Top Georgian songs of all time
01 September, 2017
Top Georgian songs of all time
Georgia has a rich musical culture that counts over centuries. Georgian polyphony is an invaluable tradition listed by UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Georgian people liked singing since ancient times; they sang during celebr
ations, feasts (soupras), weddings and even at funerals.

Besides feast songs, Georgians have work songs as well. Such songs were common in all regions of the country. Orovela, for example, is a specific solo work song found in eastern Georgia only. There are a great number of healing songs, funerary ritual songs, wedding songs, love songs, dance songs, lullabies, traveling songs.

Georgia has rich and still vibrant traditional music, which is primarily known as arguably the earliest polyphonic tradition of the Christian world.

A typical Georgian song is sung acappella by men, singing in at least three vocal ranges together.

Here we present to you some of the most popular and beautiful Georgian songs:

Chakrulo

First one is Chakrulo, the most vivid example of Georgian polyphony. When Georgian vocal polyphony was recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Heritage masterpiece in 2001, Chakrulo was cited as a prime example of this. Chakrulo was one of 27 musical compositions included on the Voyager Golden Records that were sent into space on Voyager 2 on 20 August 1977.
geotv.ge
The most popular version of “Chakrulo” is performed by Hamlet Gonashvili, "the voice of Georgia", a Soviet-born Georgian singer (tenor), influential teacher and performer of traditional Georgian music.

Gonashvili, who was born in eastern Georgia, was considered the best interpreter of songs from the Kartli and Kakheti regions.





Shen Khar Venakhi – “You Are Vineyard”

Shen Khar Venakhi – “You Are Vineyard” is a medieval Georgian hymn. The text is attributed to King Demetrius I of Georgia (1093-1156). The composer of the music is unknown. Supposedly Demetrius I wrote it during his confinement as a monk in the David Gareja Monastery. The hymn is dedicated to Georgia and the patronage of the Virgin Mary; it is also a prayer of praise to Mary in the Georgian Orthodox Church.

The lyrics itself does not mention any saints or gods. Here is the translation of the lyrics:

You are a vineyard newly blossomed.
Young, beautiful, growing in Eden,
(A fragrant poplar sapling in Paradise.)
(May God adorn you. No one is more worthy of praise.)
You yourself are the sun, shining brilliantly.

The hymn is described as very polyphonic piece, reflecting late Medieval traditions of the Georgian Renaissance.




Lile

Lile is a an old hymn dedicated to the sun from Svaneti, a historic province in Georgia, in the northwestern part of the country, inhabited by the Svans, an ethnic subgroup of Georgians.
geotv.ge
Many songs of Svan people where created before the birth of Christ and spread of Christianity, so they contain pagan elements. Svan songs and dances are inseparable part of Svaneti’s culture. Svaneti boasts arguably the most archaic three-part polyphonic singing. Most of the songs are connected to round dances, are performed by group of people very loudly and are full of dissonant chords.




Suliko

Suliko, one of the most famous Georgian songs, known worldwide, is almost a trademark of Georgia. The author of the lyrics is Akaki Tsereteli, prominent Georgian writer of 19th century.

The song became widely known throughout the Soviet Union as a song performed with music composed by Sulkhan Tsintsadze. In that form it was often performed on radio during Joseph Stalin's rule, reputedly because it was his favorite. It was translated to and performed in multiple languages including Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Romanian, English, German, Basque, Chinese and Hebrew.



Iavnana

Iavnana (Lullaby) is a genre of Georgian folk song, traditionally intended as a lullaby, but historically sung also as healing songs for the sick children. Some of the Iavnana lyrics are, however, of didactical or heroic character.

Over sixty versions of Iavnanas have been recorded. Most of these lullabies are sung to the child, and are largely preserved in modern-day Georgia. Many of the Iavnana variants, however, were "healing songs" performed specifically in the presence of the sick child, but addressed to the "lords" (batonebi) or "angels" (angelozebi), the spirits who were believed to have taken possession of the patient suffering from smallpox, measles, scarlet fever or other infectious diseases.

The Iavnana motifs have been exploited in their poetry by several Georgian poets such as Ilia Chavchavadze, Akaki Tsereteli, and Galaktion Tabidze.




Tsintskaro

Tsintskaro is a Georgian folk song that originated in Georgia’s Kakheti region. The song is named after a village in the Kartli region, which translates to "at the spring water". The song is usually performed by a male vocalist and choir. It is noteworthy that its haunting melody was used in the 1979 Werner Herzog’s film Nosferatu the Vampyre and the 1985 Kate Bush song "Hello Earth".

Just like “Chakrulo”, the most popular version of the song “Tsintskaro” is sung by Hamlet Gonashvili , “The Voice of Georgia”.




Tbiliso

Tbiliso is one of the most popular and loved songs in Georgia, dedicated to the capital of the country. The music is written by famous Georgian composer Revaz Laghidze and the lyrics are written by Petre Gruzinski, a Georgian poet and Honored Artist of the Georgian.






Mukhambazi

Mukhambazi is one of the most popular songs written by Jansug Kakhidze.

Jansug Kakhidze (born 1935-2002) was a Georgian conductor, nicknamed "the Georgian Karajan" (famous Austrian conductor). Kakhidze was music director of the Georgian State Symphony Orchestra for two decades from 1973. He is the father of composer and conductor Vakhtang Kakhidze.
geotv.ge
Highlights of Kakhidze's career included numerous appearances conducting throughout Europe and Australia. His performance of Berlioz's Damnation of Faust with the Orchestra de Paris in 1990 drew high praise from critics, and helped him to secure further international success in places such as the US, where he appeared as a guest conductor with both the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra.

This romantic song can be named as a hymn to love, as it is full of emotions and feelings to the beloved one. The song is also known under its second name, “I’m looking for you day and night”.

Author of the lyrics is Petre Gruzinski, a Georgian poet and honored artist of the Georgian. The song was used in well-known Georgian film “Racha, My Love”. This perfect comedy tells about the romantic love story in one of the most beautiful highlands of Georgian Racha.




Roca Akavda Nushi

Roca Akavda Nushi (When Almond Blossomed) is a legendary melody written by great Georgian composer Gia Kancheli (born in 1935 in Tbilisi,) who resides in Belgium. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Kancheli has lived in Western Europe: first in Berlin, and since 1995 in Antwerp, where he became composer-in-residence for the Royal Flemish Philharmonic.
geotv.ge
He has written music for dozens of films. This melody was specifically written for the famous Georgian movie “When the almond blossomed” which tells the story of young people, their mistakes, feelings and love story. Georgian film and theatre actor Zura Kipshidze plays the leading role.

While listening this beautiful melody, it feels like you smell the scent of spring.




Sakartvelo, Lamazo

Sakartvelo, Lamazo (Georgia, beautiful)  is a very patriotic and emotional song. For Georgians, sometimes it is really hard to stop tears from falling while listening to this song. The lyrics are written by great Georgian poet Ana Kalandadze.

Ana Kalandadze was born in Guria, western Georgia in 1924. She graduated the Faculty of Philology at Tbilisi State University in 1946 and published her first poems the same year. She went on to write more than 700 works and to become one of the most influential figures in Georgian literature - with many of her patriotic and romantic poems being made into popular songs. After her death in 2008 she was buried in the Mtatsminda Pantheon, where some of the most prominent writers, artists, scholars, and national heroes of Georgia are buried.

“Sakartvelo, beautiful!
Is another Sakartvelo anywhere else?”

This is the main message of the lyrics.

The most popular version of the song is performed by Georgian group of singers Tsisferi Trio (Blue Trio), known for their emotional, romantic and patriotic songs.




Krimanchuli

Krimanchuli means the upper voice, rich in melodic leaps and adornments, of the polyphonic folk songs of Western Georgia (Guria and Imereti regions).

Guruli Krimanchuli is very popular song in Georgia. While listening to this song, you feel positive energy coming from funny and talented Gurians (residents of Guria). “Krimanchuli” perfectly express their vibrant and energetic nature. The song is quite beautiful and pleasant to listen though.



Related stories:

The Untold Story of How “Chakrulo” Ended Up in Space

Sunken Treasure: Hamlet Gonashvili, ‘the voice of Georgia’

Hamlet Gonashvili’s “Tsintskaro” in Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu

