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Rebetika
Rebetika

Rebetika is sometimes compared to blues music. The name means "hobo" or "brat" and comes from the Slavic "rebenok", "youngster".

Rebetika holds elements from all the previous traditions, and originated amongst unemployed refugees in the big cities with harbours Constantinople, Pireus, Smyrna and Thessaloniki.

The songs used to be about drinking and smoking hash, but this was forbidden during the military regime in the late sixties/early seventies. Underground clubs would still go on, but there was always the danger of getting caught.

During these years the lyrics were slightly modified and told tales of lost love and a hard life. Today you can find many rebetika clubs were the old lyrics are sung once again.

"Outside the gates of Paradise, someone grew two plants
In time the plants grew, and the angels went wild"

Rebetika music by zambetas