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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

Τα Παιδία Του Πειραιά
(Ta Pedia Tou Pirea)

(The Guys of Pirea, or,
Never on Sunday)

 

This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the popular Greek song "Ta Pedia Tou Pirea", which was sung by Melina Merkouri and later Nana Mouskouri.

The song is often referred to in English as "Never on Sunday" because it was the Academy Award winning song from the motion picture of that name. This was the first time a foreign-language film won the Oscar for Best Song.

Also included is a pronunciation guide for the Greek lyrics so you can sing along if you like.

Born in 1920, Melina Merkouri was the daughter of a member of Greek parliament. She graduated from the National Theater's drama school in 1944. She began her acting career on the theatrical stage. Later, in 1955, she was cast in her first motion picture role, the Greek film Stella. In 1960, her starring role in Never on Sunday brought her the Best Actress award at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival, along with an Oscar nomination.

Song lyrics are provided for educational purposes. If you like the song, please purchase either the album or a download from an authorized source.

Melina Merkouri

Song: Ta Pedia Tou Pirea – The Guys of Pirea, 1961

Lyrics: Manos Hatzidakis

Music: Manos Hatzidakis

Bouzouki Instrumentals: Giorgos Zabetas

Original Artist: Melina Merkouri

Has Also Been Recorded By:

  • Nana Mouskouri (Greek lyrics)
  • Bouzouki Kings (Greek lyrics)
  • Petula Clark (American lyrics)
  • Eartha Kitt (American lyrics)
  • Connie Francis (American lyrics)

Dance Style: Hasapiko

Τραγούδι: Τα Παιδία Του Πειραιά

Στίχοι: Μάνος Χατζιδάκις 

Μουσική: Μάνος Χατζιδάκις

Μπουζούκι: Γιώργος Ζαμπέτας

Πρώτη εκτέλεση: Μελίνα Μερκούρη

Άλλες ερμηνείες: Νανά Μούσκουρι

 

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Listen to MP3 Clips of This Song

Note Sung by Melina Merkouri
Note Instrumental version on the Never on Sunday soundtrack
Note Sung by Anastasia with the Bouzouki Kings
Note Sung by Connie Francis (in English)

 

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Lyrics

Greek Lyrics

Pronunciation

English Translation

Verse

Verse

Verse

Απ’ το παράθυρο μου στέλνω ap’ to parathiro mou stelno From my window I send
Ένα, δυο και τρία ena, dio ke tria one, two and three
και τέσσερα φιλιά ke tesera filia and four kisses
που φτάνουν στο λιμάνι pou ftanoun sto limani which reach/come to the port
Ένα και δυο και τρία ena ke dio ke tria one and two and three
και τέσσερα πουλιά ke tesera poulia and four birds
     
Πώς ήθελα να έχω pos ithela na eho How I wish I had
Ένα και δυο και τρία ena ke dio ke tria one and two and three
και τέσσερα παιδιά ke tesera pedia and four kids.
που σαν θα μεγαλώσουν όλα pou san tha megalosoun ola And when they grow older
να γίνουν λεβέντες va ginoun levendes they will become levendes [men who are honest, have courage, handsome, knows how to handle life]
για χάρη του Πειραιά ya hari tou Pirea as a favor or pride to Pirea.
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Όσο κι αν ψάξω Osso kai an psaxo no matter how much I search [around the world]
δεν βρίσκω άλλο λιμάνι den vrisko alo limani I can’t find another port
τρελή να με ΄χει κάνει treli na me ‘hi kani that has made me crazy
όσο τον Πειραιά oso ton Pirea as much as Pirea
που όταν βραδιάζει pou otan vradiazi and when it's late at night
τραγούδια μ’ αραδιάζει tragoudia m’ aradiazi various songs
και τις πενιές του αλλάζει ke tis penies tou alazi and it changes its strike [echo from Bouzouki]
γεμίζει από παιδιά gemizi apo pedia becomes full of guys (1)
     

Verse

Verse

Verse

Από την πόρτα μου σαν βγω apo tin porta mou san vgo as I come out through my door
Δεν υπάρχει κανείς den iparxi kanis there is no one
που να μην τον αγαπώ pou na min ton agapo that I don’t love
και σαν το βράδυ κοιμηθώ ke san to vradi kimitho and at night as I sleep
ξέρω πως, ξέρω πως xero pos, xero pos I know that, I know that
θα τον ονειρευτώ tha ton onirefto I will dream of him
     
Πετράδια βάζω στον λαιμό petradia vazo sto lemo gems I put on my neck
και μια χα ke mia haaa and one bead (2)
και μια χάντρα φυλαχτό ke mia handra filahto and a bead for protection (3)
γιατί τα βράδια καρτερώ yati ta vradia kartero because in the nights I have endurance
στο λιμάνι σαν βγω sto limani san vgo as to the port I go
κάποιον άγνωστο να βρω kapion agnosto na vro to find some unknown person
     

Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Όσο κι αν ψάξω Osso kai an psaxo no matter how much I search [around the world]
δεν βρίσκω άλλο λιμάνι den vrisko alo limani I can’t find another port
τρελή να με ΄χει κάνει treli na me ‘hi kani that has made me crazy
όσο τον Πειραιά oso ton Pirea as much as Pirea
που όταν βραδιάζει pou otan vradiazi and when it's late at night
τραγούδια μ’ αραδιάζει tragoudia m’ aradiazi various songs
και τις πενιές του αλλάζει ke tis penies tou alazi and it changes its strike [echo from Bouzouki]
γεμίζει από παιδιά gemizi apo pedia becomes full of guys

Footnotes:

  1. In Greek, the word "pedia" can mean different things. Possible translations can be "children", "kids", "guys", or "men." She is singing about the "pedia" coming out at night, and in Greece all ages might do that. However, in the movie, Melina Merkour's character is a lady of the evening. When she mentions that Pirea becomes full of guys, she's thinking professionally about the business opportunity that presents.
  2. In the Greek, the word "ha" is sung at the end of a line of the song, and is drawn out. It's actually the beginning of the word "handra", which means "bead", but the way the song is constructed this line doesn't finish the word. Its meaning is clarified in the next line of the song, which references a handra filahto (see next footnote)
  3. In Greece, the word filahto means wearing something protective to avoid evil eye, avoid spirits, or bring luck. Handra filahto refers to the evil eye bead or just wearing a blue or turquoise bead around a bracelet/necklace. There is also religious filahto which resembles a tiny pillow that is blessed and typically is pinned under your clothes. The Greek Orthodox church does not believe in the evil eye; however, many Greeks continue to wear these beads either for fashion or belief.

 

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Lyrics for the English Version

After the movie Never on Sunday and its hit song Ta Pedia Tou Pirea became popular, many musicians recorded their own versions of it. An English-language version with lyrics by Billy Towne became popular, and was sung by Connie Francis, Eartha Kitt, Petula Clark, and others.

This is the version by Connie Francis. Hers includes a few lines of chorus from the original Greek, then moves into Billy Towne's English lyrics:

Chorus

La la la laaaaaa la

La lala laaaaaa la laaaaa la

La lala laaaaaa la laaaaa la

La lala laaaaa lala

Όσο κι αν ψάξω (no matter how much I search)

δεν βρίσκω άλλο λιμάνι (I can't find another port)

τρελή να με ΄χει κάνει (that has made me crazy)

όσο τον Πειραιά (as much as Pirea)

Verse

Oh, you can kiss me on a Monday, a Monday, a Monday, it's very, very good.

Oh, you can kiss me on a Tuesday, a Tuesday, a Tuesday, in fact I wish you would!

Oh, you can kiss me on a Wednesday, a Thursday, a Friday, and Saturday is best

But never, never on a Sunday, a Sunday, a Sunday, 'cause that's my day of rest.

Chorus

Come any day and you'll be my guest,

Any day you say, but my day of rest.

Just name the day that you like the best

Only stay away on my day of rest!

Final Chorus

Come any day and you'll be my guest,

Any day you say, but my day of rest.

La la la laaaaaa la

La lala laaaaaa la laaaaa la

La lala laaaaaa la laaaaa la

La lala laaaaa lala!

 

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Where to Get Recordings of this Song

Ta Pedia Tou Pirea

Note

Listen to Clip

Artist: Melina Merkouri
CD Title: Ta Pedia Tou Pirea

Never on Sunday

Note

Listen to Clip

Artist: Manos Hatzidakis
CD Title: Never on Sunday Soundtrack

Greek Musical Odyssey

Note

Listen to Clip

Artist: Bouzouki Kings
CD Title: Greek Musical Odyssey
Soul Sisters

 

Artist: Eartha Kitt
CD Title: Soul Sisters - Classic Female Black Performers, Vol. 2
Connie Francis

Note

Listen to Clip

Artist: Connie Francis
CD Title: Connie

 

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About the Translator

This page was contributed by Panayiota Bakis Mohieddin, who is happy to share her culture and music she grew up with! Here's how Panayiota describes her background:

I always love engaging with intelligent like-minded people, especially artists. I love sharing anything and everything about my Hellenic culture and upbringing, especially music and dance. A conversation with me will bring you back to America's favorite Greek-American movie by Nia Vardalos called My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

I love investigating Greek culture, history, music, and dance. Speaking of investigating, I think I missed my calling, I probably should have been an investigator. Instead, I use those skills to dig and dig and dig tirelessly, often times falling asleep on my laptop... just to find the truth. But, most importantly, accurate truth. For me personally, and other respectable folklorists, my culture and accuracy are very important. Each generation of ethnic born artists has a duty to do the best it can to pass down our traditions as was taught to us. We have been given this artistic gift to be the gatekeepers of our heritage and culture.

Panayiota

 

 

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