Ο ξεφτιλις / O Kseftilis

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Joan

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Aug 29, 2015, 6:50:00 PM8/29/15
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Yiasas,

I’ve been working on playing this piece and have pretty much got it at 90% of tempo - O Kseftilis - a Jack Halikias zeibekiko in Hijaz. I came across the record some years ago when a friend was bequeathed a small Greek record collection and I plucked it out. It also now appears on YouTube, preceeded by 38 seconds of loud talking. 

According to my Greek dictionary, "o kseftis" is a thread that has become unraveled. It can also be a nice metaphor for someone who is past their prime. Does anyone know if that is the correct interpretation of the name of this tune? Or might it be a mangas slang word for something else entirely?

As far as I know, the piece is an instrumental. But there is another piece, exactly the same melody, called "Mes Ton Teke Tis Marigos" sung by modern rebetissa Gina Dalaka. I think it is dated a few years after O Kseftilis. Does anyone know the back story behind this?

And, some time ago a relation of Jack Halikias on this list was going to issue a CD of his recordings never before released. Any news on that?

Ευχαριστω

Joan Friedberg


bunktron11

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Sep 1, 2015, 10:53:15 AM9/1/15
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Thanks for this great post! I'll definitely check it out. It is rather hard some times to understand lyrics when you don't speak Greek(?)...perhaps more accurately understand manges argot. 
I just saw this rembetika video online that was flashing WW2 images as a backdrop to a song which featured a verse about little hot cakes. Was sure I was missing something!

John

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Νίκος Πολίτης

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Sep 1, 2015, 1:47:02 PM9/1/15
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The word ξεφτίλας has no connection to ξέφτι, the unraveled piece of cloth. It is a derivative of the verb ξεφτιλίζω, slang for εξευτελίζω = humiliate, degrade, dishonor.

Νίκος Πολίτης

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Sep 1, 2015, 4:10:20 PM9/1/15
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Ah, I now see that the word in the song is Xeftilis, not Xeftilas.  Xeftilis was an older form, today it is xeftilas.

On Sunday, August 30, 2015 at 1:50:00 AM UTC+3, ioanna wrote:

Joan

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Sep 1, 2015, 10:35:13 PM9/1/15
to Νίκος Πολίτης, Joan Friedberg, Rebetika
Thank you Niko. So glad I asked! I didn’t think to look under epsilon. I also just noticed that the accent is on a different syllable.

Joan

levantis

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Sep 9, 2015, 11:42:58 AM9/9/15
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mes ston teke tis marigos is a song by spyros peristeris. there are two different recordings: sung by papasideris from 1934 and sung by dimitriadis from 1935. see and listen at rebetiko.sealabs.net. o kseftilis is also mentioned, from 1948.
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