Khornabuji Ensemble

Named after the local 13th century castle, Khornabuji is the men’s ensemble of Dedoplists’qaro.


Created in 1980, the ensemble's oevre is focused on songs from their historical region Kiziqi, which its members strive to sing in the manner of their forefathers. They rehearse at the local club twice a week and perform at festivals throughout Georgia. Their songs serve as fine representations of K’akheti’s highly ornamented singing tradition.


Irak’li K’ik’ilashvili was director of the group at the time of recording.


Ensemble members at the time of recording: Irak’li K’ik’ilashvili; Levan Khunashvili; Vasili T’ukhashvili; Vasili Tsvimonishvili; Vasili Mach’arashvili; Zurab Ts’qaroashvili; Gaioz Khutsishvili; Giorgi Bachanadze; Gela Ts’qaroashvili

Khornabuji Ensemble - Namgalo (Glesam Da Glesam)
+ Song Info

This is a samk’ali song, or harvester/reaping song.

+ Lyrics

Namgalo (Glesam Da Glesam)

(scroll down for English translation)


Glesam da glesam namgalo

Namgalo chemo rk’inao

Gasurisa mlesavita

Gasch’er gamidzegh ts’inao


Bich’o da guri shemosula

Namgalo chemo rk’inao

Ghelavs bzinavs okros perad

Uplis tvali shig t’rialebs

Modit nakhet tu ar gjeret

Haralali da haralalo

Namgalo chemo rk’inao


Herio bich’o he he

Hei da qanasa he

Amistanasa he

Mousvi bich’o he he


Namgalo bich’ebo namgalo

Haralali da arkhalalo…


Haralali da arkhalalo

He he hegi oga…

Haralali da genatsvale

Qanao okro zurmukht’o

Pekhis didebav qanao

Uk’urtkhos imis marjvenam

Ert dghes amogiqvanao

Haralali da arkhalalo




The Sickle


I sharpen and sharpen the sickle

The sickle, my iron

Next to the sharpener

The sickle, my iron

Cut away and lead me ahead


A boy has entered

The sickle, my iron

Glitters gold

God’s eyes turn inside of it

Come and see if you do not believe


Herio, boy he he

Hei da the field he

Like this he

Do it, boy he he


The sickle, boys, the sickle

Haralali da arkhalalo


Haralali da arkhalalo

He he hegi oga

Haralali da genatsvale

Fields of gold and emerald

Praise the feet that stand on you

Blessed be the right hand

Of he who has led you here

Haralali da arkhalalo

Khornabuji Ensemble - P’irvelad Kali Gavitsan, Shairi
+ Song Info

A shairi.1


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

P’irvelad Kali Gavitsan, Shairi  

(scroll down for English translation)


Heo heo hari haraleo

P’irvelad kali gavitsan          

Tvalze shavkhedeo

Kalma damits’qo qurebi      

Tavi chaghuneo                     

Sidedrma gadmip’at’ija          

Gverdit mivujdeo


Haralalo hari haralalo

/Harali hari haralo, Hari haralalo he/


Damichurchrula bich’ebo

Kali chak’otsneo

Amovighe meo da khelshi chavudeo

Movekhvie da vak’otse shen genatsvaleo

Shenze k’argi kveqanaze

Vervina vnakheo




Vazhk’atsi iqo jeili

Sanishnad emzadebode

Chaitsvai da daikhuroi

Tvali arvize rchebodei

Igeti vardi mots’qvit’oi

Romelsats shamats’vebodei

Sul t’quili gamouva

Maghal ro ebghot’ebode




Ak erti bich’i gamodis

Dzaan ibghindzeba

Natkhoari kamari ak

Ts’elze aria ts’vdeba

Mitats chokha chautsvia

Male geekheva




Rad ginda bich’o kamari

Gamt’qia ts’elzeo

Me rom sheni sakhli vnakhe

Mibmuli leghvzeo




A Joke Song


Heyo heyo hari haraleo

The first time I met a girl

I looked into her eyes

She looked back at me

As if telling me to lower my head

Her mother invited me

To sit next to her


She whispered to me, Hey boy

Go ahead and kiss the girl

I took it out and put it in her hand

I hugged her and kissed her

Oh my dear, I’ve never seen

Anyone better than you in this world


He was a brave young man

Getting ready for engagement

Putting his clothes and hat on

Don’t look at someone else

Pick a rose that you can reach

No matter how high you jump

Or it will be all in vain


There is a boy here

Who is acting all tough

He’s wearing a borrowed belt

That is too tight around his waist

His chokha1 will tear on him pretty soon


Why do you need a belt, young man

To wear around you waist?

When I saw your house

It was tied to a fig tree.


1Part 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.  

Khornabuji Ensemble - Lale
+ Song Info

A song about the homeland.

