhra avat mqav kali


Bevr ramesa mp’irdeboda shamaqvara tavi

Avdeki da shaviqvare uari ver vutkhari

Imi tsolmats rom gaigo tav detsa zari


Mezobelshi gamuarda arghuneli kali

Chemi vano dghei shemdeg ch’ku’aze veghar ari

Sopik’oze mets gamtsvala khalkhi momch’ra tavi


Guarmi bost’nis kharsai gav shavgvremani ari

Ert dghes moida da mitkhra avata mqav kali

Shamanana shamabrala garujuli tavi


Avdekisa shaviqvare uari ver vutkhari

Dedak’atsi mouts’amle dghesats avat ari

Guramats gadareula janze veghar ari


Ghvtisua shamamebghat’a lagazaanti

Rogorts msunagi k’at’a

/Ise miqvarkhar sopik’o

Rogorts ro mts’ipe p’ant’a/


Gadmovida sisauri rogorts ch’uk’is indauri

Rigshi dadga sisauri rogorts ch’uk’is indauri


Es k’ok’oashvili archili permi gamge ari

P’et’as mankanit movida, ghvinit mtvrali ari

Sopo k’orma mogit’ane, k’arka blomat ari


Genatsvale met’ad miqvars sheni t’urpa tavi

Tu giqvardit chemo archil, rat’o ar mitkhari

Shaip’at’izha sakhlshia da miartva sk’ami

P’et’a garet elodeba, naghvliani ari




The People of T’oncha Village1

My name is Sopik’o Rik’oteli, I am a beautiful lady

I married into T’oncha,

I became their daughter-in-law

What can I do? Don’t lie to me --

My husband is rotten!

When we lay down in bed together,

He is always very sleepy

Archil Lagashvili, he is naughty

Apparently he liked my pretty figure

He smiled at me, I smiled at him, and he winked

Then he took advantage of me --

I couldn’t refuse him

I hugged him with my heart and loved him

But when his wife heard about it, she panicked

From that day on, my husband lost it

He left me in front of everyone.


''He abandoned me, he cut me off

What can you do my friend, it is the rule --

You should stand up and leave your husband, too

For he is very strict.

Go find another who will encourage you like a school bell

Who make you forget all about your man

And his slim body.''


Well Vano Kherkheladze heard that, too

One day he came and told me that his wife was ill


He promised me so many things

That I went and loved him, too -- I couldn’t refuse him

When his wife heard about it, she too panicked


She came from her village Arghuna2 

To our neighborhood and said:

''My Vano has lost his senses

He's exchanged me for Sopik’o - He deserted me''


Guram is like a bull in a garden,

He has a dark complexion

He too came and told me that his wife was ill

I had pity on him and his tan face


So I went and loved him, too -- I couldn’t refuse him

I poisoned his wife, she is ill still today

Guram is crazy, too. He is no longer healthy.


Ghvtiso Lagazaan came to me

Like a gluttonous cat

‘'I love you so much, Sopik’o,

Like a ripe pear''

Sisauri came over too, like a baby turkey

Sisauri was standing in line


Archil K’ok’ashvili is the farm owner

He came to me in Peta’s car, drunk on wine

''Sopo, I brought you grain, the car is full
My dear, I love your pretty face

More than any other.''

''If you love me, my Archil,'' I said,

''Why haven't you told me yet?''


Sopo invited him home and offered him a chair

Pet’a waited outside, in sorrow.


1A nearby village to Kerana, where Valoda lives.


2A nearby village to Kerana, where Valoda lives.

Valoda Dzidzishvili - Gogo Shavtvala Shairi - Shirakis Maria Shairi
+ Song Info

A medley of two joke songs. The first, Gogo Shavtvala, Valoda learned from his ancestors. It is about a man courting a woman, insisting that if she tells her mother they want to get married, he will buy things for her family members. The second, Shirakis Maria, is a joke song about a fight between a farmer and locusts.



+ Lyrics

Gogo Shavtvala Shairi

(scroll down for English translation)


/Gogo gogo shavtvala

Bich’ma shamogitvala/

Ese rat’om mats’valeb

An ho mitkhar an ara


Utkhar gogo dedashensa

Nu gvalodebs ertmanetsa

Shen k’okht’a t’upleb giqidi

Dedashen k’i k’aloshebsa

Im mamashensa mokhutssa

Much’it mivtsem manetebsa


Shirakis Maria Shairi


Shirakshi erti kalia

Mteli shirakis tvalia

Tu k’argad ginda gaigo

Sakheli hkvia maria


Ris bechaobit davzarde

Ati tormet’i varia

Isats dzeram damich’ama

Davrchi kheltsarielia


Avdek da gutanze mivghe

Shavobi erti kharia

Mteli dghe imas mounden

Mamikhnes ati k’valia

Avdek da qana davtese

Su amosula mkhalia


Ts’avedi sanakhavata

Nu dakhvevia k’alia

Gadavkht’i mezobli baghshi

Movadzre didi saria

Gadukht’i k’aliebsa

Vidzakhdi ganigania


Erti k’alia vikveshe

T’ik’ivit vach’anch’qaria

Dablidan mekhvets’eboda

/Gamishvi genatsvalea/

Ar ari chemi bralia

Gavushvi da momadzakha

Shen agidzaghldes mk’vdaria

Dedas git’ireb k’alia

Tu sadme mogasts’aria





Black-eyed Girl


Girl, girl with the black eyes

I sent you a message

Why do you torture me?

Tell me yes or no!


Tell your mother, girl

Don’t make us wait so long

I will buy you beautiful shoes

And boots for your mother

Your father is old

I will give him a handful of rubles1


1Russian currency, used in Georgia during the Soviet Union


Shiraki1 Maria Joke Song


There is one woman in the Shiraki1

She is the pearl of the whole valley

And since you want to know more,

Here is Maria's story.......


''I pitifully raised

Ten or twelve hens

A black kite ate them all

And I was left with nothing

Then I tried the plough

I had one ox

It took him the whole day

To plough ten tracks

Then I planted corn

And herbs came up


I went to look at the field

And it was full of locusts

I jumped into my neighbor's garden

Lowered the fence and

Told the locusts to jump over

Saying, ''Go go go go''


I caught one locust

I played with it like wineskin

It begged me from below

''Please let me go -

It is not my fault''

I let it go but it turned around and shouted:

''You look like a dead dog!''

I said, ''I will F your mother, you locust

If I catch you again!''


1The Shiraki in southeastern Georgia is an arid valley close to the border of Azerbaijan, where many shepherds take them sheep to graze in the winter.