Thursday, 9 February 2012

Remembering why we are in love with Greece

I don’t want to minimise the dire economic and political situation in Greece at the moment and I don’t doubt the consequences will probably set the country back years; but we must also take the long view – for example, I heard today on BBC World Service that Africa and Europe are slowly converging and at some point the Mediterranean won’t be a sea but a mountain range – and not get entangled or vexed by the quotidian. Greece will no doubt survive – not because it always has, that’s just rhetoric, nations have died and will die again – but because what Greece is suffering from at the moment is not quite fatal. So, we must, on this the 32nd anniversary of the death of Nikos Xylouris, remember that he is why we are in love with Greece and what happens to pensions or the minimum wage or whatever can't affect this.

Above is Xylouris singing the traditional Cretan song: Τη μάνα μου την αγαπώ. And below is Manolis Lagos’ classic version with Lavrentia Bernidaki, followed by an interview with the singer recalling her pioneering role along with Lagos, her brother Yiannis Baxevanis and Stelios Foustalieris in defining modern Cretan music in the 1930s and 1940s.

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