Eftichia Papagianopoulou (1893 – 1972) was one of the most famous and recognized Greek lyric writers. Papagiannopoulou was the first woman who made a blast writing lyrics for Greek songs, although not acknowledged right away.
Her actual name was Eftychia Hatzigeorgiou – later Oikonomou, later Nikolaidou and finally Papagiannopoulou.
She had to leave her homeland due to the Asia Minor war in 1922 and came to the Greek mainland with a diploma to teach children, although she never used it because upon coming to Greece she started working in the theatre.
She had serious financial problems and she started writing lyrics for many great composers and singers, but many of them – and we are referring to huge names in Greek music – took advantage of her, stealing her songs and presenting them as their creations.
Papagiannopoulou was a cunning and passionate woman, very enthusiastic about the things she loved. A very beautiful woman, with an intense personality that would provoke other people’s strong sentiments.
However, her life was so hard that many things should be excused for her. After all, her passion and intense personality were the reason for her amazing lyrics.
When she was old she started playing cards and gambling, trying to earn some more money to cover her needs. She also found some sort of refuge to card playing in order to forget that she lost her child.
Eftychia Papagiannopoulou died in January 7, 1972.
The lyrics of Eftichia Papagiannopoulou
Papagiannopoulou had to change lyrics some times because she was desperate about selling her lyrics.
She was not even asking for the required rights on the songs, as she should, therefore, she lost many lyrics and songs that have the signatures of other creators. After all, giving her lyrics away she would take money that was much needed.
Papagiannopoulou was not afraid of life and was not afraid of her writing and her language, however, she had to control it to be more likable. Some experts suggest that if she would leave herself free, she would be even a bigger name in lyric writing.
She was very fond of folk songs and tradition. She liked the lyrics of Nikos Kavvadias, Kostas Varnalis, and although some people would not say it, she really loved poetry.
Papagiannopoulou worked with numerous Greek composers such as Manos Hadjdakis, Apostolos Kaldaras and Vassilis Tsitsanis but she became famous as the lyric writer of so many songs only after her death.
One of her collegues, Lefteris Papadopoulos wrote recently a book about her, trying to put things right for her, and help for her work’s recognition.
Popular songs of Eftychia Papagiannopoulou
- Ta kavourakia – composer Vassilis Tsitsanis
- Dyo portes ehei i zoi – Stelios kazantzidis
- Eimai aetos horis ftera – Manos Hadjidakis
- Malamo – Stamatis Kraounakis
- Ta alania – Vassilis Tsitsanis
- Mi me paratas – Apostolos Kaldaras
- Ti ehei kai klaiei to paidi – Stavros Ksarhakos
- Iliovasilemata – Manolis Hiotis
- Perasmenes mou agapes – Manolis Hiotis
- Oneiro Apatilo – Apostolos Kaldaras
The list is endless; most people are actually surprised when reading that some of the greatest laika songs in history of Greek music are her “children” as Eftychia Papagiannopoulou called her songs.