CineTV Contest: My Favorite Song Used in a Movie
If you've ever wondered which movie has the best music, I have a suggestion for you: Pulp Fiction. The movie is one of the most unique and influential in the genre, and I think that "Misirlou" was chosen for that very reason. The two minute and fifteen second song oozes menace and ominousness. Dale yells at the top of his lungs, and "Misirlou" leaves you with a sense of impending doom.
Although the soundtrack for Pulp Fiction was only one single track, it became a cultural icon. It has been used in several parodies and homages to the movie. Despite the film's obscurity, it has gained the clout of Quentin Tarantino. I'd highly recommend checking out the soundtrack if you're a fan of the director.
"Misirlou" was originally played by Dick Dale and became a staple of surf and rock music. The song was a classic amongst surf guitar players, and Dale recorded the song on his guitar 95 times. He claimed to have slowed down the tempo in order to reduce the oceans of reverb, but he never did.
In fact, "Miserlou" is arguably the most famous song used in a movie. It was sampled by the Black Eyed Peas and used as the soundtrack to the movie's opening scene. It is also sampled in the Black Eyed Peas' "Pump It."
While the original Misirlou has no lyrics, its popularity has been boosted by a Martin Denny cover, which gave it a fresh new lease of life. The movie Pulp Fiction also sampled the song in Season 2 of the hit TV show Mad Men.
Another version of "Misirlou" was recorded by the Devil's Anvil in the late '60s. It was also a hit with tsifteteli dancers in North America. Slower versions of "Misirlou" have become a favorite for belly dancers in North America. They are especially great for dancing with sheer fabrics, such as a veil.
"Misirlou" is a Greek word derived from the Turkish word "Misirli", which means "Egyptian girl." Before the 20th century, ethnic Greeks populated the Ottoman Empire, so the words will occasionally show up in the lyrics of Greek rebetiko songs. While Greek and Turkish words are used interchangeably in rebetiko, Misirlou is particularly pronounced as "Egyptian" in Turkish.
Misirlou was also recorded by many other Greek recording artists. During the 20th century, the Greek-American community did not know Cretan music well. Luckily, they were able to find some of its best known songs and film scores.
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