I Will Die in a Run-Down Tavern

From Seyfettin Sucu 45 cover
Lesson 8 | -ecek Future Tense

When asked about the future, we might speak of plans, ambitions, hopes, fears, and uncertainty, but there is nothing more certain about our futures than death. This lesson introduces the future tense using a prediction of one's own death.

Seyfettin Sucu was an Arab-Turkish singer from Urfa. Like many other singers of the period, he grew up poor and went to Adana for work before beginning a recording career during the mid-1960s. His renowned skill with uzun hava, a semi-improvized free-form singing style, earned him some popularity not only in Turkey but also in norther Syria. However, Seyfettin Sucu lived hard and died in 1987 at the age of 45. Though he had not been the most famous among the performers to come out of Urfa in the 1980s such as İbrahim Tatlıses, he was highly influential and widely regarded in that scene. His songs and most memorable lyrics continue to circulate widely on the internet today.

In this song, he predicts his untimely demise, describing a bitter scene in which he dies drinking in a meyhane listening to the song he shared with a lost love. The future tense -ecek verbs are highlighted in bold in the song. The Seyfettin's uzun hava is preceded by a short poem about the life he led. I haven't translated it but advanced listeners will be able to follow it. Here is a future tense translation of "ölmek (to die)" and "bilmemek (to not know)", two verbs that are found in the song:

Future tense - ölmek
Ben öleceğim I will die
Sen oleceksin You will die
O ölecek He/she/it will die
Biz öleceğiz We will die
Siz öleceksiniz You (pl.) will die
Onlar ölecekler They will die

Negative future tense - bilmek
Ben bilmeyeceğim I will not know
Sen bilmeyeceksin You will not know
O bilmeyecek He/she/it will not know
Biz bilmeyeceğiz We will not know
Siz bilmeyeceksiniz You (pl.) will not know
Onlar bilmeyecekler They will not know

Also pay attention to the phrase "senin yüzünden" meaning "because of you" when Seyfettin blames his love for his bitter, drunken death. This structure is formed using the same structure as possession discussion in Lesson 6. Here is a full derivation:

Benim yüzümden | Senin yüzünden | Onun yüzünden | Bizim yüzümüzden | Sizin yüzünüzden | Onların yüzlerinden

In common speech one can also simply say "o yüzden" to signify "because of that."

Lastly, note how Seyfettin Sucu uses exclamations in his improvisations, and in particular the word "aman", which we can understand to mean "oh my" or "oh God" or "oh mercy" as an exclamation of grief or pain.


Practice this vocabulary on Quizlet

ölmek - to die
öleceğim - I will die
içmek - to drink
kokmak - to smell like
çalmak - to play
çaldırmak - to make someone play
taşımak - to carry

senin yüzünden - because of you
her zamanki gibi - as always

meyhane - tavern, place for drinking
kırık - broken
kadeh - glass for drinking wine or alcohol
kadeh arkadaşları - drinking buddies
ağız - mouth
damla - drop
kan - blood
son - last, final
dakika - minute
şarkı - song
renk - color
dolu - full
tabut - coffin
serseri - bum, vagrant

Seyfettin Sucu - Öleceğim

Click play button above to listen to the song

Şanlıurfa'da doğdu
Gam ile geçti kısacık ömrü
Acılarla doluydu her günü her gecesi
Kaynamadı kalbinin ocağında mutluluk tenceresi
Açılmadı yemyeşil bir bahçaya garibin penceresi
Baki Allah bir gün bende öleceğim demişti
İnsancıldı merhametliydi ibadetlidi o
Şimdi iyen bahçalarında güller gülistanlar fesliyanlarla dolu başucu
Sen ölmedin kalbimizde yaşasan kabrinde rahat uyu aziz
Seyfettin Sucu

Öleceğim bir gün virane bir meyhanede aman aman
I am going to die one day in a run down tavern
Elimde kırık bir kadeh, ağzımda bir damla kan
In my hand a cracked glass, in my mouth a drop of blood
Nefesim her zamanki gibi içki kokacak
My breath will reek of alcohol as always 
English speakers will be tempted to replicate the structure of "smells like" in other languages, but as we see here, Seyfettin Sucu directly says "nefesim içki kokacak", i.e. "my breath will smell (of) alcohol."
Son dakikalarımda şarkımızı çaldıracağım dertli bir kemancıya
In my last minutes, I will make a troubled (i.e. soulful) fiddler play our song
"Çalmak" means to play and "çaldırmak" means "to have (someone) play (something)." "Dertli" or "troubled", literally "with pain", is meant to connote that the violin player will also be a desperate soul like Seyfettin and that because he is "dertli" his violin will be soulful.
Gözlerim dolu dolu rengim sararıp solacak aman
My eyes will be full as my color fades
Öldüğüm zaman belki de tabudumu taşıyan olmayacak aman aman
When I die, perhaps there will be no one to even carry my coffin
Kadeh arkadaşlarımdan başka görenler serseriydi geçti diyecekler
Aside from my drinking buddies, those who see will say "he was a bum and he passed"
Senin yüzünden içtim, senin yüzünden öldüğümü bilmeyecekler gönül hey
I drank because of you, they will not know that I died because of you, my heart
Aman aman aman aman aman aman

Maybe an uzun hava about death is a bit heavy for Unit 1, but hopefully you've picked up some valuable vocabulary along the way. Take your mind of mortality with the Scatter game below before moving onto Lesson 9: You Will See.

No comments:

Post a Comment