Song #41 - Ter Voghormia

Song #41 - Ter Voghormia

Ter Voghormia – Lord Have Mercy! by Komitas.

This quote is taken from Grigoris Balkanian’s book called, “Armenian Golgotha”. Balkanian in his book recounts a scene where the singing of this hymn is presented.

Grigoris Balkanian was born in 1876 and was one of the leading Armenian intellectuals of his generation. In Ottoman Turkey he attended Armenian schools and seminary; and in Germany he studied, at different times, engineering and theology. He was arrested by the Turkish government on the night of April 24, 1915 and deported to the interior. He survived nearly four years in the killing fields. He later became a bishop and prelate of the Armenian Apostolic Church in southern France. He died in Marseilles in 1934.

After the Turkish officials exiled the Armenian population of Constantinople and imprisoned them in the armory of Chankiri.

“And now we, the more than 150 intellectuals and comrades exiled from Constantinople, assembled – irrespective of political party or class, of piety or skepticism – to hold evening service at dusk, by dim candlelight, behind the high walls of the huge armory of Chankiri, with the icy spring gale blowing through the broken windows. When Archimandrite Komitas began his melancholy and heart-wrenching “Lord Have Mercy” [Der Voghormia], the sobbing was impossible to contain. We all cried like boys, cried over loved ones left behind, cried over our black fate, our nation’s misfortune; we cried over the bloody days we had just passed, even without knowing that we were on the brink of unprecedented storms of blood.

Perhaps Archimandrite Komitas had never in his life sung “Lord Have Mercy” with such emotion. Normally he would sing it ex officio, as solace for the pain, grief, and mourning of others; this time he sang out of his own grief and emotional turmoil, asking the eternal God for comfort and solace. God, however, remained silent.”

Armenian lyrics | English transcription
1- Տէ՛ր ողորմեա, Տէ՛ր ողորմեա,
Տէ՛ր ողորմեա, Տէ՛ր ողորմեա՛
Ter voghormia, Ter voghormia,
Ter voghormia, Ter voghormia

2- Արի՛, Աստուած հարցն մերոց
Որ ապաւէն ես նեղելոց.
Ari, Asdvadz hartzn merotz
Vor apaven yes neghelotz

3- Հա՛ս յօգնութին ծառայից քոց,
Լեր պահապան ազգիս Հայոց:
Has oknoutyoun dzarayitz kotz
Ler bahaban azkis Hayotz

4- Ամենասուրբ Երրորդութիւն
Տո՛ւր աշխարհիս խաղաղութիւն,
Amenasourp Yerrortoutyoun
Tour ashkharhis khaghaghoutyoun

5- Տէ՛ր ողորմեա՛, Տէ՛ր ողորմեա՛,
Յիսուս Փրկիչ մեզ ողորմեա՛:
Ter voghormia, Ter voghormia,
Hisous Prgich mez voghormia

English translation
Lord have mercy (4X)
All Holy Trinity, give peace to the world
And healing to the sick, heaven to those who are asleep.

‘Ter Voghormia’ is the 41st song of the 100 Songs of Armenia project, initiated by Music of Armenia. 100 Songs of Armenia is a year long project, which presents 100 most important Armenian songs that have shaped the Armenian cultural heritage and its reality. It is a means through which Music of Armenia further educates and raises awareness about Armenian music to audiences around the world.