Everlasting songs


Selected everlasting songs

  1. 500 Miles – folk song
  2. A New Dream of an Affectionate Couple of Butterflies – Michael Huang
  3. A Time for Us – Nino Rota, Larry Kusik & Eddie Snyder
  4. Aline – Christophe
  5. All by Myself – Eric Carmen
  6. All I Ask of You – Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart & Richard Stilgoe
  7. All Too Well – Taylor Swift
  8. Almost Persuaded – David Houston
  9. Always on My Mind – Willie Nelson
  10. And I Love You So – Don McLean
  11. Annie’s Song – John Denver
  12. Are You Lonesome Tonight? – Elvis Presley
  13. Arirang – Korean folk song
  14. …Baby One More Time – Britney Spears
  15. Bad Romance – Lady Gaga
  16. Bailando – Enrique Iglesias
  17. Banks of the Ohio – Olivia Newton-John
  18. Beat It – Michael Jackson
  19. Beautiful Dreamer – Stephen Foster
  20. Bengawan Solo – Gesang Martohartono
  21. Bésame Mucho – Consuelo Velázquez
  22. Big Big World – Emilia Rydberg
  23. Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
  24. Blowin’ in the Wind – Bob Dylan
  25. Blue Bayou – Linda Ronstadt
  26. Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain – Willie Nelson
  27. Blueberry Hill – Fats Domino
  28. Both Sides Now – Joni Mitchell
  29. Bridge over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel
  30. Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie – American folk song
  31. Old Texas – American folk song
  32. Butterfly – Danyel Gérard
  33. Can the Circle Be Unbroken? – Joan Baez
  34. Can You Feel the Love Tonight – Sir Elton John & Tim Rice
  35. Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley
  36. Candle in the Wind 1997 (Goodbye, England’s Rose) – Sir Elton John & Bernie Taupin
  37. Capri C’est Fini – René Vilard & Marcel Hurten
  38. Casablanca – Bertie Higgins
  39. Che sarà – Jimmy Fontana & Franco Migliacci
  40. China Night (Shina No Yoru) – Hamako Watanabe
  41. Chiquitita – ABBA
  42. Cielito Lindo – Quirino Mendoza y Cortés
  43. Circle of Life – Sir Elton John & Tim Rice
  44. Clementine – American folk ballad
  45. Come Together – The Beatles
  46. Con Te Partirò (Time To Say Good Bye) – Andrea Bocelli
  47. Cotton Fields – The New Christy Minstrels
  48. Coward of the County – Kenny Rogers
  49. Cucurrucucú – Harry Belafonte
  50. Danny Boy (Londonderry Air) – Rory O’Cahan & Frederick Weatherly
  51. Darling Nelly Gray / Faded Love – Benjamin Hanby & Bob Wills
  52. Delta Dawn – Tanya Tucker
  53. Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina – Madonna
  54. Don’t Forget to Remember – Bee Gees
  55. Don’t Let the Rain Come Down – The Serendipity Singers
  56. Donna, Donna – Joan Baez
  57. Edelweiss – Julie Andrews
  58. El Choclo (Kiss of Fire) – Georgia Gibbs
  59. El Cóndor Pasa – Peru folk song
  60. El Paso – Marty Robbins
  61. (Everything I Do) I Do It for You – Bryan Adams
  62. First of May – Bee Gees
  63. From a distance – Bette Midler
  64. Funkytown – Lipps Inc.
  65. Goodnight, Irene (Irene, Goodnight) – Lead Belly
  66. Green, Green Grass of Home – Tom Jones
  67. Greenfields – The Brothers Four
  68. Greensleeves – English folk song
  69. Guantanamera – José Fernández Diaz
  70. He’ll Have to Go – Jim Reeves
  71. Heal the World – Michael Jackson
  72. Heart of Gold – Neil Young
  73. Hello – Lionel Richie
  74. Help Me Make It Through the Night – Sammi Smith
  75. Hey Jude – The Beatles
  76. Historia de un Amor – Carlos Eleta Almarán
  77. Home on the Range – American folk song
  78. Hotel California – The Eagles
  79. How Do I Live – LeAnn Rimes
  80. I Can’t Stop Loving You – Ray Charles
  81. I Dreamed a Dream – Susan Boyle
  82. I Have Nothing – Whitney Houston
  83. I Walk the Line – Johnny Cash
  84. I Will Always Love You – Dolly Parton
  85. If I Were A Boy – Beyoncé
  86. If You Love Me, Let Me Know – Olivia Newton-John
  87. Imagine – John Lennon & Yoko Ono
  88. Immortality – Céline Dion
  89. Islands in the Stream – Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton
  90. Island in the Sun – Harry Belafonte
  91. Jamaica Farewell – Harry Belafonte
  92. Jambalaya – Hank Williams
  93. Killing Me Softly With His Song – Roberta Flack
  94. King of the Road – Roger Miller
  95. Kitaguni No Haru – Sen Masao
  96. L’oiseau et l’enfant – Marie Myriam
  97. La Bamba – Ritchie Valens
  98. La Cucaracha – Spanish folk song
  99. La Vie en Rose – Édith Piaf
  100. Les feuilles mortes – Yves Montand
  101. Let It Be – The Beatles
  102. Let Me Be There – Olivia Newton-John
  103. Let’s Twist Again – Chubby Checker
  104. Little Darlin’ – The Diamonds
  105. Loch Lomond – traditional Scottish song
  106. Longer – Dan Fogelberg
  107. Love Changes Everything – Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber
  108. Love Me Tender – Elvis Presley
  109. Love’s Gonna Live Here – Tanya Tucker
  110. (Where Do I Begin?) Love Story – Francis Lai & Carl Sigman
  111. Love Story – Taylor Swift
  112. Mack the Knife – Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht
  113. Mambo Italiano – Bob Merrill
  114. Manhã de Carnaval – Luiz Bonfá & Antonio Maria
  115. Memory – Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber & Trevor Nunn
  116. Michael, Row the Boat Ashore – American folk song
  117. Sandman – The Chordettes
  118. Moon River – Audrey Hepburn
  119. Mull of Kintyre – Paul McCartney & Denny Laine
  120. My Bonnie – Scottish folk song
  121. My Heart Will Go On – Céline Dion
  122. My Way (Comme d’habitude) – Paul Anka
  123. Ne Me Quitte Pas – Jacques Brel
  124. If You Go Away – Jacques Brel & Rod McKuen
  125. New San Antonio Rose – Bob Wills
  126. No Matter What – Boyzone
  127. North to Alaska – Johnny Horton
  128. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da – The Beatles
  129. Oh! Susanna – Stephen Foster
  130. One Moment in Time – Whitney Houston
  131. Over the Rainbow – Judy Garland
  132. Please Mr. Postman – The Carpenters
  133. Pledging My Love – Ferdinand Washington & Don Robey
  134. Pokarekare Ana – traditional New Zealand song
  135. Por una Cabeza – Carlos Gardel & Alfredo Le Pera
  136. Poupée de Cire, Poupée de Son – France Gall
  137. Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison
  138. Puff, the Magic Dragon – Peter, Paul and Mary
  139. Quando Sento che Mi Ami (When You Tell Me That You Love Me) – Diana Ross
  140. Que Sera, Sera – Doris Day
  141. Quién será – Luis Demetrio
  142. Quizás, Quizás, Quizás – Osvaldo Farrés
  143. Red River Valley – Canadian folk song
  144. Rhythm of the Rain – The Cascades
  145. Rivers of Babylon – Boney M
  146. Rouge / Rūju – Miyuki Nakajima
  147. Sacrifice – Sir Elton John
  148. Sailing – Rod Stewart
  149. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones
  150. Save the Last Dance for Me – Doc Pumus
  151. Scarborough Fair – English folk song
  152. Seasons in the Sun – Terry Jacks
  153. Send in the Clowns – Stephen Sondheim
  154. She Moved Through the Fair – Irish folk song
  155. She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain – American folk song
  156. Shenandoah – American folk song
  157. Siboney – Ernesto Lecuona
  158. Sloop John B – Bahamian folk song
  159. Somethin’ Stupid – C. Carson Parks
  160. Something – The Beatles
  161. Somewhere, My Love – Maurice Jarre & Paul Francis Webster
  162. + Speak Softly, Love – Nino Rota & Larry Kusik
  163. Stand by Me – Ben E. King
  164. Stand by Your Man – Tammy Wynette
  165. Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees
  166. Still Loving You – Scorpions
  167. Streets of London – Ralph McTell
  168. Sugar, Sugar – The Archies
  169. Sukiyaki (Ue o muite arukou) – Kyu Sakamoto
  170. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious – Julie Andrews & Dick Van Dyke
  171. Suspicious Minds – Elvis Presley
  172. Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond
  173. Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver
  174. Tennessee Waltz – Patti Page
  175. That’s Amore – Dean Martin
  176. That’s Why (You Go Away) – Michael Learns to Rock
  177. The Bund – Joseph Koo & Surn Wong
  178. The Last Rose of Summer – Nana Mouskouri
  179. The House of the Rising Sun – The Animals
  180. The Lion Sleeps Tonight – The Tokens
  181. The Moon Represents My Heart – Teresa Teng
  182. The Music of the Night – Jackie Evancho
  183. The Power of Love – Céline Dion
  184. The Rose – Bette Midler
  185. The Sound of Silence – Simon and Garfunkel
  186. The Summer Knows – Michel Legrand, Marilyn Bergman & Alan Bergman
  187. The Yellow Rose of Texas – American folk song
  188. The Windmills of Your Mind – Michel Legrand, Alan Bergman & Marilyn Bergman
  189. The Wonder of You – Elvis Presley
  190. There Goes My Everything – Dallas Frazier
  191. Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree – Tony Orlando and Dawn
  192. + To Love Somebody – Bee Gees
  193. To Love You More – Céline Dion
  194. Today – The New Christy Minstrels
  195. Tom Dooley – The Kingston Trio
  196. Tombe la Neige – Salvatore Adamo
  197. Top of the World – The Carpenters
  198. Try to Remember – The Brothers Four
  199. Tumbalalaika / Over and Over – Russian Jewish folk
  200. Un-Break My Heart – Toni Braxton
  201. Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers
  202. Under the Boardwalk – The Drifters
  203. Up Where We Belong – Jennifer Warnes & Joe Cocker
  204. Vaya Con Dios – Connie Francis
  205. Vincent – Don McLean
  206. Waltzing Matilda – Christina Macpherson & Banjo Paterson
  207. We Are The World – USA for Africa
  208. We shall overcome – Pete Seeger
  209. What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
  210. Where Have All the Flowers Gone? – The Brothers Four
  211. Who’ll Stop the Rain? – Creedence Clearwater Revival
  212. Words – Bee Gees
  213. Yellow Bird (Choucoune) – The Brothers Four
  214. Yesterday – The Beatles
  215. You Belong With Me – Taylor Swift
  216. You Light Up My Life – Debby Boone
  217. You Must Love Me – Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice
  218. You Needed Me – Anne Murray
  219. You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban
  220. Your Song – Sir Elton John
  221. You’re Still the One – Shania Twain
  222. You’ve Got a Friend – Carole King

Film Music

  1. A Fistful of Dollars – Ennio Morricone
  2. For a Few Dollars More – Ennio Morricone
  3. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Ennio Morricone
  4. Once Upon the Time in the West – Ennio Morricone
  5. Colonel Bogey March – F. J. Ricketts
  6. Journey to the West (1986)
  7. Mission: Impossible – Lalo Schifrin
  8. Somewhere in Time – John Barry
  9. Star Wars – John Williams
  10. The Deer Hunter “Cavatina” – Stanley Myers
  11. The Godfather – Nino Rota

Other Songs

  1. Dans le soleil et dans le vent – Nana Mouskouri
  2. Endless Love – Lionel Richie
  3. Holiday – Bee Gees
  4. I’ll Get Over You – Crystal Gayle
  5. Jailhouse Rock – Elvis Presley
  6. Just Pretend – Elvis Presley
  7. La Violetera – Sara Montiel
  8. Massachusetts – Bee Gees
  9. Oh! Carol – Neil Sedaka
  10. Only Love – Nana Mouskouri
  11. Say You, Say Me – Lionel Richie
  12. Sha-La-La-La-La – Vengaboys

Concluding Remarks

References and Bibliography


The selection of these songs is based on two main criteria (1) the songs that I like and I believe many people like them, too; and (2) the songs are still performed at least recently.

I introduce here such songs considered to be everlasting, with their names followed by the artists related most to the songs, of the song authors.

I also have two other posts that could be of interest to you:

for classical music: https://tamdiepblog.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/introducing-classical-music/


for Vietnamese songs: https://tamdiepblog.wordpress.com/2019/03/29/ca-khuc-vuot-thoi-gian-ca-khuc-viet/

The song formats consist of:

  • Sound recording: like CD, does not have noise and often contains top-rated performance, so it is the best source to enjoy a performance.
  • Audio video: selected if the sound is as good as Sound recording and the image is not bad.
  • MV: for “music video”, with image of artist’s performance. the sound if often as good as Sound recording but the image may blurred.
  • Live video, like performance on the stage.

Overall, the selection of videos gives priority to the sound quality whereas the image is at least acceptable.

Due to various reasons, the compiler cannot put the sources for each item in this post which is on a non-profit blog, also not an academic work, not even a serious compilation. The purpose is to excite the appreciation of outstanding music. I hope that once the reader has listened to a pleasant song or a nice piece of music, he/she would want to listen to more songs and music. Then my quoting information without providing the sources would be tolerated.

Notes: In the following section, the asterisk (*) denotes the performance I like the most, and the plus sign (+) denotes the addition/revision during the last 3 months.

Selected everlasting songs

500 Miles – folk song

According to Wikipedia, 500 Miles (also 500 Miles Away from Home or Railroaders’ Lament) is a song made popular in the United States and Europe during the 1960s folk revival. The simple repetitive lyrics offer a lament by a traveller who is far from home, out of money and too ashamed to return.  The song is generally credited as being written by Hedy West. Some recordings have also credited Curly Williams, or John Phillips as co-writers.

* Audio video, The Brother Fours, with lyrics:

* Audio video, Peter, Paul & Mary, with lyrics, 1962:

* Live video, Junko Yamamoto, 2012:

+ Audio video, Justin Timberlake, in the film Inside Llewyn Davis (2013):

A New Dream of an Affectionate Couple of Butterflies – Michael Huang

With title in Chinese as 新鴛鴦蝴蝶夢, this song was written by musician–singer Michael Huang (黄安) for the 236-episode TV series Justice Pao (1993-1994). Michael Huang composed the music based on traditional Chinese melody and wrote the lyrics based on the poems of Li Bai (701-762) and Du Fu (712-770). These poets were the two most prominent figures in the flourishing of Chinese poetry in the Tang dynasty, which is often called the “Golden Age of Chinese Poetry”.

With the huge popularity of the TV series Justice Pao, the song became the biggest hit in Chinese-language music with sales of over 6 million copies.

The lyrics represent the feelings of Justice Pao (999-1062) who witnessed so diverse human sufferings in his career. The Chinese tones immerged in classical poems and Buddhism philosophy gives unique cultural value to the song.

Lyrics translation

Yesterday is like that river running to the East, faraway, leaving me behind
Today troubles my heart, so much weariness
Sever the water with a drawn sword, but the water keeps running
Raise the glass to drown the sorrow, but the sorrow begets more sorrow.

Tomorrow morning clear wind drifts everywhere
Often there is the smile of the new person. Who has heard of weeping of the old one?
Love and affection these two words, very painful
Should have asked for a complete understanding, or pretended to be muddled?

Knowing more knowing less hard to know enough
Looks like Mandarin duck butterfly, not the era to be
But who can shed the misgivings of the human sphere?

This insincere World, Mandarin duck butterfly, already insane on Earth
Why then want to be in Heaven? Might as well sleep together gently tenderly.

Source: http://shintasword.blogspot.com/2014/10/new-dream-of-affectionate-couple-of.html

Audio video, Michael Huang:

+ Live video:

MV, instrumental:

+ Video âm thanh_Can’t Let Go, Tokyo Square, with English lyrics:

A Time for Us – Nino Rota, Larry Kusik & Eddie Snyder

A Time for Us is from Nino Rota’s music written for the film Romeo and Juliet (1968).

* MV, Bárbara Padilla & the London Symphony Orchestra, 2014:

Audio video, Barratt Waugh, with lyrics:

* Live video, Harry Völker (piano solo):

+ Live video, Hiroko Yamakawa (saxophone) & Chiaki Oshima (piano), 2015:

Aline – Christophe

According to Wikipedia, the French song Aline was composed and recorded by French singer Christophe, real name Daniel Bevilacqua (1945-2020) in 1965, becoming his favorite song. The song was one of the two big hits in France during the summer of 1965 along with Capri c’est fini of Hervé Vilard. It is also highly popular in Belgium, Brazil, Israel, Spain, Turkey, Viet Nam etc., with a total sale of 1 million.

Christophe composed and recorded other popular songs such as J’ai entendu la mer, Les mots bleus, Les paradis perdus, Main dans la main, Maman, Oh mon amour.

He died in April 2020 due to Covid-19 in the pandemic of this disease.

The song Aline is about a man begging his woman to come back and has been described as a “slow, romantic ballad”.

Audio video, Christophe, French version with English sub-titles:

Live video, Đồng Lan, 2014:

All by Myself – Eric Carmen

According to Wikipedia, All by Myself is a ballad composed and recorded in 1975 by an American singer, songwriter, guitarist and keyboardist Eric Carmen (1949- ).

* Sound recording¸ Eric Carmen:

+ * Audio video¸ Eric Carmen:

+ Live video, Céline Dion, 2008:

* Audio video, Jamie O’Neal, with lyrics, in album “Album: Bridget Jones’s Diary”, 2001:

All I Ask of You – Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart & Richard Stilgoe

According to Wikipedia, All I Ask of You is a song from the English musical The Phantom of the Opera, between characters Christine Daaé and Raoul, originally played on stage by Sarah Brightman and Steve Barton, respectively. It was written by British composer Baron Andrew Lloyd Webber (1948- ), British lyricist Charles Hart (1961- ) and British songwriter Sir Richard Stilgoe (1943- ). An operatic pop piece, its lyrics serve as dialogue between the two characters and discuss themes such as commitment and romance. Critically, the song has generally been regarded as one of the finest cuts made for The Phantom of the Opera.

Lyrics of the beginning
No more talk of darkness,
Forget these wide-eyed fears
I’m here, nothing can harm you
My words will warm and calm you.

Let me be your freedom
let daylight dry your tears
I’m here, with you, beside you
To guard you and to guide you.

Say you love me every waking moment
Turn my head with talk of summertime

Say you need me with you, now and always
Promise me that all you say is true
That’s all I ask of you.

Movie clip_The Phantom of the Opera, Patrick Wilson & Christine Emmy Rossum, 2004:

* Live video, Michael Ball & Sierra Boggess, on a special program to celebrate Andrew Lloyd Webber’s contribution to musical theatre for the past 40 years, 2013:

+ Live video, Josh Groban & Kelly Clarkson (Official Live Video), 2015:

All Too Well – Taylor Swift

All Too Well is considered one of Taylor Swift’s most iconic break-up ballads and hits.

Per Pomarico (2018),

Ask any Taylor Swift fan to list their favorites of her songs, and chances are that All Too Well will be in the top three. The emotional ballad from her “Red” album (2012) means a lot to so many people, even if it does contain some of Swift’s most heartbreaking lyrics. And now, because of how much fans love it, it’s taken on new meaning for the singer. During an acoustic performance in Chicago, Taylor Swift said All Too Well makes her proud instead of sad now, and it’s pretty cool for her to hear how the support of her fans has transformed a song about a painful moment in her life.

According to what Swift, at first, playing songs like All Too Well means that she’s thinking about what happened in her life to inspire the song and hopefully using the song as a means to move past it. But then, over time, it turns into a song that Swift hears her fans singing back to her when she performs it. Swift explained,

“Now, I play it and I think of the times I’ve played it in a stadium or an arena or my living room with you guys screaming the words back to me. And so it changed it, and I wanted to thank you for changing it, because it’s kind of nice to sing a song that you’re proud of, but not feel pain while you sing it. It’s very nice.”

Taylor Swift (1989- ) has received many awards including 10 Grammy, 1 Emmy, 23 Billboard, 23 American Music, and 12 Country Music awards. She has sold more than 50 million album and more than 150 million downloads of her single songs has been made.

* Live video, Taylor Swift, with lyrics:

Audio video, Ruston Kelly:

Live video, Taylor Swift (DVD The RED Tour Live):

Almost Persuaded – David Houston

According to Wikipedia, Almost Persuaded is a song written by Glenn Sutton and Epic Records, and first recorded by Charles David Houston (1935-1993) in 1966. It is not to be confused with the Christian hymn of the same name.

The song is about a married man who, while patronizing a tavern, sees a beautiful young woman and is instantly smitten. Forgetting that he is married, he nearly succumbs to temptation. However, when the two share a slow dance, he notices a reflection of his wedding ring literally in her eyes and, remembering his vows to his wife, leaves.

* MV, De Dixie Aces:

Audio video, David Houston:

+ Audio video, Conway Twitty:

+ * Audio video, Tanya Tucker:

Always on My Mind – Willie Nelson

According to Wikipedia, Always on My Mind is a rueful and nostalgic love song by Johnny Christopher, Mark James, and Wayne Carson, first recorded by B. J. Thomas in 1970, and later Gwen McCrae (as You Were Always on My Mind) and Brenda Lee in 1972. The song has been a crossover hit, charting in both the country and western and pop categories.

AllMusic lists over 300 recorded releases of the song in versions by dozens of performers. While Brenda Lee’s version had stalled at number 45 on the country charts in 1972, other performers reached the top 20 in the United States and elsewhere with their own versions: Elvis Presley in 1972; John Wesley Ryles in 1979; Willie Nelson’s Grammy Award-winning version in 1982; and Pet Shop Boys in 1987.

Always on My Mind is in CMT’s list of 100 best country songs as of 2003.

* Audio video, Willie Nelson, with lyrics:

* Audio video, Elvis Presley, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra:

Audio video, Michael Buble, with lyrics, 2007:

+ Live video, Benedikt Köstler, in “The Voice of Germany”, 2017:

And I Love You So – Don McLean

And I Love You So is a popular song written by folk singer–guitarist Don McLean III (1945- ) and released on his 1970 debut album “Tapestry”.

* Audio video, Don McLean, with lyrics:

Audio video, Elvis Presley:

+ * Audio video, Regine Velasquez, with lyrics:

MV, Sam Milby (Official Music Video):

Annie’s Song – John Denver

Annie’s Song – also known as Annie’s Song (You Fill Up My Senses) – is a folk rock and country song written and recorded in 1974 by singer–songwriter John Denver (Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., 1943-1997). The song was released as a single from Denver’s album Back Home Again. Annie’s Song was written as an ode to Denver’s wife at the time, Annie Martell.

Audio video, John Denver:

Live video, Simeon Wood. instrumental:

Live video, Honey Ryder, in album “Marley’s Chains”, 2012:

+ * Audio video, Giovanni Marradi, instrumental:

Are You Lonesome Tonight? – Elvis Presley

According to Wikipedia, Are You Lonesome Tonight? is a song which was written by Roy Turk and Lou Handman in 1926. It was recorded several times in 1927 – first by Charles Hart, with successful versions by Vaughn De Leath, Henry Burr, and the duet of Jerry Macy and John Ryan.

In April 1960, after Elvis Presley’s two-year service in the United States Army, he recorded the song at the suggestion of manager Colonel Tom Parker; Are You Lonesome Tonight? was Parker’s wife, Marie Mott’s, favorite song. Its release was delayed by RCA Victor executives, who thought the song did not fit Presley’s new (and publicized) style. Luckily for music lovers, after some delay Are You Lonesome Tonight? was released in November 1960. The song was an immediate and outstanding success in the U.S. and the U.K.

+ * Audio video, Elvis Presley:

Audio video, Connie Francis:

* Audio video, Merle Haggard, 1977:

+ MV, Hauser (cello):

Arirang – Korean folk song

Arirang is a widely popular Korean folk song. There are about 3,600 variations of 60 different versions of the song, all of which include a refrain similar to, “Arirang, arirang, arariyo”. It is estimated the song is more than 600 years old. Nat King Cole once sang Arirang on a visit to South Korea in 1964, adding a bit of a jazz touch, much to amusement of the listeners.

Arirang is included twice on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. South Korea successfully submitted the song for inclusion on the UNESCO list in 2012. North Korea also successfully submitted the song for inclusion in 2014.

Lyrics translation

Arirang, Arirang, Arariyo…
You are going over Arirang hill.

My love, you are leaving me
Your feet will be sore before you go ten li (A).

Just as there are many stars in the clear sky
There are also many dreams in our heart.

There, over there, that mountain is Baekdu Mountain
Where, even in the middle of winter days, flowers bloom.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arirang

(A) one li is approximately 500 meters or 1,640 feet.

Live video, Korean National Classical Orchestra, 2007:

Live video_Yuna Kim, figure skating to the tune, Winter Olympic Games 2010:

Live video_Arirang Fantasy, KBS Symphony Orchestra, 2017:

…Baby One More Time – Britney Spears

Britney Spears
Britney Spears

Written by Max Martin, …Baby One More Time is the debut single by American singer–songwriter–dancer–actress Britney Spears (1981- ) from her debut studio album of the same title (1999). It is a pop song that refers to a girl’s feelings after a break-up with her boyfriend.

The song reached number one in at least 18 countries, including the United Kingdom, where it earned double-platinum certification from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and became the country’s best-selling song of 1999. The song is one of the best-selling singles of all time, with over 10 million copies sold.

+ * MV, Britney Spears (Official Video):

Live video, Matt Cardle, in “The X Factor Live show 3”, 2010:

Bad Romance – Lady Gaga

Lady GagaAccording to Wikipedia,

The song Bad Romance was composed by Nadir “RedOne” Khayat and Lady Gaga, then was recorded by Lady Gaga in 2009. Lyrically, Bad Romance explores Gaga’s attraction to individuals with whom romance never works, her preference for lonely relationships and the paranoia she experienced while on tour.

Most commentators praised Bad Romance which won two Grammy Awards for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Short Form Music Video. In the US, Bad Romance peaked at number two on the Billboard Magazine Hot 100. (Note: The Billboard Hot 100 is the music industry standard record chart in the U.S. for songs, published weekly by Billboard magazine.)

Bad Romance has been certified 11-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), having sold 5.9 million digital downloads as of February 2019. It topped the charts in more than 20 countries and sold 12 million copies worldwide, becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time.

The accompanying MV of Bad Romance features Lady Gaga inside a surreal white bathhouse. There, she gets kidnapped by a group of supermodels who drug her and sell her to the Russian mafia for sexual slavery. The video ends with Lady Gaga live incinerating the man who had bought her. It garnered massive acclaim from critics, who complimented the risqué and symbolic nature of the plot, as well as its artistic direction and vivid imagery. It was chosen as the best music video of the 21st century by Billboard magazine. At the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, it was nominated for ten awards, where Gaga won seven, including Video of the Year.

Lady Gaga, real name Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (1986- ), is known for her unconventionality, provocative work, and visual experimentation. Having sold 27 million albums and 146 million singles as of January 2016, Gaga is one of the best-selling music artists in history. Her achievements include nine Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, two Golden Globe Awards, and an award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

* MV, Lady Gaga (Official Music Video):

MV, Postmodern Jukebox ft. Sara Niemietz & The Sole Sisters:

+ Video âm thanh, Hildegard von Blingin’, with lyrics, 2020:

Bailando – Enrique Iglesias

Bailando (English: “Dancing”) is a song by Spanish singer Enrique Miguel Iglesias Preysler (1975- ) for his tenth studio album “Sex and Love” (2014). The original Spanish version features the Cuban artists Descemer Bueno and Gente de Zona. The song was written by all of the artists.

Bailando holds the record as the longest-running No. 1 ever in the history of Billboard magazine’s Hot Latin Songs chart. It not only spent 41 weeks at the top of the chart, but also rose to No. 12 on the Billboard Magazine Hot 100, aided by a Spanglish remix (featuring a Sean Paul guest rap), a rare feat for a predominantly Spanish track.

Lyrics translation, beginning part

I see you and this takes my breath away
When you look at me I feel my heart
(My heart beats slowly)
And in silence your look tells a thousand of words
The night when I’m begging of you not to let the sun rise.

