Misirlou

17/01/17The Jewish Monkeys And Despina Apostolou Unplugged In Frankfurt

Misirlou, Miserlou, Miserilou? We've had our own share of discussions on how to spell it. Finally we decided it wasn't about the spelling, as much as it was about the music, the song to be exact. And yet, there seems to be a distinct meaning encapsulated in this title, possibly stemming from the Turkish word for Egyptian, mısırlı.

While the song itself was popularized by Dick Dale's 1962 American surf rock version and gained further international acclaim by prominently featuring on the soundtrack to Quentin Tarantino's cult movie "Pulp Fiction", the song's origins can be retraced to the Eastern Mediterranean region and an early 1927 Greek rembetiko composition.

The inherent catchiness of the tune resulted in a variety of alternate, traditional interpretations of the song, including Arabic, Armenian, Persian or Turkish versions as well as Jewish klezmer. Which brings us to our very own Jewish Monkeys and their debut album "Mania Regressia", most notably track #6, aka Misirlou. It is a song sung in Yiddish, about a desert princess, about love, desire and longing: "My Misirilou, girl from the orient / Your eyes have burnt my heart / My hearts gets sicker / In my dreams I see you / Dance in front of me, my beautiful / Turn around even quicker (desert princess), I cannot forget you / Come heal my longing / Only you can heal me".

Now a few months ago, the Jewish Monkeys took their show to Frankfurt, to play their first ever unplugged gig at Salon 99. A regular to the venue as a soloist, acclaimed Greek pianist Despina Apostolou was also among the audience that evening and more than familiar with the song. As such, she kindly accepted to play her own interpretation as an intro to the Monkeys' performance.

You can watch and hear the magic happening below. So for now, we shall let the music take center stage and leave you with Despina Apostolou, the Jewish Monkeys and of course, "Misirlou".

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom