Europe

She came from Greece - but is this the woman from Common People?

  • 7 May 2015
  • From the section Europe
Media captionThe Greek finance minister came close to clearing up the pop music mystery in an interview with the BBC

She came from Greece, she had a thirst for knowledge - and it turns out, she may be more famous than we had realised.

The true identity of the woman in the song Common People, by the British band Pulp, has remained a mystery for years.

But one Greek newspaper thinks it has worked out her identity - it says she is the wife of the Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis.

Danae Stratou certainly seems to match many of the criteria - and, in an interview with the BBC, her husband came closer to clearing up the mystery.

Pulp's hit song was released in May 1995 and went in at number two in the British charts.

The song's opening lines are: "She came from Greece she had a thirst for knowledge. She studied sculpture at Saint Martin's College, that's where I caught her eye."

She goes on to say she wants to "live like common people".

Image caption Jarvis Cocker also studied at St Martin's College - is the mystery solved?

The Athens Voice newspaper says the rumours Ms Stratou was the subject of the song were "an urban legend", although it appears it is the first time they have been aired publicly.

She studied at St Martin's College, an arts college in London, between 1983 and 1988.

Jarvis Cocker, the lead singer of Pulp, took a film studies course at the same college from 1988 to 1991.

One of the song's lyrics says: "She told me that her Dad was loaded."

And Ms Stratou's father certainly was - her paternal grandfather ran Peiraki-Patraiki, which at one point was Greece's largest textiles company and one of the country's biggest employers.

'A very fascinating person'

Ms Stratou herself has not yet commented, nor has Mr Cocker.

But Mr Varoufakis - who became finance minister when the Syriza party won the Greek elections in January - has shed a little more light on the rumours.

In an interview with BBC World News Mr Varoufakis said: "Well, I wouldn't have known her back then.

"But I do know that she was the only Greek student of sculpture at St Martin's College at that time. And, from personal experience, she is a very fascinating person."

There is one other candidate - the Cypriot artist, Katerina Kana. In an 2012 interview, she told a Greek magazine she was the one who told Jarvis Cocker she wanted to live like common people.