A few years ago I watched a YouTube video of Danny Kay singing with Nana Mouskouri and Harry Belafonte. They sang Opa Nina Nina Nai. or a slight rendition of it, and it touched a place in my soul I had ignored for years. I called my mom to see if she could explain it because I couldn’t figure out why such a delightful song would pierce me so deeply. She said my dad used to sing it all the time. My dad died 10 years ago.
It pleased him when we Greek danced at weddings and social events. My father, a Greek immigrant, struggled at times to bond with his 4 American daughters. He loved to dance and Greek dancing was one of the ways we all connected. But what was it about this song, from all the other hundreds of songs we grew up listening to? As I sang it over and over in my head, tapping my foot and remembering my youth, I noticed one of the lyrics:
We only live once in this fake world, it is proper to enjoy ourselves a little.
These lyrics explain a lot about my dad. He had a rough start to his life. (Keep Reading...)