Begin the Beguine

Begin the Beguine

Infobox Single
Name = Begin the Beguine

Cover size =
Caption =
Artist = Artie Shaw [Arranged by Jerry Gray]
from Album =
A-side =
B-side =
Released =
Format =
Recorded = July 24, 1938, New York, NY
Genre = Jazz
Length = 3:11
Label = Bluebird
Writer = Cole Porter
Producer =
Certification =
Last single =
This single =
Next single =
Misc =
"Begin the Beguine" is a song written by Cole Porter and introduced by June Knight in the Broadway musical "Jubilee" (1935). Based on the title dance, it is notable for its 108-measure length, departing drastically from the conventional thirty-two-bar form. Alec Wilder described it in his book "American Popular Song: The Great Innovators 1900-1950" as "a maverick, an unprecedented experiment and one which, to this day, after hearing it hundreds of times, I cannot sing or whistle or play from start to finish without the printed music." [Wilder, Alec. "American Popular Song: The Great Innovators 1900-1950" (New York: Oxford University Press, 1972), 240.] It was popularized and made famous by a best-selling record in 1938 (recorded July 24, issued by Bluebird Records as catalog number B-7746 and later by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-1551 [ [ RCA Recordings in the 20-1500 series] ] ) by Artie Shaw and His Orchestra.

A beguine is a spirited ballroom dance. Since "begin" and "beguine" are often pronounced the same by some people, it is common to see the song's title misspelled as "Begin the Begin", as when used tongue-in-cheek by R.E.M. as the title to a track on "Lifes Rich Pageant".

Use in films

*Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell danced to an instrumental version in "Broadway Melody of 1940" (1940).
*Deanna Durbin sang it in the film "Hers to Hold". (1943)
*In the 1946 movie "Night and Day", the Latin singer Carlos Ramirez performed this song.
*"Begin the Beguine" was referenced in the 1968 animated movie, "Yellow Submarine" in a conversation between the characters John and Jeremy.
*"Begin the Beguine" ("Volver a Empezar", José Luis Garci, 1982) is the title of the first Spanish film that won a Hollywood Academy Award for a foreign language movie. Garci includes another tribute to Cole Porter in other of his films, "You're the One" (2000).
*"Begin the Beguine" is referenced in the movie "The Worst Witch", during the song "Anything Can Happen on Halloween" sung by Tim Curry as The Grand Wizard. (1986)
*"Begin the Beguine" is sung by actress Melora Hardin in the South Seas Club scene in "The Rocketeer" (1991).
*"Begin the Begine" is performed by Sheryl Crow in the 2004 movie about Cole Porter, "De-Lovely".

Use in other media

*A character in Michael Ondaatje's "Divisadero" (2007) refers to this song several times.
*The song is quoted musically and affectionately parodied in Noel Coward's "Nina from Argentina".
*Mentioned several times in Jeffrey Eugenides' "Middlesex". Milton Stephanides, father of the novel's main character, Cal, plays the song on his clarinet in order to woo Tessie, Cal's mother.
*Mentioned in Jimmy Buffett's novel "A Salty piece of Land".
*In the Little Mermaid song Under the Sea, Sebastain the crab sings "When the sardines begin the beguines, it's music to me."
*In the short story "Julio Iglesias" by Haruki Murakami, Iglesias' recording of the song proves to be unbearable to a group of sea turtles.
*Tom Lehrer refers to it in his song "Alma" - "Her lovers were many and varied/From the day she began her -- beguine"
*In the Valentine's Day episode of the hit sitcom The Golden Girls, Julio Iglesias & Sophia (Estelle Getty) sing the first line.
*In Episode 8 of Twin Peaks, character Leland Palmer regains consciousness after collapsing and menacingly exclaims "I feel good... Begin the beguine!".
*On the Chess Concept Album in the song "Mountain Duet", The Russian sings "Get to the point, begin the beguine".

Other recordings

* "Begin the Beguine" was revived in 1981 by Julio Iglesias and became a major No. 1 hit across Europe.
* The Andrews Sisters also had a major hit with this song.Fact|date=April 2007
* The song was also a hit for Tony Martin [ [ Biography of Tony Martin] ] , recorded at least twice: on March 14, 1939 for Decca Records (catalog numbers 2375a [ [ Decca recordings in the 2000 series] ] and later 25018 [ [ Decca recordings in the 25000 series] ] in 78 rpm, 9-25018 in 45 rpm) and for RCA Victor Records in the late 1940s (catalog number 20-2814 [ [ RCA Recordings in the 20-2500 series] ] , 47-3228).
* Mario Lanza recorded a successful version of the song in the late 50s.
* Liberace recorded a spirited version, and also performed it with his brother George Liberace on his live 1956 Liberace television show (performed without sheet music).
* Johnny Mathis recorded a successful disco version.
* Ella Fitzgerald recorded a version for the Cole Porter Songbook records on Verve
* Pete Townshend recorded a version for the album "Happy Birthday" and which later appeared on his "Another Scoop" collection.
* Sammy Davis, Jr. recorded a version of this on "The Wham of Sam"
* Michael Nesmith of The Monkees recorded a version on his 1992 solo album "Tropical Campfire's".
* Acoustic guitarist Tuck Andress recorded a version on his 1990 album Reckless Precision.
* Pacific Northwest based Pearl Django recorded a gypsy jazz version on their 2000 album "Avalon"
* Dionne Warwick - 1990


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  • Begin the beguine — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Begin the beguine es una canción compuesta por Cole Porter que está considerada uno de los estándares de la música popular estadounidense. Fue compuesta en 1934, según el propio Porter, en un crucero exótico por las… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Begin the Beguine — Das Lied Begin the Beguine wurde von Cole Porter für das 1935 uraufgeführte Broadway Musical Jubilee komponiert und getextet; in dieser Produktion wurde es von June Knight in ihrer Rolle als Karen O’Kane gesungen. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Begin The Beguine — Das Lied Begin the Beguine wurde von Cole Porter für das 1935 uraufgeführte Broadway Musical Jubilee komponiert und getextet; in dieser Produktion wurde es von June Knight in ihrer Rolle als Karen O’Kane gesungen. Das Wortspiel der annähernd… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Begin the Beguine (film) — Infobox Film name = Begin the Beguine director = Jose Luis Garci writer = Jose Luis Garci, Angel Llorente starring = Antonio Ferrandis producer = distributor = release date = flagicon|Spain 1 March, 1982 flagicon|USA 22 April, 1983 runtime = 87… …   Wikipedia

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  • Beguine — late 15c., from Fr. béguine (13c.), M.L. beguina, a member of a women s spiritual order said to have been founded c.1180 in Liege in the Low Countries. They are said to take their name from the surname of Lambert le Bègue Lambert the Stammerer, a …   Etymology dictionary

  • Beguine —   [französisch, be gi:n], seit Anfang der Dreißigerjahre weltweit verbreiteter Gesellschaftstanz, dessen Urform sich im 19. Jahrhundert als Synthese afrikanischer, afroamerikanischer (Rumba, Tango) und europäischer (Mazurka, Polka) Tänze auf… …   Universal-Lexikon

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