Notes on Lina Nikolakopoulou’s lyrics
The poet of Greek song
A speciality of Lina Nikolakopoulou are her extraordinary, unique and highly descriptive lyrics.
Lina writes original poems which may catapult the listener into a film sequence that is surreal and full of vivid images.
Her versatility allows her to use metaphors and symbols which sometimes – for the audience – work as an encryption tool for several layers of understanding.
Other times, the doorways and hints to unravelling the meaning of her poetry are accessible more openly.
Every work is a gift to listen, digest, reflect upon and enjoy in one’s heart and mind.
Lina is also highly skilled in writing lyrics to existing music pieces where a composer inspires her process. Some of the public’s most beloved classics of her oeuvre are connected to vibrant and soulfoul melodies with origins as diverse as Greece, the Balkans, Armenia, Italy or Spain.
Our path of discovery
We each have our respective timelines of following artists who give voice to Lina’s work and for whom her lyrics are essential in their evolution as performers.
From there, our interest in the lyrical work grew and we individually made trips to the record stores, checking the artist sections and the new discs.
Continuously, we kept an eye on Lina’s current artistic undertakings. We were – and are! – lucky to be able to seek out several live outings with the artist’s involvement in different locations in Athens together.
For Lina’s birthday in 2017, we compiled a 90 min radio feature about her work and career which we broadcasted in the global music series on the Nuremberg community radio station.
Our translation project
Something special happened in 2019:
Lina Nikolakopoulou came on a brief visit to Germany in her capacity as the curator of the Rebetiko tribute to Stelios and Markos Vamvakaris at Rudolstadt Folk and Roots Music Festival.
For this special occasion, we set out to put together a concise selection of Lina’s classic lyrics and new ones from the disc “Galazia Limni”, translate them into German and give them to her as a present.
2020 saw the arrival of the pandemic. We were greatly missing our Greek adventures.
During this time we decided to start this website to honor the artist who continues to inspire us and whose work transcends borders.
Since then, we have been working on translating selected verses of the wide-ranging cosmos of Lina’s poetical work.
Our ambition is to make information and translations broadly accessible to people who treasure a connection to Greece and its culture, and to others who may not (yet) speak Greek or are learning the language.
For every song we pick, we assemble an English and a German translation. Our approach is the „metaphrasi“. We aim to stay true to the original meaning while at the same time we try to find a smooth wording for the English and German text.
You can find examples of our interpretations on the site song translations (update).
Regina & Christiana, April 2023