Apr 28, 2011

"All Alone Am I" or the Adventures of a Greek Song

"Word upon word, we lost sense of time.
We recounted our pains and the night lapsed.
Wipe the tears with your handkerchief,
so that I can drink the sun from your lips.

Don't ask the sky,
the cloud and the moon.
Your dark gaze,
something of the night has got.

Whatever found us, whatever made us sorry
struck us secretly like a knife.
Wipe the tears with your handkerchief,
so that I can drink the sun from your lips".

Sung by Jenny Karezi in the Greek film The Island of the Brave

"All Alone Am I" is the title of a song from 1962 by the American singer Brenda Lee. The music was originally composed by the Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis and recorded by Tzeni Karezi for the soundtrack of the film The Island of the Brave. Later, a new version of the song was produced by Owen Bradley and appeared as the title track on one of Lee's albums. But did it all come to that?

In 1960, the Greek film Never on Sunday was released to considerable acclaim, earning multiple Academy Award nominations in the US. The film's star, Melina Mercouri, was nominated for Best Actress, while the title song from the film won the Oscar for Best Original Song for Greek musician Manos Hadjidakis, who had composed the music used in the film. A melody that appeared in both Never on Sunday and The Island of the Brave was sent to Lee's management as a tune to be considered for the singer to record, and after being translated into English by Arthur Altman, it became "All Alone Am I"

"All Alone Am I" became a Top 10 pop hit in both the US and the UK. The song peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in November 1962 and reached #7 on the UK Singles Chart in February 1963. The song also spent five weeks atop the US Billboard easy listening chart, Lee's only song to do so!

Lyrics were originally written by Ioannis Ioannidis.

Sung by Alkinoos Ioannidis and Demetra Galani.

Translation of lyrics by Elena Vosnaki.

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