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Marebeli

(Samegrelo)

Megrelian Georgian Song “The Matchmaker”

Marebeli is a beloved Georgian song from the Samegrelo region in northwest Georgia on the Black Sea. The song is in the Mingrelian or Megrelian language, an indigenous and endangered South Caucuses language traditionally spoken in historical and modern western Georgia. Mingrelians are considered an indigenous ethnic subgroup of Georgians, with history and culture dating back to pre-Christian times. 

The word 'Marebeli' means matchmaker. In western Georgia, matchmaking was a major career & force in  communities. In the 19th Century, the nobility class collapsed with a widespread loss of peasant labor, and this loss of wealth spurred an uptick in matchmaking as one of the only ways to preserve generational wealth among wealthy families. Every family was desperate to match their children with a wealthy young person, and sometimes to achieve their ends, matchmakers would tell lies about the young folk to get paid. This song is told from the perspective of a rich land owner, who the matchmaker promised a beautiful young woman. The matchmaker describe this lavish woman, and told them an she would be the Sun itself for him, that she had a beautiful fortune with silver and gold and fine horses and that she would bring him a bed with brand new sheets, and she would basically change his life for the better forever. But when the matchmaker brought the woman, she was old, had a broken back, and was cross eyed and terrifying. He literally fainted when he saw her. The matchmaker had tricked him, and he had to accept her. The lesson in the song is that he was blinded by the promise of money and gold and because he was so greedy, had to endure an unhappy marriage. To me, the lesson in the song is that all the unconventionally attractive wenches out there should go get a matchmaker to trick wealthy men and steal all their money and land!

Translation and Ethnomusicology support by Nino Kakhiani.

Soloist 1:

arti kotchi qumortudo

osurs girigenqia

osur mara mu osuri nana

gvalo gaketenqia da

 

Choir: heu nana nana odelia ou nana da  x2

 

Soloist 2:

 antas manat paras mertchans     

 tskhen da unangersia da

nortchali do gequanal’su nana nana 

 oqro vartchkhil brel’sia da 

 

Choir: heu nana nana odelia ou nana da  x2

 

Soloist 1:

quneba q’ mu’ maghoru

oiaq magu rogadeq

dudish tvini gannomrtunu  

nana shetchvenebul marabel’qu da
 

Choir: heu nana nana odelia ou nana da  x2

 

Soloist 2:

ope mara mu sangaro

te osuri bedi tch’vili da

tiq irduni ti ojakhi nana nana

qversemia utchat ntsk’vili da

 

Choir: heu nana nana odelia ou nana da  x2

 

Duet:

mush mamtsara akhal’gardas 

 rtchin osuri un’dasuni

vara gabandzghudasu

nana badid akhal’ tsirasuni da

heu nana nana odelia ou nana da 

 

Choir: heu nana nana odelia ou nana da

 Soloist: (aba dela da)

Choir: heu nana nana odelia ou nana da

Marebeli Full TracksPractice Recording
00:00 / 02:51
Marebeli 1st SoloPractice Recording
00:00 / 02:51
Marebeli 2nd Solo 1Practice Recording
00:00 / 02:51
Marebeli Top Voice ChoirPractice Recording
00:00 / 00:18
Marebeli Middle Voice ChoirPractice Recording
00:00 / 00:18
Marebeli Bass Voice ChoirPractice Recording
00:00 / 00:18