Folk / Turkey

Sadan Adanali – Aman Adanali, a Turkish folk song on 78 rpm record

Aman Adanali

Aman Adanali

Here is a record found in a box of 78s I bought in a flea market near my place a few months ago. “Aman Adanali” (Aman Adanalı in Turkish) is a well known anonymous folk song in Turkey, as evidenced by the numerous old and modern versions that can be found on Youtube.

This one was performed by the singer and actor Sadan Adanali (Şadan Adanalı). The unique source I found about him online is this website (in Turkish) run by his son A. Korhan Adanali.

Sadan Adanali

Sadan Adanali

Adanali was born in 1924 in Adana, in the south of Turkey, and died in 2002. Parallel to his career as a theatre and movie actor, he made several recordings for Columbia Turkey (more information about the history of recorded Turkish music in this article).

"Kirli El" movie poster, starring Sadan Adanali

“Kirli El” movie poster, starring Sadan Adanali

According to his son, who kindly answered my questions, the song was recorded by Sadan Adanali between 1950 and 1952. The lyrics were explained to me by a user of Youtube and a member of this forum (with extra comments by my Turkish hairdresser down my street !). To make a long story short, Aman Adanali tells the story of a girl in love with a boy from Adana…

Francesco Martinelli, a member of the 78-L mailing list, sent me afterwards a complete translation of the song. Mr Martinelli is a specialist of jazz and improvised music, he’s also the director of the Jazz Research Center at the Siena Jazz Foundation (you’ll find more information about him here). It turns out that Francesco Martinelli also has a strong interest in Turkish and Greek music, writes about them and is in fact currently teaching in Turkey. According to him, Aman Adanali is based on a karsilama rhythm, a festive-wedding dance tempo. He also drew my attention to the fact that different versions of this song were available on Youtube, the most recent ones having lighter lyrics. You also can find an adaptation in Greek, and another version sung by a Turkish singer who used to work in the New York Greek nightclubs Emin Gunduz, where the word  Atinali (from Athens) is used instead of Adanali (from Adana). It is interesting to note that this version seems to raise nationalist reactions among Turks and Greeks in the comments…

To conclude this post, I announce you that I was contacted a few weeks ago by a visitor, who offered me to clean my recordings. This can be very useful sometimes because of their bad condition. So let me thank Mr Al Quaglieri, a producer from New-York, who made a great job restoring this song ! Writing this post was really a collaborative work as I received the help of different persons. That’s really the good side of the internet !

Here are the lyrics of the song and the translation kindly provided by Mr Martinelli :

Adana’nın yolları taşlık (The roads of Adana are of stone)
Yok cebimizde beş para harçlık (I do not have five cents in my pocket)
Elden gitti kahpe de gençlik (The bastard youth escaped from my hands)
Ağam Adana’lı paşam Adana’lı (My Lord is from Adana, my general is from Adana)
Evde duramıyom sana dadanalı (I cannot stay at home for I am addicted to you)
Sebebim sen oldun şişman delikanlı (You killed me, fat young man)
Hey güllü hele hele güllü (Hey rose-faced, hey rose-faced)
Kız güllü hele hele güllü (Rose-faced girl, hey rose-faced)
Peştemalı püsküllü peştemalı sümbüllü (The hamam towel is decorated with tessels and hyacynths)
Adana’nın bayırına (To the slopes of Adana)
Ağam at güverdim çayırına (My Lord I left my horse in the fields)
Anam babam hayırına (For the good of my mother and father)
Ağam Adana’lı paşam Adana’lı (My Lord is from Adana, my general is from Adana)
Evde duramıyom sana dadanalı (I cannot stay at home for I am addicted to you)
Sebebim sen oldun şişman delikanlı (You killed me, fat young man)
Hey güllü hele hele güllü (Hey rose-faced, hey rose-faced)
Kız güllü hele hele güllü (Rose-faced girl, hey rose-faced)
Peştemalı püsküllü peştemalı sümbüllü (The hamam towel is decorated with tessels and hyacynths)
Adana’nın yolları taştan (The roads to Adana are made of stone)
Sen çıkardın beni baştan (You came and seduced me away)
Hem anadan hem kardaştan (From my mother and my brother)
Ağam Adana’lı paşam Adana’lı (My Lord is from Adana, my general is from Adana)
Evde duramıyom sana dadanalı (I cannot stay at home for I am addicted to you)
Sebebim sen oldun şişman delikanlı (You killed me, fat young man)
Hey güllü hele hele güllü (Hey rose-faced, hey rose-faced)
Kız güllü hele hele güllü (Rose-faced girl, hey rose-faced)
Peştemalı püsküllü peştemalı sümbüllü (The hamam towel is decorated with tessels and hyacynths)

Here are the lyrics of a lighter version :

Adana’nın yolları taştan (The road to Adana is made of stone)
Aman sen çıkardın beni beni baştan (You came and seduced me)
Hem anadan hem kardaştan (Both from my mother and from my brother)
Ağam Adanalı canım Adanalı (My Lord is from Adana, my love is from Adana)
Ben sana yandım kibar delikanlı (My love burns for you, my gentle young man)
Hey hey hey hey
Hey güllü hele hele güllü
Peştemalı püsküllü
Adana’nın yolları iki (There are two roads to Adana)
Taşrada kaldı kunduramın teki (I left one of my shoes in the village)
Bizim evde kaynana iki (In our house there are two mothers in law)
Aman biri sansar birisi de tilki (My God, one is a marten and one a fox)
Ağam Adanalı canım Adanalı (My Lord is from Adana, my love is from Adana)
Ben sana yanım kibar delikanlı (My love burns for you, my gentle young man)
Hey hey hey hey
Hey güllü hele hele güllü
Peştemalı püsküllü

2 thoughts on “Sadan Adanali – Aman Adanali, a Turkish folk song on 78 rpm record

  1. Very informative post. Btw, your blog seems to be one of its kind resource on traditional music. Good luck with your posts!

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