“The so-called 'Left-Hand Path' - that of Kaulas, Siddhas and Viras - combines the... Tantric worldview with a doctrine of the Übermensch which would put Nietzsche to shame... The Vira - which is to say: the 'heroic' man of Tantrism - seeks to sever all bonds, to overcome all duality between good and evil, honor and shame, virtue and guilt. Tantrism is the supreme path of the absolute absence of law - of shvecchacarī, a word meaning 'he whose law is his own will'." ― Julius Evola, The Path of Cinnabar.

“It is necessary to have “watchers” at hand who will bear witness to the values of Tradition in ever more uncompromising and firm ways, as the anti-traditional forces grow in strength. Even though these values cannot be achieved, it does not mean that they amount to mere “ideas.” These are measures…. Let people of our time talk about these things with condescension as if they were anachronistic and anti-historical; we know that this is an alibi for their defeat. Let us leave modern men to their “truths” and let us only be concerned about one thing: to keep standing amid a world of ruins.” ― Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga.

“We are born into this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue, like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pompeii, who died at his post during the eruption of Vesuvius because someone forgot to relieve him. That is greatness. That is what it means to be a thoroughbred. The honorable end is the one that can not be taken from a man.” ― Oswald Spengler, Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life.

Saturday, January 30, 2010



Misirlou (Greek: Μισιρλού, "Egyptian Girl"; from Turkish Mısırlı, "Egyptian";[1] from Arabic مصر, Miṣr, "Egypt"), is a popular Greek song with a cult-like popularity in five very diverse styles of music: Greek rebetiko, Middle-Eastern belly dancing, Jewish wedding music (Klezmer), American surf rock and international orchestral easy listening (Exotica).

The song was first performed by the Michalis Patrinos rebetiko band in Athens, Greece in 1927. As with almost all early rebetika songs (a style that originated with the Greek refugees from Turkey), the song's actual composer has never been identified, and its ownership rested with the band leader. The melody was most likely composed collaboratively by the group, as was often the case at the time; the initial lyrics were almost certainly written by Patrinos himself. Patrinos, being originally a Smyrniot (today İzmir, Turkey), pronounced the song's title [musurlu], similar to the Turkish pronunciation, [mɯsɯrlɯ].

The Greek word Misirlou refers specifically to a Muslim Egyptian woman (as opposed to a Christian Egyptiotissa); thus this song refers to a cross-faith, cross-race, relationship, a risqué subject at its time.

Initially, the song was composed as a Greek zeibekiko dance, in the rebetiko style of music, at a slower tempo and a different key than the orientalized performances that most are familiar with today. This was the style of the first known recording by Michalis Patrinos in Greece, circa 1930 (which was circulated in the United States by Titos Dimitriadis' Orthophonic label); a second recording was made by Patrinos in New York, in 1931.

In 1941, Nick Roubanis, a Greek-American music instructor, released a jazz instrumental arrangement of the song, crediting himself as the composer. Since his claim was never legally challenged, he is still officially credited as the composer today worldwide, except in Greece where credit is variably given to either Roubanis or Patrinos. Subsequently S. Russell, N. Wise, and M. Leeds wrote English lyrics to the song. Roubanis is also credited with fine-tuning the key and the melody, giving it the oriental sound that it is associated with today. The song soon became an "exotica" standard among the light swing (lounge) bands of the day.

In 1944 maestro Clovis el-Hajj, an Arabic Lebanese musician, performed this song and called it "amal." This is the only Arabic version of this song.

In 1945, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, women's musical organization asked Professor Brunhilde E. Dorsch to organize an international dance group at Duquesne University to honor America's World War II allies. She contacted Mercine Nesotas, who taught several Greek dances, including Syrtos Haniotikos (from Crete), which she called Kritikos, but for which they had no music. Because Pittsburgh's Greek-American community did not know Cretan music, Pat Mandros Kazalas, a music student, suggested the tune Misirlou, although slower, might fit the dance. The dance was first performed at a program to honor America's allies of World War II at Stephen Foster Memorial Hall in Pittsburgh on March 6, 1945. Thereafter, this new dance, which had been created by putting the Syrtos Kritikos to the slower Misirlou music, was known as "Misirlou" and spread among the Greek-American community, as well as among non-Greek U.S. folk-dance enthusiasts. The dance is also performed to instrumental versions of Never on Sunday by Manos Hadjidakis.

At the time, the 1940s and 1950s, there was a thriving Near-Eastern nightclub scene in New York and New England. Such restaurants or clubs, usually owned by Greeks, featured near-eastern style music played by Greeks, Armenians, and Arabs, and often belly dancers. The musicians played belly-dance music to accompany the dancers and also ethnic folk music to which the club's patrons, also usually Greeks, Armenians, and Arabs, would dance their traditional line dances. Eventually the Misirlou song and dance were introduced into this scene, and to the Armenian-American and Arab-American communities. This was not unusual as there were actually many new, American-made, "folk" songs and dances in this era. It became known to the Armenian-Americans as the "Snake Dance" due to its sinuous foot movements.

