Never on Sunday (song)

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This article is about the song. For the 1960 film, see Never on Sunday. For other uses, see Never on Sunday (disambiguation).
"Never on Sunday"
2002 remastered single
Single by Manos Hadjidakis[1]
from the album Never on Sunday
Released October 1, 1960[2]
Format Vinyl[3]
Recorded 1960
Label United Artists Records
Writer(s) Manos Hadjidakis
Producer(s) Jack Lewis

"Never on Sunday", also known as "Ta Pediá tou Pireá" (Greek: "Τα Παιδιά του Πειραιά"; English: "The Children of Piraeus"), is a popular song by Manos Hadjidakis.[1] A vocal version was also released and performed by Melina Mercouri in the film of same name directed by Jules Dassin and starring Mercouri.[1] The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1960, a first for a foreign-language picture.[4] The film score to the movie was first released on October 1, 1960 by United Artists Records.[2] The song has since been recorded by numerous artists, and has gained various degrees of success throughout the world.


"Never on Sunday" was written by Manos Hadjidakis originally in Greek with the title "Ta Pedia tou Pirea" (The children of Piraeus). The original Greek version featured lyrics also written by Hadjidakis, and was performed in the film by Melina Mercouri. The original Greek lyrics (along with the foreign translations in German, French and Italian) tell the story of the main female character of the film, Illya (Mercouri). Illya is a jolly woman who enjoys life, the town and the people of her native Piraeus. Although she earns her money as a prostitute, she longs to meet a man someday who is just as full of joie de vivre as she is herself.

In 1960, the song was nominated and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, a first for a foreign-language picture since the Academy began to recognize achievements in this category in 1934.[4]


The song has been recorded in a number of languages since its release:

  • Italian (as "Uno a te, uno a me") by Dalida, Milva, Isabella Fedeli.
  • Spanish (as "Los niños del Pireo") by Dalida. "Nunca en Domingo" by Xiomara Alfaro.
  • English / Spanish (as "No Tengo Dinero") by Los Umbrellos, based on the melody.
  • German: Lale Andersen scored a number one hit in 1960 with the German-language version of the song titled "Ein Schiff wird kommen".[8] It was also covered by Caterina Valente, Dalida, Lys Assia, Nana Mouskouri, Helmuth Brandenburg and Melina Mercouri. In 1982 the Neue Deutsche Welle band Der Moderne Man recorded a gay themed new wave version named "Blaue Matrosen" with the same German lyrics of Lale Andersen's version, but sung by a man.[9]
  • Dutch (as "Waarom ben jij nooit op zondag vrij") by Mieke Telkamp, based on the melody.
  • Polish (as "Dzieci Pireusu") by Maria Koterbska and duo of actors Hanna Śleszyńska & Jacek Wójcicki.
  • Czech (as "Děti z Pirea", 1962) by Milan Chladil & Yvetta Simonová.
  • Serbian (as "Деца Пиреја") by Lola Novaković and Ljiljana Petrović.
  • Croatian (as "Nikad nedjeljom") by Ksenia Prohaska.
  • Slovenian (as "Otroci Pireja") by Helena Blagne.
  • Mandarin (as "別在星期天") by Teresa Teng. The title translates as "Never on Sunday".

Other appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 135. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ a b "Never On Sunday: Original MGM Motion Picture Soundtrack [Enhanced…]". Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Manos Hadjidakis - Never On Sunday (Original Sound Track Music) (Vinyl, LP) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Levy, Emanuel (2003-01-14). All about Oscar: the history and politics of the Academy Awards. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 210. ISBN 978-0-8264-1452-6. Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  5. ^ Trust, Gary (March 9, 2010). "Oscar Winners On The Hot 100 - Chart Beat". Billboard. Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  6. ^ Inc., Nielsen Business Media, (1961-05-29). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 13. Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Never On Sunday (1961, #13 Billboard chart hit)". Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  8. ^ Müller, P.: Stadtgeschichte Bremerhavens: Lale Andersen, last accessed July 27, 2010.
  9. ^ discography of the No Fun label

External links[edit]