"Never on Sunday"
2002 remastered single
Single by Melina Mercouri[1]
from the album Never on Sunday
B-side"Hasapico" (Manos Hadjidakis)
Released1 October 1960[2]
LabelUnited Artists
Songwriter(s)Manos Hatzidakis
Producer(s)Jack Lewis
"Never on Sunday"
Single by Don Costa
B-side"The Sound of Love"
ReleasedJuly 25, 1960
LabelUnited Artists
Songwriter(s)Manos Hatzidakis
Producer(s)Don Costa
"Never on Sunday"
Single by The Chordettes
from the album Never on Sunday
B-side"Faraway Star"
ReleasedMay 1961
GenreTraditional pop
Songwriter(s)Manos Hatzidakis, Billy Towne
The Chordettes singles chronology
"A Broken Vow"
"Never on Sunday"
"Faraway Star"

"Never on Sunday", also known by its original Greek title "Ta Pediá tou Pireá" ("Τα Παιδιά του Πειραιά", The Children of Piraeus), is a popular song written by Manos Hatzidakis[1] and first sung by Melina Mercouri in the film of the same name, directed by Jules Dassin and starring Mercouri.[1] The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1960, a first for a foreign-language picture.[3] The film score was first released on 1 October 1960 by United Artists Records.[2] The song has since been recorded by numerous artists, and has gained various degrees of success throughout the world. The opening of the song bears some resemblance to that of Poinciana.[citation needed]


"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).[citation needed] 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").[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

In 1960, the song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, a first for a foreign-language picture since the Academy began to recognize achievements in this category in 1934.[3]


The song has been recorded in a number of languages since its release:

Other appearances

This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (August 2022) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)


  1. ^ a b c d Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 135. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  2. ^ a b "Never On Sunday : Original MGM Motion Picture Soundtrack (Enhanced)". Amazon. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  3. ^ a b Levy, Emanuel (14 January 2003). All about Oscar: the history and politics of the Academy Awards. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 210. ISBN 978-0-8264-1452-6. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  4. ^ Trust, Gary (9 March 2010). "Oscar Winners On The Hot 100 - Chart Beat". Billboard. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  5. ^ Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 29 May 1961. p. 13. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  6. ^ "Never On Sunday (1961, #13 Billboard chart hit)". Amazon. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  7. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 333. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  8. ^ "Lale Andersen". Archived from the original on 19 October 2006. Retrieved 16 January 2006.
  9. ^ Martin Fuchs (6 November 2001). "No Fun Records Diskografie Teil 1". Highdive.de. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  10. ^ "Cover: Never on Sunday by Chubby Checker". SecondHandSongs.com. Retrieved 3 October 2021.
  11. ^ "Hartford Stage Adds 1960s Twist To 'Comedy Of Errors'". Courant.com. Retrieved 9 July 2017.