(Dancing, dancing, dancing, dancing)
Your body and mine filling the void
Moving up and down (up and down)
(Dancing, dancing, dancing, dancing)
That fire inside me is driving me crazy
It’s filling me up

Source: https://lyricstranslate.com/en/bailando-dancing.html-0

MV, Enrique Iglesias ft. Sean Paul, Descemer Bueno, Gente De Zona, English version:

MV, Enrique Iglesias ft. Descemer Bueno, Gente De Zona, Spanish version, 2014:

* MV, Francisca, in album “Canzoni da sballo!”, 2016:

+ MV, Enrique Iglesias ft Sean Paul (Matoma Remix), 2019:

Banks of the Ohio – Olivia Newton-John

Banks of the Ohio, also Down on the Banks of the Ohio, is a 19th-century murder ballad, written by unknown authors, in which “Willie” invites his young lover for a walk during which she rejects his marriage proposal. Once they are alone on the river bank, he murders the young woman.

The English-Australian singer–songwriter–actress–entrepreneur–activist Olivia Newton-John (1948- ) recorded the song in 1971 for her album “If Not for You”. It was released as the second single from the album and was successful in the U.K., peaking at number six. It was her first number one hit in Australia and reached number nine in South Africa.

* Audio video, Olivia Newton-John, with lyrics:

* Audio video, Ronny, 2013:

* Audio video, Dolly Parton, 2014:

Beat It – Michael Jackson

According to Wikipedia, is a song written and performed by American recording artist Michael Joseph Jackson (1958-2009) from his sixth studio album, Thriller (1982). The song is also notable for its music video, which features Jackson bringing two gangsters together through the power of music and dance, and for Eddie Van Halen’s guitar solo.

Beat It peaked at number one on the Billboard Magazine Hot 100 in the United States and received the 1984 Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Male Rock Vocal Performance, as well as two American Music Awards. It was inducted into the Music Video Producers Hall of Fame. The single, along with its music video, helped propel Thriller into becoming the best-selling album of all time. The single was certified platinum in the United States in 1989.

Beat It is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

The song was also ranked number 81 on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time”.

MV, original video, Michael Jackson:

Live video, Michael Jackson, Madison Square Garden 2001 (Studio Version):

Live video, flashmob Bounce & Friends, Stockholm, Sweden, 2009:

Live video, flashmob, Tokyo, 2009:

Beautiful Dreamer – Stephen Foster

From the Library of Congress,

Composed late in his life and published posthumously, Stephen Foster’s Beautiful Dreamer (1864) is one of the composer’s most memorable ballads. It was written at least six months before Foster’s death, when he was destitute and in poor heath, and survived by selling songs (at extremely cheap rates) that were written in haste. While prolific in number, these last songs, for the most part, were less inspired than his earlier efforts, such as Oh! Susanna, which had launched his career as a songwriter.

For his songs composed after 1860, Foster turned his creative energy to the parlor ballad, a type of song noted for its sentimental or narrative text, frequently at a slow tempo. The subjects of Foster’s ballads were relatively free from minstrel-song influences and centered on topics devoid of southern themes, such as mother, love, and home. With its lilting triplet rhythm, Beautiful Dreamer exemplifies Foster’s final sentiments and has become one of America’s most beloved serenades.

About Stephen Collins Foster (1826-1864)

Regarded as one of America’s principal and most influential songwriters, it is fitting that Stephen Foster shares his birthday with that of the nation. Born on July 4, 1826, in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh, Foster revealed an early interest in music but received little formal training. Primarily self-taught, Foster displayed an affinity for “Ethiopian” and minstrel songs (he performed in minstrel shows as a boy), yet he also incorporated characteristics of Irish melodies, German songs, and Italian operas in his compositions. He was eighteen when Open Thy Lattice, Love (1844), set to a poem by George P. Morris, was published; however, the title page of his first publication erroneously credited the composer as “L.C. Foster.” Subsequently, Foster served as both composer and lyricist to his songs, which numbered over two hundred.

Some of Foster’s earliest songs were modeled on those he heard performed in minstrel shows. His first big hit, Oh! Susanna (1847), which launched Foster’s career as a songwriter, became a favorite with minstrel troupes. The song also became associated with the California Gold Rush of 1849, as the forty-niners accepted a parodied version as the unofficial anthem. In 1850, Foster composed De Camptown Races, which was introduced by the Christy Minstrels (founded by Edwin P. Christy), the most famous minstrel troupe of the day. Like Susanna, De Camptown Races was also used by the forty-niners en route to California in a parody entitled Sacramento. On July 22, 1850, Foster married Jane Denny McDowell; their daughter Marion was born nearly one year later. Foster’s romantic ballad, Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair (1854), is perhaps the most famous of the songs he composed for his bride.

In 1851, Foster sent Christy a sentimental song, Old Folks at Home, more commonly known as Swanee River. By November 1854, the song had sold over 130,000 copies, making it one of Foster’s most popular and successful compositions. The song’s position in history was solidified when it became the official state song of Florida in 1935. Another of Foster’s melodies, My Old Kentucky Home (1853), was also adopted as an official state anthem. Foster’s only melody to be inspired by his actual visit to the state, it became Kentucky’s state song in 1928.

Even though by 1853 Foster had an exclusive contract with music publisher Firth, Pond, and Company, his financial situation became unstable, due in part to the lack of copyright protection on his songs. His personal life also suffered, and after numerous conflicts with his wife, the couple separated in 1854. Burdened with the loss of his parents the following year, as well as with his declining health and his alcoholism, the quality of Foster’s creative output greatly diminished. In the 1860s, he focused on sentimental ballads rather than minstrel songs, and of the many songs penned during his last years, only Beautiful Dreamer (1864) has achieved the status of his earlier works. Although penniless when he died on January 10, 1864, Foster bestowed on America a rich legacy of memorable songs.

The song Beautiful Dreamer tells of a lover serenading a “beautiful dreamer” who is oblivious to worldly cares and may actually be dead.

Audio video, Mandy Barnett, with lyrics:

Audio video, Raul Malo, in Album “Beautiful Dreamer”, 2004:

Audio video, The Irish Tenors, in Album “Ireland”, 2010:

* Audio video, Sheryl Crow, from “Mark Twain Words and Music” CD, 2011:

* Live video, National Taiwan University Chorus, 2016:

Bengawan Solo – Gesang Martohartono

According to Wikipedia, written by Gesang Martohartono in 1940, Bengawan Solo (Solo River) is a famous Indonesian song about the Solo River, which flows through central and eastern Java, Indonesia and is that island’s longest. The song describes the legendary river in a poetic and nostalgic way, that it is surrounded by mountains, its sources are near the city of Surakarta, that it ends in the sea, and that the merchants use it. Many versions of the songs in different languages exist.

The song was very popular with the Japanese who occupied the Indonesia during World War II. The soldiers brought Bengawan Solo home with them to Japan after the war. There, and in the rest of Asia and later worldwide, the song became very famous. In 1991, a group of appreciative Japanese war veterans arranged for a statue of Martohartono to be erected in a park in Surakarta.

Lyrics translation, beginning part

Solo River
Your personal history
Has been subjected from days old
To keen observation

At dry season
Not much water is in you
At rain season
Your waters flood over to yonder

Your well springs in Solo
Surrounded by Mts. Thousand
Your water flows reaching far
To end in the sea

That’s a boat
This is your past history
The merchant class always
Board on that boat

Source: https://lyricstranslate.com/en/bengawan-solo-solo-river.html

Audio video, Lagusaya2, with original and English lyrics:

Audio video, Anneke Gronloh, 1962:

Live video, The Bohemians Band:

MV, Richie & The Jeans Selection, 2017:

+ * Live video, Dira Sugandi & Kinga Prus vocal, Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw, 2017:

Bésame Mucho – Consuelo Velázquez

According to Wikipedia, Bésame Mucho (“Kiss me a lot”) is a song written in 1940 by Mexican songwriter Consuelo Velázquez (1916-2005). A famous version is sung by Trio Los Panchos.

It is one of the most famous boleros, and was recognized in 1999 as the most sung and recorded Mexican song in the world.

According to Velázquez herself, she wrote this song even though she had never been kissed yet at the time, and kissing, as she heard, was considered a sin. She was inspired by the piano piece Quejas, o la Maja y el Ruiseñor, from the 1911 suite Goyescas by Spanish composer Enrique Granados, which he later also included as Aria of the Nightingale in his 1916 opera of the same name.

Lyrics translation, beginning part

Kiss me, kiss me a lot
As if tonight were
The last time

Kiss me, kiss me a lot
For I am afraid of having you
And losing you all over again.

Kiss me, kiss me a lot
As if tonight were
The last time

Kiss me, kiss me a lot
For I am afraid of having you
And losing you all over again.

I want to have you close to me
To see myself in your eyes
To see you next to me
Think that perhaps tomorrow
I will be far
So far away from you

Source: https://lyricstranslate.com/en/besame-mucho-kiss-me-lot.html-1

* Audio video, Connie Francis, with lyrics:

* Live video, Andrea Bocelli, 2012

* Live video, Laura Engel, André Rieu and his orchestra, 2015:

+ * Live video, Ksenya Nikora:

+ MV, Hauser (cello), 2020:

Big Big World – Emilia Rydberg

According to Wikipedia, Big Big World is a song by Swedish pop music and soul singer Emilia Rydberg, also known as Emilia Mitiku or more simply Emilia (1978- ). It was released in September 1998 as the lead single from the album of the same name and was written by Emilia and Lasse Anderson. The song was a hit in Europe where it reached the top five in many countries but fared poorly in the US, where it remained at the bottom of the Billboard Magazine Hot 100 (based on sales).

The song was given a Swedish Grammis Award for “Song of the Year” in 1998 and also won a Rockbjörnen Award as “Swedish Song of the Year” in 1998.

Audio video, Emilia, with lyrics:

Live video, Sarah, in “The Voice Kids”, Germany, 2017:

+ Live video, Emilia, in “Allsang på Grensen”, Germany, 2018:

Billie Jean – Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson
Micheal Jackson

According to Wikipedia, Billie Jean is a song composed and released by Micheal Jackson as the second single from Jackson’s sixth studio album, Thriller (1982).

The spare, bass-driven arrangement helped pioneer what one critic called “sleek, post-soul pop music”. It also introduced a more paranoid lyrical style for Jackson, a trademark of his later music. The lyrics describe a woman, Billie Jean, who claims that the narrator is the father of her newborn son, which he denies. Jackson said the lyrics were based on groupies’ claims about his older brothers when he toured with them as the Jackson 5.

Billie Jean is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016, and in Billboard magazine’s list “The Hot 100’s All-Time Top 100 Songs” as of 2018.

Live video, Michael Jackson, Motown 25th Anniversary, 1983:

+ Live video, Michael Jackson, 30th Anniversary 2001:

Live video, Bogdan Ioan, in “Final The Voice of Romania”, 2018:

Blowin’ in the Wind – Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan

According to Wikipedia, Blowin’ in the Wind is a song written by American singer–songwriter–author–visual artist–Nobel laureate Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman, 1941- ) in 1962 and released as a single and on his album “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” in 1963. Although it has been described as a protest song, it poses a series of rhetorical questions about peace, war, and freedom. The refrain “The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind” has been described as “impenetrably ambiguous: either the answer is so obvious it is right in your face, or the answer is as intangible as the wind”.

Peter, Paul & Mary performed this song at the March on Washington, which took place August 28, 1963. This was a significant event in American history, epitomized by Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous I Have A Dream speech.

In 1994, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Blowin’ in the Wind is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

+ Audio video, Bob Dylan:

+ Live video, Joan Baez, 1978:

Live video, Peter, Paul and Mary, with lyrics, in BBC, 2012:

Live video, Kina Grannis, 2017:

+ Live video, Scott Hoyingm Julia Harriman, Mario Jose:

Blue Bayou – Linda Ronstadt

Linda Rondstadt
Linda Ronstadt

The song Blue Bayou was written by Roy Orbison (1936-1988) and Joe Melson then was originally sung and recorded by Orbison, who had an international hit with his version in 1963. It later became signature song of Linda Ronstadt (1946- ), with which she scored a charting hit with her cover of Blue Bayou in 1977.

Linda Ronstadt has earned 10 Grammy Awards, three American Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music awards, an Emmy Award, and an ALMA Award. Many of her albums have been certified gold, platinum or multiplatinum in the U.S. and internationally.

* Audio video, Linda Ronstadt:

* Audio video, Martina McBride, in album “Waking Up Laughing”, 2006:

Live video, Karli Webster in “The Voice”, 2017:

+ * Live video, ban The Linda Ronstadt Experience, 2018:

Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain – Willie Nelson

Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain was written by songwriter Fred Rose and was originally performed by Roy Acuff. When the song was recorded by Willie Hugh Nelson (1933- ) in 1975, it became iconic in country music history, and jump start Nelson’s career.

In 2003, CMT picked Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain as one of the 100 greatest country music songs of all time.

The version Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain by Willie Nelson is in

  • CMT’s list “100 Greatest Songs of Country Music” as of 2003,
  • Rolling Stone magazine ‘s list “100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time” as of 2014, and
  • Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.
Wilie Nelson
Willie Nelson and his guitar “Trigger”

Willie Nelson is an American singer, songwriter, musician, actor, producer, author, poet, and activist. One of the most recognized artists in country music, has also acted in over 30 films and co-authored several books.

He wrote songs that would become country standards, including Crazy, Funny How Time Slips Away, Hello Walls, On the Road Again, and Pretty Paper. Other popular songs that he performed included Always on My Mind, Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, Both Sides NowMammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys, My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys, and To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before.

* Audio video, Willie Nelson:

Live video, Shania Twain and Willie Nelson, in DVD “Willie Nelson and Friends Live and Kicking” celebrating his 70st birthday, 2003:

Live video, Brandi Carlile, 2010:

MV, Oesch’s die Dritten (Swiss Family Folkband), 2016:

+ Live video, Willie Nelson and The Boys, in album Willie’s Stash, Vol. 2, 2017:

Blueberry Hill – Fats Domino

Blueberry Hill is a popular song composed by Vincent Rose, with lyrics by Larry Stock and Al Lewis, then recorded six times in 1940. These versions, as well as Louis Armstrong’s in 1949, achieved moderate success at best.

Fats Domino
Fats Domino

Only when Fats Domino (1928-2017) covered Blueberry Hill in 1956, did the song become better known internationally, and since the 1970s was considered to be a standard of blues/jazz.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) puts Blueberry Hill to be one of the top 25 songs of the 20th century.

The version Blueberry Hill by Fats Domino is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

The same version has been named to the National Recording Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress because of its cultural, artistic and historical importance to American society and the nation’s audio heritage.

+ * Sound recording, Fats Domino, with lyrics:

Audio video, Roger Whittaker, with lyrics:

Audio video, Pat Boone:

Audio video, Brenda Lee, in album “80 Hits of Brenda Lee”, 2015:

MV, Céline Dion & Johnny Hallyday, 2017:

Both Sides Now – Joni Mitchell

Both Sides Now is one of the best-known songs of Canadian singer–songwriter Roberta Joan “Joni” Mitchell (née Anderson, 1943- ). First recorded by Judy Collins, it appeared on the U.S. singles chart in 1968. It has since been recorded by dozens of artists, including Frank Sinatra, Willie Nelson and Herbie Hancock. Mitchell herself re-recorded the song, with an orchestral arrangement, on her 2000 album “Both Sides Now”. This version won a Grammy for Mitchell.

Both Sides Now is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

+ Audio video, Judy Collins (Official Audio):

MV, Hayley Westenra, 2005:

Audio video, Ronan Keating, in album “Songs for My Mother”, 2009:

Live video, Addison Agen with lyrics, in “The Voice USA”, 2017:

Bridge over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel

Bridge over Troubled Water is a song composed by American singer–songwriter–actor Paul Frederic Simon (1941- ), and released by Simon & Garfunkel in 1970. The song is performed on piano and carries the influence of gospel music.

According to Wikipedia, the song became Simon & Garfunkel’s biggest hit single, and it is often considered their signature song. It was a number one hit on the Billboard Magazine Hot 100 (based on sales) for six weeks, and it also topped the charts in Canada, France, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. It was a top five hit in eight other countries as well, eventually selling over six million copies worldwide, making it among the best-selling singles. It became one of the most performed songs of the 20th century, with over 50 artists, among them Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin, covering the song.

Bridge over Troubled Water is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

Simon & Garfunkel
Art Garfunkel (left) and Paul Simon

Simon & Garfunkel are an American folk-rock duo consisting of singer-songwriter Paul Simon (1941- ) and singer Art Garfunkel (1941- ). One of the best-selling music groups of the 1960s, their biggest hits – including The Sound of Silence (1965), Scarborough Fair/Canticle (1966), Mrs. Robinson (1968), The Boxer (1969), and Bridge over Troubled Water (1970) – reached number one on singles charts worldwide.

Simon & Garfunkel won 10 Grammy Awards and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. They are among the best-selling music artists, having sold more than 100 million records.

In 2003, Simon and Garfunkel received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 45th Annual Grammy Awards.

* Audio video, Simon & Garfunkel, with lyrics:

+ Live video, Sissel & Russell Watson, 2002:

* Live video, Celtic Woman, 2012:

Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie – American folk song

According to Wikipedia, Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie is a cowboy folk song. Also known as The Cowboy’s Lament, The Dying Cowboy, Bury Me Out on the Lone Prairie, và Oh, Bury Me Not, the song is described as the most famous cowboy ballad. Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time as of 2010. The ballad is an adaptation of a sea song called The Sailor’s Grave or The Ocean Burial, which began “O bury me not in the deep, deep sea.” The Ocean Burial was written by Edwin Hubbell Chapin, published in 1839, and put to music by George N. Allen.

The song records the plaintive request of a dying man not to be buried on the prairie, away from civilization. In spite of his request, he is buried on the prairie.

Audio video, Burl Ives (1961):

Live video, Sidewinder:

Live video, The Heart of Texas Chorus, 2008:

Old Texas – American folk song

With the same melody as of Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie, Old Texas or I’m Going To Leave Old Texas Now has different lyrics that are not so melancholic.

Audio video, Peter Rowan & Don Edwards:

Butterfly – Danyel Gérard

Butterfly is a pop song, written and recorded by the French singer–songwriter Gérard Daniel Kherlakian (1939- ) in the late 1960s. It was initially a hit in the French language.

In the early 1970s English language words were written, and Gérard recorded it again in the United States. In 1971 he also did German, Spanish and Italian versions. Butterfly was a very popular song internationally, selling over seven million copies. Many other musicians recorded it, both in instrumental and vocal versions. In the U.S., that list included Eydie Gormé, Goldie Hawn and Eddy Arnold.

Lyrics translation (edited by Diep Minh Tam)

You tell me: out of sight, out of mind
You tell that one forgets the best
In spite of the horizons
I know she still loves me
This girl I had nicknamed:

Butterfly, my Butterfly
I’ll be back in a month
Butterfly, my Butterfly
By your side, I will stay

The ocean is small, so very small
For hearts in which love has grown
In spite of what you say
You see that she still loves me
This girl I had embraced:


Our love is so great, yes, so great
That the entire sky would fit into it
In spite of what you say
I know that she still loves me
This girl I had kissed:


Source: https://lyricstranslate.com/en/butterfly-butterfly.html-4

* Audio video, Daniel Gérard, French version, with lyrics, 1971:

Audio video, Daniel Gérard, English version, with lyrics:

Live video, Daniel Gérard, German version, 2019:

Can the Circle Be Unbroken? – Joan Baez

Can the Circle Be Unbroken? is the title of a country/folk song reworked by A. P. Carter from the hymn Will the Circle Be Unbroken? by Ada R. Habershon and Charles H. Gabriel. But quite often the song title remains as the hymn one. The song becomes well known through Joan Baez (1941- ).

Its lyrics concern the death, funeral, and mourning of the narrator’s mother.

The version Can the Circle Be Unbroken? by the Carter Family is in CMT’s list “100 Greatest Songs of Country Music” as of 2003, and in Rolling Stone magazine ‘s list “100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time” as of 2014.

Audio video, Joan Baez, with lyrics:

Audio video, Randy Travis, with lyrics:

Live video, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, 2012:

Can You Feel the Love Tonight – Sir Elton John & Tim Rice

Can You Feel the Love Tonight is a song from Disney’s animated film The Lion King (1994). composed by Sir Elton Hercules John (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, 1947- ) with lyrics by Sir Timothy Miles Bindon Rice (1944- ). The song received both Oscar and Golden Globe awards. Eventually it sold 11 million copies worldwide.

Movie clip_The Lion King, Kristle Edwards, Joseph Williams, Sally Dworsky, Nathan Lane, & Ernie Sabella:

Audio video, Nina, 2009:

Audio video, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra:

+ Live video, Boyce Avenue ft. Connie Talbot:

+ Live video, Jeffrey Li, 2015:

Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley

Can’t Help Falling in Love is a 1961 song written by Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore, and George David Weiss, then recorded by Elvis Presley for the album “Blue Hawaii” (1961). The melody is based on Plaisir d’amour, a popular French love song composed in 1784 by Jean-Paul-Égide Martin.

Can’t Help Falling in Love was initially written for a woman as “can’t help falling in love with him”, which explains the first and third line ending on “in” and “sin” rather than words rhyming with “you”.

Can’t Help Falling in Love is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

+ * Audio video, Elvis Presley:

Live video, Andrea Bocelli (Official Video), 2006:

MV, Haley Reinhart, with lyrics, from album “Better”, 2016:

+ Live video, Alexandra Ilieva (saxophone), 2017:

* Live video, Raffi Arto in “The Voice France”, 2018:

Candle in the Wind 1997 (Goodbye, England’s Rose) – Sir Elton John & Bernie Taupin

According to Wikipedia,

On 31 August 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997), died in a car crash in Paris, France. The news shocked Elton John (1947- ), as he and the Princess were very good friends.

To cope with the grief, John wanted to pay a tribute to Diana. He asked his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin (1950- ) to revise the lyrics of their 1973 song Candle in the Wind to honour her.

John publicly performed Candle in the Wind 1997 only once, at the funeral of Diana in Westminster Abbey on 6 September 1997. He continues to sing the original version of the song at his concerts, but has repeatedly turned down requests to perform the revised version, even for the memorial Concert for Diana in July 2007, having vowed never to perform it again unless asked by Diana’s sons. The song has never been released (or re-released) on any of his other albums or compilations.

Diana, Princess of Wales, her face behind a protective mask, walks through a safety corridor in an active landmine field in Huambo, Angola. It was in January 1997 – a few months before her untimely death. That short walk made global headlines and raised awareness of the issue of landmines.

Candle in the Wind 1997 is in Billboard magazine’s list “The Hot 100’s All-Time Top 100 Songs” as of 2018.

* Live video, Elton John, at the funeral of Diana in Westminster Abbey:


* Audio video, Elton John:

Capri C’est Fini – René Vilard & Marcel Hurten

According to Wikipedia, Capri C’est Fini is the first single of French singer Hervé Vilard (1946- ). The French song written and sung by him became a huge French and international hit in 1965 along with Christophe’s hit song Aline, launching Vilard’s career and making him instantly famous. The song sold 3.3 million copies. Vilard released 7 language versions of the song. The inspiration came when Vilard saw a promotional travel poster of the Italian island Capri in a Paris Métro station. “C’est fini” comes from a popular song of Charles Aznavour of the same title. The song talks about a break-up of an earlier relationship that had started in Capri.

* Audio video, Hervé Vilard:


* Audio video, Serge Lama:

Casablanca – Bertie Higgins

The movie Casablanca (1942) with main actress Ingrid Berman and main actor Humphrey Bogart is considered to be a classic of all times. là cuốn phim thuộc hàng kiệt tác mọi thời đại với hai diễn viên gạo cội và.

More than 40 years later, in 1984, Bertie Higgins recorded the song Casablanca, which is often mistaken by non-English speakers as the original soundtrack of the movie. The lyrics make it quite clear:

I fell in love with you watching Casablanca


I thought you fell in love with me watching Casablanca

* Audio video, Bertie Higgins, with lyrics and beautiful picture of movie Casablanva:

Live video, Lee Ra Hee:

* Live video, Ennah (2019):


Che sarà – Jimmy Fontana & Franco Migliacci

Che sarà (English: “What will (it) be”) is an Italian song, written by Jimmy Fontana (music) and Franco Migliacci (lyrics) for the 1971 Sanremo Music Festival.

The lyrics of the song describe the singer’s sadness at having to leave his native village and were inspired by Cortona, a small town in Tuscany where Franco Migliacci had lived for many years. For Jimmy Fontana, who wrote the music, the song is devoted to Bernalda, his wife’s home village.

Coincidentally, the Cortona story echoes the personal history of José Feliciano, who was born in the hill village of Lares in Puerto Rico, and who left it for New York, joining many other Puerto Rican migrants to the USA. In fact, the Spanish version of the song is considered by many in the Latino population to be a “migrants’ hymn”.

Sound recording, Jose Feliciano:

Live video, Anna Tatangelo:

China Night (Shina No Yoru) – Hamako Watanabe

Shina No Yoru (支那の夜, which means “China night”) was first performed in 1938 by Japanese singer Watanabe Hamako (1910-1999) and was used during the Japanese occupation of China as the main theme of 1940 propaganda movie Shina No Yoru.

Later on, the song became popular among American GI’s based in Japan and Korea after World War II.

The song expresses the feelings of a man who is watching one harbor in China thinking of a Chinese girl that is far away from him.

Lyrics translation, beginning part

What a night in China!
harbor lights
deep purple night
sailing junk

Ship of dreams
Ah Ah, I cannot forget
the sound of the kokyu(A)
China night
night of dreams
China night

(A) kokyu: a Chinese musical instrument

Source: http://haggisbutt.blogspot.com/2008/05/shina-no-yoru.html

Audio video, 1940 cover, with English sub-titles:

Audio video, Kyu Sakamoto, 1963:

* Audio video, The Kim Sisters, 1964:

Chiquitita – ABBA


Chiquitita (a Spanish term of endearment for a woman meaning “little one”) is a song recorded in 1979 by Swedish pop group ABBA.

Chiquitita proved to be one of ABBA’s biggest hits. It was featured in a 1979 UNICEF charity event, the Music for UNICEF Concert, broadcast worldwide from the United Nations General Assembly. As a direct result of this event, ABBA donated half of all royalties from the song to UNICEF.

Chiquitita hit #1 in Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Rhodesia, South Africa, Spain, and Switzerland, and was a Top 5 hit in ABBA’s native Sweden, Australia, Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom. To this day, 50% of the proceeds from the song go to UNICEF in recognition of the “International Year of the Child” in 1979.

* Live video, ABBA, Switzerland, 1979:

Audio video, Boyzone:

Live video, Phil McGarrick (electric guitar):

Cielito Lindo – Quirino Mendoza y Cortés

According to Wikipedia,

Cielito Lindo is a popular Mexican song copla (a musical genre related to poetic form), popularized in 1882 by Mexican author Quirino Mendoza y Cortés (c. 1862–1957). It is roughly translated as “Lovely Sweet One”. Although the word cielo means “sky” or “heaven”, it is also a term of endearment comparable to sweetheart or honey. Cielito, the diminutive, can be translated as “sweetie”; lindo means “cute”, “lovely” or “pretty”. Sometimes the song is known by words from the refrain, Canta y no llores or simply the Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay song.

There is some debate as to whether the song talks about the Sierra Morena, a mountain range in the south region of Spain, or the similarly named Sierra Morones in the Mexican state of Zacatecas.

In recent years Cielito Lindo has become an unofficial national anthem for Mexicans, sung as a sign of unity.  It is sung spontaneously in sports games, particularly at soccer games, as well as protests and every kind of gathering where love for Mexico is expressed.

Lyrics translation, beginning part

From the Sierra Morena
Pretty darling, they do come down
The pair of little black eyes
Pretty darling, do sneak on by.

Eye, yai, yai, yai
Do sing and don’t cry
Because it is by singing that they do gladden
Pretty darling, the heart.

Source: https://lyricstranslate.com/en/cielito-lindo-my-darling-cielto-lindo.html

Audio video, Ana Gabriel:

Live video, Luz de Las Naciones:

Live video, Luciano Pavarotti & Enrique Iglesias, 2000:

Circle of Life – Sir Elton John & Tim Rice

According to Wikipedia,

Circle of Life is a song from Disney’s 1994 animated film The Lion King. Composed by Sir Elton Hercules John (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, 1947- ) with lyrics by Sir Timothy Miles Bindon Rice (1944- ), the song was performed by Carmen Twillie (the deep female lead vocals) and Lebo M. (opening Zulu vocals) as the film’s opening song. In an interview, Rice said he was amazed at the speed with which John composed: “I gave him the lyrics at the beginning of the session at about two in the afternoon. By half-past three, he’d finished writing and recording a stunning demo.” Elton John sang a pop version (with alternative lyrics) of the song with the London Community Gospel Choir, which was included in the film’s soundtrack and made into a music video.

