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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

Με' Στη' Φωτία Μου
(Me' Sti' Fotia Mou)

(Inside My Fire)



This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the popular Greek song "Me' Sti' Fotia Mou" (Με' Στη' Φωτία Μου), which was sung by Mimis Papaioanou. Also included is a pronunciation guide for the Greek lyrics so you can sing along if you like.

Song lyrics are provided for educational purposes. If you like the song, please purchase either the album or a download from an authorized source.

About this Song

Although Mimis Papaioanou was the original artist for this song and recorded it in Greek, the song has also achieved popularity with Turkish lyrics.

Those of us from regions that speak Greek, Arabic, and Turkish have exchanged countless songs with each other through licensing the music and creating lyrics in our own languages. These include both current pop music and classics.

In 1972, Turkish singer Neşe Karaböcek recorded a version of this song in Greece with Turkish lyrics by Ulku Aker (Ουλκυ Ακερ) on her album Sevda Yolu.

In 1973, another singer, Zerrin Zeren who was from Smyrna (Izmir), was featured singing a version with Turkish lyrics in the movie Tophaneli Murat.

See below for more details of the Turkish recordings.

About Dimitris "Mimis" Papaioanou

Dimitris Papaioanou (Μίμης Παπαιωάννου), known by his nickname "Mimis", was the original artist who recorded this song. This Pontian Greek artist was also a star Greek football (soccer) player in the 1960's and 1970's. He was hired by the AEK, which was the Athens professional football team, in 1963, and he became one of the AEK's best-scoring players in its history. During his time on the team, AEK won five championships.

Papaioanou was born in 1942. When growing up in the village, he used to enjoy the popular Greek folk music, and would sing along with folk songs. He was especially fond of the music of Stelios Kazantzidis. He also owned a bouzouki and tried to learn to play it, but never excelled at it. One of his acquaintances, Christos Nikolopoulos, was much more skilled at bouzouki, and invited him to come along to music festivals where he was playing. Papaioanou would sing along as Nikolopoulos played. Later, when Papaioanou moved to Athens to begin his football career, he had the opportunity to meet Stelios Kazantzidis.

In 1965, Papaioanou accompanied Kazantzidis and Nikolopoulos as a member of the band on a 2-month concert tour to Germany. After the tour, he returned to his football career with the AEK team.

In 1971 and 1972, Papaioanou recorded 7 songs as a singer, including this one. He also recorded the song that became the anthem of his football team, the AEK.

About Stelios Kazantzidis

The legendary Stelios Kazantzidis, composer of the music for this song, was born August 29, 1931 in Athens Greece, specifically Nea Ionia. He is among the most beloved musicians of our time. His music and words never get old. He was of Asia Minor and Pondian (Greek Anatolian) descent. Stelios or, as many love to call him, Stelara, was also loved due to his character and simplicity in life. Sadly, he did not make much from profit from his career as he was taken advantage of.

Stelios' music is all about love, immigration, pain, refugee, and poverty as is most music of this time. He is considered one of the fathers of Laiko music, and has touched many people's lives. He remained so humble and simple until cancer took his last breath in 2001.

“I sing for the poor, the immigrants and the suffering people… generally for the lower social classes. They can’t go to the expensive night clubs. They buy my discs and they regard them as their Gospels.” – Stelios Kazantzidis

Personal notes by the translator:

The music of Stelios Kazantzidis is very dear to my heart. My grandmother and grandfather were often referred to as the young Kazantzidis and Marinella, while singing at family gatherings. Marinella was Stelios' first wife, and his biggest love.

If you want to impress Greeks, you need to remember Stelios' name. As much as Princess Diana was loved, so was Stelios. People cry black tears to his music.

