Melina Mercouri

a look at the music of Vangelis Papathanassiou

Back in the good old days in the early seventies and just after the split of Aphrodite’s Child it must have been fun times in the Parisian studios. Artists from all over the world walked in and out there, and Vangelis played with a lot of them. Among them was fellow Greek actress and singer Melina Mercouri, and Vangelis contributed to her album "Si Melina....m'etait contee", oriented to the French market.

Melina, who was already a star in Greece as an actress in "Never on Sunday"(1960), "Phaedra" (1962) and "Topkapi" (1964) to name just a few, had just had a break-through in France with her performance in the popular TV show of Pierre Jordan. After this album she became very popular in France and released several other albums there.

Melina Mercouri was one of the fighters in the resistance against the Greek military regime during 1967 to 1974. When the regime had passed, she returned to Greece and got more and more involved in politics. She was appointed to Minister of Culture for over eight years, during which time she is known for her efforts to return the marbles of the Parthenon (now in the possession of the British Museum in London) to Athens.The Melina Mercouri Foundation, which was founded by her husband Jules Dassin after her death, keeps Melina Mercouri's visions alive.

Melina Mercouri, cherished and passionately loved by the Greek people, died on March 6th 1994.

Tracklist and Credits

As printed on the cd

bulletJe te dirais les mots
Composed by
Vangelis Papathanassiou
Lyrics by Richelle Dassin / Claude Lemesle
bulletOu que me port mon voyage, la Grece me blesse
Music by
Vangelis Papathanassiou, based on the orthodox theme of 'Vendredi Saint'.
Lyrics based on a poem by Georges Seferis.
bulletSinefiasmeni Kiriaki
Music and lyrics by Vassilis Tsitsanis.
bulletAthenes, ma ville (Athina)
Composed by
Vangelis Papathanassiou
Lyrics by Richelle Dassin / Claude Lemesle

Arrangements and Direction Musicale: V. Papathanassiou



1973 Polydor 2473028 Canada/France
1973 WEA 58399 Greece

1994 Polydor 523119-2 Greece

1973 Athenes ma ville / Je te dirais les mots Polydor 2056 306 France/Canada

Any of the LP's are a bit harder to find than the CD, which is still in print in Greece.

Recording Studio
It is not clear where exactly the songs with Melina were recorded, but most likely the Parisian Europa Sonor studio was used, where Vangelis around that time also recorded his solo albums Fais que ton reve soit plus long que la nuit, and later also Earth.



The composition of "Je te dirais les mots" would later be re-arranged into "Because", the hit-single by Demis Roussos. Vangelis would produce Demis’ album "Magic" in 1977, which includes the song.


The composition of "Athenes ma ville" is based on a part of Vangelis' solo album "Fais que ton reve soit plus long que la nuit", which is recorded a year earlier.


The composition of "Ou que me port mon voyage, la Grece me blesse" is based on a traditional Orthodox song. The same composition would later be re-arranged into "O! Gliki mou Ear" and sung by Irene Papas on their second collaborative album "Rapsodies" in 1986.


The song "Athenes ma ville" is also available in a Greek version named "Athina", among others on a compilation album "The Very Best of Melina Mercouri" (2007).


For all the lyrics of these songs, go to Vangelis and Melina Mercouri Lyrics