Circle of Life was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1994, along with two other songs from The Lion King: Hakuna Matata and Can You Feel the Love Tonight, the latter of which won the award.

The song is also featured in Disney’s 2019 photorealistic computer-animated remake of The Lion King and was used in the first trailer of the film, a near shot-for-shot remake of the opening of the original animated film.

* Movie clip_The Lion King (1994), Lebo M. & Carmen Twillie:

MV, the London Gay Men’s Chorus:

Live video, Ndlovu Youth Choir:

Live video, Alex Boyé & the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in “Pioneer Concert”, 2017:

Clementine – American folk ballad

According to Wikipedia, Clementine or Oh My Darling, Clementine is an American western folk ballad in trochaic meter usually credited to Percy Montrose (1884), although it is sometimes credited to Barker Bradford. The song is believed to have been based on another song called Down by the River Liv’d a Maiden by H. S. Thompson (1863).

Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.

Animation video, Muffin Songs, with lyrics:

Audio video, Connie Francis:

Live video, Jesse Ferguson:

Come Together – The Beatles

Come Together is a song by The Beatles, written primarily by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. The song is the opening track on their 1969 album Abbey Road and was also released as a single coupled with Something.

Come Together is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

* Audio video, The Beatles, 1969:


Live video, Aerosmith, 1978:

MV, Justice League, 2017:

+ Live video, Mark Agpas, The Voice of Germany, 2018:

Con Te Partirò (Time To Say Good Bye) – Andrea Bocelli

According to Wikipedia,

Con te partirò (English “With you I shall leave”) is an Italian song written by Francesco Sartori (music) and Lucio Quarantotto (lyrics). It was first performed by Andrea Bocelli (1958- ) at the 1995 Sanremo Music Festival and recorded on his album of the same year, Bocelli. The single was first released as an A-side single with “Vivere” in 1995, topping the charts, first in France, where it became one of the best-selling singles of all-time, and then in Belgium, breaking the all-time record sales there.

A second version of the song, sung partly in English, released in 1996 as Time to Say Goodbye, paired Bocelli with British soprano Sarah Brightman, and achieved even greater success, topping charts all across Europe, including Germany, where it became the biggest-selling single in history. Brightman and Bocelli produced a version with Brightman singing in German and Bocelli in Italian, with this version being available on the CD “Time to Say Goodbye”. That version alone has now sold more than 12 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time.

Bocelli also recorded a full Spanish version of the song, titled Por ti Volaré (For You I Will Fly). Under all those three versions, the song is considered Bocelli’s signature song.

* Live video, Andrea Bocelli & Sarah Brightman, in Italian and English, 2007:

Live video, Solomia in “The Voice Kids”, 2015:

* Audio video, Celtic Woman, in English, with lyrics, 2017:

Cotton Fields – The New Christy Minstrels

Cotton Fields is a song written by American blues musician Huddie William Ledbetter (1888-1949), better known as Lead Belly, who made the first recording of the song in 1940. The cover by The New Christy Minstrels in 1965 is highly popular.

* Audio video, The New Christy Minstrels, 1965:

Audio video, CCR, with lyrics:

MV, Playing For Change | Song Around the World:

Coward of the County – Kenny Rogers

Kenny Rogers
Kenny Rogers

According to Wikipedia,

Coward of the County is a country song written by Roger Bowling and Billy Ed Wheeler, and recorded by American country music singer Kenny Rogers (1938- ) in 1979. It became a major crossover hit, topping the Billboard magazine’s Country chart and reaching #3 on the Hot 100 chart; it also topped the Cash Box singles chart and was a Top 10 hit in numerous other countries worldwide.

Rogers sings in narration about his ward and nephew Tommy, whose nonviolent attitude was greatly influenced by his father who had died in prison when Tommy was ten years old. Tommy’s father pleads with him to not make the same mistakes he made, advising him, “Son, you don’t have to fight to be a man”.

Years later, Tommy is in a relationship with a girl named Becky. One day, while Tommy was at work, the three Gatlin brothers visit Becky and gang rape her. Tommy goes to the bar where the Gatlins hang out, but they only laugh at him when he walks in. Tommy locks the front door then fights the Gatlin boys leaving all three of them lying on the floor. Tommy then reflects on his late father’s plea, and hopes his father understands that “Sometimes you gotta fight when you’re a man.”

Billboard magazine put Coward of the County in the list of Top 100 country songs of all time.

* Sound recording, Kenny Rogers:

MV, Brad James:

Cucurrucucú – Harry Belafonte

Cucurrucucú (also Cucurrucucú paloma, Spanish for Coo-coo dove) is a Mexican huapango-style song written by Tomás Méndez in 1954. The title is an onomatopeic reference to the characteristic call of the mourning dove, which is evoked in the refrain. The lyrics allude to lovesickness.

Over the years the song has gained international popularity.

Audio video, Harry Belafonte:

+ Audio video, Nana Mouskouri:

Live video, Petre Geambasu Show Band:

+ * Live video, Gaby Moreno, in “Live from Here with Chris Thile”, 2016:

+ * Live video, Juan Diego Flórez, in “Rolex Ambassador Gala”, 2019:

Danny Boy (Londonderry Air)  – Rory O’Cahan & Frederick Weatherly

Per Deignan (2018),

Danny Boy is not even a completely original song, but a version among the 100s of different lyrics set to the tune of the Derry Air.

The original air is believed by some to date back to Rory Dall O’Cahan, an Irish harpist who lived in Scotland in the late 17th century, while the lyrics as we know and love them today were penned by a British barrister and prolific song writer, Frederick Edward Weatherly.

The lyrics weren’t even originally used with the Derry Air having been written by Weatherly for another tune in 1910. In 1913, Weatherly’s sister sent him the tune of Derry Air, he adapted the lyrics to the tune and it was an instant success.

Weatherly gave the song to the English opera singer Elsie Grffin, who introduced the song to a wider audience. The first recording was made in 1915 by the German vocalist Ernestine Schumann-Heink.

No matter the origins or the meaning, Danny Boy has still become the song of the Irish, with Irish people worldwide identifying with its words and associating it with our country’s struggle for independence.

The song or its tune is often heard in funerals, such as those of John F. Kennedy, Princess Diana, and of Senator John McCain.

Lyrics of Danny Boy (excerpts) as sung in funeral of John McCain
And if you come, when all the flowers are dying
and I am dead, as dead I well may be
Please come and find the place where I am lying
and kneel and say an “Ave” there for me

And I shall hear, tho’ soft you tread above me
and all my dreams will warm and sweeter be
If you’ll not fail to tell me that you love me
then I shall sleep in peace until you come to me.

Audio video, Nana Mouskouri:

+ * Audio video, Elvis Presly:

+ * Audio video, Eva Cassidy:

Live video, Celtic Woman, 2013:

+ Live video, Per-Olov Kindgren (guitar solo):

Darling Nelly Gray / Faded Love – Benjamin Hanby &  Bob Wills

The ballad Darling Nelly Gray (or Darling Nellies Gray) was composed and published by Benjamin Hanby (1833-1867) in 1856. Hanby wrote it as a sophomore in college. The song was based on an incident when he was a child. When Hanby was nine years old a runaway Kentucky slave named Joseph Selby stopped at the Hanby home for assistance. Selby arrived ill with pneumonia and died while attempting to recover there. Before passing away Selby told the story of his darling named Nelly Gray who had been sold to Georgia  (where the slave’s life was harsher than elsewhere) and left him brokenhearted. Being distraught, Selby attempted to make his way to Canada and freedom.

With the melody from Darling Nelly Gray, Faded Love is a Western swing song written by Bob Wills (1905-1975), his father John Wills, and his brother, Billy Jack Wills. The tune is considered to be an exemplar of the Western swing fiddle component of American fiddle.  Faded Love is a sentimental song about lost love. The name comes from the refrain that follows each verse: “I remember our faded love”.

Faded Love by Bob Wills is in CMT’s list “100 Greatest Songs of Country Music” as of 2003.

Video âm thanh_Darling Nellie Gray, Tom Roush, with lyrics:

Audio video_Darling Nellie Gray, Bing Crosby, 1938:

+ Video âm thanh_Faded Love, Patti Page, 1961:

* Audio video_Faded Love, LeAnn Rimes:

* Audio video_Faded Love, Willie Nelson & Ray Price, with Crystal Gayle in the chorus, with lyrics, 2017:

Delta Dawn – Tanya Tucker

Tanya Tucker
Tanya Tucker

Delta Dawn is a song written by former child rockabilly star Larry Collins and songwriter Alex Harvey, best known as a 1972 top ten country hit for Tanya Tucker (1958- ) and a number one hit for Helen Reddy (1941- ) in 1973.

The title character is a faded former Southern belle from Brownsville, Tennessee who, at forty-one, is obsessed to unreason with the long-ago memory of a suitor who jilted her. The lyrics describe how the woman regularly “walks down town with a suitcase in her hand / looking for a mysterious dark haired man” who she says will be taking her “to his mansion in the sky”.

Delta Dawn is in CMT’s list “100 Greatest Songs of Country Music” as of 2003.

* Audio video, Tanya Tucker:

* Audio video, Helen Reddy, with lyrics:

Live video, The McClymonts & Courtney Clarke, 2015:

Live video, Ashland Craft, in “The Voice”, 2017:

Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina – Madonna

Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina is a song composed and written by Andrew Lloyd Webber (1948- ) and Tim Rice (1944- ), then recorded for the 1976 concept album “Evita”, and was later included in the 1978 musical of the same name. The song appears at the opening and near the end of the show, initially as the spirit of the dead Eva exhorting the people of Argentina not to mourn her, and finally during Eva’s speech from the balcony of the Casa Rosada.

The song shares its melody with Oh What a Circus from the same show and lyrically consists of platitudes where Eva tries to win the favour of the people of Argentina.

In 1996, American singer–songwriter–actress Madonna (Madonna Louise Ciccone, 1958- ) starred in the film adaptation of the musical in the title role. Her version of Don’t Cry for Me Argentina was released as the second single from the film soundtrack in 1997.

Madonna_Don't Cry for Me Argentina
Madonna – Evita

+ MV, Madonna, (Official Music Video):

+ Live video, Elaine Paige, trong chương trình “Andrew Lloyd Webber: The Royal Albert Hall Celebration”, 1998:

+ * Live video, André Rieu, in DVD “André Rieu – New York Memories”, 2006:

Live video, Tina Arena ft. Les 2000 choristes, 2011:

Live video, Nicole Scherzinger, 2013:

Don’t Forget to Remember – Bee Gees

Don’t Forget to Remember, also called Don’t Forget to Remember Me, is a country ballad written by Barry and Maurice Gibb and recorded by Bee Gees in 1969.

According to Wikipedia,

Bee Gees were a pop music group formed in 1958. Their lineup at first consisted of brothers Sir Barry Gibb (1946- ) together with the twins Robin Gibb (1949-2012) and Maurice Gibb (1949-2003). The trio were especially successful as a popular music act in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and later as prominent performers of the disco music era in the mid-to-late 1970s. Later, the three decided to include also Andy Gibb (1958-1988), who soon died.

In August 1958, the Gibb family, including older sister Lesley and infant brother Andy, emigrated to Redcliffe, just north-east of Brisbane in Queensland, Australia. The young brothers began performing to raise pocket money. They were introduced to Brisbane radio DJ Bill Gates by speedway promoter and driver Bill Goode, who had hired the brothers to entertain the crowd at the Redcliffe Speedway in 1960. Gates renamed them the BGs (later changed to “Bee Gees”) after his Bill Gates’, Bill Goode’s and Barry Gibb’s initials. The name was not specifically a reference to “Brothers Gibb,” despite popular belief.

Bee Gees have sold more than 220 million records worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. The Bee Gees’ Hall of Fame citation says, “Only Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks and Paul McCartney have outsold the Bee Gees.”

Bee Gees - Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb, and Andy Gibb in 1977
Bee Gees – Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb and Andy Gibb in 1977

Bee Gees also penned huge hits for other artists, like Chain Reaction for Diana Ross, Grease for Frankie Valli, Heartbreaker for Dionne Warwick, Immorality for Celine Dion, Islands in The Stream for Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, and Woman in Love for Barbra Streisand.

* Audio video, Bee Gees:

Audio video, Skeeter Davis:

MV, Jo A Ram (electrical violin):

Live video, Lee Ra Hee, with lyrics:

Don’t Let the Rain Come Down – The Serendipity Singers

The song Don’t Let the Rain Come Down was first recorded as Crooked Little House by Jimmie Rodgers in 1960, on his album “At Home”, on which the songwriting was credited to Ersel Hickey and Ed E. Miller.

In 1964, it was recorded by The Serendipity Singers in a calypso music based adaptation which is more popular than the previous verson.

* Audio video, The Serendipity Singers, 1965:

or, with lyrics:

Audio video, Hugo Winterhalter, 1965:

Live video, ukulele short version, 2014:

Donna, Donna – Joan Baez

Donna, Donna or Dona, Dona is a song written in 1941 by American composer of Ukrainian-Jewish descent Sholom Secunda (1894-1974) and American poet of Jewish origin Aaron Zeitlin (1898-1973). The song is about a calf being led to slaughter, lamenting for freedom. Originally a Yiddish-language song Dana Dana (in Yiddish דאַנאַ דאַנאַ), also known as Dos Kelbl (in Yiddish דאָס קעלבל meaning “The Calf”), it was a song used in a Yiddish play Esterke.

The lyrics translation in the mid-1950s by Arthur Kevess and Teddi Schwartz made the song quite well known.

Joan Baez B
Joan Baez

The song became especially popular after being recorded  in 1960 by American singer–songwriter–musician–activist Joan Baez (1941- ). In this version, the song is retitled Donna, Donna (doubling the “n”). The song became a staple of Baez and was used in the human rights protest movement in the 1960s. This is because the song states the desire for freedom.

Later versions also use the double “n”. In 1964, the song was recorded in French language by French singer Claude François (1939-1978) as Donna, Donna, reaching the top of the French Singles Charts for two consecutive weeks in December 1964. François co-wrote the French lyrics with Vline Buggy. Also known by its longer title Donna, Donna (Le Petit Garçon), the song is a completely revamped version lyricwise, as it no longer describes a helpless calf being led to its slaughter, as in the original Yiddish version. Rather, it is about the troubles of an aspiring young boy growing up dreaming about his own future. In the last verse, in an autobiographical twist, Claude François alludes to himself by singing the verse as “ce petit garçon que j’étais” (this small boy that I was).

* Audio video, Joan Baez, English version, with lyrics:

* Audio video, Claude Francois, French version, with lyrics:

* Video âm thanh, Julie Rogers, English version, with lyrics:

Live video, Dorothée & Hélène, French version, in “Rock’n’roll Show” 1993:

Edelweiss – Julie Andrews

Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews

Edelweiss (German for “noble white”) is a show tune composed by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein for the musical The Sound of Music (1959), and later for the movie The Sound of Music (1965).

Sung by English actress–singer–author Dame Julie Andrews (born Julia Elizabeth Wells, 1935- ), the song is named after the edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum), a white flower found high in the Alps.

MV, Julie Andrews:

MV, André Rieu and his orchestra:

Live video, Celia Pavey, in “The Voice Australia”, 2013:

El Choclo (Kiss of Fire) – Georgia Gibbs

According to Wikipedia,

El Choclo (Spanish: meaning “The Corn Cob”) is a popular song written by Argentine musician Ángel Villoldo (1861-1919), allegedly in honor of a nightclub owner with nickname “El Choclo”. The song is one of the most popular tangos in Argentina. The piece was premiered in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1903.

The original lyrics by Villoldo specifically sang about the corn cob as food. He later wrote another version titled Cariño Puro. The most popular version remains Enrique Santos Discépolo’s (1947), which sing about tango as a way of life.

El Choclo has been recorded (without vocals) by many dance orchestras, especially in Argentina.

A number of vocal versions were recorded in the U.S. in 1952, and the most popular was the version under the name Kiss of Fire by American popular singer Georgia Gibbs (1920-2006) that reached #1 on the Billboard magazine’s chart.

Louis Armstrong sang English lyrics using the title El Choclo (Kiss of Fire). This English word variant was translated back into Spanish as Beso de Fuego and as such the song was sung by Connie Francis.

* Audio video_ Kiss of Fire, Georgia Gibbs:

* Audio video_El Choclo, Julio Iglesias, 1996:

+ Live video, instrumental & dance, Roxana & Fabian, 2009:

+ Live video, instrumental, Destiny Quartet:

Live video, Katica Illényi (violin), 2016:

El Cóndor Pasa – Peru folk song

El Cóndor Pasa (Spanish for “The Condor Passes”) is an orchestral musical piece El Cóndor Pasa written in 1913 by the Peruvian composer Daniel Alomía Robles (1871-1942) based on traditional Andean music, specifically folk music from Peru. In 2004, Peru declared this song as part of the national cultural heritage.

It is the best-known Peruvian song in the English-speaking world due to a 1970 cover by Simon & Garfunkel called El Cóndor Pasa (If I Could).

* Audio video, Simon & Garfunkel, with images of Peru:

Live video, Luz de las Naciones:

Live video, El Dorado Orchestra, 2015:

+ Video trình diễn sống, André Rieu in Peru, 2017:

El Paso – Marty Robbins

According to Wikipedia,

El Paso is a country and western ballad written and originally recorded in 1959 by Marty Robbins (1925-1982). It became a major hit on both the country and pop music charts. It won the Grammy Award for Best Country & Western Recording in 1961, and remains Robbins’ best-known song.

The song is a first-person narrative about an ill-fated love triangle, as sung by a cowboy in El Paso, Texas. The singer recalls how he frequented a nightclub called “Rosa’s Cantina”, where he became smitten with a young Mexican dancer named Feleena. When the singer notices another cowboy sharing a drink with “wicked Feleena,” he challenges the newcomer to a gunfight out of jealousy. The singer kills the newcomer, then flees El Paso for fear of being hanged for murder or killed in revenge. In the act of fleeing, the singer commits the additional and potentially hanging offense of horse theft, further sealing his fate in El Paso. Departing El Paso, the singer hides out in the “badlands of New Mexico.”

The song then fast-forwards to an undisclosed time later, when the singer describes his yearning for Feleena that drives him to return to El Paso, without regard for his own life. Upon arriving, the singer is chased and fatally wounded by a posse. At the end of the song, the singer recounts how Feleena has found him, and he dies in her arms.

Members of the Western Writers of America chose El Paso as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.

El Paso is in CMT’s list “100 Greatest Songs of Country Music” as of 2003, in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time” as of 2014, and is named to the National Recording Registry of the Library of U.S. Congress because of its cultural, artistic and historical importance to American society and the nation’s audio heritage.

* Audio video, Marty Robbins:

Audio video, Marty Robbins, with cartoons and lyrics:

* Audio video, Michael Martin Murphey:

Live video, Ronny Robbins:

(Everything I Do) I Do It for You – Bryan Adams

(Everything I Do) I Do It for You is a song performed by Canadian singer-songwriter Bryan Adams (1959- ). Written by Adams, Michael Kamen and Robert John “Mutt” Lange, featured on two albums simultaneously on its release, the soundtrack album from the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) and on Adams’ sixth album Waking Up the Neighbours (1991). The song was an enormous chart success internationally, reaching the number one position on the music charts of at least sixteen countries. It sold more than 15 million copies worldwide, making it Adams’ most successful song and one of the best-selling singles of all time. Subsequently, the song has been covered by hundreds of singers and artists around the world.

(Everything I Do) I Do It for You is in Billboard magazine’s list “The Hot 100’s All-Time Top 100 Songs” as of 2018.

+ * Audio video, Bryan Adams, original version:

+ Audio video, Brandy, with lyrics:

Live video, Hope:

Live video, Rough Copy in “The X Factor”, 2013:

* Live video, Julia Westlin (acapella):

First of May – Bee Gees

The song First of May was composed and recorded by the Bee Gees with lead vocals by Sir Barry Gibb. It was the first Bee Gees single to be released after lead guitarist Vince Melouney had left the group.

First of May was the only single released from the Bee Gees “Odessa” album – long regarded as one of the finest double albums of the 1960s.

+ * Audio video, with lyrics:

Audio video, Emi Fujita, with lyrics:

Audio video, Olivia Ong, in album “Fall in Love With”, 2012:

From a distance – Bette Midler

The song From a Distance was composed by Julie Gold (1956- ) in 1985.

The excerpts below (Hutchinson, 2015) present the story behind From a Distance and the miracles a song can bring, as told by Julie Gold.

In 1978, at the age of 22, I came to New York in pursuit of my dream of being a songwriter. And while dreams are essential, they don’t pay the rent. For years, I worked various temp jobs while gigging at night and sending songs out whenever possible. It was a struggle. No health benefits. No money for recreational purposes. Desperation. Self doubt. Fear. But, all the while, I clung to my dream like a life preserver.

I finally gave in to taking a full-time job as a secretary at HBO in 1984. It was a smart move. Ah, the magic of a steady paycheck. In my spare time and evening hours, I was of course still gigging, writing songs and dreaming my big dream.

Julie Gold
Julie Gold

In 1985, just before my 30th birthday, my parents sent me the piano I grew up playing. I took the day off work to be home when my piano arrived. My piano. My truest love and friend. The next day I sat down and From a Distance just poured out of me. On one hand, it took me two hours to write. On the other hand, it took me 30 years.

I sent From a Distance around to all my contacts. As usual, most did not even reply. Those who did found fault with my song. My friend and fellow songwriter Christine Lavin loved it and requested copies to send around to her friends and contacts. Then I came home one day to a flashing message on my answering machine. There was a gentle, unknown voice identifying herself as Nanci Griffith. Christine had sent her the song, she loved it, and was asking to record it.

Nanci sang that song all over the world, and I was still very much a secretary. She took me out on the road with her several times, just so I could play the piano as she sang that one song.

On June 16, 1988, I played Carnegie Hall with Nanci. All my relatives came up from Philadelphia to share the miracle. Most of them, including my mother, are immigrants. In many ways, I am their American Dream.

Then I received a call from Marc Shaiman, who identified himself as Bette Midler’s musical director. She was making a new record, and, in their search for songs, they called Stephen Holden at the New York Times for suggestions. Stephen told Marc about From a Distance, Marc called me, I sent the scratchy demo, and Bette recorded it.

People seemed to love it, and I won a Grammy for Song of the Year in 1991. Here I was still living in one dark room, no money, uncertain of my future, and yet my song was on the radio and I had won a Grammy. If that isn’t a dream come true, what is?

I am now 55. I have heard From a Distance in many languages. I have felt it in Braille. I have heard it on music boxes and in elevators. I have read it on greeting cards and in children’s books. And it has been played for astronauts in space. It is nothing short of a miracle, and I am never anything but amazed and grateful that the miracle happened to me.

In the following, artists from different parts of the world perform in different interpretations, indicating that music can bring people together, from a distance.

+ *Audio video, Nanci Griffith:

+ *Audio video, Bette Midler, with lyrics:

Audio video, The Byrds, with lyrics, 1990:

Audio video, Emi Fujita:

+ MV, David Archuleta & Rexburg Children’s Choir, 2020:

Funkytown – Lipps Inc.

The song Funkytown was written by musician–composer Steven Greenberg (1950- ) and recorded by American disco act Lipps Inc. in 1979. Steven wrote the song while the band was living in Minneapolis with dreams of moving to New York.

Funkytown reached the top spot in Austria, Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, and the U.S., among many others.

In 1986, Funkytown was covered by Australian band Pseudo Echo, who gave the song a different sound, with a guitar solo in the middle of their version. This version became a hit in Australia, Canada and the U.S.

* Audio video, Lipps Inc. (original):

* Live video, Bailey Pelkman, 2016:

MV, Pseudo Echo, remaster version, 2018:

MV, Marcus Nimbler:

Goodnight, Irene (Irene, Goodnight) – Lead Belly

According to Wikipedia,

Goodnight, Irene or Irene, Goodnight is a 20th-century American folk standard, written in 3/4 time, first recorded in 1933 by American blues musician Huddie ‘Lead Belly’ Ledbetter (1888-1949).

The lyrics tell of the singer’s troubled past with his love, Irene, and express his sadness and frustration. Several verses refer explicitly to suicidal fantasies, most famously in the line “sometimes I take a great notion to jump in the river and drown,”

The specific origins of “Irene” are unclear. Lead Belly was singing a version of the song as early as 1908, which he claimed to have learned from his uncles Terell and Bob. An 1892 song by Gussie L. Davis has several lyrical and structural similarities to the latter song; a copy of the sheet music is available from the Library of Congress. Some evidence suggests the 1892 song was itself based on an even earlier song which has not survived. Regardless of where he first heard it, by the 1930s Lead Belly had made the song his own, modifying the rhythm and rewriting most of the verses.

In 1950, one year after Lead Belly’s death, the American folk band The Weavers recorded a version of Goodnight, Irene. Although generally faithful, the Weavers chose to omit some of Lead Belly’s more controversial lyrics. Due to the recording’s popularity, The Weavers’ lyrics are the ones generally used today. Billboard magazine ranked this version as the No. 1 song of 1950.

In 2002, Lead Belly’s 1936 Library of Congress recording received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award.

Audio video, Nat King Cole:

Audio video, The Weavers:

* Audio video, The Brothers Four:

Live video, Nashville Jam, 2016:

Green, Green Grass of Home – Tom Jones

Tom Jones
Tom Jones

The song Green, Green Grass of Home was written by Claude “Curly” Putman, Jr. (1930-2016) and first recorded by singer Johnny Darrell in 1965, with some success. When Tom Jones (1940- ) recorded the song in 1966, he had a worldwide No. 1 hit with it.

This is a story of a man beginning with his return to his childhood home: his parents are there to greet him, and Mary comes running to join them. All come to meet him with “arms reaching, smiling sweetly.” With Mary the man strolls around including “the old oak tree that I used to play on.” It is “good to touch the green, green grass of home.”

Abruptly, the man switches from song to speech: “Then I awake and look around me, at four grey walls that surround me. And I realize that I was only dreaming” and “there’s a guard, and there’s a sad old padre”. Then: “arm in arm, we’ll walk at daybreak”, and he returns home only to be buried: “Yes, they’ll all come to see me in the shade of that old oak tree, as they lay me ‘neath the green, green grass of home.”

Green, Green Grass of Home is in CMT’s list “100 Greatest Songs of Country Music” as of 2003.

* Audio video, Tom Jones, with lyrics:

* Audio video, Elvis Presley:

Live video, Mike & Tom Jones, in “The Voice UK”, 2013:

Greenfields – The Brothers Four

Brothers Four Mike McCoy, Karl Olsen, Mark Pearson, Bob Flick
The Brothers Four: Mike McCoy, Karl Olsen, Mark Pearson, and Bob Flick

The song Greenfields was composed then released in 1956 by The Easy Riders of Terry Gilkyson, Richard Dehr and Frank Miller.

In 1960, The Brothers Four made new arrangements and recorded the song, which eventually reached a sale of 1 million copies.

* Audio video, The Brothers Four:


Audio video, Eliza Gilkyson:

Audio video, The Ventures:

+ * MV, Ekaterina Shelehova, 2019:

Greensleeves – English folk song

According to Wikipedia,

Greensleeves (also My Ladye Greensleeves or Ladye Greensleeves) is a traditional English folk song and tune. It is found in several late-16th-century and early-17th-century sources, as well as various manuscripts preserved in the Seeley Historical Library at the University of Cambridge.

There is a persistent belief that Greensleeves was composed by Henry VIII for his lover and future queen consort Anne Boleyn. Boleyn allegedly rejected King Henry’s attempts to seduce her, and this rejection may be referred to in the song when the writer’s love “cast me off discourteously”. However, the piece is based on an Italian style of composition that did not reach England until after Henry’s death, making it more likely to be Elizabethan in origin.

One possible interpretation of the lyrics is that Lady Green Sleeves was a promiscuous young woman, perhaps even a prostitute. At the time, the word “green” had sexual connotations, most notably in the phrase “a green gown”, a reference to the grass stains on a woman’s dress from engaging in sexual intercourse outdoors.

