Bedros Alahaidoyan coll. | Sivas/Sepasdia

This page presents songs and dance music collected and recorded by musicologist Bedros Alahaidoyan. Beginning in the 1980s, Mr. Alahaidoyan traveled to cities and towns populated by Armenians throughout the Diaspora, in search for Genocide survivors from whom he collected rare songs and anecdotes of their native cities and villages.

Editing of this page, as well as music engraving and digitization, provided by Dzovig Markarian, DMA. Translation: Simon Beugekian.

The Armenian Apostolic cathedral of the Holy Mother of God and the Armenian quarter in the town of Sivas/Sepasdia (Source: Nubarian Library collection, Paris)

Musical performer Mrs. Moushgin Markarian was born in Sivas. She learned the songs presented here from her sister, who died after being deported during the years of the Armenian Genocide.

Markarian states that she first recorded these songs in 1974, upon hearing on an Armenian radio station that Bedros Alahaidoyan had traveled to Southern California, seeking elderly Armenians who still sang traditional Armenian folk songs. Mrs. Markarian met with Mr. Alahaidoyan in 1986, at a retirement home in Fresno, California. In that meeting, she provided Mr. Alahaydoian with recordings of the following songs:

  1. 1- Bzdig Dgha Men Ei, Zinvor ge Danin [I was a Little Boy; They Took Me to the Army]
  2. 2- Hay Aghchig [Armenian Girl]
  3. 3- Groung [The Crane]
  4. 4- 1914 Tvin… [In the Year 1914]
  5. 5- Panjar Kaghem Tser Arden [I’ll Pick Swiss Chards from your Field]
  6. 6- Aznivn ou Khachige [Azniv and Khachig]
  7. 7- Keoprunyun Keoprunyun (in Turkish) [It is Thorny Beneath the Bridge]
  8. 8- Mouradadour Sourp Garabed [Saint Garabed, The Granter of Wishes]

1. Bzdig Dgha Men Ei, Zinvor ge Danin [I was a Little Boy; They Took Me to the Army]

A group of craftsmen from Sivas, in the courtyard of the Anabad Monastery, during a celebration. The photograph also depicts a group of musicians. First row, sitting cross-legged, from left to right – Kemanji Drtad (holding a violin); an unknown qanoon player; Granatdji Hovsep (holding a clarinet or gırnata). Middle row, seated on chairs, left to right – Ghamsezents Khachig; Tarpin Harout; Chadrdjian (a renowned santur player, and a tinsmith by trade); Commissar Aram Effendi (wearing his military uniform and a fez); an unknown man; Zemperents Harout; Chyekhdji Vosgian (holding a saz). Third row, standing – the note accompanying the photograph provides only a few names, but we do not know the order in which the subjects are standing. The names provided are Hovhannes; Karnig Chadrdjian (drummer); Aram Chadrdjian (santur player); and Chamsezents Hovhannes (source: Arakel Badrig, Badmakirk Houshamadyan Sebastio yev Kavari Hayutyan, Volume B, New Jersey, Rokkir Printing House, 1983).

Bzdig dgha men ei, zinvor ge danin
Zenk prnel chem kider, abdag ge zarnen

G’ertam, g’ertam, zinvorig im g’ertam

Mors meg hadign ei, anouns er Antranig
Asdoudzme khntretsi, papaks ch’ari

G’ertam, g’ertam, zinvorig im g’ertam

Nsda yergatoughi, Tiflis knatsi,
Yerek dari hondegh zinvor mnatsi

G’ertam, g’ertam, zinvorig im g’ertam

Yerevayi jampan oler moler e
Im siradz Haygans shad keghetsig e

G’ertam, g’ertam, zinvorig im g’ertam

Aghchi Haygo Haygo, gourdzkt mi panar
Malat ou salta e, yes chem timanar

G’ertam, g’ertam, zinvorig im g’ertam

Mayrig yes g’ertam gour, tou getsir parvo
Vras al dzadzgetsek gagough hogherov
Kerezmans al zartaretsek kouynzkouyn dzaghigov

G’ertam, g’ertam, zinvorig im g’ertam

Knatsi yegeghetsi, momer varetsi
Latsi yev voghpatsi, Asdoudzo aghachetsi

G’ertam, g’ertam, zinvorig im g’ertam

2- Hay Aghchig [Armenian Girl]

Armenian women in Sivas, dressed in their wedding gowns (Source: Keghouni, Year A, Number 3, April 1, 1902, Mekhitarist Order Printing House, Venice).