Stelios Kazantzidis

Song: Me' Sti' Fotia Mou (Inside My Fire), 1971

Lyrics: Evangelos Atraidis and Yiannis Vasilopoulos

Music: Stelios Kazandzidis

Original Artist: Mimis Papaioanou

Dance Styles:

  • Belly Dance
  • Syrtos

Has Also Been Recorded By:

In Turkish:
  • Neşe Karaböcek, 1972. ("Atsan Atılmaz Satsan Satılmaz")
  • Zerrin Zeren, 1973. ("Karanlık Dünyam")
  • Elif Kaya, 2014. ("Karanlık Dünyam")


Τραγούδι: Με' Στη' Φωτία Μου, 1971

Στίχοι: Ευάγγελος Ατραιδης & Γιάννης Βασιλόπουλος

Μουσική: Στέλιος Καζαντζίδης

Πρώτη Εκτέλεση: Μίμης Παπαιωάννου

Άλλοι Ερμηνευτές:

Στα Τουρκικά:
  • Νεσιέ Καράβμποτσεκ, 1972.
  • Ζερριν Ζερεν, 1973. ("Καρανλικ Ντουνγιαμ")
  • Ελιφ Καγια, 2014. ("Καρανλικ Ντουνγιαμ")




Numbers in parentheses refer to footnotes that appear at the bottom of the translation.

Greek Lyrics


English Translation

Με' στη' φωτία μου me' sti' fotia mou Inside my fire,
ηρθες κοντά μου irthes konda mou you drew near to me,
να μου μιλήσεις, ερωτικά na mou milisis, erotica to speak to me seductively.
βρήκες την ώρα vrikes tin ora You found the time.
αφού ακόμα για μια αγάπη κλαίω πικρά afou akoma ya mia agapi kleo pikra Because I'm still bitterly crying for love.
Όποια και να 'σαι opia ke na 'se Whoever you are,
αν θέλεις κάτσε an thelis katse sit [down] if you want
τον σπαραγμό μου να μοιραστείς ton sparagmo mou na mirastis to share my severe pain.
μονάχα ένα monaha ena Only one [thing]
ζητώ απο εσένα zito apo esena I'm asking of you:
αγάπης λόγια να μην μου πεις agapis loyia na min mou pis don't say words of love to me.
Με' στη' φωτία μου me' sti' fotia mou Inside my fire,
ηρθες κοντά μου irthes konda mou you drew near to me,
να μου μιλήσεις, ερωτικά na mou milisis, erotica to speak to me seductively.




Δεν θα μπορέσω den tha boreso I won't be able
να σε πιστέψω na se pistepso to trust you.
ασε με πρώτα ase me prota Let me first
να γιατρευτώ na yatrefto heal myself,
και αν θέλει η μοίρα ke an theli ee mira and if fate wills it,
ίσως μια μέρα isos mia mera maybe one day
τον έρωτα σου να τον δεχτώ ton erota sou na ton dehto [I will be able to] accept your love.
Εμπιστοσύνη δεν μου ΄χει μείνει ebistosini den mou 'xi mini I don't have any trust remaining.
δεν θέλω όρκους den thelo orkous I don't want promises
αγάπες πια agapes pia of love.
για μιαν αγάπη ya mian agapi For love,
ήπια φαρμάκι ipia farmaki I drank poison, (1)
και στη' καρδιά μου έχω φωτιά ke sti' kardia mou eho fotia and I have fire in my heart.
Δεν θα μπορέσω den tha boreso I won't be able
να σε πιστέψω na se pistepso to trust you.
ασε με πρώτα ase me prota Let me first
να γιατρευτώ na yatrefto heal myself.
  1. The Greek word "farmako" refers to medicine.


About the Translator

This page was contributed by Panayiota Bakis Mohieddin, who is happy to share her culture and music she grew up with! Here's how Panayiota describes her background:

I always love engaging with intelligent like-minded people, especially artists. I love sharing anything and everything about my Hellenic culture and upbringing, especially music and dance. A conversation with me will bring you back to America's favorite Greek-American movie by Nia Vardalos called My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

I love investigating Greek culture, history, music, and dance. Speaking of investigating, I think I missed my calling, I probably should have been an investigator. Instead, I use those skills to dig and dig and dig tirelessly, often times falling asleep on my laptop... just to find the truth. But, most importantly, accurate truth. For me personally, and other respectable folklorists, my culture and accuracy are very important. Each generation of ethnic born artists has a duty to do the best it can to pass down our traditions as was taught to us. We have been given this artistic gift to be the gatekeepers of our heritage and culture.





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