An alternative explanation is that Lady Green Sleeves was, through her costume, incorrectly assumed to be sexually promiscuous. Her “discourteous” rejection of the singer’s advances supports the contention that she is not.

In Nevill Coghill’s translation of The Canterbury Tales, he explains that “green [for Chaucer’s age] was the colour of lightness in love. This is echoed in “Greensleeves is my delight” and elsewhere.

Christmas and New Year texts were associated with the tune from as early as 1686, and by the 19th century almost every printed collection of Christmas carols included some version of words and music together, most of them ending with the refrain “On Christmas Day in the morning”. One of the most popular of these is What Child Is This?, written in 1865 by William Chatterton Dix.

Audio video_Greensleeves, Celtic Ladies, with lyrics:

* Audio video_Greensleeves, Amy Nuttall, trong album “Best Days”, 2005:

+ * Audio video, Giovanni Marradi instrumental:

+ Audio video_Greensleeves, Karliene, 2019:

+ * Live video_What Child Is This?, Celtic Woman:

Guantanamera – José Fernández Diaz

Guantanamera (Spanish: “Girl from Guantánamo”) is perhaps the best known Cuban song and that country’s most noted patriotic song, especially when using a poem by the Cuban poet–essayist– journalist–translator–professor José Martí (1853-1895) for the lyrics. The official writing credits have been given to Joseíto Fernández, who first popularized the song on radio as early as 1929 (although it is unclear when the first release as a record occurred).

In 1966, a version by American vocal group, The Sandpipers, based on an arrangement by the Weavers from their May 1963 Carnegie Hall Reunion concert, became an international hit. It has been recorded by many other solo artists.

* Sound recording, Cuba Vista:

Audio video, Trini Lopez, with original lyrics and English sub-titles:

MV, Playing for Change, over 75 Cuban singers all over the world:

He’ll Have to Go – Jim Reeves

He’ll Have to Go is an American country and pop hit recorded in 1959 by American country and popular music singer–songwriter Jim Reeves (1923-1964). The song went on to become a hit in both genres early in 1960.

The song is about a man who’s talking by telephone to the woman he loves when he realizes that another man is with her. The song was written by the husband-and-wife team of Joe and Audrey Allison, and was inspired by a phone conversation between them in which they had trouble making themselves understood. Because of background noise and Audrey Allison’s naturally soft voice, her husband had to ask her to put her mouth very close to the receiver. That led her to pen the song’s first line.

Reeves recorded the song after listening to the original version of it by singer Billy Brown. When Brown’s version attracted little attention, Reeves felt free to record his own, which some music executives thought considered a stronger song. It was not long before the version of He’ll Have to Go by Jim Reeves became a huge country and pop hit.

* Sound recording_He’ll Have to Go, Jim Reeves, 1959:

+ * Video âm thanh_He’ll Have To Stay, Skeeter Davis, answering Jim Reeves’ the version:

+ Video âm thanh_He’ll Have to Go, Elvis Presley, 1976:

* Audio video_She’ll Have To Go, Ann Murray, in CD “Country Croonin”, 2002:

Live video_He’ll Have to Go, De Dixie Aces:

Heal the World – Michael Jackson

The song Heal the World was written, composed and recorded by Michael Jackson (1958-2009) in 1992.

In a 2001 Internet chat with fans, Jackson said that Heal the World is the song he was most proud to have created. He also created the Heal the World Foundation, a charitable organization which was designed to improve the lives of children. The organization was also meant to teach children how to help others. This concept of ‘betterment for all’ would become a centerpiece for the Dangerous World Tour. In the documentary Living with Michael Jackson, Jackson said he created the song in his “Giving Tree” at Neverland Ranch.

* Audio video, Michael Jackson, with lyrics:

Live video, child prodigies across the globe come together to pays a tribute to Michael Jackson:

Live video, Live-Mitschnitt des Schulkonzertes “Musik im Cusanus”, 2014:

+ * Live video, André Rieu, Maastricht, 2019:

Heart of Gold – Neil Young

Heart of Gold is a song by Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young (1945- ). Released from the 1972 album Harvest, it is so far Young’s only U.S. No. 1 single. In Canada, it reached No. 1 on the RPM national singles chart for the first time on April 8, 1972, on which date Young held the top spot on both the singles and albums charts.

The Rolling Stone magazine puts it on their list of the 500 greatest songs of all time as of 2016.

+ * Audio video, Neil Young:

Live video, Neil Young & Willie Nelson, in Farm Aid 1995:

Live video, Lior and Serena Ryder:

Live video, Ruth B., 2017:

Hello – Lionel Richie

Hello is a song by Lionel Richie, released in 1984 and reached number one on three Billboard music charts: the pop chart, the R&B chart, and the adult contemporary chart. The song also went to number one in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, and the U.K., and top ten in almost all other countries where it appears.

Hello is considered to be Lionel Richie’s signature song.

* Audio video, Lionel Richie, với ca từ:

+ * Live video, Boyce Avenue:

+ Live video, Dennis Kroon, in “The Voice of Holland”, 2014:

Help Me Make It Through the Night – Sammi Smith

Help Me Make It Through the Night is a country music ballad written and composed by Kris Kristofferson (1936- ) and released in 1970. It was covered later in 1970 by Sammi Smith, and her recording remains the most commercially successful and most well-known version in the United States: it ranks among the most successful country singles of all time in terms of sales, popularity, and radio airplay. It topped the country singles chart, and was also a crossover hit, reaching number eight on the U.S. pop singles chart. Help Me Make It Through the Night also became Smith’s signature song.

Inspired by Smith’s success with the song, numerous other artists covered it thereafter, including Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, Glen Campbell, Joan Baez, Jerry Lewis, Elvis Presley, and Willie Nelson.

+ Audio video, Sammi Smith, with lyrics:

+ Audio video, Anne Murray:

Live video, Lorrie Morgan, 2016:

Hey Jude – The Beatles

The song Hey Jude was written by Paul McCartney (1942- ), credited to the Lennon–McCartney partnership, and released by The Beatles in 1968. Hey Jude was a number-one hit in many countries around the world and became the top-selling single of 1968 in Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US. It has sold approximately eight million copies and is frequently included on music critics’ lists of the greatest songs of all time.

The Beatles Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon 06- Sep-1963
The Beatles: Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and John Lennon, 06- Sep-1963

The lyrics espouse a positive outlook on a sad situation, while also encouraging “Jude” to pursue his opportunities to find love. After the fourth verse, the song shifts to a wordless, fade-out coda that lasts for over four minutes.

In May 1968, John Lennon and his wife Cynthia separated. The following month, Paul McCartney drove out to visit the Lennons’ five-year-old son Julian. Cynthia Lennon recalled of McCartney’s surprise visit: “I was touched by his obvious concern for our welfare … On the journey down he composed Hey Jude in the car. I will never forget Paul’s gesture of care and concern in coming to see us.” The song’s original title was “Hey Jules”, and it was intended to comfort Julian from the stress of his parents’ separation. McCartney said, “I knew it was not going to be easy for him”, and that he changed the name to “Jude” “because I thought that sounded a bit better”.

In 2013, Billboard magazine named it the 10th “biggest” song of all time in terms of chart success.

McCartney has continued to perform Hey Jude in concert since Lennon’s death in 1980, leading audiences in singing the closing “Na-na-na na” chant.

Hey Jude is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

+ * Audio video, The Beatles, with lyrics:

MV, Tere Bina & Shillong Chamber Choir:

+ Live video, Jo A Ram (electronic violin), 2013:

Live video, Adam Levine, in “The Voice”, 2017:

Live video, Lilian, in “The Voice Kids France”, 2018:

Historia de un Amor – Carlos Eleta Almarán

Historia de un Amor (Spanish for “a love story”) is a song about a man’s old love written by Panamanian songwriter Carlos Eleta Almarán (1918-2013). It was written after the death of his brother’s wife. It is also part of the soundtrack of a 1956 Mexican film of the same name starring Libertad Lamarque. The song tells of a man’s suffering after his love has disappeared.

The song was first recorded as a tango by Héctor Varela and his orchestra along with singer Rodolfo Lesica. Eventually the song has around two thousand covers and becomes the Latin song with the highest number of covers, and the sixth among international songs.

According to Almarán’s account, in 1955, Mercedes – the wife of his younger brother Fernando – was seriously ill while being pregnant. Knowing she would not recover, Mercedes begged Carlos to support and comfort Fernando. Faced with such the suffering in despair, Almaran made a promise, and three hours later, he turned his emotions into the song Historia de un Aamor. Thus, the feeling of the song is deeper than for the broken love of a couple.

After Carlos Eleta Almaran dies, the website latinmusic.about.com states that the lyrics of Historia de un amor are among the most memorable lyrics of the Latin music.


The French version Histoire d’un Amour sung by Dalida in 1959 made the song highly popular in francophone countries, such that many listeners here thought that it was a French song.

* Audio video_Histoire d’un Amour, Dalida, with lyrics:

Live video_Historia de un Amor, French Latino:

Live video, violins duo SunStrings, in album “Cadence Latine”, 2010:

+ * Live video_Historia de un Amor, Danny Frank, 2015:

* Live video_Histoire d’un Amour, Hélène Ségara, in “Le Téléthon”, 2016:

Home on the Range – American folk song

In 1871, Dr. Brewster M. Higley (1823-1911) moved from Indiana to Smith County, Kansas, under the Homestead Act. He lived in a small cabin near West Beaver Creek. He was so inspired by his new bucolic surroundings that he decided to create a poem in praise of the prairie. Thus, the lyrics to Home on the Range were originally published as a poem in the Smith County Pioneer in 1872 under the title My Western Home.

The music was later added by Daniel E. Kelley (1808-1905), a carpenter and friend of Higley. Higley’s original words are similar to those of the modern version of the song, but not identical; the original did not contain the words “on the range”.

The song was eventually adopted by ranchers, cowboys, and other western settlers and spread across the United States in various forms. In 1925, the song was arranged as sheet music by Texas composer David W. Guion (1892-1981), who occasionally was credited as the composer. The song has since gone by a number of names, the most common being Home on the Range and Western Home. It is officially adopted as the state song of Kansas, and is commonly regarded as the unofficial anthem of the American West.

In 1947, it became the state song of the U.S. state of Kansas. In 2010, members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 western songs of all time.

Audio video, female choir, with lyrics:

Audio video, Pete Seeger:

Sound recording, Yao Si Ting, with lyrics:

Hotel California – The Eagles

According to Wikipedia,

The song Hotel California was written by Don Felder (music),Don Henley and Glenn Frey (lyrics), and was released as a single in 1977. The Eagles’ original recording of the song features Henley singing the lead vocals and concludes with an extended section of electric guitar interplay between Felder and Joe Walsh.

The song is considered the most famous recording by the band, and its long guitar coda has been voted the best guitar solo of all time by readers of Guitarist in 1998. The song was awarded the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1978.

The lyrics of the song have been given various interpretations by fans and critics alike, the Eagles themselves describing the song as their “interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles”. In the 2013 documentary History of the Eagles, Henley said that the song was about “a journey from innocence to experience… that’s all…”

Since its release, Hotel California has been covered by a number of artists and has become a part of international popular culture. Hotel California reached the number one position on the Billboard Magazine Hot 100 (The Billboard Hot 100 is the music industry standard record chart in the U.S. for songs, published weekly by Billboard magazine), and reached the top ten of several international charts.

Hotel California is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

The Eagles Glenn Fry, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy Schmit .jpg
The Eagles: Glenn Fry, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy Schmi

* Sound recording, The Eagles, acoustic guitars with lyrics:

Live video, Mix Beatbox acapella, with lyrics:

Live video, Don Felder feat. Styx, 2015:

How Do I Live – LeAnn Rimes

LeAnn Rimes
LeAnn Rimes

How Do I Live is a song written by Diane Warren (1956- ). It was originally performed by LeAnn Rimes (1982- ) and the extended version of the song was later featured on her second studio album You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs in 1997. It was also performed by Trisha Yearwood (1964- ), and Yearwood’s version was used in the soundtrack of the film Con Air.

Diane Warren has won a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, three consecutive Billboard Magazine Music Awards for Songwriter of the Year, and has been nominated for ten Academy Awards. She has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The version How Do I Live by LeAnn Rimes is in Billboard magazine’s list “The Hot 100’s All-Time Top 100 Songs” as of 2018. (Note: The Billboard Hot 100 is the music industry standard record chart in the U.S. for songs, published weekly by Billboard magazine.)

* Sound recording, LeAnn Rimes, with lyrics:

* Sound recording, Trisha Yearwood, with lyrics:

I Can’t Stop Loving You – Ray Charles

I Can’t Stop Loving You is a pop song composed by country singer, songwriter and musician Don Gibson, who first recorded it in 1957.

Ray Charles
Ray Charles

The song was covered by Ray Charles (1930-2004) in 1962, and this version achieved outstanding success: number one on the Billboard Magazine Hot 100 in 1962, as well as the U.S. R&B and Adult Contemporary charts.

The version of I Can’t Stop Loving You by Ray Charles is in CMT’s list “100 Greatest Songs of Country Music” as of 2003, and in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

* Audio video, Ray Charles, 1962:


Live video, Elvis Presley, 1973:

Video trình diễn sống, Mutiara Band, 2014:

Audio video, Ocean Media, in album “Good Memories, Vol. 9”, with lyrics, 2015:

I Dreamed a Dream – Susan Boyle

By Wikipedia,

I Dreamed a Dream is a song from the musical Les Misérables. It is a solo that is sung by the character Fantine during the first act. The music is by Claude-Michel Schönberg, and the English lyrics are by Herbert Kretzmer, based on the original French libretto by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel from the original French production.

The song is a lament, sung by the anguished Fantine, who has just been fired from her job at the factory and thrown onto the streets. She thinks back to happier days and wonders at all that has gone wrong in her life. The song is typically played in the key of E-flat major with the final chorus in F major, though the pitch is shifted up a bit for high-toned TVs, and it has also become a jazz standard.

In the 1985 musical, the song occurs after Fantine has been fired, and before Lovely Ladies. In the original French production and the 2012 film adaptation, these two musical numbers are swapped around, to place dramatic emphasis on Fantine’s depressing descent into prostitution.

The original French song was very extensively rewritten for the English production by Herbert Kretzmer, adding the prologue (There was a time…) and cutting the last few lines which became the ending to Lovely Ladies (‘Don’t they know they’re making love to one already dead’). For the French revival in 1991, the song was loosely translated back from the English version; there are thus two very different French versions of the song.

Susan Boyle
Susan Boyle

The song had a resurgence in popularity in 2009 when 47-year-old Susan Boyle performed at the reality television program Britain’s Got Talent. Boyle’s performance elicited a unanimous vote for passage into the next round of competition by judges Piers Morgan, Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell, with Morgan giving Boyle “the biggest yes [he had] ever given” in his three years of judging the show. Today, I Dreamed a Dream is known as the song that catapulted Susan Boyle to super-stardom, and it helped sales of her album “I Dreamed a Dream”. Currently, the album has been declared as the fastest selling debut album of all time in the U.K., and sold 701,000 copies in its first week in just the U.S., breaking the record for highest debut ever for a solo female artist.

* Sound recording, Lea Salonga:

* Audio video, Elaine Paige:

* Live video, Susan Boyle, in “Britain’s Got Talent”, 2009:

Movie clip_Les Misérables (2012), Anne Hathaway:

I Have Nothing – Whitney Houston

The song I Have Nothing was written by David Foster and Linda Thompson, then recorded by Whitney Houston (1963-2012) in 1993. The song is a richly orchestrated power ballad about deep love and the confusion that happens to lovers because of the different perceptions of women and men when it comes to commitment to one’s lover.

Internationally, the song reached number one in Canada, the top five in Ireland and the United Kingdom, the top ten in Denmark and Portugal, and peaked within the top forty in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland.

* Sound recording, Whitney Houston:

Live video, Ariana Grande, at The White House, 2014:

Live video, Johnny Manuel, in “America’s Got Talent”, 2017:

I Walk the Line – Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash

The song I Walk the Line was written and recorded in 1956 by Johnny Cash (1932-2003). It sold over 2 million copies.

In a telephone interview, Cash stated, “I wrote the song backstage one night in 1956 in Gladewater, Texas. I was newly married at the time, and I suppose I was laying out my pledge of devotion.” After the writing of the song Cash had a discussion with fellow performer Carl Perkins who encouraged him to adopt I Walk the Line as the song title. Cash originally intended the song as a slow ballad, but producer Sam Phillips preferred a faster arrangement, which Cash grew to like as the uptempo recording met with success.

I Walk the Line is in CMT’s list “100 Greatest Songs of Country Music” as of 2003, in Rolling Stone magazine ‘s list “100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time” as of 2014, and in the magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

* Sound recording, Johnny Cash, with lyrics:

* Audio video, Joaquin Phoenix, in the movie Walk the Line:

* Audio video, Connie Francis:

I Will Always Love You – Dolly Parton

The song I Will Always Love You was originally written and recorded in 1973 by singer–songwriter Dolly Parton (1946- ). Her country version was written as a farewell to her one-time partner and mentor of seven years, Porter Wagoner, following Parton’s decision to pursue a solo career. Parton’s version of I Will Always Love You was a commercial success.

Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton

Whitney Houston (1963-2012) recorded her version of the song for the film The Bodyguard (1992), to be one of the best-selling singles of all time. It also holds the record for being the best-selling single by a woman in music history. The song has been recorded by many other artists including Linda Ronstadt, John Doe and LeAnn Rimes.

The version I Will Always Love You by Dolly Parton is in CMT’s list “100 Greatest Songs of Country Music” as of 2003.

The version I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston is in American Film Institute’s list of 100 greatest songs in American movies as of 2003, and in Billboard magazine’s list “The Hot 100’s All-Time Top 100 Songs” as of 2018.

* Audio video, Whitney Houston (Official Video):

Live video, Dolly Parton, with the voice still enthralling after 30 years of singing:

* Live video, Ashly Williams, in “The X Factor USA 2013”:

+ * MV, Hauser & Señorita, 2019:

If I Were A Boy – Beyoncé


According to Wikipedia,

The ballad If I Were A Boy was written by BC Jean and Toby Gad, then performed by singer–songwriter Beyoncé (Giselle Knowles-Carter, 1981- ) from her third studio album I Am… Sasha Fierce (2008). Inspired by the difficult break-up of a romantic relationship, the song was initially recorded by Jean, whose record company rejected it. Beyoncé then recorded her own version. Jean was upset when she learned that Beyoncé was releasing it as a single, but eventually, they reached an agreement. Columbia Records released If I Were a Boy to U.S. radio in 2008, as a double A-side single album’s alongside Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) as the lead singles. The two songs showcased the contrast between Beyoncé’s personality and her aggressive onstage persona, Sasha Fierce. A Spanish version of the song, titled Si Yo Fuera un Chico, was digitally released in Mexico and Spain.

If I Were a Boy was well received by critics, who complimented Beyoncé’s tormented and emotive vocal performance and called the song her best work to date. The single was a commercial success as it placed in the top ten on twenty-five different singles charts. It topped the charts in more than eight European countries, including the United Kingdom, where it is Beyoncé’s best-selling single. If I Were a Boy earned multi-platinum certifications (for multi-million sales) in Australia, Canada, and the U.S.

* Live video, Beyoncé, with lyrics:

* Live video, G.E.M., with lyrics, 2014:

If You Love Me, Let Me Know – Olivia Newton-John

If You Love Me, Let Me Know is a United States and Canada-only album by singer Olivia Newton-John, released in 1974. It is the first of her albums to top the Billboard 200 pop albums chart.

Audio video, Olivia Newton-John:

+ Audio video, Elvis Presley, in album “Moody Blue”, 1977:

+ Live video, Carla, 2017:

Imagine – John Lennon & Yoko Ono

Yoko Ono & John Lennon
Yoko & Lennon

According to Songfacts (https://www.songfacts.com/facts/john-lennon/imagine),

John Lennon (1940-1980) was asking us to imagine a place where things that divide people (religion, possessions, etc.) did not exist. He felt that would be a much better place.

This song is a strong political message that is sugarcoated in a beautiful melody. Lennon realized that the softer approach would bring the song to a wider audience, who hopefully would listen to his message.

Lennon took the sole songwriter credit on this track, but later said that his wife, Yoko Ono (1933- ), should have been credited as well, as he got the initial idea from her book Grapefruit, which is a book of instructions with things like “Imagine the sky crying…” or “Imagine you’re a cloud.” “I was a bit more selfish, a bit more macho, and I sort of omitted to mention her contribution,” he told the BBC. “I just put ‘Lennon’ because she’s just the wife and you don’t put her name on, right?”

On June 14, 2017, the National Music Publishers’ Association announced that Yoko would finally be added as a songwriter for Imagine. This took place at a ceremony where Yoko was given the Centennial (song of the century) award for her contribution, which was followed by a Patti Smith performance of the song.

Imagine is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

* MV, John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band, restored & remastered:

* MV, many singers including John Lennon, UNICEF World Version:

* Live video, Children’s Choir Performance at London 2012 Olympics, with image and voice of John Lennon:

* Live video, Veniamin/Anastasia/Vsevolod, in “The Voice Kids Russia”, 2016:

Flashmob, Skopje, Northern Macedonia, celebrating 70 years of UNICEF, 2016:

Immortality – Céline Dion

Immortality is a song recorded by Canadian singer Céline Dion (1968- ), recorded for her fifth English-language studio album “Let’s Talk About Love (1997). It was written by Bee Gees, who also recorded backing vocals. Immortality became a top ten single in Europe and a top forty single in Canada and Australia.

* Sound recording, Céline Dion & Bee Gees:

* MV, Juan Pablo Di Pace, 2016:

Islands in the Stream – Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton

Islands in the Stream is a song written by Bee Gees and sung by American country music artists Kenny Rogers (1938- ) and Dolly Parton (1946- ). Named after the Ernest Hemingway novel, it was originally written for Marvin Gaye in an R&B style, only later to be changed for the Kenny Rogers album. It was released in August 1983 as the first single from Rogers’ album “Eyes That See in the Dark”.

The song has been certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for selling over two million physical copies in the U.S. In 2005 the song topped CMT’s poll of the best country duets of all time.

* Sound recording, Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton:

Live video, Bee Gees, in the show “One Night Only”, with lyrics, 1997:

Live video, Elizma Theron & Ray Dylan, 2016:

Island in the Sun – Harry Belafonte

Harry Belafonte
Harry Belafonte

Island in the Sun was written by Harry Belafonte and Irving Burgie (Lord Burgess), and performed by Harry Belafonte for the 1957 film Island in the Sun and on his 1957 album “Belafonte Sings of the Caribbean”. In 1962, the song was performed by The Brothers Four on the album “In Person/Cross-Country Concert”.

Do not be confused with the song of same name, also called Wizzer Song.

Audio video, Harry Belafonte, 1957:

Audio video, John Rowles:

* Audio video, Goombay Dance Band, 2012:

Jamaica Farewell – Harry Belafonte

Jamaica Farewell is a Jamaican-style folk song. The song appeared on Harry Belafonte’s album “Calypso”. The lyrics for the song were written by Lord Burgess (Irving Burgie), an American-born, half-Barbadan songwriter. It is about the beauties of the West Indian Islands.

Many, including Harry Belafonte (1927- ) himself, have said that the song was popular in the West Indies since long before Burgess. It is believed that Burgess compiled and modified the song from many folk pieces to make a new song.

The Kingston Trio, who led the folk revival of the late 1950s, took their name from the mention of Kingston, Jamaica in the song, though they only recorded it many years later, in 2006.

* Audio video, Harry Belafonte:

* Audio video, Don Williams:

Jambalaya – Hank Williams

Jambalaya (On the Bayou) or Jambalaya is a song written and recorded by American country music singer–songwriter and musician Hank Williams (1923-1953) that was first released in July 1952. Named for a Creole and Cajun dish, jambalaya, it spawned numerous cover versions and has since achieved popularity in several different music genres.

+ * Audio video, Hank Williams, 1952:

+ * Audio video, The Carpenters, with lyrics, 1973:

* MV, Country Zenit:

Killing Me Softly with His Song – Roberta Flack

Killing Me Softly with His Song is a song composed by Charles Fox with lyrics by Norman Gimbel, who recorded the song in late 1971. In 1973 it became a number-one hit in the United States and Canada for Roberta Flack, also reaching number six in the UK Singles Chart. The song has been covered by many artists; the version by the Fugees won the 1997 Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Killing Me Softly with His Song is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

+ * Audio video, Roberta Flack, with lyrics:

+ Audio video, Lori Lieberman:

Audio video, Joseph Vincent, with lyrics, 2016:

King of the Road – Roger Miller

King of the Road is a song written and originally recorded in 1964 by country singer Roger Dean Miller (1936-1992). The lyrics tell of the day-to-day life of a vagabond hobo who, despite being poor (a “man of means by no means”), revels in his freedom, describing himself humorously as the “king of the road”.

King of the Road is in CMT’s list “100 Greatest Songs of Country Music” as of 2003, and in Rolling Stone magazine ‘s list “100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time” as of 2014.

+ * Audio video, Roger Miller, with lyrics, 1965:

+ Audio video, Randy Travis:

+ Live video, Dean Miller (son of Roger Miller) on “Country’s Family Reunion”:

Kitaguni No Haru – Sen Masao

With the name in Japanese as 北国の春, this is the song whose music was composed by Minoru Endo and whose lyrics were written by Haku Ide. Korean-origin Japanese singer Sen Masao (千昌夫) recorded the song in 1977.

The lyrics are about the feelings of a young man thinking of his home land. During those times, the eldest son had to stay home, only younger brothers could leave home to find a job. The feelings were of a younger son who missed his mother, father, eldest brother and a certain girl, and the rural setting in the spring.

The song quickly becomes popular everywhere in Japan, and sales amount to 3 million copies. The song also spreads to Chinese-speaking countries. The version sung by Taiwanese singer Teresa Teng is highly popular.

Live video, Sen Masao, with Japanese lyrics:

* Sound recording, Teresa Teng, 1985:

MV, Toshimi Tagawa:

Audio video, with English lyrics:

* Live video, Jo A Ram (electric violon), 2016:

L’oiseau et l’enfant – Marie Myriam

L’oiseau et l’enfant (“The Bird and the Child”) was the winning song in the Eurovision Song Contest 1977 performed in French by Marie Myriam (born Myriam Lopes, 1957- ), who represented France. The song was composed by Jean Paul Cara and written by Joe Gracy.

During Preview Week, Myriam’s music video showed her performing the song in an open-air atmosphere, in a section of the Square René Viviani in Paris. This preview video is notable for the prominent presence of the gendarmes having to restrain the crowd, some of whom having climbed the noted “oldest tree in Paris” to catch a glimpse of the singer. On the Contest night, she performed in a floor-length orange gown while her five backup singers were clad in black.

Myriam recorded the song in five languages; French, English (as The Bird and the Child), German (Der Vogel und das Mädchen), Spanish (El zagal y el ave azul) and her mother tongue Portuguese (A ave e a infância).

Lyrics translation

Like a child with light in the eyes
Who sees birds flying away
Like the blue bird flying over the earth
See how the world, the world is beautiful.

Beautiful the boat with dance on vogues
Drunk of life, of love and of wind
Beautiful the song of emerging vogues
Deserted with white sand

White the innocent, the blood of the poet
Who invent the love while singing
So that the life dress up party
And that the night turns into day

Day of a life where the dawn is rising
To wake up the city with heavy eyes
Where mornings flakes the dreams
To give us a world of love

Love is you, love is me
The bird is you, the child is me.

Source: https://lyricstranslate.com/en/loiseau-et-lenfant-bird-and-kid.html

Live video, Marie Myriam, English version, with lyrics:

Live video, Gimnazija Kranj Symphony Orchestra, 2014:

MV, Kids United, in album “Tout Le Bonheur du Monde”, 2016:

La Bamba – Ritchie Valens

Ritchie Valens
Ritchie Valens

La Bamba is a Mexican folk song, originally from the state of Veracruz, best known from a 1958 adaptation by American singer–songwriter–guitarist Ritchie Valens (1941-1959), a top 40 hit in the U.S. charts and one of early rock and roll’s best-known songs.  By transforming a Mexican folk song into one with a rock rhythm and beat, Valens became a pioneer of the Spanish-speaking rock and roll movement.

Valens’ version of La Bamba is included in Robert Christgau’s Basic Record Library of 1950s and 1960s recordings – published in Christgau’s Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981) – and was on Rolling Stone magazine′s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time as of 2016. It is the only song on the list sung in a language other than English.

