Never on Sunday (song)
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|"Never on Sunday"|
2002 remastered single
|Single by Melina Mercouri|
|from the album Never on Sunday|
|Released||October 1, 1960|
"Never on Sunday", also known by its original Greek title "Ta Pediá tou Pireá" ("Τα Παιδιά του Πειραιά", The Children of Piraeus), is a popular song written by Manos Hatzidakis and first sung by Melina Mercouri in the film of same name, directed by Jules Dassin and starring Mercouri. The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1960, a first for a foreign-language picture. The film score to the movie was first released on October 1, 1960 by United Artists Records. 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 as "Ta Pedia tou Pirea" (The Children of Piraeus). His original Greek lyrics, along with the foreign translations in German, French and Italian, do not mention "Never on Sunday" (as found in the English lyrics), but rather tell the story of the main female character of the film, Illya (Mercouri). Illya is a jolly woman who sings of her joyful life in her port town of Piraeus ("If I search the world over/I'll find no other port/Which has the magic/Of my Port 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.
The song has been recorded in a number of languages since its release:
- Greek (as "Τα Παιδιά του Πειραιά") by Melina Mercouri, Nana Mouskouri, and Pink Martini.
- English: An orchestral version recorded by Don Costa reached number 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960, then returned to the Billboard Top 40 when reissued in 1961. His version also peaked at #27 in the UK Singles Chart. Following the success of the orchestral version as well as the Oscar win, an English language version of the song was commissioned to be written especially to match the title of the film. The lyrics to the English version of the song were written by Billy Towne. A vocal of the song by The Chordettes reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1961. It was also recorded by Billy Eckstine, Bing Crosby, Lena Horne, Doris Day, Andy Williams, Trini Lopez, The 4 Seasons, Connie Francis, Julie London, Eartha Kitt, Petula Clark, Lale Andersen, Ann-Margret, and the New Christy Minstrels, plus as an instrumental by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass and James Last. The Ventures released a version on their 1963 Dolton album The Ventures Play Telstar and the Lonely Bull, as did The Baskerville Hounds on their 1967 Dot Records album The Baskerville Hounds – Featuring Space Rock, Part 2.
- In the United Kingdom, there were five versions in the UK Singles Chart. They were Don Costa, reached number 27; Chaquito (actually Johnny Gregory), reached number 50; Lynn Cornell with the only vocal version in the UK chart, reached number 30; Makadopulos and his Greek Serenaders, reached number 36; and Manuel and his Music of The Mountains (actually Geoff Love), which peaked at number 29.
- Italian (as "Uno a te, uno a me") by Dalida, Milva, Nilla Pizzi, Isabella Fedeli.
- French (as "Les enfants du Pirée") by Dalida, Melina Mercouri, Darío Moreno. Dalida's French version of this song topped French singles chart in 1960.
- Spanish (as "Los niños del Pireo") by Dalida. "Nunca en Domingo" by Xiomara Alfaro.
- German: Lale Andersen scored a number one hit in 1960 with the German-language version of the song titled "Ein Schiff wird kommen". It was also covered by Dalida, Caterina Valente, 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.
- Dutch (as "Nooit op zondag") by Mieke Telkamp, based on the melody.
- Yiddish (as "Af zyntik - neyn") by The Barry Sisters.
- 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.
- Cantonese (as "兩仔爺") by Andy Lau, Anita Mui, Sandra Ng, Ronald Cheng, Gordon Lam, Suzanne Chung, Cherrie Ying and Lam Chi-chung in the film Dance of a Dream (愛君如夢). The title song roughly translates "Father and Son".
- Mandarin (as "別在星期天") by Teresa Teng. The title translates as "Never on Sunday".
- Portuguese (as "As crianças do Pireu") by Paula Ribas.
- Hindi (as "जाने न जाने") by Usha Uthup on the album "Dekha Dekhi"
- Finnish (as "Ei koskaan sunnuntaisin") by Four Cats, Vieno Kekkonen and Kaarina Heikkinen among others.
- The song was used again in the 2005 movie Munich.
- James Hill, a Canadian ukulele player, recorded a version of the song on ukulele for his album A Flying Leap.
- Nia Vardalos sang a snippet of the Greek version in her 2009 film My Life in Ruins.
- Los Umbrellos, a Danish musical group, used it as a base for their 1998 signature song, "No Tengo Dinero".
- This song was sung on The Muppet Show by Miss Piggy and Greek pigs, complete with smashing plates.
- Egyptian guitarist Omar Khorshid recorded an instrumental version of this song.
- Hartford Stage artistic director Darko Tresnjak chose this song to open his production of Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 135. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "Never On Sunday : Original MGM Motion Picture Soundtrack (Enhanced)". Amazon.com. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
- "Manos Hadjidakis - Never On Sunday (Original Sound Track Music) (Vinyl, LP)". Discogs. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
- 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.
- Trust, Gary (March 9, 2010). "Oscar Winners On The Hot 100 - Chart Beat". Billboard. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
- Inc., Nielsen Business Media, (1961-05-29). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 13. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
- "Never On Sunday (1961, #13 Billboard chart hit)". Amazon.com. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 333. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-10-19. Retrieved 2006-01-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Martin Fuchs (2001-11-06). "No Fun Records Diskografie Teil 1". Highdive.de. Retrieved 2017-07-09.
- "Hartford Stage Adds 1960s Twist To 'Comedy Of Errors'". Courant.com. Retrieved 2017-07-09.