Where are the years?

Impressions of a wonderful concert!
Where are the years, the wonderful years
when you had flowers in your heart
where is the love, my sweet love
to warm us in the cold

Those are not my words. Those are the words of the refrain of a Greek song, sung by Giorgos Dalaras. Music from Stavros Kouyioumtzis and lyrics by Akos Daskalopoulos.

This song was also brought in the concert of 3th March 2023, in Rotterdam, Luxor theatre. One of the many songs that night.

Where are the years?

I had quite some flashbacks, going to those first years of concerts and discoveries, one after the other, meetings; the beginning of a never-ending love for this country, its language and its songs, full of stories.

Through person’s lifetime can happen a lot; in the world, in my country, in that beautiful country, with our families and friends, with our bodies, the bodies of our dearest…

G. Dalaras was my very first Greek musical discovery. I saw and still do so, in every song a piece of history, a piece of culture, a way of living, power, a real existence that is overwhelming, every time again. Like being drawn into a funnel and than landing on the other side in my other home.

Flowers in the heart

It was a memorable day in more than one way. The memory of my mother was very clear and present that day. She died in 2006, 26th February, on a Sunday. She was buried on 3rd March, on a Friday, exactly to the day, seventeen years ago.
Her birthname was Wilhelmina. In Rotterdam we walked over the Wilhelmina-square. That was before the concert.

Wilhelmina square

I remember her being pleasantly surprised every time she came to my place, listening to the  Greek music; like the first time that I heard the voice of Dalaras.

Also, in the restaurant, where we had a good Greek meal, the waiter gave everyone a peppermint. On the paper wrapper was her name printed as well.

It reminded me very clearly of her, as if she was there as well.

To warm us in the cold

Literally! Before the concert, we were outside, walking, doing some sightseeing. Those looking-forward hours are nice, every time again. We enlarge the funnel and add a few extra memories to cherish. Meeting the organizer. The spirit of the ‘younger ones’, the teasing, the conversations, the upcoming evening in our minds and hearts … and another surprise, we met another friend there. How nice it was to see her again!

It’s about the concert itself of course. From the first note, the atmosphere was good! We know most of the musicians now, also the ones who weren’t there.

After the intro and the first song, G. Dalaras asked if there was a person that was bilingual Dutch/Greek. A man came up on the stage and translated what Dalaras said in Greek. In summary, he was glad that, after all those years, it still feels warm to be welcomed like this.

He also mentioned the train accident, on the 1rst March in the North of Greece. We make music in happiness and sadness and pain! Then he asked for a minute of silence in remembrance of the victims. As one, everyone stood up and bowed their heads. This is the first time that I didn’t even hear a cough!

After that we were spoiled with a dazzling performance, so many Greek songs that we knew and sang along (tried to anyway). I don’t take so many photo’s anymore, nor did I film. I’m sitting and enjoying, without trying to remember every song (to look it up later, what it means, as I used to in earlier years). This way, I was completely drawn into every moment of the concert. Warm!

Where are the years?

Sometimes they come back a little, discovering the musicians that we don’t know yet.

The bassist Petros Varthakouris

The ‘young ones’ got backstage, with their LP’s and afterwards gloating with his signature on it. And again, there was a flashback, when I was excited to go backstage. It is admirable how calm G. Dalaras is under the commotion and attentively listens to them. That’s what we have been told.

All warmed up, back home and wide awake on that side of the funnel, I almost saw the sunrise but fell asleep.   Αυτή η νύχτα μένει… (this night stays)

I have no reason to think about how my life would have turned out with another discovery, back then. 

“My roots and my other home; I’m enough like this.”

AMK 04/03/2023

The minor quality is in the picture, nót G. Dalaras

Photo at the top: there is something about the waterside that is attractive.