+ Lyrics


(scroll down for English translation)


Lale lale divlida lale

Chemo lamazo samshoblo

Shen k’i genatsvale


Gparavdet lomisis madli

T’anze ageskhad rk’inao

Khelt gep’qrat mch’reli makhvili

Rom mt’ers ar maalkhinao

Gamarjvebulsats gearnot

Ghmerti gidzghodet ts’inao


Didgoris velzed gikhmoben

Jogi dagskhmia mglisao

Kartvelo kheli khmals ik’ar

Sanam pranguli ch’risao

Tu guli rk’inisa gidzevs

Ikvets abjari khisao


Ts’minda giorgi daglotsavs

Alal martalis shvilsao

K’urtkheul mits’as gvartmeven

Mariam ts’mindanisao

Kartvels erti akvs samshoblo

Vervis ver mistsems ts’ilsao


Lale lale divlida lale

Chemo lamazo samshoblo

Shen k’i genatsvale






My beautiful homeland

Shen k’i genatsvale1


May the mercy of Lomisi2 protect you

Dressed in clothes of iron

With sharpened swords in hand

That won’t make the enemies happy

Be champions forever

God will lead you


You are called to Didgori Valley3

Packs of wolves approach you

Georgians, take your swords in your hands

Before you are cut by the dagger

Even if your heart is of iron

And your armour of wood


Saint George will bless you

The real son of truth

They are taking this blessed earth

Of Saint Mariam’s

Georgians have but one homeland

And they will share it with no one


My beautiful country

Shen k’i genatsvale


1Literally ''me instead of you,'' (to take the hardships off of someone and onto oneself), this phrase is used as a term of endearment.


2Perched at 2,300 meters, Lomisi is the ancestral place of prayer for the Mtiul people.


3A valley near Tbilisi where the Battle of Didgomi was fought in 1121 between the armies of the Kingdom of Georgia and the Great Seljuk Empire.

Khornabuji Ensemble - Bindisperia Sopeli
+ Song Info

+ Lyrics

Bindisperia Sopeli

(scroll down for English translation)


Ts’armavalia nateli sul mosachvenad brts’qindeba


Bindisperia sopeli upro da upro binddeba

/Ra aris chveni sitsotskhle chit’ivit gagviprindeba

Chvens nasakhlarze odesme balakhi abibindeba/


Imasats mok’led uvlia vints grdzlad gvegona iara

Shuks bneli shesch’ams vards ch’ia k’atsis guls dardis iara

/Mova sik’vdili uchinot ert ts’amshi agvqris iaraghs

Chven ras ts’avighebt im kveqnad skhvas ara ts’aughiara/


Ts’armavalia nateli sul mosachvenad brts’qindeba




This fleeting light ostentatiously glitters as

Twilight-colored villages darken evermore

What is this life that will fly away like a bird?

Traces of us will be found in the waving grass


He who expected a long journey found it to be brief

Darkness eats light as worm eat the rose 

         and grief a man’s soul

Imperceptible, death will come and disarm us in a moment

What we take to the next world world,

         no one else before has taken.

Khornabuji Ensemble - Chveni Masp'indzlis Sasakhle
+ Song Info

+ Lyrics

Chveni Masp’indzlis Sasakhle


Chveni masp’indzlis sasakhle

T’urpad nagebi kvisao

Shig aris sma da ghreoba

Mudam zhams mariliani

Sma da sma unda ghvinosa

Khandiskhan shemodzakhilio




Our Host’s House

Our host’s house

Is built beautifully of stone

Inside is drinking and festivities

Every moment, salty

For the wine must be drunk and drunk

And sometimes there is loud shouting, too

Khornabuji Ensemble - Diambego
+ Song Info

+ Lyrics



Diambego, Diambego

K’argsa rames giambepo

Diambego kals gikeben

Gadmodgeba aivanze

Atamashebs brolis titebs

Gashlil khalichazedao




I will tell you a good thing,

Diambego, Diambego,1

They praise your daughter

She stands on the balcony

Letting her crystal fingers play

She lets her crystal fingers play

On the laid-out carpet.


1Judges used to be called ''Diambegi.''

Khornabuji Ensemble - Berik'atsi Var
+ Song Info

+ Lyrics

Berik’atsi Var


Berik’atsi var nu momk’lav   

Qvela dagits’qebs gmobasa   

Sadats rom shemogeqrebi

Get’qvi shvilsa da dzmobasa


Sitsotskhlit p’at’ivi metsa

Es mere gamogadgebao




I am an old man

I am an old man, don’t kill me

For everyone will condemn you.

Wherever I meet you

You’ll be my child and brother

Honor me with my life

For that will serve you later

Khornabuji Ensemble - T’urpani Skhedan Chardakhsa
+ Song Info

+ Lyrics

T’urpani Skhedan Chardakhsa

(scroll down for English translation)


T’urpani skhedan chardakhsa

Arigeb charigebuli

Ts’in lurji supra ushliat

Zed ghvino morigebuli


Alalme shentsa da metsa

Sheni survili dametsa


P’ursa sch’amen da ghvinos smen

Simgheras ar it’qviano

Ar vitsi visi glovoben

Ar vitsi ar itsiano


Shen k’i genatsvale shena

Shen magre ram dagamshvena




The Maidens Sit in the Shade

The maidens sit

In rows in the shade

In front, a blue supra1 is spread

And on it, dutifully, is wine

To virtue, yours and mine!

To desire, yours and mine!

They eat bread and drink wine

They do not sing

I don’t know for whom they mourn

I don’t know, and they don’t know


Shen genatsvale2

What has made you so beautiful?


1Supra is the Georgian word for both a tablecloth and a traditional Georgian feast.


2Literally ''me instead of you,'' (to take the hardships off of someone and onto oneself), this phrase is used as a term of endearment.