Stelios Kazantzidis sings Mantoumpala, a famous Greek song which bears the name of a famous Indian actress of the 50s.
Mantoumpala is a legendary laiko song of Kazantzidis and definitely one of his most popular songs.
Mantoumpala means “sweet girl” in Indian language and it was the name of a beautiful Indian actress of that time. The use of exotic names in Greek songs was quite common during the 50s and 60s.
The story behind the song Mantoumpala is this: One day, Kazantzidis watched an Indian movie with Nargis and heard a song that impressed him. He memorized the movie and asked Eftychia Papagiannopoulou to write the lyrics.
Eftychia had seen many Indian movies herself, in which Mantoumpala was the protagonist. So, when she went to Kazantzidis home and heard the music, she came up with the title “Mantoumpala” and some lyrics that are obviously influenced by the death of her own daughter in early 1959.
Kazantzidis had a hard time to combine the lyrics with the music, so he called Thodoros Derveniotis, a Greek composer and asked him to work on this project. Indeed a few days later, Derveniotis gave Kazantzidis the final version of the song Mantoumpala, as we know it today.