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Cupids playing with a lyre_ Roman fresco from Herculaneum_edited_edited_edited_edited_edit

Τα παιδιά ζωγραφίζουν στον τοίχο


Τα παιδιά ζωγραφίζουν στον τοίχο
δυο καρδιές κι έναν ήλιο στη μέση.
Παίρνω φως απ’ τον ήλιο και φτιάχνω την αγάπη
και μου λες πως σ’ αρέσει.

Τα παιδιά τραγουδούν μες στους δρόμους
κι η φωνή τους τον κόσμο αλλάζει
Τα σκοτάδια σκορπάνε κι η μέρα λουλουδίζει
σαν ανθός στο περβάζι.

Ένα σύννεφο είν’ η καρδιά μου
κι η ζωή μου γιορτή σε πλατεία.
Σ’ αγαπώ, κι ο απέραντος κόσμος…
πόσο μοιάζει με μικρή πολιτεία!


The children are drawing on the wall
two hearts and a sun in the middle.
I take light from the sun and Ι create love
and you’re telling me that you like it.

The children are singing on the streets
and their voice changes the world
The darkness scatters and the day blooms
like [a] flower on the window sill.

My heart is a cloud
and my life [is] a celebration on [a] square.
I love you, and [this] endless world…
oh, how it looks like a tiny little town!


The verb ζωγραφίζω ‘to paint’ is a compound, comprised of: ζωή ‘life’ + γράφω ‘[modern meaning] to write, [ancient meaning] to carve’. In other words, it literally refers to the depiction of life. The same pattern is found in other languages, for example in the Slavic branch – compare Russian живопись ‘painting’, from живой ‘alive’ + писать ‘to write’.


As a noun, μέση ‘middle’ comes from the adjective μέσος -η -ο ‘middle, medium’. However, it can also mean ‘waist’, in other words, the middle of the body.


Before a consonant, the adverb μέσα ‘in, inside’, is often contracted to μες, whereas before a vowel, to μεσ’. What might not be as obvious, is that is derived from the same adjective as μέση ‘middle’, originally used in phrases meaning ‘in the middle’, before its semantics shifted to ‘within, inside’.


A very rare – literary – verb, λουλουδίζω comes from the most common Greek word for ‘flower’, λουλούδι. The word’s origins are still debated, with most researchers suggesting that it might come from Albanian.


Although λουλούδι is used considerably more common, the formal – and native Greek – word for flower is άνθος, usually featured on Greek flower-shop signs. Essentially a neuter noun – το άνθος –, older Greek varieties as well as poetic contexts sometimes treat it as masculine – ο ανθός.


The verb for ‘to resemble’, originally was ομοιάζω. This can still be seen in Modern Greek words, e.g. παρόμοιο ‘similar’. It can be used without any preposition, meaning ‘to look alike, to be similar’, but also with the preposition με, to mean ‘to look like, to resemble’, as well as with the preposition σε, to mean ‘to take after’.


Η αδερφή μου κι εγώ μοιάζουμε. – My sister and I look alike.

Το γατί μοιάζει με τιγράκι. – The kitten looks like a baby tiger.

Μοιάζει στον πατέρα της. – She takes after her father.


Although translated differently in the song, πολιτεία normally means ‘state’, either as in the United States, or as in an ‘urban organised community’. The Greek title of Plato’s work The Republic, is Πολιτεία.

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