1. You are your own course

You set off, you go
Α ship
looking ahead
to a sea of fire and ice
but further on
your homecoming
will always linger, bearing the storm

You set off, but where to
where does your faith lie
What are you seeking
Which land is longing for you, which self are you searching for
All is here
and all is forever
and beyond yourself there is only you

You set off
Heading back
To what land
Your exile is all you have
All is here
and all is forever
Every journey is a return

You deliver the sea
and build the ship
You are the here, the elsewhere
The homecoming feast
The farewell tear

You are your own journey
you are the wave, the island
the wind and the sail
and my farewell wish

You set off, going where
Where do you sail
Open ways
Your boundaries are set by your endurance
All is elsewhere
and all is for a while
when you are not aware you are your own course

2. Homeland

the world's gone wild like a boiling cauldron
like dripping blood, like murky sweat
At times we laugh, at times we joke
and laughter seems to soothe our time

But as the evening news keep rolling in
I know they've got nothing new to tell me
I was in the fire, I was the fire
I saw the end with wide open eyes

I saw war up against my face
I witnessed "tribe" and "race"
betrayed from within, by the very patriots
who held my mother captive, a gun stuck in her mouth
Now it's their children who grace the parliament

Under a table – I remember it as if it was now -
Holding on to a bowl of grapes as the bombs rained down
I saw a thousand parachutes staining the sky
My father talking to me so I wouldn't be scared.

"See how gracefully they fall!
How gracefully they fall..."

I saw orphaned parents, one grandpa from Smyrna
took refuge in Drama only to meet a Bulgarian bullet
and the other, a Cypriot exiled in then gloomy London
he was twenty-seven when the Nazis tore him in two

I saw Nicosia divided, Serbia submerged
a ghost in Belgrade in an empty hotel
American bombs and me sleeping
Tomorrow we'll be singing at the feast in the town square

I saw chunked up meat amid the urban rubble
I saw arms, legs thrown all about
I saw people running, their children on their shoulders
and I, a tourist snapping the scene

Here, in this ugly city, held together by need
a ravaged people gagging for dope medals
Olympic games and the country is a funeral parlour
I beg your forgiveness for raising you here

I saw cops laughing, throwing tear gas from Omonia square
at firemen who tried to pull human candles
out of the burning windows
while TV cameras cut to a different shot

And I saw uprooted people crossing the Line
for cheap whores, casinos and cigars
Our pitiful faith, either way confused
Solomos in Armani, with an open heart

I don't want my self to be my private property
I know that if it all looked like me, the earth would never have been born
I am not afraid of the beast or my angel
or the end of the world, what frightens me is you

You still scare me, football thug
party lackey, gang bully
God's interpreter, frock-wearing guru
Junkie toy soldier, lost boy scout
You pray and kill, muttering hymns of rage
Fear is your homeland and you're looking for parents
You hate the foreigner inside you and, no, I don't get it
I don't know where I stand or where I'm going

3. One night

Dawn broke early
Last night still holds on to me
How to sleep
when the past is here, staring

Ferocious light
Smashing the windows, breaking in when you don't want it
Razor sun
bringing today, throwing you back to yesterday

I try to rise
Where do I step when I'm scattered all around
I wish I could hold on!
What to hold onto from the running grains of sand

Ferocious self
smashing everything I loved, reducing it to "me"
And not one god
no mirror no friend no enemy

Dawn broke early
and the night was a fair that passed by
Night of an instant
failing its promise to go on forever

4. Don't lock me up

This is not where I live
I live where I drift
and where my river flows

Relentless water
Untrodden path
hidden to the passage of this world

Don't lock me up
Don't charge life on me
Don't lock me up

Don't charge me
I'm looking for a word, a silence
and you crush me

I was always somewhere else
In the age of those unexpected times
For which you wish, yet cannot bear.

Come; no, don't
And let me never see you again
even if you're all I want and all you have

Don't lock me up
Don't charge life on me
don't lock me up

Don't charge me
Go look elsewhere for a feast

All we've yearned for
has turned to relics
to sanctify life's abundance

Come as you always come
girl and God
brief, ephemeral immortality  

5. Tonight

Best wishes
Celebrations and joys await above
on natal clouds
rain appears to fall
fire and the light will drip

and brighten up the days
lighting candles by the thousands
I blow them out
the years go by
thank God

Senseless time
and the ground slipping from under your feet
Left naked
to stare in silence

Certain as I was to find the way
on the map of the world Ι've only marked
"I am lost"

Lost time
the years you've been away
silly songs of sorrow
drone in the background

They cry on the radio
and they never speak a word
that sounds true

I press the button
still partying on the TV
a fixed show to give us a high
They dance, laugh and hate each other through the hollow lens
evil creeps all the way here