The song was rearranged as a solo instrumental guitar piece by Dick Dale in 1962. Dale's father and uncles were Lebanese-American musicians who were a part of the aforementioned ethnic nightclub scene. Although they were Arab, they, like other performers, played the music of all the main cultures which made up the nightclub patrons—that included Greek music and Misirlou. During a performance, Dale was bet by a young fan that he could not play a song on only one string of his guitar. Later that night, he remembered seeing his uncle play "Misirlou" on one string (actually a double string) of the oud. He tried to imitate that style on his guitar, but vastly increased the song's tempo to make it into rock'n'roll, and the result was the famous Dick Dale "Miserlou". It was Dale's version that introduced "Misirlou" to a wider audience in the United States as "Miserlou."

The song's oriental melody has been so popular for so long that many people, from Morocco to Iraq, claim it to be a folk song from their own country. In fact, in the realm of Middle Eastern music, the song is a very simplistic one, since it is little more than going up and down the Hijaz Kar or double harmonic scale (E-F-G#-A-B-C-D#).

The Beach Boys recorded a Dale-inspired "Miserlou" for the 1963 album Surfin' USA, forever making "Miserlou" a staple of American pop culture. Hundreds of recordings have been made to date, by performers as diverse as Agent Orange and Connie Francis (1965).

The Trashmen also recorded their "Miserlou" version.

In 1994, Dale's version of "Miserlou" was used on the soundtrack of the motion picture Pulp Fiction, thanks to a suggestion to Quentin Tarantino from his friend Boyd Rice. More recently, the song was selected by the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee as one of the most influential Greek songs of all time, and was heard in venues and at the closing ceremony--it was performed by Anna Vissi. In March 2005, Q magazine placed Dale's version at number 89 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks. In 2006, his version once again found popularity, this time as the basis of The Black Eyed Peas' single "Pump It." Also in 2006, a cover of Dale's version was included as a playable song in the rhythm game Guitar Hero II.


Μισιρλού μου, η γλυκιά σου η ματιά
Φλόγα μου 'χει ανάψει μες στην καρδιά.
Αχ, για χαμπίμπι, αχ, για λε-λέλι, αχ,
Τα δυο σου χείλη στάζουνε μέλι, αχ.

Αχ, Μισιρλού, μαγική, ξωτική ομορφιά.
Τρέλα θα μου 'ρθει, δεν υποφέρω πια.
Αχ, θα σε κλέψω μέσ' απ' την Αραπιά.

Μαυρομάτα Μισιρλού μου τρελή,
Η ζωή μου αλλάζει μ' ένα φιλί.
Αχ, για χαμπίμπι ενα φιλάκι,άχ
Απ' το γλυκό σου το στοματάκι, αχ.


My Misirlou (Egyptian girl), your sweet glance
Has lit a flame in my heart.
Ah, ya habibi, Ah, ya leh-leli, ah (Arabic: Oh, my love, Oh, my night‎)[2]
Your two lips are dripping honey, ah.

Ah, Misirlou, magical, exotic beauty.
Madness will overcome me, I can't endure [this] any more.
Ah, I'll steal you away from the Arab land.

My black-eyed, my wild Misirlou,
My life changes with one kiss
Ah, ya habibi, one little kiss, ah
From your sweet little lips, ah.

From the description of the following video: "This is a purely Smyrna-İzmir song despite the claims refering to be an Egypt song.This song was composed by an Egyptian Musician ,Mısırlı İbrahim Efendi who was originally a Jew named Abraham Levi living in İzmir.Against uncertain opinions,this song firstly was composed in Turkish with very very high probability or in Arabic.And the song was loved a lot in that time's İzmir and translated to Greek language.And A Greek named Mihalis Patrinas who immigrated to the USA in 1908 took this song to the USA and made it famous there.After a long time,in 1960s,Dick Dale,an American guitarist made an instrumental version as Miserlou.As you can understand from the name,it was composed for an Egyptian girl,Mısırlı."

Other stuff:


Hadding said...

One of the last images in that "Misirlou Girls" video actually shows Sephardic (Spanish-speaking) Jewish women of Turkey, from the cover of the CD "Yahudice: Urban Ladino Music from Istanbul, Izmir, Thessalonica and Jerusalem." Somebody was just assembling images of vaguely Middle-Eastern women without care about ethnic origin.

I like the version of Misirlou on Hard Rock from the Middle East produced by Felix Pappalardi.

JDS said...

Is that the version by THE DEVIL'S ANVIL?

Hadding said...

Right. "The Devil's Anvil" as far as I know was just a studio band assembled to make that album. I just went to the Felix Pappalardi memorial site and if you click the "rare vinyl" link there it doesn't even come up. Rarer than rare, apparently! -- or maybe there just isn't much interest in it.

JDS said...

THE DEVIL'S ANVIL version is on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xM3xcKzNMbY

Hadding said...

Turks are all over those Devil's Anvil tracks with comments. One of them mistook it for a Turkish rock star named Erkin Koray. I can understand the mistake. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6vZNBvLhkU Kind of an interesting sound although it gets monotonous by the end of 6 minutes if you can't understand the words.