The Best of Akis Panou


“I am an anarchist in the true sense of the word; I do not break shop windows. I have my own party, of which I am the founder, the leader and the only supporter. I try to attack this system with the only means at my disposal: my designed and stubborn logic”, said Akis Panou (1933-2000) about himself. Akis Panou is one of the most important creators of Laika (The popular song), from the mid 60’s to the 80’s. His rebellious and stormy nature naturally founds its place in his songs, for most of them he wrote lyrics and music. I made a playlist of the most important of his songs at the link

I gathered the songs according to topics:

The first four songs are very personal, in which he talks about himself:

1. Θέλω να τα πω  – “I want to say my words/without you asking me to/I want to say them/as they exist in my mind”. “Cantor” singing” by Giorgos  Dalaras.

2. Ο δρομος είναι δρομος-“For me the road is a road/ that what you say to yourself/ No matter the dirt and the horror/ the slope and the insults in it”-Giorgos Dalaras.

3. Το θολωμένο μου μονας – “In my vague head, the world is a drop/ some shadows from the past/ and a mad desire of mine”- Stelios Kazantzidis.

4. Ο εαυτός μου – “My best friend and my worst enemy/ is my “self”-Giorgos Dalaras.

Songs about the hardships of life of the simple and underprivileged people:

5. Η ζωή μου όλη -“All my life is a responsibility/ that takes everything from me and gives nothing/… All my life is a cigarette that I don’t like/ but I still smoke” It is Stelios Kazantzidis’s favorite song.

6. Χαροκόπου 1942-1953-“Seven people in one room”- a song about the fate of the migrant workers from the village to the city in the 1940s and 1950s.The words are in the rebetica’s accent, sung by Giorgos Dalaras.

7. Στο σταστον του Μονάχου-“At the train station of Munich/ where my black fate threw me/O, mother, my bad and bitter fate” on the labor migrants to Europe in the 60’s and 70′- Stratos Dionisio.

No one like Akis Panou describes in such sharp colors the vicissitudes of love and the storms that the cause. In the following five songs, the seeds of destruction are sown even at the height of love…

8. Πυρετός-“In my life, every acquaintance is a new storm/ one more passion/ every new acquaintance is a short dream/ hope and great pain”-Marinella.

9. Όταν σημάνει η ώρα. “I know you will go far from me/from my embrace/ you will fly away like a bird/I know that we will both cry/in the bitterest parting/in the bitterest kiss/When the time comes/then, my golden heart,/the biggest storm/ you will pass” -Grigoris Bitikotsis.

10. Η πιο μεγάλη ώρα είναι τώρα. -“The greatest moment is now/The moment when life is born/the moment when my breath/ Matches your breath/and if the slope has a beginning/ the greatest moment is now”-Harris Alexio.

11. Μίσος-“Hate, love turned into hate/ Maybe that’s how it is natural/ “Maybe”, but there is no “maybe”/ and that’s something tragic”-Stelios Kazantsidis.

12. Δεν κλαίω για τώρα -“I don’t cry because you are leaving/ I don’t cry for now/ I don’t cry for the moment of parting/…I cry for the time of return/ with the signs of chaos/ I cry for a moment when my soul can no longer / tell you “I love you”…. Even in a breakup, destruction is expected in the coming back…-Elefteria Arvanitaki.

More songs about love and also about a breakup:

13. Θα κλείσω τα μάτια  – “I’ll close my eyes  you’ll spread out your hands/ so that white pigeons will find a place to nest/ My first love ,my greatest love/ I’ll close my eyes, wherever it will lead me” – Viky Mosholiou. ( At first, Akis Panou wrote for this music lyrics with social and political meaning , and these were rejected by the censorship of the dictatorship in the 70s)

14. Ρολόι – κομπολόι– ” A wristwatch that you gave me/ I looked at it when you were late/ I looked at it when you were late/ and I asked it if you still loved me/ I will hand over the wristwatch / and take a koboloi (worry beads)/ to measure the anguish/ and the sighs.”- Grigoris Bithikotsis. Lyrics: Anna Bakirtzi.

15. Και τι δεν κάνω -“What am I not doing/to sweeten your bitter life/and you give me another bitter drop/every moment”. Eleni Vitali.

16. Κοίτα με στα μάτια -” So then, look at me in the eyes/and explain/where is your sweet warm kiss/you have no secrets from me, remember that/so then, look me in the eyes”-Marinella.

17. Ασφαλώς και δεν πρέπει –”Of course we shouldn’t/ be seen together/we had fun/a few hours together/this is our first night/the first and last/of course we shouldn’t/be seen together” –Socratis Malamas.

18. Να είχα το κουράγιο -“I wish I had the courage/to give up your embrace/I wish I had the courage/not to return to your neighborhood anymore” Stratos Dionisio.

19. Καρδιά μου μην παραπονιέσαι-“My heart, don’t come with complaints/You are to be blamed that you are being tortured/You knew that would burn you/the fire she lit in you/You knew her”- Grigoris Bithikotsis.

20. Πήρα απ΄ το χέρι σου νερό. -“I drank water from your hand/Now I’ll take the sorrow/and return to my old lairs/Where life fades/Where joy disappears/Where the sun and the stars are lost” Viky Moscholiou.

The last two songs reflect the twisted soul of Akis Panou, who ended his life as a prisoner on the charge of murdering his daughter’s lover.

21. Ο τρελός- “Leave the madman in his madness/and don’t try to bring him to sanity/what hides in the madman’s mind/you don’t know…let the madman remain in his madness/leave him in his dream/he is disgusted by this world/and build a world of his own.” -Manolis Mitsias.

22. Άνοιξε Πέτρο- Saint Peter open, open the gate to Heaven: “Only the Almighty will say if I am a worthy person/and if he finds me guilty he will punish me severely/You, Peter, are nothing but a gatekeeper and keeper of order”- Akis Panou and Thodoris Papadopoulos.

More information about the life and the work of Akis Panou can be found in my post “I Never Bowed to Anyone” in the link:

© כל הזכויות שמורות


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