This is a New Year’s Eve Carol from Greece, dated back to Byzantine times. Its title means “First of the month and first of the year”. In Greece, it is an old tradition for children to go out in the streets of their neighbourhood or broader area on the 31st of December, singing “Archiminia ki archichronia”, which embodies wishes to the listeners, as well as references to both Jesus Christ and Basil of Caesarea (the Eastern European equivalent of Santa Claus). Click here to scroll down to a more detailed song history
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Archiminia ki archichronia (Αρχιμηνιά κι αρχιχρονιά) lyrics (Greek)
Αρχιμηνιά κι αρχιχρονιά,
ψηλή μου δενδρολιβανιά,
κι αρχή καλός μας χρόνος,
εκκλησιά με τ’ άγιο θρόνο.
Αρχή που βγήκε ο Χριστός,
άγιος και πνευματικός
στη γη να περπατήσει
και να μας καλοκαρδίσει.
‘Αγιος Βασίλης έρχεται
και όλους μας καταδέχεται
από την Καισαρεία,
Βαστάει εικόνα και χαρτί,
χαρτί και καλαμάρι,
δες και με το παλικάρι.
Το καλαμάρι έγραφε
την μοίρα του την έλεγε
και το χαρτί ομίλει,
Άγιε μου, άγιε μου καλέ Βασίλη.
Κάτσε να φας, κάτσε να πιεις
κάτσε το πόνο σου να πεις,
κάτσε να τραγουδήσεις,
και να μας καλοκαρδίσεις.
You may also like: Chionia sto kampanario (Χιόνια στο καμπαναριό), Paei o palios o chronos (Πάει ο παλιός ο χρόνος), Tu scendi dalle stelle (From Starry Skies Thou Comest)
“Archiminia ki archichronia (Αρχιμηνιά κι αρχιχρονιά)” Music Score
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“Archiminia ki archichronia (Αρχιμηνιά κι αρχιχρονιά)” Video
This Greek New Year’s Ever carol contains various elements, that are thought to have derived from “songs of agermoi” (άσματα αγερμού), improvised chants that used to be sung on the Eves of important religious celebrations during charity walks around towns.
The song starts with a wish for the upcoming year. Then, it mentions and praises Jesus Christ, who “goes out to walk on Earth”, eight days after his birth, a reference to the semitic custom of the circumcision.
The third verse talks about Saint Basil of Caesarea, the “Santa Claus” of Eastern Europe, a theologian who lived in Cappadocia, Asia Minor in the 4th century AD, who is depicted as a great educator “carrying paper and ink bottle”.
In a funny way, some scattered lyrics also call for the attention of a lady, a flattering in disguise for the pretty women who listened to the song.
Singing Bell is a comprehensive collection of Christmas Carols and Children's songs.
It was created to provide teaching material to anyone giving music lessons to children or adults, that is music teachers and parents. It was also conceived for anyone who would like to live the Christmas spirit or the spirit of childhood.
Singing Bell offers free nursery rhymes and other free songs for children from all over the globe, as well as nursery rhyme lyrics. Popular songs like "London Bridge is falling down", "Old MacDonald had a farm", "Rain, rain, go away", "Itsy-Bitsy spider" and, of course, "The Wheels on the bus". Great hits also include "La Cucaracha" (with original English lyrics for children), "Auld Lang Syne" and "Mexican Hat Dance" (also with original English lyrics for kids).
Its Christmas music section includes popular carols from Europe, like Britain's "We wish you a Merry Christmas" and "Deck the halls", "Petit Papa Noel" from France, Italy's "Tu scendi dalle stelle" and Spanish carols like "Fum Fum Fum" and "Los peces en el rio".
It also makes a collection of carols from North America ("Jingle Bells", "Santa Claus is coming to town"), but also popular South American carols like "Huachi Torito". Even more, it includes famous Christmas songs like "Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer", "White Christmas", and many others.
The musical piece presented above is titled "Archiminia ki archichronia (Αρχιμηνιά κι αρχιχρονιά)" and is one of Singing Bell's Christmas Carols and Songs.
All songs are offered for free mp3 download in their instrumental version. You can also download a free midi file for use in music programming or scoring, their music score in jpg, their lyrics and teaching ideas for singing in class or in a choir. The very same material might also be used simply as a karaoke version where anyone can sing along these Christmas Carols and children songs.