La Bamba has been covered by numerous artists, most notably by Los Lobos, whose version was the title track of the 1987 film La Bamba and reached No. 1 in the U.S. (the very first song in Spanish to hit No. 1 in the U.S.) and U.K. singles charts in the same year. The music video for Los Lobos’ version won the 1988 MTV Video Music Award for Best Video from a Film.

La Bamba has been named to the National Recording Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress because of its cultural, artistic and historical importance to American society and the nation’s audio heritage.

On 03 February 1959, on what has become known as “The Day the Music Died” (after singer–songwriter Don McLean referred to it as such in his 1971 song American Pie), Richie Valens died in a plane crash in Iowa, an accident that also claimed the lives of fellow musicians Buddy Holly and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, as well as pilot Roger Peterson. Valens was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

* Sound recording, Ritchie Valens:

Live video, Blake Shelton, in “The Voice Kids | Undercover Voice”:

+ MV, Playing for Change | Song Around the World:

La Cucaracha – Spanish folk song

The traditional Spanish folk song La Cucaracha was unknown when the song came about. It is very popular in Mexico, and was performed especially widely during the Mexican Revolution. Many alternative stanzas exist. The basic song describes a cockroach who cannot walk..

* Sound recording, John Kane:

* Audio video, Gypsy Kings:

* Animation video, Daria:

Live video, Petre Geambasu Show Band:

Animation video, Muffin Songs, lyrics differed from the original:

La Vie en Rose – Édith Piaf

Per Wikipedia,

La Vie en rose (literally in English: “Life in pink”) is the signature song of French singer–songwriter–film actress Édith Piaf (born Édith Giovanna Gassion; 1915-1963), written in 1945 and released as a single in 1947, with music by Louiguy (Louis Guglielmi, 1916-1991), and the lyrics by Édith Piaf. It was probably Robert Chauvigny who finalized the music, and when Édith suggested to Marguerite Monnot that she sign, the latter rejected “that foolishness.” It was eventually Louiguy who accepted the authorship of the music. It was broadcast before being recorded. Piaf offered the song to Marianne Michel, who modified the lyrics slightly, changing “les choses” (“things”) for “la vie” (“life”).

Edith Piaf
Édith Piaf

In 1943, Piaf performed at a nightclub/bordello called La Vie en Rose. Initially, Piaf’s peers and songwriting team didn’t think the song would be successful, finding it weaker than the rest of her repertoire. Heeding their advice, the singer put the song aside, only to change her mind the next year. It was performed live in concert for the first time in 1946. It became a favorite with audiences.

La Vie en rose was the song that made Piaf internationally famous, with its lyrics expressing the joy of finding true love and appealing to those who had survived the difficult period of World War II.

The song became very popular in the US in 1950 with no fewer than seven different versions reaching the Billboard magazine charts.

A version in 1977 by Jamaican singer Grace Jones was also a successful international hit. La Vie en rose has been covered by many other artists over the years, including a 1993 version by American singer Donna Summer. Harry James also recorded a version in 1950. Bing Crosby recorded the song again for his 1953 album Le Bing: Song Hits of Paris.

Audio video, Edith Piaf, with lyrics:

Live video, Jolie Môme:

Live video, Daniela Andrade, English version:

* Live video, Andrea Bocelli ft. Edith Piaf, 2013:

+ * Live video, Lucy Thomas, English version:

Les feuilles mortes – Yves Montand

Les feuilles mortes is a popular song and jazz standard composed by Hungarian-French composer Joseph Kosma (1905-1969) with original lyrics by French poet–screenwriter Jacques Prévert (1900-1977). The song becomes everlasting by the sweet voice of Italian-French actor–singer Yves Montand (1921-1991).

The English version entitled Autumn Leaves was written by Johnny Mercer. An instrumental version by pianist Roger Williams was a #1 best-seller in the U.S. Billboard magazine charts of 1955, and eventually becomes the best seller piano piece of all time with sales of 2 million copies.

With beautiful lyrics and sweet melody, Les feuilles mortes is one of the most well-known songs in francophone countries.

Lyrics translation – “Dead leaves” (edited by Diep Minh Tam)

Oh, I wish how you’d remember
the happy days when we were close friends
In those days life was more beautiful
and the sun was brighter than today.

Dead leaves are piled up by shovel
you see, I haven’t forgotten…
Dead leaves are piled up by shovel
so are memories and regrets
And the north wind carries them away
in the cold night of oblivion.

See, I haven’t forgotten
the song you used to sing for me.

It’s a song that looks like us
you loved me and I loved you
And we both lived together
you who loved me, I who loved you
But life separates those who love each other
slowly, quietly and quietly
And the sea erases on the sand
the footsteps of separated lovers

Source: https://lyricstranslate.com/en/les-feuilles-mortes-dead-leaves.html-1

* Sound recording_Les feuilles mortes, Yves Montand, with lyrics:

* Sound recording_Les feuilles mortes, Mireille Mathieu:

Audio video_Autumn Leaves, Nat King Cole:

* Live video, Yenne Lee, guitar solo, 2004:

Live video, Roger Williams on his 86th birthday, at the Musical Instrument Museum, Scottsdale, AZ, 2010:

Let It Be – The Beatles

According to Wikipedia,

Let It Be is a song written and sung by Paul McCartney (but credited as Lennon-McCartney), and released by the The Beatles in 1970.

In 1987, the song was recorded by charity supergroup Ferry Aid (which included McCartney). It reached number 1 on the UK Singles Chart for three weeks and reached the top ten in many other European countries.

McCartney said he had the idea of Let It Be after he had a dream about his mother during the tense period surrounding the sessions for The Beatles (“the White Album”) in 1968. According to McCartney, the song’s reference to “Mother Mary” was not biblical. The phrase has at times been used as a reference to the Virgin Mary. Nevertheless, McCartney explained that his mother – who died of cancer when he was fourteen – was the inspiration for the “Mother Mary” lyric. He later said: “It was great to visit with her again. I felt very blessed to have that dream. So that got me writing Let It Be. He also said in a later interview about the dream that his mother had told him, “It will be all right, just let it be.” When asked if the song referred to the Virgin Mary, McCartney has typically answered the question by assuring his fans that they can interpret the song however they like.

Let It Be is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

+ * Audio video, The Beatles (stereo remastered):

MV, Gentri:

Live video, John Legend & Alicia Keys, on Beatles’ 50th anniversary, 2015:

+ * Live video, Tom Rochet, in “The Voice France”, 2020:

Let Me Be There – Olivia Newton-John

Let Me Be There is a popular song written by English composer John Rostill (1942-1973), and first recorded by English-Australian singer–songwriter–actress–entrepreneur–activist Olivia Newton-John (1948- ) in 1973. Mike Sammes sings a bass vocal harmony on the song. The country-influenced song was Newton-John’s first Top 10 single in the U.S., peaking at No. 6, and also won her a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocalist.

Olivia Newton-John is a four-time Grammy Award winner who has amassed five number-one and ten other top ten Billboard Hot 100 singles, and two number-one Billboard 200 solo albums. Eleven of her singles (including two platinum) and 14 of her albums (including two platinum and four double platinum) have been certified gold by the RIAA. She has sold an estimated 100 million records worldwide, making her one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. She starred in the musical film Grease, and its soundtrack is one of the most successful in history, with the single You’re the One That I Want, with John Travolta, one of the best-selling singles.

Audio video, Olivia Newton-John:

Live video, FlatBroke:

+ Audio video of live performance, Elvis Presley, 1974:

* Live video, Luna & Yoon Hyung Joo, with lyrics, 2018:

Let’s Twist Again – Chubby Checker

Let’s Twist Again is a song written by Kal Mann and Dave Appell, and released as a single by Chubby Checker (1941- ). One of the biggest hit singles of 1961, the song refers to the twist dance craze and Checker’s 1960 single The Twist, a two-time U.S. No.1 single.

The song received the 1962 Grammy Award for Best Rock & Roll Recording. Checker also recorded the song in German as Der Twist Beginnt and in Italian as Balliamo il Twist. A sample of Der Twist Beginnt would later be used by The Residents to begin their 1976 album “The Third Reich ‘n Roll”. The song appears on the soundtrack of the 2011 film The Help.

Croatian singer Tatjana Cameron Tajči made a remake of the song in Croatian renaming it Moj mali je opasan. In 1985 Kids Incorporated covered Let’s Twist Again in the Season 2 episode “Rock of Ages”.

Live video, Chubby Checker& California Jubilee, in album “The Best of Chubby Checker 1959-1963”, 2005:

* Live video, Adriana Vlad Band:

Live video, BUDDY in concert, 2014:

Little Darlin’ – The Diamonds

The song Little Darlin’, composed by Maurice Williams, was made famous by the Diamonds in January 1957. The song is noted for its spoken recitation by the lead singer (“My Darlin’ I need you…”).

The Diamonds were a Canadian pop group that evolved into a doo-wop group. Billboard magazine ranked this version as the No. 3 song for 1957. The Diamonds’ version is generally considered superior to others.

Audio video, Elvis Presley, 1977:

Audio video, Sha Na Na, 1969:

Video trình diễn sống, The Diamonds, album “American Graffiti”, 2007:

Loch Lomond – traditional Scottish song

According to Wikipedia,

Loch Lomond, or The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond, is a well-known traditional Scottish song published in 1841. The song features Loch Lomond, the largest Scottish loch, located between the counties of Dunbartonshire and Stirlingshire. In Scottish vernacular, “bonnie” means “pretty”, often in reference to a female.

Loc Lomond
Loch Lomond

There are several theories about the meaning of the song, most of which are connected to the Jacobite Uprising of 1745. One interpretation based on the lyrics is that the song is sung by the lover of a captured Jacobite rebel set to be executed in London following a show trial. The heads of the executed rebels were then set upon pikes and exhibited in all of the towns between London and Edinburgh in a procession along the “high road” (the most important road), while the relatives of the rebels walked back along the “low road” (the ordinary road travelled by peasants and commoners).

Another interpretation of the “Low Road” is that it refers to the traditional underground route taken by the “fairies” or “little people” who were reputed to transport the soul of a dead Scot who died in a foreign land—in this case, England—back to his homeland to rest in peace.

Another similar interpretation also attributes it to a Jacobite Highlander captured after the 1745 rising. The Hanoverian British victors were known to play cruel games on the captured Jacobites, and would supposedly find a pair of either brothers or friends and tell them one could live and the other would be executed, and it was up to the pair to decide. Thus the interpretation here is that the song is sung by the brother or friend who chose or was chosen to die. He is therefore telling his friend that they will both go back to Scotland, but he will go on the “low road”, his body being paraded along the main road controlled by the Duke of Cumberland’s forces, whereas his friend will have to head for the hilltops, taking longer to get back. Another supporting feature of this is that he states he will never meet his love again in the temporal world, on Loch Lomond. Some believe that this version is written entirely to a lover who lived near the loch.

A related interpretation holds that a professional soldier and a volunteer were captured by the English in one of the small wars between the countries in the couple of hundred years prior to 1746. Volunteers could accept parole, a release contingent on the volunteer’s refusal to rejoin the fighting, but regulars could not and so could face execution. The volunteer would take the high road that linked London and Edinburgh while the soul of the executed regular would return along the “low road” and would get back to Scotland first.

* Audio video, John McDermott, with lyrics:

* Audio video, Irish Roses: Women of Celtic Song:

MV, Ella Roberts:

Live video, Landesjugendchor Vorarlberg in “Voices for Kids”, 2016:

Longer – Dan Fogelberg

Longer is a song written and recorded in 1979 by the American composer and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Grayling Fogelberg (1951-2007). Fogelberg wrote the song while vacationing in Maui, “lounging in a hammock one night and looking up at the stars. It just seems this song was drifting around the universe, saw me, and decided I’d give it a good home.” Accompanying Fogelberg’s vocals is an acoustic guitar (played by the singer) as well as a flugelhorn solo by Jerry Hey.

Lyrically, the song compares various events (“Longer than there’ve been stars up in the heavens”) with his emotional attachment to the one he loves (“I’ve been in love with you”).

In the United Kingdom, Longer was Fogelberg’s only song to reach the U.K. Singles Chart.

* Audio video, Dan Fogelberg, with lyrics:

Live video, Mike Massé:

Love Changes Everything – Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber

Love Changes Everything is a song from the musical Aspects of Love (opening in 1969), composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, with a lyric written by Charles Hart and Don Black. It is first sung in the musical by the character Alex Dillingham, which was originated by Michael Ball in both the London and Broadway casts.

The song became the best-known number from Aspects of Love and it “delivered yet more proof that Andrew Lloyd Webber could deliver soaring, authentic ballads”.

Andrew Lloyd Webber
Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Baron Lloyd-Webber (1948- ) is an English composer and impresario of musical theatre. Several of his musicals have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway. He has composed 13 musicals, a song cycle, a set of variations, two film scores, and a Latin Requiem Mass.

Several of his songs have been widely recorded and were hits outside of their parent musicals, notably:

  • Any Dream Will Do from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
  • Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina and You Must Love Me from Evita
  • I Don’t Know How to Love Him from Jesus Christ Superstar
  • Memory from Cats
  • The Music of the Night and All I Ask of You from The Phantom of the Opera

In 2001 The New York Times referred to him as “the most commercially successful composer in history”. Ranked the “fifth most powerful person in British culture” by The Daily Telegraph in 2008, the lyricist Don Black stated “Andrew more or less single-handedly reinvented the musical.”

He has received a number of awards, including a knighthood in 1992, followed by a peerage from Queen Elizabeth II for services to Music, six Tonys, three Grammys (as well as the Grammy Legend Award), an Academy Award, fourteen Ivor Novello Awards, seven Olivier Awards, a Golden Globe, a Brit Award, the 2006 Kennedy Center Honors, the 2008 Classic Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, and an Emmy Award. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is an inductee into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, and is a fellow of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors. He is one of only fifteen people to have won an Emmy, Oscar, Grammy and Tony. (Wikipedia.)

* Sound recording, Sarah Brightman, with lyrics:

Audio video, Nana Mouskouri:

+ Live video, Michael Ball & others, trong chương trình “Andrew Lloyd Webber: The Royal Albert Hall Celebration”, 1998:

Live video, Michael Ball & Il Divo, Andrew Lloyd Webber (piano), 2013:

Love Me Tender – Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley

Love Me Tender is a 1956 song recorded by Elvis Presley (1935-1977) from the film of the same name. The words and music are credited to Ken Darby under the pseudonym “Vera Matson”, the name of his wife, and Elvis Presley. The song was adapted from the tune of Aura Lee, a sentimental Civil War ballad.

Love Me Tender is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

* MV, Elvis Presley with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra:

Live video, Andrea Bocelli, 2012:

Live video, Holly Henry:

Live video, Alessia Cara in “Elvis All-Star Tribute”, 2019:

Love’s Gonna Live Here – Tanya Tucker

The song Love’s Gonna Live Here was composed and recorded as a single by Buck Owens in 1963. The single would be Buck Owens’ second number one on the country charts spending sixteen weeks at the top spot and a total of thirty weeks on the chart.

After Love’s Gonna Live Here finished its 16-week stay at No. 1, no other song would spend more than 10 weeks at No. 1 for 49 years.

Audio video, Derek Ryan:

+ * Video âm thanh, Tanya Tucker cùng Jim Lauderdale, 2009:

Live video, Nashville Jam, 2017:

(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story – Francis Lai & Carl Sigman

(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story is a pop song published in 1970, with music by Francis Lai and lyrics by Carl Sigman. The song was first introduced as an instrumental theme in the 1970 film Love Story after the film’s distributor, Paramount Pictures, rejected the first set of lyrics that were written. Andy Williams eventually recorded the new lyrics and took the song to number 9 on Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 and number one on their Easy Listening chart.

* Audio video, Andy Williams, with lyrics:

Audio video, Dame Shirley Bassey:

Live video, Jon England (piano), 2010:

* Live video, Lola Astanova (piano) & Hauser (cello), Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra với nhạc trưởng Ivo Lipanovic, 2018:


Love Story – Taylor Swift

Love Story is a song written and performed by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. It was released in 2008 as the lead single from Swift’s second studio album “Fearless” (2008). Considered as her signature song, it was written about a love interest of Swift’s who was not popular among Swift’s family and friends. Because of the scenario, Swift related to the plot of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (1597) and used it as a source of inspiration to compose the song. However, she replaced Romeo and Juliet’s original tragic conclusion with a happy ending. It is a midtempo song with a dreamy soprano voice, while the melody continually builds. The lyrics are from the perspective of Juliet.

+ Audio video, Taylor Swift, album “Fearless”, with lyrics, 2008:

+ Live video, Taylor Swift, 2012:

Mack the Knife – Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht

Mack the Knife or The Ballad of Mack the Knife is a song composed by German Jewish composer Kurt Weill (1900-1950) with lyrics by German poet Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) for their music drama Die Dreigroschenoper, or, as it is known in English, The Threepenny Opera. It premiered in Berlin in 1928 at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm. The song has become a popular standard recorded by many artists, including a U.S. and U.K. number one hit for Bobby Darin in 1959.

A Moritat is a medieval version of the murder ballad performed by strolling minstrels. In The Threepenny Opera, the Moritat singer with his street organ introduces and closes the drama with the tale of the deadly Mackie Messer, or Mack the Knife, a character based on the dashing highwayman Macheath in John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera (who was in turn based on the historical thief Jack Sheppard). The Brecht-Weill version of the character was far more cruel and sinister and has been transformed into a modern anti-hero.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) puts Mack the Knife to be one of the top 25 songs of the 20th century.

Mack the Knife is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016, and is in Billboard magazine’s list “The Hot 100’s All-Time Top 100 Songs” as of 2018.

* Sound recording, Bobby Darin:

* Audio video, Michael Buble, with lyrics:

* Audio video, Liberace, piano solo, 1960:

Live video, Alexey Baklan, in “The X Factor” in Ukraine, 2016:

Mambo Italiano – Bob Merrill

Mambo Italiano is a pop song written by Bob Merrill in 1954 for the American singer Rosemary Clooney. The song became a hit for Clooney, reaching the Top Ten in record charts in the US and France and No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart early in 1955. The song has shown enduring popularity, with several cover versions and appearances in numerous films.

Merrill reportedly wrote it under a recording deadline, scribbling hastily on a paper napkin in an Italian restaurant in New York City, and then using the wall pay-phone to dictate the melody, rhythm and lyrics to the studio pianist, under the aegis of the conductor Mitch Miller, who produced the original record.

Merrill’s song provides an obvious parody of genuine mambo music, cashing in on the 1954 mambo craze in New York. It is also a late example of an American novelty song in a tradition started during World War II.

The nonsense lyrics were originally couched in English, mixed together with a comic jumble of Italian, Spanish, Neapolitan and gibberish (invented) words.

* Live video, Daniel Boaventura, trong album “Daniel Boaventura – Italiano”, 2010:

Live video, Danielle, in “Over The Rainbow – Episode 17 – BBC One”, 2010:

* Live video, Hetty & Jazzato Band, 2018:

MV, Hồ Quang Hiếu, Vietnamese version [Official HD]:

Manhã de Carnaval – Luiz Bonfá & Antonio Maria

Manhã de Carnaval Manhã (“Carnival Morning”) is a song by Brazilian composer Luiz Bonfá (1922-2001) and Brazilian poet Antônio Maria (1921-1964).

Manhã de Carnaval appeared as a principal theme in the Portuguese-language film Orfeu Negro (1959). Manhã de Carnaval appears in multiple scenes in the film, including versions sung or hummed by both the principal characters (Orfeu and Euridice), as well as an instrumental version, so that the song has been described as the “main” musical theme of the film. Orfeu Negro was an international success (winning, for example, an Academy Award in 1960), and brought the song to a large audience.

Manhã de Carnaval became one of the first Bossa Nova compositions to gain popularity outside Brazil. Particularly in the United States, the song is considered to be one of the most important Brazilian Jazz/Bossa songs that helped establish the Bossa Nova movement in the late 1950s. Manhã de Carnaval has become a jazz standard in the U.S., while it is still performed regularly by a wide variety of musicians around the world in its vocalized version or just as an instrumental one.

In the United States, the song is also known as A Day in the Life of a Fool, Carnival, Theme from Black Orpheus, or simply Black Orpheus.

In France, the song is also known as La Chanson d’Orphée. All versions of foreign texts were written by lyricists other than Antônio Maria, using Bonfá’s original music.

* Audio video_Manhã de Carnaval, Luis Miguel:

Live video_Manhã de Carnaval, Carla Maffioletti, Carmen Monarcha & Kimmy Skota with André Rieu and his orchestra, 2013:

Live video_ A Day in the Life of a Fool, Vassil Petrov, 2014:

Live video_Manhã de Carnaval, French Latino, 2017:

Memory – Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber & Trevor Nunn

Composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and with lyrics by Trevor Nunn (based on poems by T. S. Eliot), Memory is a show tune from the 1981 musical Cats. It is sung primarily by the character Grizabella as a nostalgic remembrance of her glorious past and a declaration of her wish to start a new life.

As one of the most popular musical songs, Memory was named the Best Song Musically and Lyrically at the 1982 Ivor Novello Awards.

Live video, Elaine Paige, in musical Cats, 1998:

Live video, Kayleigh Ann Strong:

* Live video, Mirusia with André Rieu and his orchestra, 2010:

+ * Live video, Lucy Thomas (The Voice Kids UK 2018):

Michael, Row the Boat Ashore – American folk song

Michael, Row the Boat Ashore or Michael Rowed the Boat Ashore or Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore is an African-American spiritual. It was first noted during the American Civil War at St. Helena Island, one of the sea islands of South Carolina.

The song was recorded by The Highwaymen in 1961 and becomes their signature song, reaching a sale of 1 million copies.

The song was sung by former slaves whose owners had abandoned the island before the Union navy arrived to enforce a blockade. Charles Pickard Ware (1840–1921) was an abolitionist and Harvard graduate who had come to supervise the plantations on St. Helena Island from 1862 to 1865, and he wrote down the song in music notation as he heard the freedmen sing it. Ware’s cousin William Francis Allen reported in 1863 that the former slaves sang the song as they rowed him in a boat across Station Creek.

* Audio video, The Highwaymen:

* Audio video, Brothers Four:

* Audio video, Peter, Paul & Mary:

Mr. Sandman – The Chordettes

Mr. Sandman or Mister Sandman is a popular song written by American songwriter–producer–music editor–author Pat Ballard (born Francis Drake Ballard, 1899-1960), then recorded in 1954 by Vaughn Monroe & His Orchestra and later that same year by The Chordettes and The Four Aces. Emmylou Harris’ recording of the song was a hit in multiple countries in 1981.

The song’s lyrics convey a request to “Mr. Sandman” to “bring me a dream” – the traditional association with the folkloric figure, the sandman.

* Audio video, The Chordettes:

* Live video, The Barberettes:

Live video, Emmylou Harris, 1981:

Live video, Flash Mob Jazz:

Moon River – Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn

Moon River is a song composed by Henry Mancini with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. It was originally performed by British actress Audrey Hepburn (born Audrey Kathleen Ruston, 1929-1993) in the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s, winning an Academy Award for Best Original Song. The song also won the 1962 Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

The song has been covered by many other artists. It became the theme song for Andy Williams, who first recorded it in 1962 (and performed it at the Academy Awards ceremony that year).

Moon River is in American Film Institute’s list of 100 greatest songs in American movies as of 2003.

Movie clip_Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Audrey Hepburn:

+ MV, Andrea Ross [Official Music Video], 2007:

* Audio video, Carla Bruni, 2017:

+ MV, 2CELLOS, Luka Sulic & Stjepan Hauser with London Symphony Orchestra:

+ * Live video, London FILMharmonic Orchestra instrumental, 2018:

Mull of Kintyre – Paul McCartney & Denny Laine

Mull of Kintyre is a song written by Sir James Paul McCartney (1942- ) and Denny Laine (born Brian Frederick Hines, 1944- ) then recorded by the British rock band Wings. The song was written in tribute to the Kintyre peninsula in Scotland and its headland, the Mull of Kintyre, where McCartney has owned High Park Farm since 1966.

The song was Wings’ biggest hit in Britain and is one of the best-selling singles of all time in the United Kingdom, where it became the 1977 Christmas number one and was the first single to sell over two million copies nationwide.

MV, Paul McCartney & Wings:

Live video, Glen Campbell:

Live video, Susan Boyle, for Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle, on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee, 2012:

My Bonnie – Scottish folk song

A bonnie is a Scottish term that means “good, attractive, fine, pretty”, or the like.

My Bonnie or My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean is a traditional Scottish folk song that remains popular in Western culture. Bonnie refers to a name of a person in this tune. This person in this folk song is Bonnie Prince Charlie or Charles Edward Stuart (1720-1788). After the defeat of the Prince at the Battle of Culloden in 1746 and his subsequent exile, his Jacobite supporters could have sung this song or one like it in his honour; and thanks to the ambiguity of the term “bonnie”, which can refer to a woman as well as to a man, they could pretend it was a love song.

The English traditional singing group The Watersons, on their 1975 album “For Pence and Spicy Ale” sing a song from the English tradition called My Barney Lies over the Ocean which has a slightly different melody and is said to be an antecedent. In the liner notes for the song, the musicologist A. L. Lloyd says about My Barney: “A stage song favored by Irish comedians from the 1860s on. During the 1880s, apparently on American university campuses, close harmony groups remade it into the better-known – and even more preposterous – My Bonny Lies over the Ocean. Watersons had this from Bob Davenport who learnt it from a Frank Quinn 78.”

In 1881, under the duo of pseudonyms H.J. Fuller and J.T. Wood, Charles E. Pratt published sheet music for Bring Back My Bonnie to Me. Theodore Raph in his 1964 book American song treasury: 100 favorites, writes that people were requesting the song at sheet music stores in the 1870s, and Pratt was convinced to publish a version of it under the pseudonyms, and the song became a big hit, especially popular with college singing groups but also popular for all group singing situations.

* Animation video, Nursery Rhymes Songs with Lyrics | Kids Songs:

* Audio video, Laura Wright:

Audio video, John McDermott, mixing the music of From the New World by Dvorak:

MV, The Bullets, in hard rock style, 2014:

My Heart Will Go On – Céline Dion

According to Wikipedia, My Heart Will Go On is a song written by James Horner (music) and Will Jennings (lyrics), and recorded as a single in 1997 by Canadian singer Céline Dion (1968- ). It serves as the main theme song to James Cameron’s blockbuster film Titanic, which is based on an account of the British transatlantic ocean liner of the same name which sank in 1912.

The love power ballad became an international hit, reaching number one in many countries, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K., and the U.S.

One of the best-selling singles of all time, the song is considered to be Dion’s signature song. It was also included in the list of Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. The MV was released at the end of 1997. With worldwide sales estimated at 18 million copies, the song became the second best-selling single by a female artist in history, and the eighth overall.

My Heart Will Go On is in American Film Institute’s list of 100 greatest songs in American movies as of 2003.

Celine Dion
Céline Dion

Céline Dion achieved worldwide fame after releasing several best-selling English albums, such as Falling into You (1996) and Let’s Talk About Love (1997), which were both certified diamond in the U.S. She also scored a series of international number-one hits, including Because You Loved Me, I’m Your Angel, It’s All Coming Back to Me Now, My Heart Will Go On, The Power of Love, and Think Twice. Dion released French albums between each English record; D’eux (1995) became the best-selling French-language album of all time, while S’il suffisait d’aimer (1998), Sans attendre (2012), and Encore un soir (2016), were all certified diamond in France.

Her recordings are mainly in French and English, although she also sings in Chinese (Mandarin), German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, and Spanish.

She has won five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year. Billboard named her the “Queen of Adult Contemporary” for having the most number ones on the radio format for a female artist. She remains the best-selling Canadian artist and one of the best-selling artists of all time with record sales of over 200 million copies worldwide.

+ * Movie clip_Titanic, Celine Dion:

Live video, Jackie Evancho, in “Music of the Movies”:

* Live video, Sam Bailey, in “The X Factor”, 2013:

Live video, Caroline Campbell (violin) & William Joseph (piano):

Live video, André Rieu and his orchestra:

My Way (Comme d’habitude) – Paul Anka

Comme d’habitude (French for “As usual”) is a French song composed in 1967 by French singer Claude François and Jacques Revaux with lyrics by François and Gilles Thibaut, and sung by Claude Francois. The song is quite gloomy, about the end of a love affair from the opening line, “I get up, I shake you – you don’t wake up as usual”, to the closing cry, “We will make love as usual, we will fake it as usual”.

