“Thalassa” is a beautiful song by the Greek singer-songwriter Yiannis Parios. Thalassa \th(a)-lassa, thal(as)-sa\ is a girl’s name is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Thalassa is “sea, ocean” the personification of the sea.

Yiannis Parios sings Thalassa

Thalassa lyrics (English translation)

I’m sailing in the middle of the open sea, and have the grief as my bow
and have the love as the fair wind, and the separation, as a mast,

Oh sea, don’t send me away
Oh separation, don’t bleed my heart

I gaze at the top of Psiloritis(1) with grief (Psiloritis = the highest mountain of island Crete, see notes 1)
and as I ‘m sailing away, saying goodbye to Crete, I have tears in my eyes

Oh sea, don’t exile me far away
Oh separation, you’ve burnt my heart

A black fate has written it, to be moving away, to get lost
and to be living far away from Crete and from the one I love

Oh sea, don’t send me away
Oh separation, don’t bleed my heart

Yiannis Parios

Thalassa - Yiannis Parios
“Thalassa” is a song by the Greek singer-songwriter Yiannis Parios

Yiannis Parios was born Ioannis Varthakouris on the island of Paros. He made his first appearance as a singer in 1969.

He is quoted as saying “Whenever a song is born and wherever it is sung, it belongs to everyone. That, really, is the reason why music exists: so that it cannot be fenced in by frontiers”. This quote is thought to be the main inspiration for his songwriting and performances.

He has worked with many of the leading Greek composers, including Manos Loizos, Yorgos Hadzinasios, Stavros Xarchakos, Stamatis Spanoudakis, Yorgos Katsaros, Marios Tokas, Yannis Spanos and Mikis Theodorakis.

Parios has written lyrics of his own, and often composed music. A number of his songs have been translated and sung abroad, including the mega-hit ballad Aporo, which is considered one of the most popular Greek songs. One of his releases holds the record for Greek sales (one million and four hundred thousand units): this was the album “Nisiotika”, released in 1982 and consisting of a collection of songs of the Aegean islands which, as an islander himself, he may have learned and first sang in childhood.

Yiannis Parios has not confined appearances to Greece: He has also performed at Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall and most of the major venues in Canada, Australia, the United States, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Turkey, and Israel.

This song, “Thalassa” was translated into Turkish and sung under the name of “Ağlama anne, benim için ağlama” (don’t cry mother, don’t cry for me) by the Turkish singer Ajda Pekkan.

Notes

  1. Mount Ida, known variously as Idha, Ídhi, Idi, Ita and now Psiloritis (Greek: Ψηλορείτης, “high mountain”), is the highest mountain on Crete. Located in the Rethymno regional unit, it was sacred to the Greek Titaness Rhea, and on its slopes lies one of the caves, Idaion Andron, in which, according to legend, Zeus was born. As an island high point at 2,456 meters (8,057 feet), it is the mountain with the highest topographic prominence in Greece.

Sources