Speak Low

Speak Low

PROFILE
Composer Kurt Weill
Lyricist Ogden Nash
Year Written 1943
About Speak Low
“Speak Low” was written for the 1943 musical One Touch of Venus, where it was introduced by Mary Martin and Kenny Baker. In addition to several very fine Tony Bennett recordings, “Speak Low” has been widely recorded by jazz and popular performers, including Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Lena Horne.

Lyrics

Speak low when you speak, love
Our summer day withers away too soon, too soon
Speak low when you speak, love
Our moment is swift, like ships adrift, we’re swept apart, too soon
Speak low, darling, speak low
Love is a spark, lost in the dark too soon, too soon
I feel wherever I go that tomorrow is near, tomorrow is here and always too soon
Time is so old and love so brief
Love is pure gold and time a thief
We’re late, darling, we’re late
The curtain descends, ev’rything ends too soon, too soon
I wait, darling, I wait
Will you speak low to me, speak love to me and soon

Session/Album Information

1959

Speak Low was recorded on November 11, 1959 and was released in 1960 on the album To My Wonderful One. It was arranged by Frank DeVol.

This recording released on:

  • 1960: Columbia LP 12″: CS 8226 — To My Wonderful One
  • 1960: Columbia LP 12″ (Mono): CL 1429 — To My Wonderful One
  • 2011: Disc #16 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK16) To My Wonderful One

1962-1

Speak Low was recorded on March 13, 1962 for On The Glory Road, which was to be released in 1962, but was canceled. The song was arranged by Ralph Sharon.

This recording released on:

  • 1962: Columbia LP 12″: CS 8613 — On The Glory Road (release canceled)
  • 1962: Columbia LP 12″ (Mono): CL 1813 — On The Glory Road (release canceled)
  • 2011: Disc #22 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK22) On the Glory Road

1962-2

“Speak Low” was recorded live at Tony Bennett’s concert at Carnegie Hall on June 9, 1962 was recorded live at Tony Bennett’s concert at Carnegie Hall on June 9, 1962, but was not released until 1997 on the album Tony Bennett at Carnegie Hall: Complete Concert. Ralph Sharon arranged the song.

This recording released on:

  • 1997: Columbia CD: C2K 64609 — At Carnegie Hall June 9, 1962: Complete Concert
  • 2011: Disc #24 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK24) Tony Bennett at Carnegie Hall

1964

“Speak Low” was recorded on March 26, 1964 and released in 1964 on the album When Lights Are Low. It was arranged by Ralph Sharon.

This recording released on:

  • 1964: Columbia LP 12″: CS 8975 — When Lights Are Low
  • 1964: Columbia LP 12″ (Mono): CL 2175 — When Lights Are Low
  • 1990: CBS/Sony CD: CSCS-5242 — When Lights Are Low [Japan]
  • 2006: RPM/Columbia/Legacy CD: 69699 85807 2 — When Lights Are Low
  • 2006: RPM/Columbia/Legacy CD: 84779 — Tony Bennett’s Greatest Hits Of The ’60s
  • 2011: Disc #29 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK28) When Lights Are Low

1989

“Speak Low” was recorded in May, 1989 and was released the following year on Astoria: Portrait of the Artist. It was arranged and conducted by Jorge Calandrelli.

This recording released on:

  • 1990: Columbia CD: CK 45348 — Astoria. Portrait Of The Artist
  • 1990: CBS/Sony CD: CSCS-5057 — Astoria. Portrait Of The Artist [Japan]
  • 1990: CBS LP 12″: 4660051 — Astoria. Portrait Of The Artist [UK]
  • 2011: Disc #57 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK56) Astoria: Portrait of the Artist
  • 2013: Sony Music Entertainment: 98381 — Astoria: Portrait Of The Artist

1994

“Speak Low” was recorded and televised live on April 12, 1994 on MTV. The MTV Unplugged album was released in June of that year. The songs from the televised concert were arranged by Tony Bennett and the Ralph Sharon Trio.

This recording released on:

  • 1993: Columbia CD: CK 66214 — MTV Unplugged
  • 2011: Discs #60/61 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK59) MTV Unplugged

2011

“Speak Low” with Norah Jones was recorded in 2011 and was released that year on Duets II. It was arranged by Jorge Calandrelli.

This recording released on:

  • 2011: RPM Sony 88697662532: Duets II
  • 2011: RPM Sony 88697961501: Duets II (LP)
  • 2011: Disc #71 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK69) Duets II
  • 2013: Columbia/Legacy – Sixty Years: The Artistry of Tony Bennett

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