Eleftheria

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In the 1860s, when the American Civil War breaks out with the racist slave trade at stake, North America had already turned into an unprecedented cultural melting pot. In any case, the movement of populations to the “New World” (sometimes forcibly and sometimes voluntarily) and the multinational settlement and colonization was a constant condition that started from the 16th century and defined the history of the continent. In essence, the now post-Civil War presidential confederation of states, the United States of America, is a microcosm of the globe: a “successful Babel”. Naturally, a unique syncretism also dominates in the field of music. The genesis of discography builds a condition that favors conversation and osmosis between the innumerable ethno-cultural groups that make up the population. These processes will lead to the reinterpretation, updating and renewal of old musical trends that arrive in the United States, and, at the same time, to their re-exportation to the “old worlds”, thus setting up a uniquely multi-layered network. Richard Spottswood’s now monumental multi-volume work “Ethnic Music on Records” vividly reflects the extraordinary record production in the USA. This “convergence” of geographical coordinates is often accompanied by another one, the “convergence” of internal cultural “coordinates”. These are the fields of scholar and popular music, which enter into a creative dialogue in a variety of ways, and often introduce in-between and/or new “places”. The contribution of forcibly transported slaves from the African continent to the musical scene of America, and especially their role in the formation of the genres that are now considered as part of the “national music of the USA”, was more than crucial. Folk, country, bluegrass, gospel, blues, soul, jazz, fox trot, rock ‘n roll, charleston, minstrel show, but also symphonic music, waltz, tango, music for the cinema, Italian, Russian, Greek, Hebrew, Spanish-speaking and other idioms are recorded and flood the global record market. In this endless body of recordings, we come across instances where Greek-speaking musicians arrange American songs. This appropriation is twofold: on the one hand are the lyrics, which are now in Greek (often, in fact, they has nothing to do with the original ones), and, on the other hand, the performance practices: different instrumentation, different singing style, often differences in melodic and rhythmic forms and in the harmonies. Greek musicians adapt what they hear to their own condition and aesthetics, based on their own capabilities and needs.

This is an adaptation of the American patriotic song "Over there", written by George M. Cohan during World War I, but also sung and recorded during World War II.

One of the earliest recordings of the song was made by the vocal group Peerless Quartet on June 13, 1917, in New York, for the record label Columbia (77139 - A2306). Many covers followed in the same year as well as later in American historical discography, among them several instrumental ones (see for example here).

Recordings of the song can also be found in the historical discography of other countries, such as:

- Enrico Caruso, Camden, New Jersey, July 10, 1918 (Victor B-22125 - 87294)
- František A. Pangrác, Camden, New Jersey, November 13, 1918 (Victor B-22417 - 72168)
- Pathé Military Band, Paris, January 1919 (Pathé 6281 - 22024)
- Band of HM Coldstream Guards, London, January 27, 1919 (HMV HO 3577 af - 2-0247/C887)
- Dick Powel - The American Four, New York, January 28, 1942 (Decca 70231 - 4174)
- Original - Teddies - Quartett, Zürich, April 13, 1943 (Elite Special 2364 - 4195)
- Lisbeth Bodin and The three Clovers, Stockholm, October 13, 1943 (Sonora 6355-S-S-C - 7151)
- "Onkel Sam", Helge Leonhard, Denmark, probably in 1945 (Tono 2603 - Z 18027-2)
- Emile Deltour et son Orchestre Symphonique, Belgium, probably in 1947 (Decca Belgium F 1211 - 8967 Bis)

The song was also sung by its creator in a 1936 radio broadcast.

It is worth noting that the Greek version of the song also has patriotic lyrics that refer to events that occurred during the period 1918-1919; more specifically, to the sinking of the battleship "Georgios Averof" in the Bosporus in November 1918, with the Greek flag flying in Constantinople (Istanbul) causing excitement among the Greeks of the city, and to the Greco-Turkish War of 1919-1922 with the landing of the Greek army in Smyrna (Izmir) in May 1919.

According to the data collected so far, it is the only recording of the song in Greek historical discography.

Research and text: Leonardos Kounadis and Nikos Ordoulidis

Author (Composer):
Lyrics by:
[English lyrics: Cohan George M.]
Greek lyrics: Unknown]
Singer(s):
Papagkika Marika
Orchestra-Performers:
[Violin (Makedonas Athanasios), cello (Sifnios Markos), cimbalom (Papagkikas Kostas)]
Recording date:
07/1919
Recording location:
New York
Language(s):
Greek
Publisher:
Columbia (USA)
Catalogue number:
E 5187
Matrix number:
59581
Duration:
3:39
Item location:
Kounadis Archive Record Library
Physical description:
12 in. (30 cm)
Source:
Kounadis Archive
ID:
Col_E5187_Eleftheria
Licensing:
cc
Reference link:
Kounadis Archive, "Eleftheria", 2019, https://vmrebetiko.gr/en/item-en?id=4178

