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About This Song
Chela is an ox-cart driver’s song from Samegrelo, in the western part of Georgia near the Black Sea. While the song is sung to the oxen, the sorrow of exhaustion and hard work should be understood to include human emotion as well so that the attitude of the song is really a lament.
The solo lines can be sung exactly as is, or used as a basis for variation. This song has been recorded by many Georgian folk ensembles and artists—here are a few suggested recordings, all with different variants in the solos:
Ensemble Basiani Trio Kavkasia Hamlet Gonashvili Polikarpe Khubulava
Songs of Earthly Delight
Teach Yourself Georgian Folk Songs: Samegrelo
(available at http://editions.radiofrance.fr/) (available at www.kavkasia.org)
(available through iTunes)