A true Turkish songwriter & composer: Barış Manço

15 years ago, one of the greatest Turkish singers of all time passed away at the age of 56. I am talking about Barış Manço. His name Barış (Barish) means “peace” and is considered to be the first name given to a child in Turkish history as a celebration at the end of II World War. By the way his elder brother’s name is Savaş which means “war”. Manço is pronounced as Mancho.

His high school days were full of music, he formed his first band “Kafadarlar” (Buddies) in Galatasaray High School where he got French education (then English at Şişli Terakki High School). In 1963, with his later band “Harmoniler” (Harmonies) made covers of popular American swing songs and adapted some of the Turkish folk songs in rock’n’roll genre which opened the way of Anatolian Rock. After high school, he went to Europe and started some bands with local musicians. He gave concerts with his band Les Mistigris in French, English, as well as Turkish. In 1967, he was injured in a serious car accident and started to grow moustache to hide his scar.

In 1970, his score “Dağlar Dağlar” made a significant debut and sold more than 700,000 copies. He formed a band with Kurtalan Ekspres and their collaboration continued till the very end. 1980’s went fruitful for Manço that many of his albums became hit. And he made a different move into television and became the producer and the front man of two programmes. 7’den 77’ye was a travel programme but my favorite was Adam Olacak Çocuk which is similar to French “L’École des fans” show. The kids attend and show talents like singing.

There are many reasons why I love Barış Manço but the most important thing is he had a great heart. Every year in February, people commemorate in different ways and miss him a lot. There is Barış Manço museum in Kadıköy where you can see his antique collections, big rings, costumes, drawings, and music instruments. I picked one of his enjoyable songs called “Halhal” which means ankle ring. The woman in the song is attractive yet very coy and always wears a silver halhal.

Rest in Peace Barış Abi :)

Sema Moritz – Fikrimin İnce Gülü

This song is an old classical Turkish song with a “Muhayyer Kürdî” style by Muallim İsmail Hakkı Bey. It makes a great combination with the singer’s soft voice. Fikrimin İnce Gülü can be translated into “The rose of my very thoughts”. (The rose metaphor is just a coincidence with the previous song yet this flower is very popular in Turkey). The song is about a love at first sight and the person can think no one but that person from that moment.

Sema Moritz is also known to sing tango and “kanto”, a music type which dates back to late 19th century to arrive in Turkey. Derived from the Italian word “cantare” it emerged in the local theatres as joyful songs. I will share some of them in the upcoming posts.

LYRICS

Fikrimin ince gülü
Kalbimin şen bülbülü
O gün ki gördüm seni
Yaktın ah yaktın beni
O gün ki gördüm seni
Yaktın ah çapkın beni

Ateşli dudakların
Gamzeli yanakların
O gün ki gördüm seni
Yaktın ah yaktın beni
O gün ki gördüm seni
Yaktın ah çapkın beni

Ellerin ellerimde
Leblerin leblerimde
O gün ki gördüm seni
Yaktın ah zalim beni
O gün ki gördüm seni
Yaktın ah çapkın beni

Çemberimde Gül Oya (Rose lace on my collar)

A folk song from Çanakkale region in Turkey. Selda Bağcan became known with this song in late 60’s and early 70’s. Çember is the name of the four side emroidered collar that young girls or newlywed women wear in that region. Some call it “yazma” and this was one of the important things for these ladies to show their skills. In the song, there is a lady waiting for her love to get married along with her hand-made collar with rose lace.

LYRICS

Çemberimde Gül Oya,
Gülmedim Doya Doya.
Dertleri Karıyorum,
Günleri Saya Saya.
Al Beni Kıyamam Seni.

Pembe Gül İdim Soldum,
Ak Güle İbret Oldum.
Karşı Karşı Dururken,
Yüzüne Hasret Kaldım.
Al Beni Kıyamam Seni.

Avlu Dibi Beklerim,
Vay! Benim Emeklerim.
Dümbeleği Çala Çala,
Yoruldu Bileklerim.
Al Beni Kıyamam Seni.