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Cupids playing with a lyre_ Roman fresco from Herculaneum_edited_edited_edited_edited_edit

Αν η μισή μου καρδιά


Αν η μισή μου καρδιά,
βρίσκεται, γιατρέ, εδω πέρα
η άλλη μισή
στην Κίνα βρίσκεται
Με τη στρατιά που κατεβαίνει
προς το κίτρινο ποτάμι
η άλλη μισή στην Κίνα βρίσκεται
Κι ύστερα, γιατρέ, την κάθε αυγή
την κάθε αυγή, γιατρέ, με τα χαράματα,
πάντα η καρδιά μου στην Ελλάδα τουφεκίζεται

Κι ύστερα, δέκα χρόνια τώρα, μα γιατρέ
που τίποτα δεν έχω μες στα χέρια μου
να δώσω στο φτωχό λαό μου
τίποτα πάρεξ ένα μήλο
ένα κόκκινο μήλο, την καρδιά μου.


If half of my heart
is here, doctor
the other half
is in China
With the army that descends
towards the Yellow River
the other half is in China
And then, doctor, every morning
every morning doctor, at the crack of dawn
my heart always gets shot in Greece

And then, it’s been ten years now, doctor
that I have nothing in my hands
to give to my poor people
nothing, but an apple
a red apple; my heart


The verb [βρίσκω – βρω] ‘to find’ is frequently used in the passive voice to denote location. Therefore, [βρίσκομαι – βρεθώ] ‘to be found’ can also mean ‘to be located, to be situated'. It is used a lot in geography, and you will often find it in Wikipedia articles that are about any type of location – cities, countries, mountains, etc.


Δεν έχω ιδέα πού βρισκόμαστε – I have no clue where we are

However, βρίσκομαι can also mean ‘to meet up with someone’.


Βρίσκεστε ποτέ με τη Μαρία; – Do you ever meet with Maria?

Πότε θα βρεθούμε; – When are we meeting?

A euphemistic extension of this meaning is ‘to occasionally have sex with someone without commitment’.


Δεν είναι ότι είχαμε σχέση, απλώς βρισκόμασταν. – It’s not like we were in a relationship, we were just hooking up.

The passive voice of the verb 'to find' can be used to mean ‘to be located’ in other languages as well, such as Italian trovarsi, Spanish encontrarse, and Russian находиться. The Spanish verb also features the meaning ‘to meet up’, just like in Greek.

εδώ πέρα

The phrase εδώ πέρα is an emphatic and at times more precise way to say ‘here’, ‘right here’ or ‘over here’. It could perhaps be hypothesised that εδώ πέρα emerged by analogy, from εκεί πέρα ‘over there’. The word πέρα means ‘beyond’, ‘yonder’, has existed since Antiquity, and has given rise to the Modern Greek verb περνάω ‘to pass’, ‘to cross over’.


The word αυγή means ‘dawn’, yet here it is translated as ‘morning’ so that the translation reads better. It can also be a name for a woman, Αυγή, just like Dawn in English, or Aurora in other languages.


The word πάρεξ is very literary and arguably not very useful to the average learner, unless they study Greek academically. The most common word for ‘except’ is εκτός [lit: outside] or εκτός από ‘except for’, ‘apart from’.

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