- Begin the Beguine
Name = Begin the Beguine
Cover size =
Artie Shaw[Arranged by Jerry Gray]
from Album =
July 24, 1938, New York, NY
Length = 3:11
Label = Bluebird
Last single =
This single =
Next single =
Misc ="Begin the Beguine" is a song written by
Cole Porterand introduced by June Knightin 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 Wilderdescribed 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 Recordsas catalog number B-7746 and later by RCA Victor Recordsas catalog number 20-1551 [ [http://settlet.fateback.com/RCA201500.htm RCA Recordings in the 20-1500 series] ] ) by Artie Shawand 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-cheekby R.E.M. as the title to a track on " Lifes Rich Pageant".
Use in films
Fred Astaireand Eleanor Powelldanced to an instrumental version in " Broadway Melody of 1940" (1940).
Deanna Durbinsang 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 Hardinin the South Seas Club scene in "The Rocketeer" (1991).
*"Begin the Begine" is performed by Sheryl Crow in the 2004 movie about Cole Porter, "
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.
Jimmy Buffett's novel "A Salty piece of Land".
Little Mermaidsong 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 Lehrerrefers 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".
* "Begin the Beguine" was revived in 1981 by
Julio Iglesiasand became a major No. 1 hit across Europe.
The Andrews Sistersalso had a major hit with this song.Fact|date=April 2007
* The song was also a hit for Tony Martin [ [http://www.feinsteinsattheregency.com/bio.php?id=72 Biography of Tony Martin] ] , recorded at least twice: on
March 14, 1939for Decca Records(catalog numbers 2375a [ [http://settlet.fateback.com/Dec2000.htm Decca recordings in the 2000 series] ] and later 25018 [ [http://settlet.fateback.com/Dec25000.htm Decca recordings in the 25000 series] ] in 78 rpm, 9-25018 in 45 rpm) and for RCA Victor Recordsin the late 1940s (catalog number 20-2814 [ [http://settlet.fateback.com/RCA202500.htm RCA Recordings in the 20-2500 series] ] , 47-3228).
Mario Lanzarecorded a successful version of the song in the late 50s.
Liberacerecorded a spirited version, and also performed it with his brother George Liberaceon his live 1956 Liberace television show (performed without sheet music).
Johnny Mathisrecorded a successful discoversion.
Ella Fitzgeraldrecorded a version for the Cole Porter Songbook records on Verve
Pete Townshendrecorded 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 Nesmithof The Monkeesrecorded a version on his 1992 solo album "Tropical Campfire's".
* Acoustic guitarist
Tuck Andressrecorded a version on his 1990 album Reckless Precision.
* Pacific Northwest based
Pearl Djangorecorded a gypsy jazz version on their 2000 album " Avalon"
* Dionne Warwick - 1990
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