Paul Anka
Paul Anka

After hearing Comme d’Habitude while on holiday in the Riviera, CanadianAmerican singersongwriteractor Paul Anka (1941- ) approached Francois and co-writer Jacques Reveaux and acquired the rights for free. Back in New York, however, Anka couldn’t find the inspiration he needed to make something of the tune until one day he received a phone call from Frank Sinatra. The pair went out to dinner and Frank dropped a bombshell. Remembers Anka: “He says, ‘I’m quitting the business. I’m sick of it, I’m getting the hell out… You have to write me something. You’ve promised for years to write me something’.” Anka put himself into Sinatra’s shoes – if he was to write Sinatra’s defining song he wanted to make sure he captured the spirit of the man even down to the way he talked.

Anka remembers: “I used words I would never use: ‘I ate it up and spit it out’ – but that’s the way he talked… So I started typing: ‘And now the end is near…’ and it wrote itself from there. At five o’clock in the morning I called Frank and said ‘I have something special for your last album’.” Anka flew to Las Vegas and sang his new version to Sinatra. No longer an ode to failing love, in one night he had transformed it into a swaggering, powerful cry of defiance. (Utton, 2009).

Frank Sinatra then recorded in 1969 a cross-Atlantic version under the title My Way. Paul Anka himself recorded the song five times: in 1969 (very shortly after Sinatra’s recording was released), in 1996 (as a duet with Gabriel Byrne, performed in the movie Mad Dog Time), in 1998 in Spanish as A Mi Manera (duet with Julio Iglesias), in 2007 (as a duet with Jon Bon Jovi), and in 2013 (as a duet with Garou).

The lyrics of My Way are related to those of Comme d’habitude structure, but the meaning is completely different. The French version tells the story of a man, living out the end of his marriage, love killed by the boredom of everyday life. The English language version is set at the end of a lifetime, approaching death, and looking back without regret – expressing feelings that are more related to Piaf’s song “Non, je ne regrette rien” (No, I regret nothing).

Although this work became Frank Sinatra’s signature song, he himself dislikes it.

The song is popularly associated with nostalgia to an individual’s lifetime of events. As a result, My Way is the song most frequently played at funeral services in the U.K.

+ * Sound recording, Frank Sinatra, with lyrics:

* Audio video, Paul Anka:

* Audio video of live performance, Elvis Presley, less than 2 months before his death:

Live video, Yuzo Kayama, who was called “Elvis of Japan”:

Audio video, André Rieu and his orchestra at Radio City Music Hall, New York, 2006:

Ne Me Quitte Pas – Jacques Brel

If You Go Away – Jacques Brel & Rod McKuen

The Belgian-born French cabaret star Jacques Brel (1929-1978) wrote some fine songs but Ne Me Quitte Pas (“Do not leave me”) that he recorded in 1959 was considered his finest as well as his biggest hit. The song’s melody is partly from the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6 by the classical composer Franz Liszt.

Jacques Brel
Jacques Brel

Brel penned this song after his mistress Suzanne “Zizou” Gabriello was pregnant but he refused to acknowledge he was the father and Zizou then had an abortion. He wrote Ne Me Quitte Pas in the “Au Rêve” bar, on the northern slopes of the Parisian district of Montmartre from which he could see Zizou’s apartment on the other side of the little square. In spite of Brel’s begging in the song, Zizou left him. Brel later declared, “this is not a love song, but a song about the cowardice of men.”

Later, Zizou married the theater director Guy Lauzin, then died in 1962. Shortly before her death, she refused to accept the honor of being the subject in Ne me quitte pas, and said the song was about women in general. But music lovers believe the song is for Zizou, because Brel cried each time he sang that song.

If You Go Away is an adaptation of Ne me quitte pas with English lyrics by singer/poet Rod McKuen. Created as part of a larger project to translate Brel’s work, If You Go Away is considered a pop standard and has been recorded by many artists, including Greta Keller, for whom some say McKuen wrote the lyrics. The song also has lyrics in Arabian, Croatian, Dutch, Finnish, German, Greek, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and Vietnamese.

Audio video_Ne Me Quitte Pas, Jacques Brel, with French lyrics and English sub-titles:

Audio video_Ne Me Quitte Pas, Édith Piaf:

* MV_If You Go Away, Shirley Bassey, recording LP, 1967:

Audio video_If You Go Away, Neil Diamond:

+ * Live audio_If You Go Away, Sophia Kruithof, “The voice of Holland”:

New San Antonio Rose – Bob Wills

San Antonio Rose was an instrumental song written by American Western swing musician and songwriter Bob Wills (1905-1975), who first recorded it with The Texas Playboys in 1938. Band members added lyrics and it was retitled New San Antonio Rose, even though the old name San Antonio Rose is still used. A fresh recording was made in 1940 with a vocal by Tommy Duncan. San Antonio Rose/New San Antonio Rose was the signature song of Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys.

The version New San Antonio Rose by Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys is in Rolling Stone magazine ‘s list “100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time” as of 2014, and is named to the National Recording Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress because of its cultural, artistic and historical importance to American society and the nation’s audio heritage.

* Audio video, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, 1973:

* Audio video, Patsy Cline:

Live video, The Whites:

No Matter What – Boyzone

No Matter What is a song from the 1996 musical Whistle Down the Wind and popularized by Irish boyband Boyzone in 1998 when they recorded it to tie in with the show’s first UK production. The recording was written and produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jim Steinman, Nigel Wright with additional production by Franglen & Lupino. The song was also featured on the U.S. edition of the soundtrack to the 1999 film Notting Hill, and was released to American radio the same year.

Boyzone-Keith Duffy, Stephen Gately, Ronan Keating, Mikey Graham, Shane Lynch
Boyzone: Keith Duffy, Stephen Gately, Ronan Keating, Mikey Graham, Shane Lynch

The song reached number-one on the U.K. Singles Chart, and was the only Boyzone hit to become popular in the U.S. Jewels & Stone did a remix for the song for dance clubs which was also popular. In the U.K., the song has sold 1.15 million copies and another 3 million worldwide. The song was performed by Meat Loaf as a B-side to his Is Nothing Sacred single in 1996.

* Audio video, Boyzone, with lyrics:

Live video, Ronan Keating (of BoyZone) & Carola Häggkvist (Allsang på Grensen), 2018:

* Live video, Westlife & Boyzone, the first time two bands sing together in honor of Stephen Gately (1976-2009), 2010:

+ Live video, Boyzone & Melanie Chisholm:

North to Alaska – Johnny Horton

According to Wikipedia, North to Alaska is a 1960 hit song written by Tillman Franks (1920-2006) and Johnny Horton (1925-1960), then recorded by Johnny Horton that was featured in the movie of the same name. Though Horton had sung several popular movie tie-in songs, this was the first one that was sung over the opening titles.

The song’s lyrics during the opening titles of the film provide a back story for the point where the film begins: Sam McCord left Seattle in 1892 with George and Billy Pratt, “crossed the Yukon river” and “found the bonanza gold below that old white mountain just a little southeast of Nome.” By “1901” Sam was known as “a mighty man,” and his partner George then tells him, “I’d trade all the gold that’s buried in this land for one small band of gold to place on sweet little Jenny’s hand.” George feels that Jenny is his “true love,” and he declares he will “build for my Jenny a honeymoon home” below the same mountain where gold was discovered. An instrumental of the song is also played at the saloon on a piano when Sam and Angel arrive in Nome.

In 2010, members of the Western Writers of America chose North to Alaska as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time as of that year.

+ * Movie clip, Johnny Horton:

Audio video, Declan Nerney:

* Audio video, Dwight Yoakam, 1997:

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-DaThe Beatles

“Ob la di, ob la da” was a phrase McCartney had heard from a friend called Jimmy Anonmuogharan Scott Emuakpor (known as Jimmy Scott), whom he met in the Bag O’ Nails club in Soho, London. The title was said to be Urhobo for “Life goes on”, but was actually just a family phrase.

Written by Paul McCartney in India and credited to the Lennon–McCartney partnership, Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da is a song recorded in 1968 by The Beatles. The song topped singles charts in Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and West Germany.

The Beatles’ decision not to release the single in the U.K. or the U.S. led to several cover recordings as other artists sought to achieve a chart hit with the song. Of these, Marmalade became the first Scottish group to have a number 1 hit in the U.K. in 1968. Despite the song’s popularity, Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da has been ridiculed by some commentators for its lightheartedness. From 2009, McCartney has regularly performed the song in concert.

* Audio video, The Beatles, with lyrics [Original]:

Audio video, Inner Circle:

Live video, Jo A Ram (electrical violin):

* Live video, Julie Berthelsen, “The White Concert” 22-Nov-2008:

Live video, Paul McCartney, in Brazil, 2010:

Oh! Susanna – Stephen Foster

In 1847, the minstrel song Oh! Susanna made its debut in a Pittsburgh ice cream parlor. Within a couple years, gold seekers from every state were singing the song as they headed west to California.  The California Gold Rush was one of the epic events in American history. Roughly 100,000 people raced to the West Coast after the discovery of gold in the California foothills in 1848, quickly quadrupling the territory population.

Even though Stephen Foster (1826-1864) wrote Oh! Susanna just prior to the discovery of gold in California, the song became both traveling music and an anthem, a good-time tune that expressed the adventuresome spirit of America’s gold-seeking Forty-Niners. Foster is considered by many to be America’s first great songwriter.

Members of the Western Writers of America chose Oh! Susanna as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.

Audio video, Tom Roush, 1848:

* Sound recording, Carly Simon:

* Audio video, Connie Francis, with lyrics:

Animation video for kids, Muffin Songs:

One Moment in Time – Whitney Houston

One Moment in Time is a song written by Albert Hammond (1944- ) and John Bettis (1946- ), and recorded by American singer Whitney Houston (1963-2012) for the 1988 Summer Olympics held in Seoul, South Korea. The song was Houston’s third number one in the U.K. Singles Chart, and reached number five on the U.S. Billboard Magazine Hot 100.

* MV, Whitney Houston:

* Live video, Gerard Joling, in “Toppers in Concert”, 2015:

* Live video, Dana Winner, with lyrics, 2016:

+ * Video trình diễn sống, Jeffrey Li, 13 years old, in “America’s Got Talent”, 2018:

Over the Rainbow – Judy Garland

Over the Rainbow (also Somewhere Over the Rainbow) is a ballad composed by Harold Arlen with lyrics by Yip Harburg. It was written for the movie The Wizard of Oz and was sung by actress Judy Garland (1922-1969) in her starring role as Dorothy Gale. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and became Garland’s signature song.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) puts Over the Rainbow to be first among the top 25 songs of the 20th century.

Over the Rainbow is in American Film Institute’s list of 100 greatest songs in American movies as of 2003.

Over the Rainbow has been named to the National Recording Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress because of its cultural, artistic and historical importance to American society and the nation’s audio heritage.

+ Movie clip_The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland:

Live video, Danielle, in “Final Performance – Over The Rainbow – Episode 17 – BBC One”, 2010:

Live video, Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole, 2011:

+ * Live video, Mirusia and André Rieu, 2016:

Please Mr. Postman – The Carpenters

The song Please Mr. Postman is written by Georgia Dobbins, William Garrett, Freddie Gorman, Brian Holland, and Robert Bateman, then recorded by the Marvelettes in 1960. This is the first song by this band to reach the number-one position on the Billboard Magazine Hot 100 pop singles chart. The Marvelettes are five teenage girls from Inkster, Michigan. The song is their first single and their only #1.

It is a number-one hit again in 1975 when the Carpenters’ covers the song. Many people like it more than the Marvelettes version.

* Audio video, The Carpenters:

Audio video, Nicole Theriault, with lyrics:

+ * Audio video, The Saturdays, with lyrics:

Live video, Prairie Voices, 2015:

Pledging My Love – Ferdinand Washington & Don Robey

The blues ballad Pledging My Love was written by Ferdinand Washington and Don Robey, then published in 1954.

The most popular recording of the song was done by Johnny Ace, released in 1954, soon after Ace’s death by an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound. Ace’s version peaked on the Billboard chart at #17 and spent 10 weeks at #1 on the R&B chart.

In 1958 it was reissued with additional background vocals.

Audio video remastered, Johnny Ace:

* Audio video, Emmylou Harris:

Audio video, Elvis Presley:

Audio video, Wanda Jackson:

Live video, Lee Ra Hee:

Pokarekare Ana – traditional New Zealand song

This is one of the songs I love the most!

Pokarekare Ana is a traditional New Zealand love song, probably communally composed about the time World War I began in 1914. The song enjoys widespread popularity in New Zealand as well as some popularity in other countries.

East Coast Māori songwriter Paraire Tomoana (1874/75 – 1946), who polished up the song in 1917 and published the words in 1921, wrote that “it emanated from the North of Auckland” and was popularised by Māori soldiers who were training near Auckland before embarking for the war in Europe. There have been numerous claims and counterclaims regarding authorship over the years. Although the matter has never been definitively settled, guardianship of the words and music is held by the family (descendants) of Paraire Tomoana.

During the Korean War, the New Zealand soldiers taught Korean children to sing this song, and so the song becomes widely popular among Koreans.

Lyrics translation

They are agitated, the waters of Waiapu
But when you cross over girl, they will be calm.

Oh girl, return to me
I could die of love for you.

I have written my letter, I have sent my ring
So that your people can see that I am troubled.

My pen is shattered, I have no more paper
But my love is still steadfast.

My love will never be dried by the sun
It will be forever moistened by my tears.

Source: http://folksong.org.nz/pokarekare/

You should listen to all versions by top performers in different interpretations, and chorus and music arrangements:

Audio video, Maisey Rika & St Joseph’s Maori Girls’s College, South Pacific Recordings, 1997:

* Audio video, Sissel Kyrkjebø, in Māori and Norvegian, with lyrics:

* Audio video, Mirusia Louwerse with André Rieu and his orchestra, and images of beautiful New Zealand:

Live video, Auckland Girls’ Choir, 2013:

* Live video, Hayley Westenra:

Por una Cabeza – Carlos Gardel & Alfredo Le Pera

Por una Cabeza is a tango song written in 1935 with music by French–Argentine singer–songwriter–composer–actor Carlos Gardel (born Charles Romuald Gardès, 1890-1935) and lyrics by Argentine journalist–dramatist–and lyricist Alfredo Le Pera  (1900-1935). The name is a Spanish horse-racing phrase meaning “by a head”, which refers to a horse winning a race narrowly – by just the length of its head. The lyrics speak of a compulsive horse-track gambler who compares his addiction for horses with his attraction to women.

Por Una Cabeza was featured in a famous tango scene in the movie Scent of a Woman (1992), in the opening scene of Schindler’s List (1993), and in the witty dance in True Lies (1994).

MV, instrumental with tango dance:

Movie clip_Scent of a Woman, music performed by The Tango Project, tango dance led by Al Pacino:

* Live video, instrumental, Katica Illényi (violon), 2012:

+ * Live video, Nicola Benedetti, Live in The Greene Space, 2013:

* Live video, Andrea Bocelli, in album “Cinema deluxe edition”, 2015:

Poupée de Cire, Poupée de Son – France Gall

France Gall
France Gall

Poupée de Cire, Poupée de Son was the winning entry in the Eurovision song contest of 1965. It was performed in French by French singer France Gall (1947-2018), representing Luxembourg. The title means “Puppet of Wax, Puppet of Sound” (a floppy doll stuffed with bran or chaff) or as “wax doll, sound doll” (with implications that Gall is a “singing doll” controlled by Gainsbourg). Gall’s victory, as well as the numerous translations of the song, brought her international fame in Europe and beyond.

Composed by the famous French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, inspired by the 4th movement (Prestissimo in F minor) from Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 1 Poupée de Cire, Poupée de Son is the first pop song to win the Eurovision Song Contest and had a significant impact on the musical style of songs that were entered into the contest in the years that followed. It was nominated as one of the 14 best Eurovision songs of all time at the Congratulations special held in October 2005.

The lyrics have been translated to many languages including Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarine), Danish, Finnish, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Vietnamese…

Lyrics translation

I’m a wax doll, a sound doll
My heart is engraved in my songs
Wax doll, sound doll
Am I better, am I worse than a fashion doll?
It’s like I see life through bright rosy-tinted glasses
Wax doll, sound doll

My records are a mirror in which everyone can see me
I’m everywhere in the same time
Broken in a thousand pieces of voice

Around me I can hear rag dolls laughing
Those who dance to my songs
Wax doll, sound doll
They let themselves be seduced for any old reason
Love isn’t only in songs
Wax doll, sound doll

My records are a mirror in which everyone can see me
I’m everywhere in the same time
Broken in a thousand pieces of voice

Alone, I sometimes sigh thinking, what’s the point
Of singing love like this, without reason
Without knowing anything about boys?
I’m only a wax doll, only a sound doll
Under my sunny blond hair
Wax doll, sound doll

But one day I’ll be living my songs wax doll, sound doll
Without fearing boys’ warmth
Wax doll, sound doll

Source: https://lyricstranslate.com/en/-wax-doll-sound-doll.html

MV, France Gall, original version, 1965:

MV, Jenifer:

Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison

Pretty Woman or Oh, Pretty Woman is a song recorded by Roy Orbison (1936-1988) and Bill Dees (1939-2012), then was released by Orbison as a single in 1964.

According SongFacts, Roy Orbison was writing with his songwriting partner Bill Dees at his house when he told Dees to get started writing by playing anything that came to mind. Orbison’s wife Claudette came in and said she was going to go into town to buy something. Orbison asked if she needed any money, and Dees cracked, “Pretty woman never needs any money.” Inspired, Orbison started singing, “Pretty woman walking down the street.”

Bill Dees recalls in 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh: “He sang it while I was banging my hand down on the table and by the time she returned we had the song. I love the song. From the moment that the rhythm started, I could hear the heels clicking on the pavement, click, click, the pretty woman walking down the street, in a yellow skirt and red shoes. We wrote Oh, Pretty Woman on a Friday, the next Friday we recorded it, and the next Friday it was out. It was the fastest thing I ever saw. Actually, the yeah, yeah, yeah in Oh, Pretty Woman probably came from The Beatles.”

This was the second single by Orbison to top the U.S. charts, Orbison’s third single to top the U.K. Singles Chart, and at #1 in some 20 other countries. The record ultimately sold seven million copies and marked the high point in Orbison’s career.  Pretty Woman is considered to be Roy Orbison’s signature song.

Roy Orbison
Roy Orbison

The song was given a further boost when it inspired the title and featured on the soundtrack for the film Pretty Woman (1990), starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.

Pretty Woman is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

* Audio video, Roy Orbison, with lyrics:

Live video, Westlife:

Live video, Calin Geambasu Band:

Puff, the Magic Dragon – Peter, Paul and Mary

Paul Mary Peter
Noel Paul Stookey, Mary Travers and Peter Yarrow

Puff, the Magic Dragon is a song written by Leonard Lipton (1940- ) and Peter Yarrow (1938- ), and made popular by the trio Peter, Paul and Mary in 1963. Puff, the Magic Dragon becomes their signature song.

The lyrics for Puff, the Magic Dragon are based on a 1959 poem by Leonard Lipton, then a 19-year-old Cornell University student. Lipton was inspired by an Ogden Nash poem titled Custard the Dragon, about a “realio, trulio little pet dragon”.

The lyrics tell a story of the ageless dragon Puff and his playmate, Jackie Paper, a little boy who grows up and loses interest in the imaginary adventures of childhood and leaves Puff to be with himself. The story of the song takes place “by the sea” in the fictional land of “Honahlee”.

Lipton was friends with Peter Yarrow’s housemate when they were all students at Cornell. He used Yarrow’s typewriter to get the poem out of his head. He then forgot about it until years later, when a friend called and told him Yarrow was looking for him, to give him credit for the lyrics. On making contact Yarrow gave Lipton half the songwriting credit, and he still gets royalties from the song.

In an effort to be gender-neutral, Yarrow now sings the line “A dragon lives forever, but not so little boys” as “A dragon lives forever, but not so girls and boys.” The original poem also had a stanza that was not incorporated into the song. In it, Puff found another child and played with him after returning. Neither Yarrow nor Lipton remembers the verse in any detail, and the paper that was left in Yarrow’s typewriter in 1958 has since been lost.

According to SongFacts, some of the alleged drug references in this song include the “autumn mist,” which was marijuana smoke, and the “land of Hanah Lee,” which was the Hawaiian town of Hanalei, famous for its marijuana plants. Peter Yarrow insists that not only did the song have nothing to do with drugs, but that he didn’t even know about pot in 1958, which kills any theories that he put drug references in subconsciously. Nevertheless, this song was banned in Singapore and Hong Kong because authorities thought it contained drug references.

* Audio video, Peter, Paul & Mary, with lyrics:

* Live video, performance from Japan, with lyrics:

* Live video, National Taiwan University Chorus, 2015:

Quando Sento che Mi Ami (When You Tell Me That You Love Me) – Diana Ross

Diana Ross
Diana Ross

The song Quando Sento che Mi Ami was written by the Portuguese singer–composer Joan Manuel Serrat (1943- ).

Diana Ross (1944- ) considers the version When You Tell Me That You Love Me to be her signature song.

* Audio video: Jose Carreras & Sissel:

* Audio video, Diana Ross:

MV, Westlife:

Que Sera, Sera – Doris Day

Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) is a popular song written by the team of Jay Livingston (born Jacob Harold Levison, 1915-2001) and Ray Evans (1915-2007), and introduced by Doris Day (born Doris Mary Kappelhoff, 1922-2019) in the Alfred Hitchcock film The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), singing it as a cue to her onscreen kidnapped son.

Day’s recording of the song made it to number two on the Billboard Magazine Hot 100 and number one in the U.K. Singles Chart. From 1968 to 1973, it was the theme song for the sitcom The Doris Day Show, becoming her signature song. The four verses of the song progress through the life of the narrator—from childhood, through young adulthood and falling in love, to parenthood—and each asks “What will I be?” or “What lies ahead?” The chorus repeats the answer: “What will be, will be.”

The song received the 1956 Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Que Sera, Sera is in American Film Institute’s list of 100 greatest songs in American movies as of 2003.

+ * Movie clip, Doris Day:

Live video, Petre Geambasu Show Band:

* Live video, Victoria Chorale, 2018:

Quién será – Luis Demetrio

Quién será (English: “Who will be?”) is a bolero-mambo written by composer–singer Luis Demetrio (1931-2007), who sold the rights to fellow songwriter Pablo Beltrán Ruiz. Beltrán recorded the song for the first time with his orchestra in 1953.

The English version Sway with lyrics by Norman Gimbel has become a standard in both the pop and jazz repertoire. The first version to achieve considerable success in the U.S. was recorded by singer Dean Martin with the Dick Stabile orchestra in 1954. The Pussycat Dolls perform the song in the film Shall We Dance? (2004), creating international fame for the song.

Lyrics translation

Who will be the one who would love me?
Who will be? Who will be?
Who will be the one who would give me her love?
Who will be? Who will be?

I wanted to experience again
the passion and the heat of a new love
a new love that would make me feel
happy once again.

Who will be the one who would love me?
Who will be? Who will be?
Who will be the one who would give me her love?
Who will be? Who will be?

I don’t know whether I will be able to find her
I don’t know, I don’t know
I don’t know whether I will love again
I don’t know, I don’t know.

Who will be the one who would love me?
Who will be? Who will be?
Who will be the one who would give me her love?
Who will be? Who will be?

Source: https://lyricstranslate.com/en/%C2%BFqui%C3%A9n-ser%C3%A1-who-will-be.html-0

+ Audio video_Quién Será, Connie Francis:

* Audio video_Sway, Julio Iglesias, 2015:

* Live video_Quién Será, Danny Frank, 2015:

+ * Live video_Sway, Daniel Boaventura:

Quizás, Quizás, Quizás – Osvaldo Farrés

Quizás, quizás, quizás, sometimes known simply as Quizás; Spanish for “maybe”), is a popular song by Cuban songwriter Osvaldo Farrés (1903-1985). Farrés wrote the music and original Spanish lyrics for the song which became a hit for Bobby Capó in 1947. Eventually there are lyrics in various languages: Arabian, English, French, Hebrew, Hindu, etc., and arranged in different styles like mambo, cha-cha-cha, salsa and flamenco.

The English version Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps was written by Joe Davis and is not a translation of the Spanish lyrics. It was first recorded by Desi Arnaz in 1948.

Lyrics translation

Every time I ask
what, when, how and where
You always reply:
Maybe, maybe, maybe

And days pass like this
me, growing desperate
And you, answering:
Maybe, maybe, maybe

You lose time
thinking, thinking
For God’s sake
How much longer? How much longer?

And days pass like this
me, growing desperate
And you, answering:
Maybe, maybe, maybe

You lose time
thinking, thinking
For God’s sake
How much longer? How much longer?

And days pass like this
me, growing desperate
And you, answering:
Maybe, maybe, maybe

Source: https://lyricstranslate.com/en/quizas-quizas-quizas-maybe-maybe-maybe.html

* Audio video _Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps, The Pussycat Dolls, 2008:

Live video_Quizás, quizás, quizás, Petre Geambasu Show Band:

* Live video_Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps & Quizás, quizás, quizás, Daniel Boaventura & Carlos Rivera:

* Live video_Quizás, quizás, quizás, Andrea Bocelli ft Caroline Campbell, 2012:

Red River Valley – Canadian folk song

There are two significant Red River valleys on the American Continent: The Red River Valley of the South and the Red River Valley of the North. According to Nystrom (2013), it is to this Red River Valley of the North that the origins of Red River Valley lead. The famed Canadian folklorist, Edith Fowke, gave mostly anecdotal evidence that the song was known in at least five Canadian provinces prior to 1896 and speculated that the song was composed at the time of the Wolseley Expedition of 1870 in Manitoba. She claimed that the song was well known on the Canadian prairies and held the form of a story about a Métis girl lamenting the departure of her Anglo lover, a soldier who came west to suppress the Red River Rebellion. The text for Fowke’s version of the song was published in Western Folklore in 1964 and was discovered in the papers of a former Canadian Mounted Police officer, Col. Gilbert Sanders. Fowke has written, “This is probably the best known folk song on the Canadian prairies. Later research indicates that it was known in at least five Canadian Provinces before 1896 and was probably composed during the Red River Rebellion of 1870.”

Red River Valley has other names such as Cowboy Love Song, Bright Sherman Valley, Bright Laurel Valley, In the Bright Mohawk Valley, and Bright Little Valley, depending on the place the song is performed.

In 1925, Carl T. Sprague, an early singing cowboy from Texas, recorded the song as Cowboy Love Song, but it was fellow Texan Jules Verne Allen’s 1929 Cowboy’s Love Song that gave the song its greatest popularity.

In 2010, the Western Writers of America (WWA) put Red River Valley in their list of 100 best Western songs of all time as of that year.

* Audio video, Michael Martin Murphey:

* Audio video, Marty Robbins:

Animation video, Muffin Songs:

+ Audio video_Red River Rock, l’Ochestre Jean-Pierre Cousteix, 2008:

+ MV_Red River Rock, Herb Kraus & The Walkin’ Shoes, 2020:

Rhythm of the Rain – The Cascades

Rhythm of the Rain is a song written by Cascades lead singer John Claude Gummoe and performed by The Cascades in 1962. The song ranks high on the Billboard Hot 100, Billboard’s Easy Listening chart, BMI chart, in Canada, Ireland, and the U.K.

The Cascades’ recording was used in the soundtrack of the 1979 film Quadrophenia, and included in its soundtrack album.

The song arrangement features distinctive use of a celesta (a struck idiophone operated by a keyboard).

The sound of rain and thunder are heard at the beginning and at the end of the song.

Audio video, The Cascades, with lyrics:

Live video, Phuong Vy & Sean Trace:

Live video, Dave Monk (electric guitar):

Rivers of Babylon – Boney M

Rivers of Babylon is a Rastafari song written and recorded by Brent Dowe and Trevor McNaughton of the Jamaican reggae group The Melodians in 1970. The lyrics are adapted from the texts of Psalms 19 and 137 in the Hebrew Bible. The Melodians’ original version of the song appeared in the soundtrack album of the 1972 movie The Harder They Come, making it internationally known.

The song was popularized in Europe by the 1978 Boney M. cover version, which was awarded a platinum disc and is one of the top ten all-time best-selling singles in the U.K.

