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Eftihia Papagiannopoulou was the first and potentially most important female lyricist of the Greek music scene. She penned countless “laika and rembetika”(*) songs, many of which became Greek song hits and are sung and danced to even nowadays.

Papagiannopoulou was born in Aydin near Smyrna (now Izmir) in Asia Minor in 1893, which she had to abandon due to the Greco-Turkish War (1919-22) and the Great Fire of Smyrna in 1922. She emigrated to Greece and arrived by boat to Athens with her two daughters.

Initially, she was married to Kostis Nikolaidis; it was an arranged marriage with a man 20 years her senior. Papagiannopoulou divorced him shortly after arriving in Greece. She got married again in 1932 to Yorgos Pappagiannopoulos, who was the only man she really loved in her life. Read more