The 1927 U.S version of Misirlou sung by Tetos Demetriades and composed by Nikos Roubanis.

Most would be familiar with the tune from the opening scene of the 90's film Pulp Fiction. The tune is called Misirlou (Egyptian Girl). The word Misirlou originates from the Arabic word Miṣr meaning Egypt. The Greek lyrics to the song describe the love between a Greek Christian man and an Egyptian Muslim woman. The exact origins of the tune are unknown however it's likely it originated in Asia Minor or Egypt.

The first known recording of the song in Greek is in New York in 1927. Nikos Roubanis composed the lyrics and Tetos Demetriades sang the song. Demetriades was born in Constantinople (today Istanbul) in the late 1800's. At the time, Constantinople was part of the Ottoman Empire. He moved to the US in 1921 during the second phase of the genocide. Once in the US the song was rearranged and performed by a number of artists including Dick Dale, and the Beach Boys in the 60's. The Dick Dale version, an upbeat version of the original Rebetiko tune was used in the opening scene of the film Pulp Fiction.

Watch the 1963 Dick Dale version


 

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