In the 1860s, when the American Civil War breaks out with the racist slave trade at stake, North America had already turned into an unprecedented cultural melting pot. In any case, the movement of populations to the “New World” (sometimes forcibly and sometimes voluntarily) and the multinational settlement and colonization was a constant condition that started from the 16th century and defined the history of the continent. In essence, the now post-Civil War presidential confederation of states, the United States of America, is a microcosm of the globe: a “successful Babel”. Naturally, a unique syncretism also dominates in the field of music. The genesis of discography builds a condition that favors conversation and osmosis between the innumerable ethno-cultural groups that make up the population. These processes will lead to the reinterpretation, updating and renewal of old musical trends that arrive in the United States, and, at the same time, to their re-exportation to the “old worlds”, thus setting up a uniquely multi-layered network. Richard Spottswood’s now monumental multi-volume work “Ethnic Music on Records” vividly reflects the extraordinary record production in the USA. This “convergence” of geographical coordinates is often accompanied by another one, the “convergence” of internal cultural “coordinates”. These are the fields of scholar and popular music, which enter into a creative dialogue in a variety of ways, and often introduce in-between and/or new “places”. The contribution of forcibly transported slaves from the African continent to the musical scene of America, and especially their role in the formation of the genres that are now considered as part of the “national music of the USA”, was more than crucial. Folk, country, bluegrass, gospel, blues, soul, jazz, fox trot, rock ‘n roll, charleston, minstrel show, but also symphonic music, waltz, tango, music for the cinema, Italian, Russian, Greek, Hebrew, Spanish-speaking and other idioms are recorded and flood the global record market. In this endless body of recordings, we come across instances where Greek-speaking musicians arrange American songs. This appropriation is twofold: on the one hand are the lyrics, which are now in Greek (often, in fact, they has nothing to do with the original ones), and, on the other hand, the performance practices: different instrumentation, different singing style, often differences in melodic and rhythmic forms and in the harmonies. Greek musicians adapt what they hear to their own condition and aesthetics, based on their own capabilities and needs.

This is an adaptation of the American patriotic song "Over there", written by George M. Cohan during World War I, but also sung and recorded during World War II.

One of the earliest recordings of the song was made by the vocal group Peerless Quartet on June 13, 1917, in New York, for the record label Columbia (77139 - A2306). Many covers followed in the same year as well as later in American historical discography, among them several instrumental ones (see for example here).

Recordings of the song can also be found in the historical discography of other countries, such as:

- Enrico Caruso, Camden, New Jersey, July 10, 1918 (Victor B-22125 - 87294)
- František A. Pangrác, Camden, New Jersey, November 13, 1918 (Victor B-22417 - 72168)
- Pathé Military Band, Paris, January 1919 (Pathé 6281 - 22024)
- Band of HM Coldstream Guards, London, January 27, 1919 (HMV HO 3577 af - 2-0247/C887)
- Dick Powel - The American Four, New York, January 28, 1942 (Decca 70231 - 4174)
- Original - Teddies - Quartett, Zürich, April 13, 1943 (Elite Special 2364 - 4195)
- Lisbeth Bodin and The three Clovers, Stockholm, October 13, 1943 (Sonora 6355-S-S-C - 7151)
- "Onkel Sam", Helge Leonhard, Denmark, probably in 1945 (Tono 2603 - Z 18027-2)
- Emile Deltour et son Orchestre Symphonique, Belgium, probably in 1947 (Decca Belgium F 1211 - 8967 Bis)

The song was also sung by its creator in a 1936 radio broadcast.

It is worth noting that the Greek version of the song also has patriotic lyrics that refer to events that occurred during the period 1918-1919; more specifically, to the sinking of the battleship "Georgios Averof" in the Bosporus in November 1918, with the Greek flag flying in Constantinople (Istanbul) causing excitement among the Greeks of the city, and to the Greco-Turkish War of 1919-1922 with the landing of the Greek army in Smyrna (Izmir) in May 1919.

According to the data collected so far, it is the only recording of the song in Greek historical discography.

Research and text: Leonardos Kounadis and Nikos Ordoulidis

Author (Composer):
Lyrics by:
[English lyrics: Cohan George M.]
Greek lyrics: Unknown]
Singer(s):
Papagkika Marika
Orchestra-Performers:
[Violin (Makedonas Athanasios), cello (Sifnios Markos), cimbalom (Papagkikas Kostas)]
Recording date:
07/1919
Recording location:
New York
Language(s):
Greek
Publisher:
Columbia (USA)
Catalogue number:
E 5187
Matrix number:
59581
Duration:
3:39
Item location:
Kounadis Archive Record Library
Physical description:
12 in. (30 cm)
Source:
Kounadis Archive
ID:
Col_E5187_Eleftheria
Licensing:
cc
Reference link:
Kounadis Archive, "Eleftheria", 2019, https://vmrebetiko.gr/en/item-en?id=4178

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See also