Melina

I’m Hispanic and Epicurean, and so the connections between Greek and Hispanic cultures are interesting to me. Unfortunately, although the Greeks have had a presence in Iberia since antiquity, and although the Spanish and Greek languages sound similar or even identical to untrained foreigners, I’m aware of very few cultural tokens that really embody the Greek presence in Iberia.

Melina Mercouri was a Greek actress and activist who was exiled from her country and had her Greek citizenship taken from her. It turns out she was a close friend of Camilo Sesto, who was probably the most famous singer from Spain during the 70’s and 80’s, and he loved her enough to have dedicated a song to her. He titled it Melina after her. The song is in a very traditional Greek style in her honor, but sung in Spanish.

Melina appears to have had a considerable musical influence in Sesto. Another one of his songs, titled Con el viento a tu favor, also shows a strong Greek influence. If you’re Hispanic, or know some Spanish, and wish to imagine what Greek music would sound like if you could understand it, these songs might serve as a fun immersion in what little is available of Hellenistic-Hispanic culture.

Eres fuego de amor
luz del sol
volcán y tierra
por donde pasas
dejas huella

Mujer
tú naciste para querer
has luchado por volver
a tu tierra y con tu gente

Has vuelto
Melina
alza tus manos hacia dios
que el escuche tu voz

Has vuelto
Melina
tus ojos reflejan el dolor
y tu alma el amor

La huella de tu canto
echó raíces
Melina
y vuelven a reír
tus ojos grises
Melina

Tu vida y tu razón
es tu país
donde el mar se hizo gris
donde el llanto
ahora es canto

Has vuelto, Melina
alza tus manos hacia dios
que el escuche tu voz

Has vuelto, Melina
tus ojos reflejan el dolor
y tu alma el amor

La huella de tu canto
echó raíces
Melina
y vuelven a reír
tus ojos grises
Melina

About hiramcrespo

Hiram Crespo is the author of 'Tending the Epicurean Garden' and founder of societyofepicurus.com. He's also written for The Humanist, Eidolon, Occupy, The New Humanism, The Secular Web, Europa Laica, AteístasPR, and many other outlets.
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