Mikis Theodorakis was a musician who created what is essentially an unofficial national anthem for Greek culture worldwide, titled “Zorba’s Dance“. Whether it is back home in Kythira, or right here in Sydney, Zorba’s Dance is pigeon-holed to Greek culture in many ways, and smashed down the barriers of popular culture.
It is sad to hear Mikis passed away at the age of 96, and as a Greek kid growing up in Western culture throughout the 90s and 2000s, it is fitting, and quite appropriate to give this song the much deserved Song of the Day. This song was a must at all Greek weddings, featured in numerous movies, and a selective sporadic array of flashmobs (video below), that additionally left a long-lasting effect on many people.
Speaking on the passing of the “Universal Greek”, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who knew Mikis from childhood, said people had all forgotten that he was a mere mortal. “But his legacy of music,” Kyriakos continues, “his political activism and his service to the nation in times of crisis lives on.”
One of my fondest members is seeing the feature film Zorba The Greek, where the song has lived on through more than just those first chords that trickle in as the atmosphere builds, and takes the listener on a gleeful ride, are some of the best aspects of song building. Who would have thought a little, Greek song would take the world by storm and subsequently create a dance (Sirtaki).