The Misirlou from 1927, 1941, 1962, 1994 to 2006

MONDAY: Music!!!!

Happy Monday! I know… Mondays are not the best day of the week… who doesn’t want an extra Sunday? But Christmas is coming soon and holidays and lots of good food are just few days away! But in the meantime, let’s cheer up with some good music!

So…. How many of you knew that the famous “Pump It” by the Black Eyed Peas is a cover of Dick Dale’s “Misirlou” (1962) which is universally renown as Quentin Tarantino mind blowing Pulp Fiction theme song? Dick Dale.. The King of The Surf Guitar, the user of the first-ever 100-watt guitar amplifier..

and how many of you knew that Dick Dale’s Misirlou is also the cover of the original Misirlou, a greek folk song whose original author is unknown!!

The most famous greek version for it has however been by Nicholas Roubanis who has been getting the credits for it, in fact the Black Eyed Peas credit him for their version. Nicholas Roubanis released his jazzed version in 1941 and became erroneously known as the author of the song, while it was Michalis Patrinos rebetiko band who first performed the song in 1927 in Athens, Greece, even though they are also not the original authors but just the first ones to have performed the song through a group. Rebetika songs had a style that originated with the Greek refugees from Asia Minor in Turkey and partly explains the musical style of the song, may I say, very “Aladdin-like”.

Interestingly, Misirlou, the term, translates into Egyptian Muslim girl and the song narrates the love of the writer for this woman.

Michalis Patrinos 1927:

Dick Dale 1967 live on TV (from minute 0:53! amazing amazing amazing!):

Dick Dale for Pulp Fiction in 1994:

The Black Eyed Peas “Pump It” in 2006:

The history behind every song is infinite and absolutely fascinating! It would definitely be nice to be able to travel to Greece and hear the original version first-hand!

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4 thoughts on “The Misirlou from 1927, 1941, 1962, 1994 to 2006

  1. Thank you so much for this. I adore this song. My Mother had the post 1927 version which sounds a little different to the 1927 one, on vinyl. There is also the 2004 Athens Olympics version sung by Anna Vissi 🙂

    • Thank you Anna for the comment! Yes, the story behind the Misirlou is very fascinating and was a very big surprise for me 🙂 I will check out the version by Anna Vissi that you mention 😉

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