Come Back in September

Alpay on Ayrılık Rüzgârı album cover
Lesson 18 | -meden Without

Now that we've learned to express the nuanced meanings of "while" in a number of ways, let's work on its opposite.

This lesson's song entitled "Eylül'de Gel" or "Come Back in September" is one of the most famous compositions of a Turkish recording artist with over four decades of experience by the name of Alpay. He has experimented with many genres, and has not shied away from adapting the melodies of successful foreign artists for a Turkish audience. This song is based on the original 1966 composition of French artist Marc Aryan (real name Henri Markarian), whose parents were Armenian-French immigrants from Malatya in Turkey. His music had become popular in Turkey after he visited and performed in Istanbul during the 1960s.

In terms of its lyrics, it may be found to have a tremendous resemblance to the song "Sealed With a Kiss," performed by numerous British artists during the 1960s and 1970s. It is sung from the vantage point of a student-age lover terrified by the fact of being separated from their special someone over the course of summer vacation (Alpay was over 40 years old when he performed it). The theme might have resonated particularly in Turkish cities, where families often leave to a native village or vacation home for a portion of the summer. 

This lesson will offer a good review of the imperative tense. In addition, I will highlight the -meden ending, which is the opposite of the -erek ending, meaning "while".

What is the opposite of "while" you ask? One way to put it is "while not" but here, let's thinking of it as "without (doing something)" or "before (doing something)". Like -erek, -meden is not conjugated for person. Here are some examples from the song and elsewhere:

bakmakto lookbakmadan
konuşmakto speakkonuşmadan
gitmekto gogitmeden
gelmekto comegelmeden
durmakto stopdurmadan
söylemekto saysöylemeden

Alpay uses this form in two sentences during the song. The first is "Gidiyorsun işte / arkana bakmadan". We can restructure it to say "arkana bakmadan gidiyorsun", meaning "you're leaving without looking back".

The other one is "Eylül'de okul yoluna konuşmadan yürüyelim" meaning "In September, let's walk (remember -elim?) on the way to school without talking" i.e. silently. 


Practice this vocabulary list on Quizlet

inanmak - to believe
yazmak - to write
gitmek - to go
girmek - to enter
bekletmek - to make (someone) wait

tatil - vacation
dün - yesterday
Eylül - September
yaprak - leaf
ağaç - tree
ad - name
kol - arm
baş - head

arkana bakmadan - without looking back
konuşmadan - without talking

Alpay - Eylül'de Gel

Tatil geldiği zaman / ağlarım ben inan
When vacation time comes / I'll cry, believe me
Gidiyorsun işte / arkana bakmadan
You're really going / without looking back
Nasıl geçer bu yaz / Ne olur bana yaz
How will this summer pass? Please write to me
You'll notice that with some of his commands he uses the phrase "ne olur" which means "please". However, this is "please" in the sense of pleading. The regular polite request form of "please" is "lütfen".
Sen sen sen / sen bir ömre bedel
You you you / you in exchange for a lifetime
Yok yok yok
No, no, no
Gitme gitme gel
Don't go, don't go, come (back)
Eylülde gel
Come back in September
Okul yolu sensiz / ölüm kadar sessiz
The road to school without you (literally "you-less") / is as silent as death
Geçtim o yoldan dün / içim doldu hüzün
I went down that road yesterday / my insides filled with sadness
Yapraklar solarken / adını anarken
As the leaves fade / as I remember your name
Here the -ken ending means "while", "as", or "when".

Bekletme ne olur
Don't make (me) wait, please
Gelmek zamanı gel
It's time to come, come!

Yok yok yok
No, no, no
Gitme gitme gel
Don't go, don't go, come
Eylül'de gel
Come in September
Eylül'de gel Eylül'de okul yoluna
Come in September to the road to school
Konuşmadan yürüyelim gireyim koluna
Without speaking let's walk, let me put my arm in yours
Görenler dönmüş hem de mutlu diyecekler
Those who see will say she's back and she's happy
Ağaçlar sevinçten başımıza konfeti gibi / yaprak dökecekler
Out of joy the trees will pour leaves on our heads like confetti
Use the test below to quiz yourself on this lesson's vocabulary before moving to Lesson 19: Let Me Go to Rumeli.

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