It is one of a few pop songs whose lyrics come directly from the Bible. The lyrics are based on the Biblical Psalm 137:1-4, a hymn expressing the lamentations of the Jewish people in exile following the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem in 586 BC:

“Previously the Kingdom of Judah, after being united under Kings David and Solomon, was split in two, with the Kingdom Of Israel in the north, conquered by the Assyrians in 722 BC which caused the dispersion of 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel.”

The southern Kingdom of Judah (hence the name Jews), home of the tribe of Judah and part of the Tribe of Levi, was free from foreign domination until the Babylonian conquest to which Rivers of Babylon refers.

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion… They carried us away in captivity requiring of us a song… Now how shall we sing the LORD’s song in a strange land?

The namesake rivers of Babylon are the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The song also has words from Psalm 19:14:

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight…”

Audio video, Boney M, with lyrics:

Live video, Boney M Again:

Live video, Rock Choir Torrelodones, 2016:

Rouge / Rūju – Miyuki Nakajima

Chiaki Naomi
Chiaki Naomi

Rouge or Rūju (in Japanese: ルージュ) is a song composed by  Japanese singer–songwriter Miyuki Nakajima (中島 みゆき , 1952- ), and performed by Japanese singer Chiaki Naomi, released as a single from the album of the same name in 1977. The song revolves on the topic of loneliness, where a girl from the countryside moves to the city to earn a living, but loses her old self as she grows up.

The song spawns successful covers in various languages. The English version is entitled That Is Love.

Lyrics translation, beginning part

Now I am very socialized
Even when I face a drunken man
Now I am very socialized
Every time applying lipstick I know
I’ll become more and more communicative

In those days because of pursuing him
I followed him till this place
I only had a light cherry blossom colored lipstick with me
Because of pursuing that person
I had constantly mistaken identities

Unconsciously I accustomed to cry
Now I am very socialized
Every time applying lipstick I know
I’ll become more and more communicative

Source: https://lyricstranslate.com/en/%E3%83%AB%E3%83%BC%E3%82%B8%E3%83%A5-lipstick.html

Sound recording_Japanese version, Miyuki Nakajima:

* Audio video_Chinese version, Faye Wong:

* Audio video_English version, Tokyo Square, with lyrics, 2016:

Sacrifice – Sir Elton John

Sacrifice is a ballad performed in 1989 by singer–songwriter Sir Elton Hercules John (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, 1947- ). The lyrics are by Bernie Taupin and the music by John. It achieved success, particularly in France and the U.K., where it became Elton’s first solo chart-topper and his first solo U.K. #1.

This song is about how hard it is to stay faithful and devoted in a marriage, challenging the worn-down mantra that a successful union requires “sacrifice.” Elton sings that it’s no sacrifice at all, it’s just “two hearts living in two separate worlds.”

* Audio video, Elton John, with lyrics:

Live video, Sinead O’Connor, 1991:

Live video, Ed Sheeran & James Blunt, 2017:

Sailing – Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart
Rod Stewart

Sailing is a song composed by Gavin Sutherland of the Sutherland Brothers in 1972, best known as a 1975 international hit for Rod Stewart (1945- ).

Gavin Sutherland would comment:

“Most people take the song to be about a young guy telling his girl that he’s crossing the Atlantic to be with her. In fact the song’s got nothing to do with romance or ships; it’s an account of mankind’s spiritual odyssey through life on his way to freedom and fulfillment with the Supreme Being.”

Overall Sailing afforded Stewart a major international success reaching #1 in Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and the U.K.; #2 in Australia, Belgium’s Flemish Region, South Africa and Switzerland; #3 in New Zealand; #4 in Germany; #7 in Austria; #13 in Sweden.

* Sound recording, Rod Stewart:

Live video, Rod Stewart, in “One Night Only” – Royal Albert Hall, 2009:

+ * Audio video, Celtic Woman:

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction is a song written by English singer–songwriter–actor–film producer Sir Michael Philip Jagger (1943- ) and lead guitarist Keith Richards (1943- ), then released in 1965 by the English rock band The Rolling Stones. The lyrics refer to sexual frustration and commercialism.

Satisfaction was a hit, giving the Stones their first number one in the U.S. It later became the Rolling Stones’ fourth number one in the United Kingdom. It is considered one of the greatest rock songs.

The song was added to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress in 2006.

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction is at 2nd rank of Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

* MV, The Rolling Stones, Official Lyric Video:

* Audio video, Britney Spears, 2000:

Save the Last Dance for Me – Doc Pumus

Save the Last Dance for Me is a song written by Doc Pomus (1925-1991) and Mort Shuman (1938- 1991), first recorded in 1960 by The Drifters, with Ben E. King on lead vocals.

In the song, the narrator tells his lover she is free to mingle and socialize throughout the evening, but to make sure to save him the dance at the end of the night. During an interview on Elvis Costello’s show Spectacle, Lou Reed, who worked with Pomus, said the song was written on the day of Pomus’ wedding while the wheelchair-bound groom watched his bride dancing with their guests. Pomus had polio and at times used crutches to get around. His wife, Willi Burke, was a Broadway actress and dancer. The song gives his perspective of telling his wife to have fun dancing, but reminds her who will be taking her home and “in whose arms you’re gonna be.”

The version Save the Last Dance for Me by The Drifters is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

* MV, Michael Bublé [Official Music Video]:

Live video, Bon Jovi & Willy DeVille, 1996:

Live video, Bruce Springsteen, dancing with his mother on the Mother’s Day, 2014:

* Audio video, The Drifters, with lovely choreography:

Scarborough Fair – English folk song

According to SongFacts – https://www.songfacts.com/facts/simon-garfunkel/scarborough-fair-canticle,

Scarborough is a small town on the coast of England. The Scarborough Fair was a popular gathering in Medieval times, attracting traders and entertainers from all over the country. The fair lasted 45 days and started every August 15th. In the 1600s, mineral waters were found in Scarborough and it became a resort town. Today, Scarborough is a quiet town with a rich history.

In Medieval England, Scarborough Fair became a popular folk song as bards (professional story tellers, verse makers, music composers, or oral historians) would sing it when they traveled from town to town. The author of the song is unknown, and many different versions exist. The traditional version has many more lyrics.

Paul Simon learned about this song when he was on tour in England, where he heard a version by a popular folk singer named Martin Carthy. When Carthy heard Simon & Garfunkel’s rendition, he accused Simon of stealing his arrangement. Carthy and Simon did not speak until 2000, when Simon asked Carthy to perform this with him at a show in London. Carthy put his differences aside and did the show.

Martin Carthy learned the song from a Ewan MacColl songbook, and had recorded it on his first album, according to BBC’s Patrick Hamphries.

Paul Simon admitted to the July 2011 edition of Mojo magazine:

“The version I was playing was definitely what I could remember of Martin’s version, but he didn’t teach it to me. Really, it was just naivety on my part that we didn’t credit it as his arrangement of a traditional tune. I didn’t know you had to do that. Then later on, Martin’s publisher contacted me and we made a pretty substantial monetary settlement that he was supposed to split with Martin, But unbeknown to me, Martin got nothing.”

The lyrics are about a man trying to attain his true love. In Medieval times, the herbs mentioned in the song represented virtues that were important to the lyrics. Parsley was comfort, sage was strength, rosemary was love, and thyme was courage.

parsley sage rosemary thyme

This was not released as a single until 1968, when it was used in the Dustin Hoffman movie The Graduate. It is on the soundtrack.

Before Simon & Garfunkel got to it, Bob Dylan used the lines, “Remember me to one who lives there, she once was a true love of mine” in his 1963 song Girl From the North Country.

Scarborough Fair and Canticle are two songs that are sung simultaneously to create this piece. The first and last verses are Scarborough Fair, but lines from Canticle alternate after the first line of the other verses, so “On the side of a hill in a deep forest green” and “Tracing of sparrow on snow-crested ground” are from Canticle.

* Audio video, Simon & Garfunkel:

Audio video, Yao Si Ting, with lyrics, 2012:

* Audio video, Celia Pavey, with lyrics, in “The Voice”, 2013:

Live video, Celtic Woman, in Album “Decade: The Songs, The Show, The Traditions, The Classics”, 2015:

Seasons in the Sun – Terry Jacks

According to SongFacts (https://www.songfacts.com/facts/terry-jacks/seasons-in-the-sun),

Originally Le Moribond (“The Dying Man”), this was written and performed in French by the Belgian-born French cabaret star–poet–composer Jacques Brel (1929-1978) in 1961. The American poet–singer–songwriter–and actor Rodney Marvin “Rod” McKuen (1933-2015) translated the lyrics to English, and in 1964 The Kingston Trio released the first English-language version of the song. This is the version that Canadian singer–songwriter–record producer Terrence Ross Jacks (1944- ) heard, which became the basis for his rendition.

After his version was released, Terry Jacks had dinner with Jacques Brel, who told him about writing the song:

“It was about an old man who was dying of a broken heart because his best friend was screwing his wife. He wrote this in a whorehouse in Tangiers, and the words were quite different. This old man was dying of a broken heart and he was saying goodbye to his priest and his best friend and his wife, who cheated on him.”

The original version by Jacques Brel is rather macabre, but Jacks had an earnest inspiration for his reworking of the song: his good friend developed leukemia, and was given just six months to live. Jacks told us:

“He was gone in four months. He was a very good friend of mine, one of my best friends, and he said I was the first one that he told. I remembered this song of an old man dying of a broken heart, and I liked some of the melody and there was something there. I rewrote the song about him.”

In 1973, the song was released, and it was a huge hit, going to #1 in America for three weeks and also topping the U.K. chart. Terry was amazed when it became the largest-selling single in Canadian history: more than 285,000 copies sold in a matter of weeks. Worldwide, the sale is over six million.

Audio video_Le Moribund, Jacques Brel:

* MV_Seasons in the Sun, Terry Jacks, 1974:

Audio video_Seasons in the Sun, Westlife, with lyrics:

Send in the Clowns – Stephen Sondheim

Send in the Clowns is a song written by Stephen Joshua Sondheim for the 1973 musical A Little Night Music.

To understand the song meaning, it’s best to see a full performance of the source – the musical A Little Night Music. The song comes near the end of the second act, sung by the character Desiree. She had had an affair, many years before, with Frederik, who was deeply in love with her but whose marriage proposals she had rejected. After many years, they’ve met one another again. He is in a loveless marriage with a much younger woman. Meeting him after so long, Desiree realizes she is in love with him and offers to marry to rescue him from his loveless marriage. But he turns her down citing his dedication to his bride. Reacting to his rejection, Desirée Send in the Clowns.

In this case, “clowns” is used as a synonym for fools. It’s a song of regret, reflection and, even, anger. Rather than a weepy or sentimental song, it is a sung by an older, experienced woman reflecting on the mistakes she’s made in her life. Perhaps, the song suggests, it’s time to end the charade of seriousness and simply accept that love makes all of us fools in the end. It’s about the way in which even our maturity does not save us from heartbreak.

The original Broadway recording sung by Glynis Johns is a classic in modern musical.

With more than 500 versions of Send in the Clowns, including hits by Frank Sinatra and Judy Collins, as well as oft-heard versions by Barbra Streisand and a weepy Judi Dench, the song is one of the most frequently recorded of all time.

Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim

According to Wikipedia,

Stephen Joshua Sondheim is an American composer and lyricist known for more than a half-century of contributions to musical theatre. Sondheim has received an Academy Award, eight Tony Awards (more than any other composer, including a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre), eight Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, a Laurence Olivier Award, and a 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom. He has been described by Frank Rich of The New York Times as “now the greatest and perhaps best-known artist in the American musical theater”. His best-known works as composer and lyricist include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962), Company (1970), Follies (1971), A Little Night Music (1973), Pacific Overtures (1976), Sweeney Todd (1979), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), Into the Woods (1987), Assassins (1990), and Passion (1994). He also wrote the lyrics for West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959), and Do I Hear a Waltz? (1965).

Sondheim has written film music also, contributing Goodbye for Now for Warren Beatty’s 1981 Reds. He wrote five songs for 1990’s Dick Tracy, including Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man), sung in the film by Madonna, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

* Audio video, Glynis Johns:

* Audio video, Judy Collins:

Live video, Dame Judi Dench, in “BBC Proms 2010” on Sondheim’s 80th birthday:

* Live video, Carmen Monarcha & Mirusia with Adré Rieu and his orchestra, 2010:

She Moved Through the Fair – Irish folk song

She Moved Though the Fair was first collected in Ireland by poet Padraic Colum (1881-1972) and musicologist Herbert Hughes (1882-1937), and published in London in Irish Country Songs (1909). The lyrics were also published in Colum’s book Wild Earth and Other Poems (1922) though the book doesn’t mention their traditional origin.

The Irish tenor John McCormack recorded She Moved Through the Fair in 1941. He seemed to have introduced the change from “my young love” to “my dead love” in the last verse.

Margaret Barry learned She Moves Through the Fair “off a gramophone record by Count John McCormack” as she said in a Karl Dallas interview. She sang it on her 1956 Riverside album “Songs of an Irish Tinker Lady”.

Most subsequent versions of this song seem to be derived from Margaret Barry’s recording.

Audio video, Boyzone:

Audio video, Josh Groban, with lyrics:

* Live video, Loreena McKennitt, in “Nights from the Alhambra”, 2007:

* Audio video, Donna Taggart, 2011:

She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain – American folk song

According to Wikipedia, She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain (or Coming ‘Round the Mountain) is a traditional folk song often categorized as children’s music. The song is derived from a Christian song known as When the Chariot Comes. The song’s style is reminiscent of the call and response structure of many folk songs; among them are songs with a similar verse-structure but variant melodies, such as If You’re Happy and You Know It. These kinds of songs can be traced back to 17th-century, British radical Protestants, and the format later appeared in ballads and some religious songs.

The first printed version of the song appeared in Carl Sandburg’s The American Songbag in 1927. Sandburg reports that a negro spiritual When the Chariot Comes, sung to the same melody, was adapted by railroad workers in the 1890s in the Midwest.

Audio video, children song, with lyrics:

* Audio video, Carson with The Choraliers:

MV, Buck Norris:

Animation video for children:

Shenandoah – American folk song

According to Wikipedia, Shenandoah – also known as Oh Shenandoah or Across the Wide Missouri – is a traditional American folk song of uncertain origin, dating to the early 19th century. The song appears to have originated with Canadian and American voyageurs or fur traders traveling down the Missouri River in canoes, and has developed several different sets of lyrics. Some lyrics refer to the Oneida chief Shenandoah and a canoe-going trader who wants to marry his daughter.

By the mid-19th century, versions of the song had become a sea shanty heard or sung by sailors in various parts of the world.

Since Shenandoah was a riverman’s and then sailor’s song and went through numerous changes and versions over the years and centuries, there are no set lyrics.

Audio video, The Brothers Fours:

+ * Audio video, Hayley Westenra:

* Live video, Sissel Kyrkjebø, 2001:

* Live video, The Gimnazija Kranj Symphony Orchestra and Girls Choir, in “Gimnazija Kranj Christmas Concert”, 2016:

+ * MV, Annie Moses Band:

Siboney – Ernesto Lecuona

According to Wikipedia, Siboney is a 1929 Cuban song by Ernesto Lecuona. The lyrics were reportedly written by Lecuona while away from Cuba and is about the homesickness he is experiencing. (Siboney is also a town in Cuba, and can also refer to Cuba in general.)

Siboney became a hit in 1931 when performed by Alfredo Brito and His Siboney Orchestra. Other artists followed suit, including Caterina Valente, Olga Guillot, Xiomara Alfaro, Dizzy Gillespie, René Touzet (1954), Nana Mouskouri and Percy Faith. It was recorded by Connie Francis in 1960, and later included in the film 2046.

English lyrics were written by Dolly Morse, but they bear no resemblance to the original Spanish. The English version of the song was recorded by Bing Crosby in 1945 with the Waldorf-Astoria Orchestra. In 1949 it was recorded by Alfredo Antonini and his orchestra.

According to Wikipedia, Ernesto Lecuona y Casado (1895-1963) was a Cuban composer and pianist of worldwide fame. He composed over six hundred pieces, mostly in the Cuban vein, and was a pianist of exceptional skill. His father was Canarian and his mother was Cuban.

* Sound recording, Connie Francis:

+ * Audio video, Mantovani Orchestra:

Live video, Buika Sinfonica, in Turkey, 2013:

Sloop John B – Bahamian folk song

Sloop John B (originally published as The John B. Sails) is a Bahamian folk song from Nassau. A transcription by Richard Le Gallienne was published in 1916, and a version was included in Carl Sandburg’s The American Songbag in 1927. Since the early 1950s there have been many recordings of the song with variant titles including I Want to Go Home and Wreck of the John B.

The 1966 folk rock adaptation by the Beach Boys was produced and served as the lead single of their studio album “Pet Sounds”. It remains one of the group’s best-remembered recordings of their mid-1960s period, containing an unusual and elaborate a cappella vocal section not found in other pop music of the era.

The Beach Boys’ version of Sloop John B is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

* Audio video, The Beach Boys (stereo remaster):

* Live video, Relient K, in album “Five Score and Seven Years Ago”, 2007:

Live video, Tony Rose & Chad Odhner in The Fendertones:

Live video, Fisherman’s Friends capella, 2011:

Somethin’ Stupid – C. Carson Parks

According to Wikipedia, Somethin’ Stupid, also Something Stupid, is a song written by American songwriter–music publisher–musician–singer Clarence Carson Parks II, often known as C. Carson Parks (1936-2005), and originally recorded in 1966 by Parks and his wife Gaile Foote, as Carson and Gaile.

The song is best known in the 1967 version by Frank Sinatra and his daughter Nancy Sinatra, which reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In 2001, a cover version by British vocalist Robbie Williams and Australian actress Nicole Kidman reached number one in the U.K. Singles Chart.

Audio video, Frank Sinatra & Nancy Sinatra, 1967:

MV, Robbie Williams & Nicole Kidman, 2002:

* Live video, David Thibault & Hiba Tawaji, in “The Voice”, 2015:

Something – The Beatles

According to Wikipedia, Something is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1969 album “Abbey Road”. It was written by George Harrison (1943-2001), the band’s lead guitarist. The single topped the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. as well as charts in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and West Germany, and peaked at number 4 in the U.K.

Something is widely viewed by music historians as having marked Harrison’s ascendancy as a composer to the level of the Beatles’ principal songwriters, John Lennon and Paul McCartney. It is described as a love song to Pattie Boyd, Harrison’s first wife, although Harrison offered alternative sources of inspiration in later interviews. The song drew praise from the other Beatles and their producer, George Martin, with Lennon stating that it was the best song on Abbey Road.

Something received the Ivor Novello Award for the “Best Song Musically and Lyrically” of 1969. Up to the late 1970s, it had been covered by over 150 artists, making it the second-most covered Beatles composition after Yesterday. In 1999, Broadcast Music Incorporated named Something as the 17th-most performed song of the twentieth century, with 5 million performances.

Audio video, Frank Sinatra:

Live video, Elvis Presley, 1973:

* Live video, Sam Bailey, in “The X Factor”, 2013:

+ Live video, Paul McCartney & Eric Clapton, 2017:

+ * Audio video, The Beatles, 2019 mix:

Somewhere, My Love – Maurice Jarre & Paul Francis Webster

According to Wikipedia, Lara’s Theme is a leitmotif written for the film Doctor Zhivago (1965) by composer Maurice Jarre (1924-2009). Soon afterward, the leitmotif became the basis of the song Somewhere, My Love. In 1967, this song won Grammy Award for Best Performance by a Chorus.

While working on the soundtrack for Doctor Zhivago, Maurice Jarre was asked by director David Lean to come up with a theme for the character of Lara. Initially Lean had desired to use a well-known Russian song but could not locate the rights to it, and delegated responsibility to Jarre. After several unsuccessful attempts at writing it, Lean suggested to Jarre that he go to the mountains with his girlfriend and write a piece of music for her. Jarre says that the resultant piece was Lara’s Theme, and Lean liked it well enough to use it in numerous tracks for the film. In editing Doctor Zhivago, Lean and producer Carlo Ponti reduced or outright deleted many of the themes composed by Jarre; Jarre was angry because he felt that an over-reliance on Lara’s Theme would ruin the soundtrack. Jarre’s esthetic fears notwithstanding, the theme became an instant success and gained fame throughout the world.

By special request of Connie Francis, Paul Francis Webster (1907-1984) later took the theme and added lyrics to it to create Somewhere, My Love. Francis, however, withdrew from the project when the lyrics were presented to her because she thought of them as too “corny”. A few weeks later, Francis reconsidered her position and recorded the song nonetheless, but by then Ray Conniff had also recorded a version of his own, reaching #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1966. Conniff’s version of the song also topped the “Easy listening” chart in the U.S. for four weeks.

* Movie clip_Doctor Zhivago, leitmotif Lara’s Theme:

* Sound recording_Somewhere, My Love, Cristy Lane:

* Live video_Lara’s theme, André Rieu and his orchestra:

Live video_Lara’s theme, The State Orchestra of Folk Instruments, The Tatarstan Republic, using traditional musical instruments:

+ Speak Softly, Love – Nino Rota & Larry Kusik

Speak Softly, Love is a pop song published in 1972, with music by Nino Rota and lyrics by Larry Kusik. The song was first introduced as an instrumental theme in the 1972 film The Godfather that was simply known as “Love Theme from The Godfather”.

Rota’s score for The Godfather had been nominated for a 1973 Academy Award for Best Original Score. However, it was disqualified from consideration when the Academy learned Rota had used a more comedic version of the song for the film Fortunella (1958). Nonetheless, Rota’s score for The Godfather Part II won the 1974 Academy Award for Best Score, despite the fact that it contained the same piece.

The lyrics of the song Brucia la terra were written by Kaballà, and the song was first released in 2005.

Audio video_Speak Softly, Love, Andy Williams, with lyrics:

Live video_Speak Softly, Love, Live at Café Opera, with lyrics:

* Live video, André Rieu, live in Italy, taken from the DVD “Romantic Paradise”, 2004:

Audio video_Brucia la terra, El Padrino, with Spanish & English sub-titles:

* Live video_Brucia la terra, Andrea Bocelli:

Stand by Me – Ben E. King

According to SongFacts (https://www.songfacts.com/facts/ben-e-king/stand-by-me),

Stand by Me was the name of a gospel hymn written by the Philadelphia minister Charles Albert Tindley in 1905. His hymn became popular in churches throughout the American South and was recorded by various gospel acts in the 1950s. The most popular adaptation was by The Staple Singers, who recorded it in 1955.

Ben E. King
Ben E. King

It was this version that singer–composer Benjamin Earl King (born Benjamin Earl Nelson, 1938-2015) heard; he pushed The Drifters to record it, but the group’s manager rejected it. In 1960, Ben E. King recorded Stand by Me shortly after leaving The Drifters. The song was credited as being written by Jerry Leiber (1933-2011), Mike Stoller (1933- ) and King. It gave King a solid reputation as a solo artist.

Stand by Me was used in the 1986 movie of the same name starring River Phoenix. The film was based on a short novel by Stephen King called The Body, but that title was a little too gruesome for a movie hoping to appeal to a wide audience.

Rob Reiner, who directed the film, met the song’s co-writter Mike Stoller at a party, and convinced him to play some of his classic songs on a piano while Reiner sang along. Months later, Reiner got the idea to use Stand By Me as the title and incorporate it into the movie when he heard the song at his house. This played up the friendship of the young boys in the film and downplayed the role of the dead body they find, which was a good move at the box office. The movie was a hit and propelled the song back to the charts, introducing the track to a new generation.

Now a hit with two generations, the song started showing up at weddings and other special occasions, becoming a timeless classic.

The Recording Industry Association of America ranks Stand by Me as one of Top 25 Song of 20th Century.

The version of Stand by Me by Ben E. King is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

The same version has been named to the National Recording Registry of the Library of U.S. Congress because of its cultural, artistic and historical importance to American society and the nation’s audio heritage.

* Audio video, Ben E King, 1961:

MV, Tom & Angela:

* MV, Trio Amadeus:

MV, Endless Summer, in album “Stand by Me (Live at Lake Powell)”, 2018:

Stand by Your Man – Tammy Wynette

Tammy Wynette
Tammy Wynette

Stand by Your Man is a song co-written by Tammy Wynette  (1942-1998) and Billy Sherrill (1936-2015) and originally recorded by Wynette as a single in the U.S. in 1968. It proved to be the most successful record of Wynette’s career, and is one of the most recorded songs in the history of country music.

The song was placed at number one on CMT’s list of the Top 100 Country Music Songs.

The song was selected by the U.S. Library of Congress as a 2010 addition to the National Recording Registry, which selects recordings annually that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

Tammy Wynette was an American country music singer-songwriter and one of country music’s best-known artists and biggest-selling female singers. She was called the “First Lady of Country Music”, and her best-known song, Stand by Your Man, is one of the best-selling hit singles by a woman in the history of country music. Many of her hits dealt with classic themes of loneliness, divorce, and the difficulties of life and relationships.

In all, Wynette racked up more than 20 #1 hits, several of which she co-wrote, and 11 of her albums went to # 1. She won two Grammys, for I Don’t Wanna Play House and Stand By Your Man, and three Country Music Association “Female Vocalist of the Year” awards.

Later in 1998, Wynette was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Along with Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton, she is credited with having defined the role of women in country music during the 1970s.

* Audio video, Tammy Wynette:

* Live video, Perpetuum Jazzile of Slovenia, 2013:

Live video, Sara Evans – ACM’s Girls’ Night Out:

Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees

According to SongFacts (https://www.songfacts.com/facts/bee-gees/stayin-alive),

Stayin’ Alive was one of five songs the Bee Gees wrote specifically for the 1977 movie Saturday Night Fever. Like the film, the song is about much more than dancing and having a good time. It deals with struggle and aspiration; making your way in the world even after you’ve been kicked around. John Travolta’s character in the movie is a young man working a dead-end job who feels alienated by his parents. Dancing is his form of expression, and weekends are his time to let loose.

The movie has come to represent the Disco era, and has made this the song most associated with Disco. The Bee Gees contributions to Saturday Night Fever brought them huge success, also marked them as Disco singers.

Robert Stigwood, who produced Saturday Night Fever, asked for a song called Saturday Night, but the Bee Gees wanted nothing to do with that title, since many other songs, including a very popular one by the Bay City Rollers, had that name. Stigwood objected when he’s heard the song was called Stayin’ Alive, but the group told him that if he didn’t like it, they would just use the song on their own album.

The soundtrack was an unqualified success, winning the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and becoming the best-selling album ever until it was dethroned by Michael Jackson’s Thriller. It remained the best-selling soundtrack of all time until it was surpassed by the soundtrack to The Bodyguard.

Stayin’ Alive is in American Film Institute’s list of 100 greatest songs in American movies as of 2003, in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016, and in Billboard magazine’s list “The Hot 100’s All-Time Top 100 Songs” as of 2018.

* MV, Bee Gees:

* Live video, Tairova, Kukin, Avazneli, in “The Voice Kids Russia – Season 6”, 2019:

Notes – The song Stayin’ Alive is linked to a first-aid method for collapsed victims. The cardio-pulmonary resuscitation method (CPR) by mouth-to-mouth may be considered no more suitable due to the potential transmission of viral respiratory diseases like avian flu, SARS, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), etc. According to actual results, the continuous chest compression or hands-only method is more effective than CPR. Important requirement is the rhythm: about 100 compressions per minutes, with the same tempo as the song Stayin’ Alive, to be applied continuously until the victim can breathe.

Instructional video for the continuous chest compression hands-only method of Stayin’ Alive tempo:


Still Loving You – Scorpions

Still Loving You is a power ballad released in 1984 by the German rock band Scorpions.

According to Songfacts (https://www.songfacts.com/facts/scorpions/still-loving-you),

This is a very emotional song of love and pain and wishing for another chance. Scorpions guitarist Rudolf Schenker explained:

“I came up with the composition’s melody and everything. It took about six years of trying to get the song somehow on the album. Matthias Jabs came in with the guitar part, and the feeling was immediately right, so Klaus (Meine) noticed it was right. Therefore, he wanted to write something very special. He told me about how one day he went out into the fields in the snow, and it was then that he came up with the lyrics. He came back home and threw them down, and here we are. It’s a story about a love affair where they recognized it may be over, but let’s try again. It’s the old story; always the old story. I mean, what can we use? We can’t reinvent the wheel. What we always do, is say something which has already been said many times, in our own way.”

This song hit the charts all over the world, but it was especially popular in France, where it went to #1.

