This week at Song Lyric Sunday, Jim has given us the prompt of “Days of the Week.” I chose “Never on Sunday.” The best English version I could find is by The Chordettes but it was originally done by Melina Mercouri.
Oh, you can kiss me on a Monday
A Monday, a Monday is very, very good
Or you can kiss me on a Tuesday
A Tuesday, a Tuesday in fact I wish you would
Or you can kiss me on a Wednesday a Thursday
A Friday and Saturday is best
But never ever on a Sunday, a Sunday, a Sunday
‘Cause that’s my day of rest
Most any day you can 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
Oh, you can kiss me on a cool day, a hot day, a wet day
Which ever one you choose
Or try to kiss me on a gray day, a May day, a pay day
And see if I refuse
And if you make it on a bleak day, a freak day, or a weekday
Well, you can be my guest
But never ever on a Sunday, a Sunday the one day I need a little rest
Oh, you can kiss me on a week day, a week day, a week day
The day to be my guest
“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, Italian and Spanish 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.
- 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, making it their final Top 40 hit in the United States. 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.