Begin The Beguine

Cole Porter

Cole Porter


PROFILE
Composer and Lyricist Cole Porter
Year Written 1935
About Begin the Beguine One of Cole Porter’s most popular songs, Begin the Beguine is from the 1935 musical Jubilee. The song has an unusual structure, having a 108 measure length, as opposed to the standard 32-bar structure of most popular music. One of the earliest popular recordings was Artie Shaw’s instrumental in 1938. The middle eastern style of the song is well-served by Shaw’s clarinet solo.

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 ever green.
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
When they begin the beguine.

Session / Album Information

1957

“Begin The Beguine” was recorded on October 21, 1957, but was not released on the 1957 album The Beat of My Heart. It was included on the 1997 re-release on CD (Columbia CD: CK 66502). It was arranged by Ralph Sharon and featured Jo Jones on percussion.

This recording released on:

  • 1997: Columbia CD: CK 66502 — The Beat Of My Heart
  • 2011: Disc #11 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK11) The Beat of My Heart

1960

“Begin The Beguine” was recorded on January 14, 1960 and released in 1962 on the album Mr Broadway: Tony’s Greatest Broadway Hits. It was arranged by Ralph Sharon.

This recording released on:

  • 1962: Columbia LP 12″: CS 8563 — Mr. Broadway: Tony’s Greatest Broadway Hits
  • 1962: Columbia LP 12″ (Mono): CL 1763 — Mr. Broadway: Tony’s Greatest Broadway Hits
  • 1973:  Columbia LP 12″: C 32239 — Sunrise, Sunset
  • 1991: Columbia CD: C4K 46843 — Forty Years – The Artistry Of Tony Bennett
  • 1993: CBS/Sony CD: SRCS-6641 — Forty Years: The Artistry Of Tony Bennett
  • 2004: Columbia/Legacy CD: C5K 92784 — Fifty Years: The Artistry of Tony Bennett
  • 2011: Disc #21 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK21) Mr. Broadway: Tony’s Greatest Broadway Hits
  • 2011: Disc #48 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK47) Sunrise, Sunset

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