Vara Part III - Popular Songs
No trace of the ancient battle songs remain in Greci, but there are still some fragments of other old songs: 'Calimera', which is a song of faith, and an old love song known only recently to have been read in the opera 'Journey of Ten Days', written by Pier Paolo Parzanese, a poet from Ariano irpino.
In this opera he gives the literal translation of a love song that follows the classic pattern of love songs of other albanese communities.
The songs most known and sung by the people are:
'Oj ti lale-Cia'
'Carme po-qje pogje'
'Oj ti Mari'
'U vaga send Vit'
Before 1980 these songs were known only by the older people. Then in the school year 1980-81 a folklore group was organized among the children of the middle school. That group took part in a national exhibition of popular music and songs at Barletta and placed first in the competition.
They were directed by maestro Nicolamaria Pucci who had looked after the arrangement of the popular music presented at this event.
In 1982 this same group also took part at the Piedigrotta di Napoli.
From tht time the middle school, the elementary school, the Pro-Loco and the community have taken part in several other demonsrations to try to teach others the songs.
"O Maria" is a song written by unknown author in Greci at some unknown time.
It has been handed down orally over the generations and has been written out now only after considerable research among the elders of the town.
It was included in an Italian publication entitled "RASSEGNA NAZIONALE DIMUSICA E CANTIPOPOLARIITALIANI" - Barletta - 30 maggio 1981, by Scuola Media Statale "A. Covotta", Sez. Staccato GRECI
The Original Italian and Arberesh versions are below. They were included in the reports for the children of the Mirabella School project.
Dick Vara's translation follows:
If you Maria
would you like to come to my house
papa and mama would be happy.
How could I without being married
I could not stay even for an hour.
To get married would serve for nothing,
for I leave for America
and we would be apart.
Go to America
with the blessing of God,
I am still a young girl
and I will wait for you.
I leave and you take my respect.
We will marry on my return.
This America is all a lie.
Everyone says that.
But this America is a reality
and I have sung to you about it
with the accordion.
Now give me your hand Maria.
Let us be together
for just another hour.
When I arrive at the station,
I will turn my gaze toward Greci
and I will ask myself
"My Maria, where have I left her?"