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Cupids playing with a lyre_ Roman fresco from Herculaneum_edited_edited_edited_edited_edit

Νησί μέσα στην πόλη


Παίζω με τη ζωή, χορεύω το χορό μου
Κοιμάμαι αγκαλιά μαζί με το όνειρό μου
κι η μέρα μου γελάει
και με χαϊδεύει η νύχτα
κι ο έρωτας μου λέει παραμύθια

Γιατί είμαι ένα νησί μέσα στην πόλη
Κανείς δε με γνωρίζει
κι ας με ξέρουν όλοι

Παίζω με τη ζωή στα δίχτυα της αράχνης
Γελάω με τον καιρό, πίνω νερό της πάχνης
Κι εσένα που αγαπάω,
πάντα θα σε παιδεύω
Σαν ψάρι θα γλιστράω, θα δραπετεύω

Παίζω με τη ζωή, παίζει κι αυτή με μένα
Κρατάω μυστικά στον άνεμο κρυμμένα
Κι η άγρια μοναξιά άνοιξε σαν λουλούδι
και το άρωμά της, το ’κανα τραγούδι


I play with life, I dance my dance
I sleep cuddled up with my dream
and the day smiles at me
and the night caresses me
and love tells me fairy tales

Because I am an island inside the city
Nobody knows me,
even though everyone has met me

I play with life on the spider’s web
I laugh at the weather, I drink frost water
And you, whom I love,
I’ll always be giving you a hard time
Like a fish, I’ll be slipping out, I’ll be escaping

I play with life, she plays with me too
I keep secrets, hidden in the wind
And the wild solitude opened up like a flower
and I turned its fragrance into a song


Although originally a noun meaning ‘embrace, hug’, the word αγκαλιά here is used as an adverb, to describe an action performed while the agents are embracing each other. This usage is rather common, and you also find in the phrase παίρνω αγκαλιά ‘to take into one’s arms, to hug’.

γνωρίζω / ξέρω

Despite having the same meaning, the two verbs can differ in two ways. The one used more frequently is ξέρω, and it performs the same semantic functions as the English verb to know. On the other hand, γνωρίζω can also mean ‘to get to know’ and ‘to meet [for the first time]’. Therefore, the song uses γνωρίζω to denote that someone would have genuinely got to know the protagonist as a person, and ξέρω to show that someone would simply be acquainted with her.


Θέλω να τον γνωρίσω καλύτερα. – I want to get to know him better.

Ανάθεμα τη μέρα που σε γνώρισα! – I curse the day I met you!


A word originating from the noun for ‘child’, παιδεύω has experienced a semantic shift since Classical times. In the past, it had three – not too different – meanings: (a) ‘to bring up, to raise [a child]’, (b) ‘to train, to educate, to teach’ and (c)‘to chasten, to punish, to discipline’. Through the latter concept, its modern meaning developed into ‘to give a hard time’. However, the notion of instruction and teaching has still survived in compounds like εκπαιδεύω ‘to train’ and εκπαίδευση ‘education, training’.

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