Dick Dale, “Miserlou”

Speak of the Devil. What do you know, Miserlou itself, rising from the ashen surf.  This version the famous one from 1962 by Dick Dale and the Deltones.

He didn’t really write this song. it’s actually called “Misirlou”. It’s origins are in the late days of the Ottoman Empire, possibly with Greeks and Armenians living in Anatolia and Arabs living nearby in the northern Levant and Mesopotamia. I believe the origin is probably with Greek musicians, possibly Pontic Greeks living in Anatolia. Hence, this joyous song sprung right up from the blood-drenched soil of genocide.  Perhaps the song represents a rebirth?

The earliest known version is by a Greek band from 1927. In the early 20’s, it was played by Greek, Arab, and Jewish musicians. There are also Turkish, Iranian, and Indian versions of the song. It does sound like belly dancer music if you listen to it, no?

From the “Pulp Fiction” soundtrack, which was of course one of the greatest movies of the past half-century or so. This is probably Tarantino’s swan song. The bisexual man John Travolta was incredible in this movie. I really didn’t know he had it in him. I thought he would play his Saturday Night Fever character the rest of his life. Another great movie by the way. From the late 1970’s, the ultimate disco movie.

Samuel Jackson was incredible too. One of the finest Black actors up there. I swear he’s as good as De Niro and Hoffman.

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