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Interpretation of “Make your own tale, my heart” by Dionisis Tsaknis

For this entry, I have picked a political song that is sung by Dionisis Tsaknis (Διονύσης Τσακνής): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbx6puyf1DY.

What follows are the original lyrics, my translation of them, and philosophical commentary.

Φτιάξε καρδιά μου το δικό σου παραμύθι

Ερμηνεία:  Διονύσης Τσακνής
Στίχοι:    Μαριανίνα Κριεζή
Μουσική:   Διονύσης Τσακνής


Φτιάχνουν απόψε με κουρέλια και σανίδια
έναν συνοικισμό αυτόνομο
Αυτοί που ψάχνουν για διαμάντια στα σκουπίδια
και στον υπόνομο

Κι εσυ που ψάχνεις το κουκί και το ρεβίθι
στο τέλμα αυτό που βυθιζόμαστε
Φτιάξε μαζί τους το δικό σου παραμύθι
γιατί χανόμαστε

Μες το δικό σου παραμύθι ξαναβρές το
το ξεχασμένο μονοπάτι σου
Και ξαναχάσ'το, ξαναβρές τo, ξαναπές το
το τραγουδάκι σου

Ξελευθερώνω την ωραία πεταλούδα
από τη σφραγισμένη γυάλα της
Να σου δανείσει τα φτερά της τα βελούδα
και τα μεγάλα της

Κι αντί να ψάχνεις τριαντάφυλλα στα στήθη
αυτών που χάμω τα πετάξανε
Φτιάξε καρδιά μου
το δικό σου παραμύθι
αλλιώς τη βάψαμε

Φτιάχνω απόψε με κουρέλια και σανίδια
έναν συνοικισμό αυτόνομο
Μ'αυτούς που ψάχνουν για διαμάντια στα σκουπίδια
και στον υπόνομο

Κι αντί να ψάχνω το κουκί και το ρεβύθι
στο τέλμα αυτό που βυθιζόμαστε
Φτιάχνω μαζί σας το δικό μας παραμύθι
γιατί χανόμαστε

Μες το δικό μας παραμύθι ξαναβρές το
το ξεχασμένο μονοπάτι σου
Και ξαναχάσ'το, ξαναβρές το, ξαναπές το
το τραγουδάκι σου
Make your own tale, my heart

Performance:  Dionisis Tsaknis
Lyrics:       Marianina Kriezi
Music:        Dionisis Tsaknis


Tonight they make with rugs and planks
an autonomous condominium
Those who search for diamonds in rubbish
and in the sewers

And you who search for fantastic stories [NOTE: uses an idiom, which I translate freely]
at this morass we are sinking in
Make together with them your own tale
because we're doomed

In your tale refind it
your forgotten path
And lose it again, refind it, retell it
your little song

I liberate the beautiful butterfly
from its sealed bottle
To lend you its soft wings
and its greats

And instead of searching for roses on the chest
of those who threw them to the ground
Make my heart
your own tale
otherwise we are screwed

Tonight I make with rugs and planks
an autonomous condominium
With those who search for diamonds in rubbish
and in the sewers

And instead of searching for fantastic stories [the idiom once again]
at this morass we are sinking in
I make with them our own tale
because we're doomed

In our tale refind it
your forgotten path
And lose it again, refind it, retell it
your little song

The song speaks about both the “we” and the “I”, as well as the “my” and the “our”. It suggests that there is no autonomy to be had in isolation. The individuals who forgo the collective eventually learn they are only human and cannot do it all on their own.

A person’s reality is framed, influenced, or otherwise determined by the institutional arrangements pertinent to the given milieu. You want to live sturdily on the fringes of civilisation by camping in the wilderness? Well, the law envisages incarceration for whomsoever pursues such a lifestyle. Enjoy your autonomy in the prison cell!

The point is that liberty has to be instituted as such. It must be enabled and supported at the outset by a network of conventions that renders certain patterns of behaviour possible. Conventions are formulated and upheld by humans. No law has effect without the acquiescence, consent, or active participation of people.

Rules are valid only insofar as they are observed. In the absence of application, all conventions are reduced to claims on normative states of affairs. In other words, they are no longer actual. They can, at best, remain latent in the thinking of those who uphold their nominal validity.

The human world is instituted and reinstituted by collectives. Groups of people have to work together towards the remaking of the established order, at least partially and with changes to the margins of its dominion. It is all of us like-minded people who must enact thoroughgoing reform over whatever stretch of space we call our own; not rugged individuals, but vibrant communities built on the resilient foundation of solidarity.

One’s heart can only make its own tale when it finds the others, never contra omnes. Circumstances can force us to deviate from our path. Over time we might forget where we were going and sacrifice everything we once loved to the altars of conformism, first with chagrin, later with the kind of indifference that is emblematic of one who is dead inside.

Not all hope is lost though. We can remain honest with ourselves, taking the necessary detour while safeguarding our vitality. Forge the unbreakable resolve to find the others. For everybody’s sake, do not quit. And if, by misfortune or inability, you do not find anyone, know that you tried in earnest, my heart.