Print
Other Stories
Three Georgian authors nominated for the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in literature
November 14 marks the birthday of famous Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren.
Tbilisi - Eastern Europe's coolest city
Magazines all over the world are praising the emerging city for its cool and urban atmosphere.
Björk performs in fantasy costume by a Georgian designer in Tbilisi
Legendary Icelandic musician and singer Björk has recently visited Georgia.
BBC publishes a movie trailer featuring famous Georgian actor
BBC has released a new trailer of TV series McMafia, featuring famous Georgian actor Merab Ninidze.
Bjork to perform at Tbilisi Concert Hall today
Icelandic musician Bjork will perform at Tbilisi Concert Hall today.
Björk is already in Tbilisi, Georgia
Björk, the legendary Icelandic musician and singer, arrived in Tbilisi on October 28, together with the group of 12 people.
3 Georgian films selected for Sao Paolo Film Festival
Georgian cinema is reaching new heights and gaining international success at many film festivals.
What Is Georgia’s Traditional Chokha and Why Is It in Fashion?
Georgian historic outfit Chokha has been spotlighted by leading fashion magazine VOGUE.
Bjork to visit Georgia’s regions to explore local music
Icelandic musician Bjork will hold concerts in Tbilisi Concert Hall on October 31 and at Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theater on November 3.
Lika Kavzhardze’s artworks on display – First exhibition of most charming Georgian actress
The exhibition of great Georgian actress and symbol of Georgian beauty Lika Kavzharadze’s artworks has opened in Tbilisi.
Artworks of two prominent Georgian artists on display at Sighnaghi Museum
The exhibition in Georgia’s picturesque eastern province of Kakheti will mark a dual anniversary of the Sighnaghi Museum.
German choreographer Sasha Waltz’s performance CONTINU to take place in Tbilisi
Sasha Waltz's  “Continu” will take place in Tbilisi, Zakaria Paliashvili Georgian National Opera and Ballet State Theatre on October 20, 21.2017.
First Georgian-French animation The Pocket Man claims new award in Canada
Georgian illustrator and filmmaker Ana Chubinidze’s short animation The Pocket Man has claimed yet another international award.
Björk to hold two concerts in Tbilisi with National Symphony Orchestra
Legendary Icelandic musician and singer Björk will visit Georgia in October.
David Lynch to found film festival and cinematography institute in Georgia
Iconic American director David Lynch will found a film festival and an eponymous cinematography institute in Tbilisi.
Botticelli’s Venus has already arrived in Georgia
Botticelli’s masterpiece Venus has already been transferred to Georgia.
Tbilisi to host exhibitions of Sandro Botticelli and Caravaggio’s artworks
From 5 October to 29 November, Tbilisi will host two unique exhibitions of renowned Italian artists Sandro Botticelli and Caravaggio.
Batumi’s Neo-Gothic Cathedral with century-old priceless frescoes
Batumi, the seaside capital of Georgia, is notable not only for its incredible landscape and sea, but for many historical and cultural buildings as well.
Movement Theatre presents its unique musical pieces
On September 24, Georgia’s Movement Theatre holds a presentation of its musical album named Music For The Theatre.
Georgian artist’s exhibition Requiem
Georgian artist Lado Bregadze’s exhibition titled Requiem was held
Sandro Botticelli’s  Venus to be exhibited in Tbilisi
The National Museum of Georgia will soon host the exhibition
Eldar Shengelaia – The kind of Georgian tragicomedy
Eldar Shengelaia (born on 26 January 1933) is a prominent Georgian film director and screenwriter.
I am very sorry that my concerts have been postponed and I'm looking forward to arriving in Georgia - Elton John
I am very sorry that my concerts have been postponed in Georgia and I'm looking forward to arriving in Georgia,
The International Black Sea Folk Festival offers a unique opportunity to demonstrate the world folklore
Enjoy the World Folklore's unique aspects and become a part of the festival.
Famous Georgian artist’s paintings adorn Villeroy&Boch tableware
Famous German company Villeroy&Boch, a large manufacturer of ceramics,
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
24.11.2017
25.11.2017
USD
1
USD
2.7137
2.7137
EUR
1
EUR
3.1897
3.1897
GBP
1
GBP
3.5943
3.5943
RUB
100
RUB
4.6071
4.6071
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Other Stories
Georgian film director Mariam Khachvani's film Dede was selected at the 30th meeting of the Cannes International Film Festival.
The video depicting Georgian folk ensemble Shavnabada performing amazing polyphonic version of the European Anthem at the World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg has recently gone viral on social network.
Björk, the legendary Icelandic musician and singer, arrived in Tbilisi on October 28.
The footage dating back to 1970 depicts 60-years-old Nino Ramishvili (one of the founders of Sukhishvili National Ballet) performing Georgian national dance Jeirani.
On October 11, the painting of Georgian artist Levan Songulashvili, ‘The portrait’ (2016) was exhibited and sold
Bermukha was the first independent rock group in Georgia opposing the ideology of the Soviet regime
Georgian apocalyptic short film, 8 Minutes, has recently achieved great international success at the world’s important films festivals.
According to the Georgian National Book Center, on October 15, 2017, Georgia will be officially given the title of the Honorable Visitor
Georgian cinematography is developing and gaining more and more new gifted moviemakers.
On August 15, with the support of Check In Georgia, Black Sea Arena, Bravo Records and Altervision Group presents project – Irakli Charkviani - History.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.7137
EUR
1
EUR
3.1897
GBP
1
GBP
3.5943
RUB
100
RUB
4.6071