I want you badly
Tonight when everything shrinks and hours die
I'm watching time melt away

Come find me
as everything wants you, night wants you too
like a day that shines
sowing the world anew

Come find me
I can't wait another hour
I'm not asking for joy, I can't bear any sorrow
If I don't have you here

Here is nowhere
Now is never if you don't come
The sea an illusion
our laughter a mistake
our friends never were
and all roads lead nowhere
if you don't come here tonight


6. Did it have to happen?

Idiotically complacent for so long
the artist reconsiders the situation
before forgetting himself again:

My knees are creaking: I'm getting older
Losing the race with time year by year
Once all my belongings would fit in a car
Now I need it all just to be fine
everything's mine and everything's owed
and I pay for it

Did it have to happen?
Did it have to happen to me?
I thought it would all last forever

My hair turns gray day by day: I'm getting older
Same thing happened to my dad in his time
Kids now call me mister Alkinoos
Rather annoying, I must say, but I swallow it
Soon I'll have to think of my heart and kidneys, no more drinking

Did it have to happen?
Did it have to happen to me?
I thought it would all last forever

My future doddering self, please forgive my wastefulness
forgive me as you pass on the baton
How naïve I will seem to you
as they'll make you cut the cigarettes and salt
Immortality has fooled me, it's gone to my head

Did it have to happen?
Did it have to happen to me?
I thought it would all last forever

When I'll be saying
"How it was all lost in the everyday!"
"Everyone I admire is long gone"
"A stranger to humanity's ruthless tune
Hadjidakis lies in prehistory
and no replacement in sight"
years after we bid the old musicians goodbye
when I will no longer be able to write my own name
those little songs I left for later
will be watching me depart
whining like old men who never really lived
then I'll know that

it did have to happen
it did have to happen to me
who thought it would all last forever
forever, forever

"All-conquering time"
Old Glafkos saw it written on a wall
and cried like a child
and a child he was


You wake up and life starts over
you wake up and I'm a child
a butterfly in your little hand

Cubes come tumbling down and you laugh as I look on
Colours whirl around you
You sparkle and bloom
It was worth living just to see you

8. The passing

featuring Sonia Theodoridou

Little by little I will rest
like a passing day
I will be lost in your embrace
and rise anew

Breaths and hands
words and bodies
the sighs and laughter of the world
will now be again

We slide and pass
and if anything is left behind
it is the light we were granted to see
in life, you and me

Years will melt us away
and if anything is left behind
it will be the light that lit our days
before they were gone
only the light

9. Success!

A national hit-maker
and happy ever after
if you swear you'll have me
I'll howl my songs like no one else

10. Come close

Each time I look at the fire
I recall something of everything you brought
The ice melts and summer glimmers

Colours and stars
Slip into our blossomed cups
Keep a taste, a sip for me

Come close

A thousand suns blaze at once
as the world floods into your dream
I shall not win, you will always win

And if it's just for a while, let it seem long
and if it's forever, let it be now
come, drench me like a downpour
like a storm

Come close

11. In memoriam

Sleeping body
how to touch you
I lean forward, I kiss you

like each of my mistakes
bitterly discharged

Time that heals
and a life that grates
offering everything
then demanding it all

Flowering trees
we'll meet again
in the light of life

Where there's no night
and brother sun
keeps rising

It will all slip away
and I'll be looking for you
among the few things
you left behind

12. The Sowing

He takes earth and water, fresh mud
shapes gods and plants them in his garden
He waters statues with blood and wine
so they may drown
and blossom

He cuts a piece of solitude off his shoulder
and carves another so the solitudes are not alone
In the fire, in the feast
all is fate
all is feasible

He sows a handful of soil in the dug-up earth
Broken rubble, his fallen figure
A river of glass he lays down
for his skies
to reflect in

13. I thought to live

Who are you, I forgot
Mirror, mirror of the sky

I was a child, I didn't grow old
But time drifted by and I'm elsewhere

I thought to live the feast of the world
I thought to go far...

The sea that resembled you
has dried on the rock like rain

Dry land, last voice
call death to take his time

I thought to live the feast of the world
I thought to go far...
And I said to the sun "give me your life"
and he gave me fire

14. Tomorrow

I walk my way
and where it takes me I'll stand
I'll stand in the biggest city
in the tiniest village

I'll tread every road
and when I'm feeling weary
I'll trample every law
to find the answer

And if I find the answer
I'm going to ask
What can I offer you
How can I offer myself

And if the answer tells me I'm not enough for you
I'll blush and say
I know I'm no good
but I'll do my best

Because tomorrow you're being born