Hay aghchig er nsder er
Aghpyurin karin vra i
Mazern al tapver er
Kedini vra i

Hay aghchig, Hay aghchig
Sirounig aghchig
Ampogch mer kyughin mech
Meg hadig Hay aghchig

Arachi desnalous
Yes kezi siraharvetsa i
Shad chanker tapetsi
Payts chi hachoghetsa i

Akh dgha, dgha
Toun kheghdj Turki dgha i
Ge khntrim kezi
Tou mortsi indzi

Hay em dzner yes
Hay bidi mernim
Hay azkis badivn al
Yes bidi bahim

Aghchig Turki dgha chem yes
Souriatsi em
The khntrim kezi
Toun mi merjer indzi

Aghchi kishernern al koun chounim
Bargim knanam
Shad siraharver im
Yes kezi inchbes moranam

(Davar getel gou kas mey
Narin) ge kale
Kez sirogh hovivin
Sirdn al ge vares

Aghchig toun al harsouz marsouz
Gharib indzi bes
Yes al arsouz marsouz
Gharib kezi bes

Mi ner mi lar aghchig!
Mortsir Hay ellalet
Yegour amousnanank
Ellank yertchanig

Makhtaradar a
Toun Souriatsi dgha i
The khntrim kezi
Toun mortsir indzi

Hay em dzner yes
Hay bidi mernim
Hay azkis badivn al
Yes bidi bahim.

3- Groung [The Crane]

Sivas, 1913. The musical band consisting of Armenian students of the city’s American school. The band director was Nshan Bekhian, a teacher in the same school (Source: Arakel Badrig, Badmakirk Houshamadyan Sebastio yev Kavari Hayutyan, Volume B, New Jersey, Rokkir Printing House, 1983).

Groung, ousgi gou kas
Dzara im tsaynen
Akh, groung, mer ashkharhen
Khabrig me chounis?

Toghel im ou yeger
Marker souvakis
Nakhkan i vor akh knim
Ge kashvi hokis

Groung tsadzats g’ertas
Partsr g’erevnas
G’ertas mer yergire
Khabrig me ches dar

Groung Asdvadz sires
Hedatarts enes
Yertas mer yergiren
Khabrig me peres

Groung yerani kezi
Toun al ge trchis
G’ertas ge desnas
Mer sireli yergire i

4- 1914-in [In the Year 1914]

This song laments the events that transpired during the Armenian Genocide, which began in 1915. The lyrics describe the mass destruction, arrests, deportations, and massacres that befell the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire. It is likely that Moushgin Markaryan inserted references to some of her own experiences during the Genocide into the song, or that the events described therein befell her own family.

Sivas, the Kltian family. Hagop Kltian is seated, to his left is his wife Takouhi Kltian. The others are their daughters – Baydzar, Shnorhig and Dirouhi (Source: Arousyag Mgrdichian collection, Istanbul)

Hazar inne haryur
Dasnechors tvin
Akh, kornar yergou achke
An kazan Turkin.

Varets mer baladi bes
Nor shinadz dounere
Akh nedets mezi taparagan
Poghotsnere i

Mayis amsoun dasnehinkin
Salere [partstrank] darin mezi
Sourp Garabed oukhdadeghin

Sharetsin mezi chourin yezerke
Zenkernin al prnetsin
Mer srderoun vra i

Boratsin yev esin gyavourner
Esek tser herosneroun deghe i
Che ne bidi nedenk tsezi
Ays chourin meche i

Latsin akh yerghpayr, mayrer ou kouyrer
Esin chenk kider menk mer
Herosneroun deghe i

Yerani te nedadz ellayin
Ayt chourin meche ayt jamanagin
Payts chi nedetsin kaghtetsin
Tapetsin Mouradou kede i

Kisher ou tsereg jampa kaletsank
Lerne i lerner menk darabetsank
Oudelou hats khmelou chour al chkdank
Vortnodadz goleroun chourern al khmetsank

Yerp vor yelank hasank
Partsr leran me tepen
Kazan Kurde hirets dern ou gov
Kndolets mer eshin tarvar

Ounimnis chounimnis mnatsadz er
Ayn kheghdj hayvanin vra i
Akh an kndoletsin
Hech pan chi toghoutsin

Yerp vor yegank hasank
Mourad kedi yezerke i
Kazan Kurde prnets mazeres
Yev indzi pakhtsouts

Latsi yev koratsi
Im mayrigis
Ka azade indzi an
Kazanin tserken

Im kach mayrigs nedets
Sitilov choure
Anor ktin pernin
Yev azadets im gyanks
An kazanin tserken

(……) hamperoutyamp
Sgsgan tsers arnel navoun mech
Amen charoutyamp

Latsink voghpatsink Asdvadz ganchetsink
Asdvadz al ch’oknets mezi
Tapetsin Mouradou kede i

Aha yegank hasank tsimervan baghoun
Akh chi toghin hakousdner yev voch angoghin
Oudelou hats al khmelou chour chi toghin
Anoti ou dzarav meran mer sirelinere i

