Trisha Shetty (Editor)


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"Kâtibim" ("my clerk" or "my secretary"), or "Üsküdar'a Gider İken" ("while going to Üsküdar"; Greek: Ήχασα μαντήλι, Από ξένο τόπο,Ανάμεσα Τσιρίγο)) is a Turkish folk song about a woman and her clerk (kâtip) traveling to Üsküdar. The tune is a famous Istanbul türkü.



A notable recording is that by Safiye Ayla from 1949. Classical composer Saygun included 'Variations on the Old Istanbul Folk Song Katibim (Varyasyonlar)' as the last part of his choral Op.22 Bir Tutam Kekik of 1943. Other modern composers such as Ali Darmar have also arranged the tune.

Movie Adaptation

In 1968 a movie titled Kâtip (tr) was produced, whose scenario was based on the song. The prominent Turkish singer Zeki Müren starred in it, and also covered the song.

Other versions

Many versions of the song can be found in countries neighboring Turkey, usually with entirely different lyrics. A documentary film entitled Whose is this song? and an international youth project called Everybody's Song documented many of these versions.

The melody was first recorded in the USA as "Der Terk in America" in 1924 by klezmer clarinetist Naftule Brandwein. With lyrics, and incorporating an English adaptation by Stella Lee, the song was recorded in the USA as "Uska Dara" in 1953 by Eydie Gormé and Eartha Kitt. Boney M's "Rasputin" features a melody similar to the tune, which is also found in Serbian ("Ај, русе косе цуро имаш"). The tune appears in the film Ali Baba Bujang Lapok as "Alangkah Indah di Waktu Pagi (A Beautiful Morning)." Loreena McKennitt's studio album An Ancient Muse (2006) has a track named "Sacred Shabbat", which has the same tune as "Katibim".

A Turkish-Urdu mash-up version titled "Ishq Kinara - Üsküdar'a Gider Iken" was performed on the Pakistani television program Coke Studio by Sumru Ağıryürüyen and Zoe Vicajji in 2013.

A Bengali adaptation of this tune known as "tri-bhuboner priyo Muhammad" and "Shukno patar nupur paye" in 1950's was composed by the Indian-Bengali poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, who is also considered as the national poet of Bangladesh. It is thought that he learned the melody while he was fighting in the Middle East during World War I.

Jamaican artist Ken Boothe recorded the song as "Artibella".

  • Youtube - Üsküdar'a giderken - Katibim
  • Everybody's Song – Titles and performers
  • Poemas del río Wang – Whose is this song? (2009)
  • Youtube - Ishq Kinara - Üsküdar'a Gider Iken
  • Youtube - Nazrul Song - Tri-vuboner prio Muhammad. Naat-e-rasul bangla
  • Youtube - Nazrul Song - Shukno Patar Nupur paye
  • References

    Kâtibim Wikipedia