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Ta Pediá Tu Pireá (Never On Sunday)

By Thomas Keyes
July 11, 2005

“Never On Sunday” was the English title of a black-and-white Greek film, starring Melina Mercouri and Jules Dassin, and directed by Dassin, that appeared in 1960. The English title of the movie is merely a translation of the Greek title, “Poté Tin Kyriakí”. The world-famous theme song of the movie is also called “Never On Sunday” in English, but the Greek title of the song is entirely different. It is “Ta Pediá Tu Pireá”, which means “The Lads of Piraeus”. Piraeus is a port city in Greece, adjacent to Athens, where the action of the film took place. I didn’t see the movie. The composer of the music and the lyrics was Mános Hadzidákis, who won an award for it. The Greek lyrics have nothing to do with the published English lyrics.

I know quite a few Greek songs, but I resisted learning this one until recently. But I have to choose from what’s available, which is not necessarily what I would choose if I could find all the lyrics and either sheet music or midi files that I want.

At the URL below, the Greek lyrics can be seen and the music can be heard. Just click on the appropriate icon.

http://www.greekmidi.com/songs/hatzidakis/tapediatoupirea.html

Below I have transcribed the text just as it appears at the URL, and I have added my own translation. In my transcription letters have the values usually used for transcribing foreign words, but ‘d’ is pronounced like ‘th’ as in ‘either’, ‘g’ as in Spanish ‘rogar’ and ‘h’ like Spanish ‘j’. Greek has accent marks on all words, but I omitted them from monosyllables.

Here’s a link to the English lyrics of “Never On Sunday”.

http://www.elyrics4u.com/n/never_on_sunday_the_chordettes.htm

Here’s a picture of Melina Mercouri.

http://www.filmforum.org/archivedfilms/mercouri/melina1.jpg

TA PEDIÁ TU PIREÁ (Transcription of Greek Lyrics)

Ap’ to paráthiro mu stélno éna dío
Ke tría ke tésera filiá
Pou ftánun sto limáni éna ke dío
Ke tría ke tésera puliá,
Pos thá thela na íha éna ke dío
Ke tría ke tésera pediá.
Ótan tha megalósun óla na gínun
Levéndis giá hári tu Pireá.

Óso ki an psáhno
Den vrísko álo limáni,
Tréli na m’éhi káni
Apó ton Pireá,
Pu ótan vradiázi,
Tragedia m’aradiázi
Ke tis peniés tu alázi.
Gemízi apó pediá.

Apó tin pórta mu san vgo
Den ipárhi kanís
Pu na min ton agapó,
Ke san to vrádi kimithó
Kséro pos, kséro pos
Pos tha ton onireftó.
Petrádia vázo sto lemó
Ke miá ha-, ke mia ha-,
Ke miá hándra filahtó
Giatí ta vrádia karteró
Sto limáni san vgo
Kápion ágnosto na vro.

Óso ki an psáhno
Den vrísko álo limáni,
Tréli na m’éhi káni
Apó ton Pireá,
Pu ótan vradiázi,
Tragedia m’aradiázi
Ke tis peniés tu alázi.
Gemízi apó pediá.

Pos thá thela na íha éna ke dío
Ke tría ke tésera pediá.

Ta Pediá Tu Pireá (Literal English Translation)

Out my window, I send one, two
And three and four kisses,
Where one and two and three and four
Birds reach the port.
How I wish I had one and two
And three and four boys.
All would grow up and become
Fine lads for the joy of Piraeus.

However much I search,
I don’t find another port.
I’m crazy to have moved
From Piraeus,
Where when it becomes evening,
Song follows song for me,
And the bouzouki plectrums are changed,
And the place fills up lads.

From my door when I go
There is no one
I don’t love.
And when I am sleeping in the evening
I know how, I know how, how to dream.
On my neck I put a charm of beads,
Of beads, of beads,
So that when I wait around on the port in the evening,
When I go out I won’t see anyone I don’t know.

However much I search,
I don’t find another port.
I’m crazy to have moved
From Piraeus,
Where when it becomes evening,
Song follows song for me,
And the bouzouki plectrums are changed,
And the place fills up lads.

How I wish I had one and two
And three and four boys.

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About the author Thomas Keyes: I have written two books: A SOJOURN IN ASIA (non-fiction) and A TALE OF UNG (fiction), neither published so far.

I have studied languages for years and traveled extensively on five continents.

Email: udikeyes@yahoo.com


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