I recently became aware of this native Python package PyMySQL. The package has one important benefit vs. the other solutions to talk to a MySQL server, such as MySQLdb (AKA mysql-python) , namely, it reimplements the MySQL protocol, instead of binding to the MySQL connector library (also known as libmysqlclient). Why is this an issue? Well, because the MySQL connector library is GPL, and you can't bind against GPL code unless your code is under a GPL-compatible license. This excludes all commercial uses, and makes all derivative works of libmysqlclient GPL as well, including the Python binding MySQLdb. If you thought about circumventing the problem using unixodbc, tough luck: the ODBC MySQL connector is also GPL, thus making unixodbc GPL as well.

Despite the low version number, PyMySQL, seems to be working, has no dependencies, it's pure python, and it is released under the very liberal MIT license.