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'Kele Lao': Let’s go home

Zulal Folk Trio

June 15, 2018


By Lilly Torosyan


'Kele Lao': Let’s go home

Hear the soothing voices of Zulal Folk Trio capture the essence of this beautiful folk tune.


Ethno folk; soothing; a cappella







Longing for the lost lands of Western Armenia is a common motif in Armenian music. Our folk tradition is rife with references—both literal and figurative—of the villages and towns where Armenians prospered for centuries but have almost ceased to exist. The song, "Kele Lao," (meaning “Come Hither, Child” in the Sasuntsi dialect) is one example. The singer calls for his/her child, so that they may return together to mr erkir (“our homeland”) of Sasun.

Liked this? Listen to another version

  • New York-based artist, Hooshere, performs a more electro-ballad rendition of "Kele Lao." Take a listen below

Full Translation (by us)

Come child, let us go to our homeland,
Let us go to that valley and pick fresh rhubarbs,
We’ll pick and pick to make medicine for ourselves,
Come child, let us go to our homeland.
On each shrub will fall sweet manana*
One by one, we’ll eat the crumbs, our hearts will cool down,
Let the Sassoun homeland become a sea in front of our eyes,
Come child, let us go to our homeland.
There, the aros** sing side by side,
The swallows clap wing to wing,
Without us, the stones weep tears,
Come child, let us go to our homeland.
Our father and our mother grew up there,
They call out to us with sweet and sorrowful voices,
How could it be, how can we not go to our homeland?
Come child, let us go to our homeland.

*A fruit found in the lush fields of Mush and mountains of Sasun.

** Birds native to the Armenian Highlands.

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