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Kokoraki

I proudy present, courtesy of the Donald Swann Estate, an aide-de-memoire written by Donald Swann showing the lyrics to Kokoraki (in Greek).
 The Donald Swann Estate 2002
The Donald Swann Estate 2002

Phonetically, this says (with approximate translation):
Otan tha pao kyra mou sto mpazari I shall go to the market
Tha s'agoraso ena kokoraki, And I shall buy you a cockerel.
To kokoraki ki-ki-ri-ki ki The cockerel, saying cock-a-doodle-doo,
Mas eksypnai kathe proi. Will wake you in the morning.


And the other animals:
To petinari tsou-tsou The chick, tsou-tsou,
Ee kotoula ko-ko-ko The hen, ko-ko-ko,
Ee gatoula niaou-niaou The cat, niaou-niaou,
To skeelaki mpaou-ouaou The dog, mpaou-ouaou,
To arnaki mpee-mpee The lamb, mpee-mpee,
To gaidouraki ee-aa The donkey, ee-aa,
To gouranaki hrrrr-hrrr The pig, hrrrr-hrrrr



Intro to Kokoraki (from the 1991 Hat):
MF: Some people think the evening would be all but wasted if Swann did not sing his song in Greek. Some people think. So I now call upon my friend the distinguished Balkan soprano to give us a few sample verses.
DS: Well this is a little Greek song, a little folk song, which speaks of a man who goes down to the market place to buy himself some farmyard animals, the first of which is a cockerel, in Greek: To Kokoraki, that's the title of the song, To Kokoraki. The only other thing perhaps I should add is that a Greek cockerel, when it wakes up in the morning, it makes this sound: Kikirikiki! Thank you very much.

Outro:
MF: You're quite sure there isn't any more?
DS: I omitted eight verses!
MF: You did? Well, that was very nice of you, I must say. You shall sing us the rest of it . . . [DS starts an additional verse and is not to be stopped in spite of MF shouting "some other time!"]
MF: Well, it's a good thing Queen Frederika didn't hear that! They gave me a travel folder about Greece the other day, it said that, er - correct me if this is true, Donald - it said that Greece is the only country where the word for stranger or foreigner is the same as the word for guest: xenos, as in xenophobia, a fear and hatred of guests. Oh the mountains look on Marathon, and Marathon looks on the sea; and I look up at the Parthenon, and the Greeks look down on me. Just because of posterity, here you are.
DS: What's that?
MF: It's for you.
DS: Whatever's this?
MF: It's a sweet. Eat it now. Known to the Spartans as Gobstoppacus. During my travels around the Hellespont . . .
DS: Sorry, but what a lovely green colour!
MF: It is a beautiful green colour; translucent.
DS: Lovely.
MF: I thought you'd like it. It was pink when I got it.

Intro to Kokoraki (from the 1957 Hat):
MF: Good. Well now at this point in the programme there is a complete change. We were to have had Women Wrestling in Mud, but I'm afraid Donald Swann's aunt is still suffering from a rather nasty cold, so instead, Donald has very kindly offered to sing a song in modern Greek.
DS: Well, this one is called To Kokoraki, which means a cockerel.

Outro:
MF: You're quite sure there isn't any more?
DS: I left out the last eight verses!
MF: We must have it in full some night, alternated with the Ring Cycle. A more telling argument for enosis I have never heard. All right Makarios, I'll bite. What is it . . . we're all wanting to know . . . what is it that goes tsu-tsu anyway?
DS: The little chicks.
MF: Chicks? Tsu-tsu? What sort of chicks?
DS: All sorts of chicks.
MF: Have you ever heard a chick go tsu-tsu?
DS: They do in Greece!
(telling silence)


Originally from the album 'Tried by the Centre Court'.
Many thanks to Leon Berger, for providing the image, and to Tim Riley, for a corrected translation.