MISIRLOU | From Greek Rembetica to Pulp Fiction

“Misirlou”, the theme music for Pulp Fiction, carefully chosen by Tarantino and adopted for the film, is a Greek song from 1930, created by Michales Patrinos, and influenced by the musical tradition of the Near East. The song is one of the Rembetica songs of Greece (songs of the destitute, the oppressed, the poor and marginalized | close equivalents in spirit and mood with the southern blues).
Misirlou, in Turkish, means “the girl from Egypt”, annotating a woman of mixed ancestry (here, Egyptian and Greek), thus racially, culturally, religiously a taboo, and a secret “object” of desire.

Here are the original, recorded in the late 1940’s, and the adaptation from Pulp Fiction.

 

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