CHILDREN OF TALAS
Music and Lyrics: Mehmet GÜR
Talas is the name of a small town near the city of Kayseri situated in Central Anatolia, Turkey. After my primary school education in my hometown, Iskenderun on the Mediterranean Sea coast, I went to a renowned secondary boarding school in Talas. My classmates and I were eleven years old when we started the first year in 1962.
I can truly say that what I exprienced and learned during the four years that I spent in that school were determinant in what I have chosen to do in my life in the years that followed. I believe that this is a true statement for almost all the pupils who graduated from Talas.
“Children of Talas” describes the life of students at the Talas school. It is a song written for all the teachers and students who define the years spent at Talas as the most meaningful and unforgettable years of their lives.
Following the lyrics of the song, a childrens’ choir sings a verse of the school anthem (All hail Talas to thee). The anthem is followed by the school chant (Bombalaki) for sportive events. In the past, that chant was also used to thank a person in appreciation of the work he or she had done. In that case, that person’s name was added to the end of the chant.
The Talas school was so precious to its alumni that we were all devastated by its sudden closure in 1967 due to financial difficulties. All students who could not graduate from Talas were transferred to Tarsus, a sister school. That’s why the Talas boys thank Tarsus at the end of their chant…

The following instruments were played in the music recording studio:
• Acoustic guitar
• Electric guitar
• Double bass
• Piano
• Harmonica
• Drums
• Percussion

Lyrics:

CHILDREN OF TALAS
HE WAS A CHILD OF ELEVEN,
AND SO WERE ALL HIS CLASSMATES.
THEY TOOK THE SAME LESSONS
FROM THE SAME YOUNG LADY,
STUDIED FOR THE SAME EXAMS.
***
THEY ALL PLAYED THE SAME GAMES,
AND RAN AFTER THE SAME ROUND BALL.
THEIR MEALS FROM THE SAME COULDRON,
BISCUITS FROM THE SAME CANTEEN,
AND WATER FROM THE SAME OLD TAB.
***

CHORUS
TALAS IS IN THEIR MINDS,
IN THEIR HEARTS AND IN THEIR SOULS.
THEY ALL GO BACK THERE
TO LOOK FOR THE CHILDREN THEY ONCE WERE.
***
THE STONE-WALL DORM WAS ICE COLD;
THEY WARMED IT UP WITH THEIR LAUGHTERS.
AND FROM THERE TO UPPER CAMPUS,
THEY USED TO COUNT THEIR STEPS
ALL THE WAY TO THE FAMOUS FLIGHT OF STAIRS.
***
THEY ALL CLIMBED THE HUGE STONE STEPS
IN FALL, IN WINTER AND IN SPRING…
THEY CLIMBED TO LEARN ABOUT
LIFE, LOVE AND MANKIND.
HAND, HEAD, HEALTH AND HEART.
***
CHORUS
TALAS IS IN THEIR MINDS,
IN THEIR HEARTS AND IN THEIR SOULS.
THEY ALL GO BACK THERE
TO LOOK FOR THE CHILDREN THEY ONCE WERE.
***
WHAT A BROTHERHOOD THEY DEVELOPED;
IT WAS THE ENVY OF EVERYONE.
IT WAS LIKE “ONE FOR ALL AND ALL FOR ONE”.
IF ONE FELL, ALL FELL;
IF ONE TRIUMPHED, THEY ALL DID TRIUMPH.
***
THEY DIDN’T KNOW IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE,
SO THEY ALL DID IT ONE BY ONE.
NO PLACE FOR SELFISHNESS OR GREED;
WITH SUCH LEARNINGS,
THEY ALL MARCHED FROM BOYHOOD TO MANHOOD.
***
CHORUS
TALAS IS IN THEIR MINDS,
IN THEIR HEARTS AND IN THEIR SOULS.
THEY ALL GO BACK THERE
TO LOOK FOR THE CHILDREN THEY ONCE WERE.
***
THEY SANG THEIR NATIONAL ANTHEM WITH PRIDE;
HOISTED THEIR CRESCENT-AND-STAR FLAG.
NOW A SENIOR GIVES THE TUNE
FOR THE SCHOOL ANTHEM
AND CHEERFULLY, THEY ALL JOIN IN.

“All hail Talas to thee, our school of life and light,
Our goal is Turkish manhood to match Erciyes height.”

“BOMBALAKİ BOMBALAKİ BOM BOM BOM,
TALAS TALAS ZIM ZIM ZIM.
BOMBALAKİ BOMBALAKİ BOM BOM BOM,
TARSUS TARSUS ZIM ZIM ZIM.”

CHILDREN OF TALAS
Recording of choral parts…

CHILDREN OF TALAS
Recording of choral parts…

CHILDREN OF TALAS
Recording drum parts…

CHILDREN OF TALAS
Recording drum parts…

CHILDREN OF TALAS
While recording double bass parts…