Tyagner letsoutsin meg megou vra
Akh taghoghner al chgayin
Shounere geran

5- Pandjar Kaghim Tser Tashden [I’ll Pick Swiss Chards from your Field]

Sivas/Sepasdia: A view of the city (Source: Mekhitarist Order, San Lazzaro, Venice)

Pandjar kaghel knatsink
Yerchanig jamanag me antsoutsink
Nshanadznis al desank
Ourakh zvart doun egank

Panjar kaghim tser arden
Yes ge mernim kou tarten
Sevda dvir knatsir
Akh indzi anpakhd toghoutsir

(Choroun ghrak nard) ounink
Yes sirounig yar ounim
Yars al knats al chegav
As inch pan e vor yeghav

6- Aznivn ou Khachige [Azniv and Khachig]

Sivas, 1909. Wedding photograph of Dikranouhi and Mihran Shahinian. Photographer: Enkababian Brothers (Source: Avo Ghazal Collection, United States).

(Jamoun akhbernere)
(For fot) ge nedin
Aznivin al sirde
Ver-ver ge nede i

Azniv yavash kale i
Paboudjt al g’elle
Kez sirogh Khachign al
Temt al g’elle i

Ertik vor g’ellesne i
(Narin) ge kales
Kez sirogh Khachigin
Sirdn al ge vares

Azniv Azniv g’esim
Sirds al ge vari
Gourba grag ltsir
Nerss ge vari

Mechkt e parag boyit
Sev le dali bes
Toun al es keghetsig
Hreshdagi bes

Sev dale siretsi
Ch’ari mourads
Akh sev yaman asdadas
Dani nazlou yar

7- Köprünün altı diken (in Turkish) [It is Thorny Beneath the Bridge]

The musical band of Sivas' Aramian Armenian School. The band was founded in 1913. Seated on the chair, with a tie around his neck, and with his hand resting on his leg, is Mihran Isbirian, the schoolmaster. The band leader was H. Kordjian, who is probably seated to the right of M. Isbirian in the photograph (Source: Arakel Badrig, Badmakirk Houshamadyan Sebastio yev Kavari Hayutyan, Volume A, Beirut, Mshag Printing House, 1974).

Köprünün köprünün
Altı diken
Yakhdın beni yakhdın
Beni gül iken
Yakhdın beni yakhdın
Beni gül iken
Allah da Allah da seni yaksın
Ah üç günlüg üç günlüg gelin iken
Üç günlüg üç günlüg gelin iken

Bağ ıdım bağ ıdım
Bosdan oldum
Bağırdım bağırdım
Sesden oldum
Bağırdım bağırdım
Sesden oldum

Bilme fessüz bilme
Fessüz yar üçün
Ah ağladım ağladım
Gözlerden oldum
Ah ağladım ağladım
Gözlerden oldum

Buçakh koydu buçakh
Koydu yanıma
Ucu girdi ucu
Girdi canıma i
Ucu girdi ucu
Girdi canıma i

Heger sana heger
Sana güvenmiyordun ise i
Ah neçün girdin neçün
Girdin benim kanıma i  
Neçün girdin neçün
Girdin benim kanıma i  

Su gelir su gelir
Medim medim
Ah kim bülür kim bülür
Benim derdlerim
Ah kim bülür kim bülür
Benim derdlerim

Dağlarda mirekeb
Dağlar mirekeb olsa
Yazamas yazamas
Benim derdlerim
Yazamas yazamas
Benim derdlerim

Kebeb eddim kebeb
Eddim yeyen yokh
Ah derdin nedür derdin
Nedür deyen yokh
Ah derdin nedür derdin
Nedür deyen yokh

Bu çekilmez bu
Çekilmez derdleri
Yokh benden başkha benden
Başkha gören yokh
Benden başkha benden
Başkha gören yokh

Dengiz dibinde dengiz
Dibinde küreg
Ah gene ah eddi gene
Ah eddi yüreg i

Her cefaya her cefaya dayandın
Buna da dayan buna da
Dayan yüreyim
Buna da dayan buna da
Dayan yüreyim

8- Mouradadour Sourp Garabed [Saint Garabed, The Granter of Wishes]

The Holy Virgin Cathedral of Sivas/Sepasdia (Source: Mekhitarist Order, San Lazzaro, Venice)

Sourp Garabed em knatsel
Barger em im dan mnatsel
Moratsa el chim imatsel
Mouradadour Sourp Garabed

Sourp Garabed partsr degh er
Kovn al like chagh ou djugh er
Amen bdough tarti tegh er
Mouradadour Sourp Garabed

Sour Garabed khoran khoran
Mech ga like Avedaran
Yegek gartank mey-meg peran
Mouradadour Sourp Garaabed

(…………)
Choure vaze darper (……….)
(Khandrou mere)
Choure vaze darper e (………)