Discover the words behind the haunting soundtrack to last weekend's Troy Story.

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre came to life once more this weekend when we streamed Troy Story, our thrilling retelling of the Trojan War.

Throughout the five performances were two on-stage musicians with a range of instruments. Nick Lee plays guitar, oud (or ud), which originates in Turkey, North Africa and Iraq and is related to the lute, and a saz from Turkey.

Each part of the story used a different traditional folk song, all sung in Greek by Dunja Botic. The traditional songs have all been passed down through generations, and derive from different places in Greece and Asia Minor (now Turkey).

Dunja Botic, left and Nick Lee, right performing Troy Story on the Royal Shakespeare Theatre stage

Part 1: The Rage of Achilles

The opening story was accompanied by the song Apopse ta Mesanichta (Tonight to Midnight), from Asia Minor (now Turkey).

Tonight Midnight, I woke up to write to you my littlest bird, my little bird of prey.
And with my writing, each stroke was with a sigh.
Tonight midnight they stole our plant pots my bird of prey. 
They took away our morning star, the sky with all the stars my bird of prey.
Tonight Midnight the killed Giannis my little bird of pray.

Part 2: The Death of Hector

The song running through the second story was the final verse of Anathema ton Etio (Damn the One Responsible For This), which comes from Leros.

Damn the one responsible for this sin 
For us to be taken away from each other with no reason.
You are the garden and I am the seedling 
So I cannot renounce you.

Part 3: The Wooden Horse

Part Three of Troy Story uses a song entitled Savvato Vrathi (Saturday Night), which comes from from Karpathos.

Saturday night my parents kick me out from our house.
I am crying running away from our house 
I can’t find a house just a lemon tree with lots of lemons high.
I can’t seem to find a house but only a tree.
Please tree take me in and put me in your arms.
Here are my roots and my branches.
You can use the roots to tide your horse and the branches to leave your armour, and you can use my shadow to fall asleep.

Part 4: Cyclops and Sirens

For Part 4 Dunja sings the Sirens’ song, Aroma (perfume), which originally comes from Limnos.

I would like to be your perfume, the one you spray into your hair and each time you smell your hair, I’ll go straight into your heart.
My eyes have never witness eyes like yours, beautiful.
Even if they gave me all the most precious possessions in the world, I will renounce them. I only want you.

Part 5: The Hero Returns

The song that runs through the final part of Troy Story is Ela Fos Mu (Come My Light).

I arrive at dawn under your window 
And from your sleep my love, to wake you up 
Come on my lights, give your kisses 
What are you trying to achieve, you’re driving me crazy.
My eyes was attached to your window and you slide your curtains and I saw your face. 

Troy Story is available to watch again online until 10am on Saturday 19 December, via the links sent out to anyone who booked ahead of last weekend's performances.

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