Never on Sunday was a romantic comedy about an American tourist who sets out to reform a small-town prostitute, but he only ends up making her miserable. It was nominated for several Academy Awards Best Actress, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Costumes and Best Song, but on the night of the Oscars, the title song for the film was the only winner and this was a first for a foreign-language picture. Steve Allen and Jayne Meadows announced the Best Song winner, but nobody came to the podium. After a few quips from Allen (i.e. “I guess he won’t be here until Sunday”), host Bob Hope came on and tried to claim the award, joking, “This is the moment I’ve been waiting for”, but Meadows took it herself to make sure that the composer Manos Hatzidakis got it.
‘Never on Sunday’ is also known by its original Greek title ‘Ta Pediá tou Pireá’, and the song title “Ta Pediá tou Pireá” translates to “The Guys of Pireas”. Pireas is an international port city within Athens. It was first sung by Melina Mercouri in the film of same name, directed by Jules Dassin and starring Mercouri. Merkouri’s character was a lady of the evening, and in the song, she sings about the men who are out late at night in the port city of Pirea. The lyrics to the English version of the song were written by Billy Towne and the meaning to his lyrics were entirely different from the original Greek version.
Dalida’s French rendition of the song topped the French singles chart in 1960. A vocal of the song by The Chordettes reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1961. It was also recorded by Bing Crosby, Lena Horne, Doris Day, Andy Williams, Trini Lopez, The 4 Seasons, Connie Francis, Julie London, Eartha Kitt, Petula Clark and Lale Andersen, plus as an instrumental by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.
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 anyday you can be my guest
Anyday 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 grey 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 week day
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
Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the prompt is elevator music.