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Monday, April 20, 2009

Begin the Beguine

By Cole Porter
1935

A drastic departure from the traditional 32-bar pop song, this 108-bar tune was introduced by June Knight in the Porter musical Jubilee. It's complexity is such that even the composer himself--who wrote the song on the piano at the Ritz Bar in Paris--claimed never to be able to perform it without the sheet music in front of him. Three years after Jubilee, Artie Shaw's had a major hit with it, and it became something of a theme song for the band.

Lyrics:

When they begin the beguine,
It brings back the sound of music so tender.
It brings back a night of tropical splendor.
It brings back a memory evergreen.

I'm with you once more under the stars,
And down by the shore an orchestra's playing.
Even the palms seem to be swaying,
When they begin the beguine.

To live it again is past all endeavor,
Except when that tune clutches my heart,
And there we are, swearing to love forever,
And promising never, never to part.

What moments divine, what rapture serene,
Till clouds come along to disperse the joys we had tasted.
And now when I hear people curse the chance that was wasted,
I know but too well what they mean.

So don't let them begin the beguine,
Let the love that was once a fire remain an ember;
Let it sleep like the dead desire I only remember,
When they begin the beguine.

Oh yes, let them begin the beguine, make them play,
Till the stars that were there before return above you,
Till you whisper to me once more, Darling, I love you!
And we suddenly know what heaven we're in,
When they begin the beguine.

Recorded By:

Ella Fitzgerald
Frank Sinatra
Sheryl Crow
Julio Iglesias
Django Reinhardt

1 comment:

Jamie said...

I can't help but think of Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell dancing to this song in "Broadway Musical of 1940." It is wonderful.

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