* Sound recording, Scorpions, with lyrics:

Live video, Nargiz Zakirova ft Sharip Umhanov:

* Live video, Daniel Guay:

Streets of London – Ralph McTell

Streets of London is a song by English singer–songwriter and acoustic guitar player Ralph McTell (born Ralph May, 1944- ), who first recorded it for his 1969 album “Spiral Staircase”.

According to Songfacts (https://www.songfacts.com/facts/ralph-mctell/streets-of-london),

This song was originally about some individual people Ralph McTell met in the French capital while busking and hitchhiking throughout Europe. At first he put the title as Streets of Paris, but when he realized there was already a song called Poor People of Paris, he changed the title to Streets of London.

McTell had originally written this song when he recorded his debut album “Eight Frames a Second”, which was released in early 1968. However he left it off, as he regarded it as too depressing. Ralph McTell: “In one day, Streets sold 90,000 copies and it was #2 by Christmas. There were 3 versions in the German charts – all by me! Streets also sold more sheet music than any song since the war. I formed a Rock band just before the record was a hit, but of course we never played Streets. Audiences didn’t like the band, so I announced my retirement and went off to America in a fit of pique. Streets opened more doors than it closed. The song is still played all over the world and even schoolchildren in the Himalayas have been heard singing it.”

McTell won the Ivor Novello Award for Songwriting for this song in 1974.

Ralph was presented with a Gold disc of Spiral Staircase at his 60th birthday concert in 2004.

McTell’s song contrasts the common problems of everyday people with those of the homeless, lonely, elderly, ignored and forgotten members of society. In an interview in 2016, McTell said that the market he referred to in the song was Surrey Street Market in Croydon.

Eventually there are more than 200 cover versions.

* Audio video, Ralph McTell:

+ * Audio video, Mary Hopkin, Royal Festival Hall, 1972:

+ Audio video, Cat Stevens:

Live video, Rebecca Jayne:

Live video, Candice Night in Blackmore’s Night, Paris, 2006:

Sugar, Sugar – The Archies

Sugar, Sugar is a song written by American pop music songwriter–singer Jeff Barry (born Joel Adelberg, 1938- ) and Canadian pop rock songwriter–singer Andy Kim (Andrew Youakim, 1946- ), and originally recorded by The Archies.

This version reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on the U.K. Singles chart. The song became a hit again in 1970 when rhythm and blues and soul singer Wilson Pickett took it back onto the charts.

Sugar, Sugar is in Billboard magazine’s list “The Hot 100’s All-Time Top 100 Songs” (based on sales) as of 2018.

MV, The Archies, 1969:

* MV, Cheerleader / Omi & The Archies MASHUP:

Sukiyaki (Ue o muite arukou) – Kyu Sakamoto

SukiyakiSukiyaki (Ue o muite arukou, 上を向いて歩こう meaning “I Look Up As I Walk”), is a song written by lyricist Rokusuke Ei and composer Hachidai Nakamura, and recorded by Japanese singer–actor Kyu Sakamoto (1941-1985) in Japan in 1961.

The lyrics tell the story of a man who looks up and whistles while he is walking so that his tears will not fall. The verses of the song describe his memories and feelings.

According to Hofstede (2013),

When you read the lyrics, you see the text of saccharine tune about love lost or desired. However, its origin is not as sweet.

The composer wrote this song after he returned from a protest against a revision of the Security Treaty with the United States. Ei was so disappointed by the failure that he wrote such lyrics.

The text was adapted and turned into a general tune that had little more to do with political engagement and it went on to conquer the world as one of Japan’s first successful cultural exports. As such it is already important. However, the context of this song also noteworthy.

The early sixties, the period in which this song was published, was one of great turmoil for Japan. The occupation by the US was over, but the country was still in the process of restoring its full sovereignty and it was grappling with the issue of balancing sovereignty with very useful security guarantees from the US and a volatile society.

At the same time, the Japanese society was also undergoing changes: the first postwar generation was growing up and the country was only on the outset of the huge economic growth that would later make Japan so huge. The political climate was fraught with tension while the left battled the right. The on-stage assassination of socialist leader Asanuma Inejirō serves as a shrill illustration of this era.

One grouping in this political tumult were the pacifists. Consisting for a large part of people grown up or born during or after the Second World War, they were abhorred by what had happened in that war, especially the atomic bombing. They—of course, there is no one ‘they’ here—did not like to be drawn into further conflict and were afraid that by choosing one side in the Cold War, Japan would risk being drawn into a new war. That is why they often demonstrated against alignment with United States. Apart from them, there were also leftists who were just against the conservative-dominated government.

Composer Ei participated in protests organised by groups like these. It was about the failure of one such protests that he wrote this song. The shed tears for compromised sovereignty or neutrality compromised show the emotional side of Japanese nationalism or patriotism.

It is therefore somewhat ironic that this song did so well in the United States and the rest of the West. It reached the top of the charts, is still one of the best sold single ever and has been covered many times. Still, behind this ostensibly saccharine love song lies an interesting story!

The English-language lyrics are not a translation of the original Japanese lyrics, but instead a completely different set of lyrics arranged to the same basic melody. In Anglophone countries, the song is best known under the alternative title Sukiyaki. The term “sukiyaki” does not appear in the song’s lyrics, nor does it have any connection to them; it was used only because it was short, catchy, recognizably Japanese, and more familiar to English speakers.

The song topped the charts in several countries, including on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963 – the only song of Japanese origin that has achieved such rank in American music history. The song has grown to become one of the world’s best-selling singles of all time, having sold over 13 million copies worldwide.

There are other versions in Chinese, Croatian, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Spanish, etc.

Lyrics translation

I look up when I walk
So the tears won’t fall
Remembering those happy spring days
But tonight I’m all alone

I look up when I walk
Counting the stars with tearful eyes
Remembering those happy summer days
But tonight I’m all alone

Happiness lies beyond the clouds
Happiness lies above the sky
I look up when I walk
So the tears won’t fall
Though my heart is filled with sorrow
For tonight I’m all alone

Remembering those happy autumn days
But tonight I’m all alone
Sadness hides in the shadow of the stars
Sadness lurks in the shadow of the moon

I look up when I walk
So the tears won’t fall
Though my heart is filled with sorrow
For tonight I’m all alone

Source: https://lyricstranslate.com/en/ue-o-muite-aruk%C5%8D-sukiyaki-i-look-when-i-walk.html

MV, Kyu Sakamoto:

Audio video, A Taste of Honey, English version, 1981:

Audio video, 4P.M., with English lyrics:

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious – Julie Andrews & Dick Van Dyke

This is the song written by the Sherman Brothers for the Disney musical movie Mary Poppins. It also appears in the stage show version of Mary Poppins and the film of the same name.

The writers of the Oxford English Dictionary think that the word “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” was first used in the 1940s. The word is a compound word, and said by Richard Lederer in his book Crazy English to be made up of these words: super- “above”, cali- “beauty”, fragilistic- “delicate”, expiali- “to atone”, and -docious “educable”, with all of these parts combined meaning “Atoning for educability through delicate beauty.”

According to the movie, in which the word became widely used, the word is “something to say when you have nothing to say”. However, a lot of people think the word means “extraordinarily good” or “wonderful” because all mentions of the word in the movie can be thought of as good.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is in American Film Institute’s list of 100 greatest songs in American movies as of 2003.

Live video, Broadway Theater:

* Live video, André Rieu and his orchestra, 2011:

Live video, Deredia, 2016:

Suspicious Minds – Elvis Presley

Suspicious Minds is the song written and first recorded by American songwriter Mark James.

According to Eames (2019),

The song is about a dysfunctional relationship, and various feelings of mistrust within it, and how the couple need to move on in order to survive.

James later explained that one night, he was playing around on his Fender guitar and using his Hammond organ pedals for a bass line, and came up with a catchy melody.

At the time, he was married to his first wife, but still had feelings for his childhood sweetheart, who was also married. James’s wife had suspicions of his feelings to the other woman, and James felt it was a tricky time as all three were “caught in this trap that they could not walk out of”.

The song was recorded by Elvis Presley after James’ recording failed commercially, becoming a number one song in 1969, and one of the most notable hits of Presley’s career.

Suspicious Minds is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

* Audio video, Elvis Presley with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra:

Live video, Elvis Presley, 1970:

* Audio video, Ronan Keating from album “Songs For My Mother”, 2009:

Live video, William Segerdahl, in “Swedish Idol”, 2018:

Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond

Neil Diamond B
Neil Diamond

According to Wikipedia,

The song Sweet Caroline is written and performed by Neil Diamond (1941- ) and released in 1969 as a single with the title Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good).

In a 2007 interview, Diamond stated the inspiration for his song was John F. Kennedy’s daughter, Caroline, who was eleven years old at the time it was released. Diamond sang the song to her at her 50th birthday celebration in 2007. However, in 2014 Diamond said the song was about his then-wife Marcia, but he needed a three-syllable name to fit the melody.

Neil Diamond is an American singer-songwriter, musician and actor. With 38 songs in the Top 10 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts, Diamond has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling musicians of all time. On the Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts, he has had ten #1 singles: Cracklin’ Rosie, Song Sung Blue, Longfellow Serenade, I’ve Been This Way Before, If You Know What I Mean, Desiree, You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, America, Yesterday’s Songs, and Heartlight.

Diamond was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. Additionally, he received the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000 and in 2011 was an honoree at the Kennedy Center. In 2018, Diamond received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 2019, Sweet Caroline was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

Audio video, Neil Diamond:

Live video, Noah Puckerman (Mark Salling):

Live video, Robbie Williams and Dad/Sweet Caroline/Las Vegas, 2019:

Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver

John Denver
John Denver

The song Take Me Home, Country Roads, also known as Country Roads, is written by Bill Danoff, Taffy Nivert, and John Denver about the state of West Virginia. It was released as a single performed by Denver in 1971. The song became one of John Denver’s most popular and beloved songs. It has continued to sell, with over 1.5 million digital copies sold in the United States. It is considered to be Denver’s signature song.

The song has a prominent status as an iconic symbol of West Virginia, which it describes as “almost Heaven”. In March 2014, it became one of the four official state anthems of West Virginia.

Take Me Home, Country Roads is in CMT’s list “100 Greatest Songs of Country Music” as of 2003.

According to Wikipedia,

John Denver (Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., 1943-1997) was an American singer-songwriter, record producer, actor, activist, and humanitarian, whose greatest commercial success was as a solo singer. Starting in the 1970s, he was one of the most popular acoustic artists of the decade and one of its best-selling artists. By 1974, he was one of America’s best-selling performers, and AllMusic has described Denver as “among the most beloved entertainers of his era”.

Denver recorded and released approximately 300 songs, about 200 of which he composed, with total sales of over 33 million records worldwide. He recorded and performed primarily with an acoustic guitar and sang about his joy in nature, his disdain for city life, his enthusiasm for music, and his relationship trials. Denver’s music appeared on a variety of charts, including country music, the Billboard Hot 100, and adult contemporary, in all earning 12 gold and four platinum albums with his signature songs Annie’s Song, For Baby, Calypso, Country Roads, Rocky Mountain High, Sunshine on My Shoulders Take Me Home Country Road, and Thank God I’m a Country Boy.

* Sound recording, John Denver:

* MV, Jason Owen:

+ Live video, The Petersens:

+ * Live video, Ruud Hermans, in  “The Voice Senior”, 2019:

Tennessee Waltz – Patti Page

Tennessee Waltz is a popular country music song with lyrics by Redd Stewart and music by Pee Wee King first released in 1948. The song became a multimillion seller via a 1950 recording – as The Tennessee Waltz – by Patti Page (1927-2013). As of 1974, it was the biggest-selling song ever in Japan.

All versions of the lyrics narrate a situation in which the persona has introduced his or her sweetheart to a friend who then waltzes away with her or him. The lyrics are altered for pronoun gender on the basis of the gender of the singer.

The popularity of Tennessee Waltz also made it the fourth official song of the state of Tennessee in 1965.

Tennessee Waltz is in CMT’s list “100 Greatest Songs of Country Music” as of 2003.

* Audio video, Connie Francis, with lyrics:

+ * Audio video, Patti Page, original with lyrics:

MV, Rudi, Corlea Botha, Tennessee Waltz (Album Version), 2010:

* Live video, Jo A Ram (electrical violin), with lyrics:

That’s Amore – Dean Martin

According to SongFacts (https://www.songfacts.com/facts/dean-martin/thats-amore),

One of Dean Martin’s most famous songs, That’s Amore describes love the way they do it in the southern Italy town of Napoli (“Amore” is Italian for “Love”). Filled with passion, the singer compares the feeling to his favorite Italian foods: pizza and pasta fagiole. It’s a quirky romantic song poking a bit of fun at Italian stereotypes, something Martin – born Dino Crocetti – had every right to do.

The lyrics were written by Jack Brooks with music by Harry Warren. The song first appeared in the 1953 movie The Caddy, starring Martin and his comedy partner Jerry Lewis. In his autobiography, Lewis said that when he and Dean were making The Caddy, the writers left Dean with little to do. Knowing this would increase their already strained relationship, Jerry went behind Dean’s back and asked songwriter Harry Warren to write a hit song for Dean to sing in the movie. This was the result.

That’s Amore is signature song of Dean Martin (1917-1995).

Audio video, Dean Martin:

MV, Rocco Granata, in album “That’s Amore”, 1998:

MV, Patrizio Buanne, 2005:

That’s Why (You Go Away) – Michael Learns to Rock

That’s Why (You Go Away) is a ballad by the Danish soft rock band Michael Learns to Rock and is the second single from their third studio album Played on Pepper, the single was released in 1995 and become one of the band’s biggest international hits.

* Audio video, Michael Learns to Rock, with lyrics:

Live video, MLTR & Citra Utamim in album “Absolute Love 2”, 1997:

Live video, Bertiga, in “Rising Star Indonesia” Eps 13:

The Bund – Joseph Koo & Surn Wong

The Bund is a waterfront area in central Shanghai. It is a setting (and namesake) of the Hong Kong television series The Bund (1980) and the remake series Shanghai Bund (2007). In both series, the theme song The Bund is sung by the famous singer Frances Yip. The song is considered an excellent performance in the Cantopop music line.

Audio video, Andy Lau, with English sub-titles:

Movie clip_Shanghai Bund (2007), Frances Yip, with Vietnamese and Chinese sub-titles:

+ Live video, Frances Yip:

The Last Rose of Summer – Nana Mouskouri

The Last Rose of Summer is a poem written by the Irish poet Thomas Moore. The poem is set to a traditional tune called Aislean an Oigfear, or “The Young Man’s Dream”, which was transcribed by Edward Bunting in 1792. The poem and the tune together were published in 1813 in Thomas Moore’s A Selection of Irish Melodies.

Nana Mouskouri (1934- ) is a Greek singer. She has released over 200 albums and singles with over 300 million copies in at least 21 different languages, including Corsican, Chinese (Mandarin) Dutch, French, English, German, Greek, Hebrew, Irish, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, and Welsh,.

* Audio video, Nana Mouskouri:

* Audio video, Laura Wright, 2011:

* Audio video, Celtic Woman, in album “Decade: The Songs, The Show, The Traditions, The Classics”, 2015:

Live video, Harry Völker, piano solo, 2013:

The House of the Rising Sun – The Animals

The House of the Rising Sun is a traditional folk song about a life gone wrong in New Orleans; many versions also urge a sibling or parents and children to avoid the same fate. The most successful commercial version, recorded in 1964 by British rock group The Animals, was a number one hit on the UK Singles Chart and also in the United States and France.

According to SongFacts, historians have not been able to definitively identify The House of the Rising Sun, but there are the two most popular theories:

  • The song is about a brothel in New Orleans. The House of the Rising Sun was named after its occupant Madame Marianne LeSoleil Levant (which means “Rising Sun” in French) and was open for business from 1862 (occupation by Union troops) until 1874.
  • It’s about a women’s prison in New Orleans called the Orleans Parish women’s prison, which had an entrance gate adorned with rising sun artwork. This would explain the “ball and chain” lyrics in the song.

The House of the Rising Sun King is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

+ * Live video, The Animals, 1964:

Live video, The Andes, instrumental:

Audio video, Doc Watson:

The Lion Sleeps Tonight – The Tokens

The Lion Sleeps Tonight is a song originally written and recorded in 1939 under the title Mbube by South African singer–composer Solomon Popoli Linda (1909-1962), also known as Solomon Ntsele (“Linda” was his clan name). The original song was written in Zulu, while the English version’s lyrics were written by George David Weiss (1921-2010).

The song was adapted and covered internationally by many pop and folk revival artists in the 1950s and 1960s, including the Weavers, Jimmy Dorsey, Yma Sumac, Miriam Makeba, and the Kingston Trio. In 1961, it became a number one hit in the United States as adapted in English with the best-known version by the doo-wop group the Tokens. It went on to earn millions in royalties from cover versions and film licensing. The pop group Tight Fit had a number one hit in the U.K. with the song in 1982.

+ * Audio video, The Tokens:

* Live video, Boys’ choir “Dagilelis”:

Audio video, Helmut Lotti:

* MV, Kids United Nouvelle Génération, French version entitled Le Lion Est Mort Ce Soir in album “Au bout de nos rêves”, 2018:

The Moon Represents My Heart – Teresa Teng

Teresa Teng
Teresa Teng

The Moon Represents My Heart (Chinese: 月亮代表我的心) is a Mandarin song, made famous by Teresa Teng (鄧麗君, 1953-1995). This is one of the most beloved Chinese-language songs, being number one in the 100 top songs of all time in Taiwan.

The song has been performed frequently in Asia into the 21st century, including in mainland China, Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan. The song is considered a classic, and according to one source, most Chinese all around the world are familiar with it.

Teresa Teng was a star Taiwanese singer, one of the most famous and successful singers to originate from the Mandarin-speaking world. She is known widely to the Chinese community worldwide (especially in South-East Asian countries), even in groups who may not speak Mandarin as their primary language. Teng’s popularity was at the peak throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and still remained popular even in the 1990s up till her death in 1995. She recorded folk songs and ballads not only in Mandarin but also in Taiwanese Hokkien, Cantonese, Japanese, Indonesian and English. She also spoke French fluently.

Lyrics translation, beginning part

You ask me how deep my love for you is
How much I really love you
My affection is real
My love is real
The moon represents my heart.

You ask me how deep my love for you is
How much I really love you
My affection does not waver
My love will not change
The moon represents my heart.

Just one soft kiss
is enough to move my heart
A period of time when our affection was deep
Has made me miss you until now

You ask me how deep my love for you is
How much I really love you
Go think about it
Go and have a look
The moon represents my heart.

Source: https://lyricstranslate.com/en/%E6%9C%88%E4%BA%AE%E4%BB%A3%E8%A1%A8%E6%88%91%E7%9A%84%E5%BF%83-yueliang-daibiao-wode-xin-moon-represents-my-heart.html

Live video, Teresa Teng, with Chinese lyrics:

Live video, Rex Wee & Hayley Westenra, with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, 2009:

The Music of the Night – Jackie Evancho

The Music of the Night (sometimes written as Music of the Night) (also labeled as just “Music of the Night”) is a major song, as a male solo, from the 1986 musical The Phantom of the Opera. The music was written by British composer Baron Andrew Lloyd Webber (1948- ) with lyrics by British lyricist Charles Hart (1961- ). It has appeared on multiple soundtracks of the musical, such as the original cast version in which English actor Michael Crawford sings the song.

In the musical, it is sung after the Phantom lures Christine Daaé to his lair beneath the Opera House. He seduces Christine with “his music” of the night, his voice putting her into a type of trance. He sings of his unspoken love for her and urges her to forget the world and life she knew before. The Phantom leads Christine around his lair, eventually pulling back a curtain to reveal a mannequin dressed in a wedding gown resembling Christine. When she approaches it, it suddenly moves, causing her to faint. The Phantom then carries Christine to a bed, where he lays her down and goes on to write his music.

Due to similarities between the song and a recurring melody in Giacomo Puccini’s 1910 opera, La fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West), the Puccini estate filed lawsuit against Webber, accusing him of plagiarism. An agreement was settled out of court and details were not released to the public.

Jacqueline Marie “Jackie” Evancho (2000- ) is an American classical crossover singer who gained wide recognition at an early age. The 10-year-old Jackie Evancho was the runner-up of “America’s Got Talent 2010”, singing The Phantom of the Opera. Her life completely changed after that: she was performing all over the world, she was able to record albums that went platinum and gold, and she became the youngest solo singer to go platinum in the U.S.

In the song The Music of the Night, Jackie causes a feeling that she sings for herself and tells the audience to “help me make the Music of the Night”.

Movie clip_The Phantom of the Opera, Gerard Butler:

+ * Live video_The Phantom of the Opera, Ramin Karimloo, at The Royal Albert Hall, 2011:

* Live video, Jackie Evancho, 2012:

MV, Chris Mann from album “Constellation”, 2016:

The Power of Love – Jennifer Rush

The Power of Love is a song co-written and originally recorded in 1984 by American singer–songwriter Jennifer Rush (born Heidi Stern, 1960- ). Her version became number one in the U.K. in 1985 and the biggest-selling single of the year in that country. This was the first ever million seller by a female soloist in Britain and the biggest selling single in U.K. in 1985. It was also a number one single in several other European countries, as well as Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Dion’s version went to number one in the United States, Canada and Australia in 1994. The song has been translated into several languages, becoming a pop standard.

Released as the first single from Céline Dion’s 1993 album “The Colour of My Love”, the song went was her first #1 in America and Austria, her second #1 in Canada, and climbed to high ranks in other countries. The Power of Love is considered to be one of Céline Dion’s signature songs.

+ * Audio video, Céline Dion (Official Video):

+ Live video, Jennifer Rush & Helene Fischer:

Live video, Sam Bailey, in “The X Factor”, 2013:

The Rose – Bette Midler

The Rose is a classic pop song written by Amanda McBroom (1947- ) and made famous by Bette Midler (1945- ) who recorded it for the soundtrack of the 1979 film The Rose in which it plays during the closing credits.

The Rose is in American Film Institute’s list of 100 greatest songs in American movies as of 2003.

Bette Midler
Bette Midler

Bette Midler is an American singer, songwriter, actress, comedian, and film producer. Since 1970, Midler has released 14 studio albums as a solo artist. Many of her songs became hits, including her renditions of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Do You Want to Dance, From a Distance, The Rose, and Wind Beneath My Wings.

Midler made her motion picture debut in 1979 with The Rose, which earned her a Golden Globe for Best Actress, as well as a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress, whereas The Rose won a Golden Globe for Best Song.

In a career spanning almost half a century, Midler has won three Grammy Awards, four Golden Globes, three Emmy Awards, and a Tony Award. She has sold over 30 million records worldwide, and has received four Gold, three Platinum, and three Multiplatinum albums by RIAA.

* Audio video, Bette Midler, with lyrics:

Audio video, LeAnn Rimes, with lyrics:

Live video, Christopher Maloney, in “X Factor” 2012, with lyrics:

MV, Sol3 Mio, 2015:

The Sound of Silence – Simon and Garfunkel

The Sound of Silence is a song written by Paul Simon and recorded by the American music duo Simon & Garfunkel in 1964. This version was a commercial failure and led to the duo breaking apart.

In 1965, Tom Wilson, the song’s producer, remixed the track, overdubbing electric instruments and drums. Simon & Garfunkel were not informed of the song’s remix until after its release in September 1965. The song hit No. 1 on the Billboard Magazine Hot 100, leading the duo to reunite and hastily record their second album, entitled Sounds of Silence, in an attempt to capitalize on the song’s success. The song was a top-ten hit in multiple countries worldwide, among them Australia, Austria, West Germany, Japan and the Netherlands.

Generally considered a classic folk rock song, the song was added to the National Recording Registry in the Library of Congress for being culturally, historically, or aesthetically important in 2012 along with the rest of the “Sounds of Silence” album.

The Sound of Silence is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

+ * Audio video, Simon and Garfunkel, original version, 1964:

Live video, 2tone, 2013:

* Audio video of performance, Dana Winner, with lyrics:

MV, Camille & Kennerly, harp duo, 2018:

+ Live video, Wang Xi, Ju Hongchuan & Li Qi:

The Summer Knows – Michel Legrand, Marilyn Bergman & Alan Bergman

Summer of ‘42 (1971) is an American film based on the memory in the novel of the same name by screenwriter Herman Raucher (1928- ). It tells the story of how Raucher, in his early teens on his 1942 summer vacation on Nantucket Island (off the coast of Cape Cod), embarks on a one-sided romance with a young woman, Dorothy, whose husband has gone off to fight in World War II.

Raucher’s novelization of his screenplay of the same name was released prior to the film’s release and became a runaway bestseller, to the point that audiences lost sight of the fact that the book was based on the film and not vice versa. Though a pop culture phenomenon in the first half of the 1970s, the novelization went out of print and slipped into obscurity throughout the next two decades until a Broadway adaptation in 2001 brought it back into the public light and prompted Barnes & Noble to acquire the publishing rights to the book.

The melody was composed by French composer–arranger–conductor–jazz pianist Michel Jean Legrand (1932-2019), and won the Oscar for best music. The couple Marilyn Bergman (née Keith, 1929- ) and Alan Bergman (1925- ), both American lyricists–songwriters, wrote the lyrics to make the song The Summer Knows, which was included in the album of the same name in 1976.

Main theme Summer of ’42 won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition.

Adaptations include the French version L’été ‘42 written by Jean Dréjac, and the Swedish version Du ljuvlighet written by Lars Nordlander.

+ * Audio video, main theme:

Audio video, Andy Williams:

Audio video, Johnny Mathis, 1993:

+ Live video, Harry Völker (piano):

The Yellow Rose of Texas – American folk song

The Yellow Rose of Texas a traditional American folk song dating back to at least the 1850s. The earliest known version is found in Christy’s Plantation Melodies No. 2, a songbook published in Philadelphia in 1853.

One of the enduring legends of the Texas Revolution is that of the “Yellow Rose of Texas” and her role in the defeat of Santa Anna’s forces at San Jacinto. The popular legend goes that one of the reasons that the Texans were able to overrun the Mexican camp so easily was that Santa Anna was otherwise occupied at the moment of attack. The reason for his occupation? A beautiful, young mulatto — a person of mixed white and black ancestry — slave woman, Emily West, who had been sent into the Mexican camp by General Sam Houston on a mission to distract the Mexican president. Like most of the legends surrounding the Texas Revolution, the story of The Yellow Rose of Texas is based on evidence, but has taken on a life of its own over the years.

Like most minstrel songs, the lyrics are written in a cross between the dialect historically spoken by African-Americans and standard American English. The song is written in the first person from the perspective of an African-American singer who refers to himself as a “darkey,” longing to return to “a yellow girl” (a bi-racial woman born of African-American or European-American progenitors). Its original version became associated with the legend of how an indentured servant named Emily D. West (aka Emily Morgan) unwittingly aided Texans in winning the Battle of San Jacinto, the decisive battle in their War of Independence from Mexico.

During the Civil War (1861-1865), the song was added with patriotic lyrics supporting the Confederate.

Several versions of the song have been recorded, including by Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson and Mitch Miller.

In 2010, members of the Western Writers of America chose The Yellow Rose of Texas as one of the top 100 Western songs of all time.

Sound recording, Mitch Miller:

+ Video âm thanh, Hanny Williams, original soundtrack:

Audio video, Elvis Presley:

The Windmills of Your Mind – Michel Legrand, Alan Bergman & Marilyn Bergman

The Windmills of Your Mind is a song with music by French composer Michel Legrand (1932-2019), and English lyrics written by Americans husband and wife Alan Bergman (1925- ) and Marilyn Bergman (née Keith, 1929- ). The French lyrics, under the title Les Moulins de mon cœur, were written by Eddy Marnay (1920-2003).

The song with the English lyrics was introduced in the film The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. A cover by Sting was used in the 1999 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair.

The poet Ian McMillan says The Windmills of Your Mind is similar to some modernist poetry where meanings are kept deliberately mysterious and confusing. He thinks the lyrics are deceptively shallow, the words appear to mean something when they don’t.

The Windmills of Your Mind is in American Film Institute’s list of 100 greatest songs in American movies as of 2003.

Audio video, Omar Kamal:

Live video, Barbra Streisand, English version:

Live video, Tina Arena, French & English version, 2011:

The Wonder of You – Elvis Presley

The Wonder of You is a song written by Baker Knight and first released by Ray Peterson (1939-2005) in 1959.

In 1970, Elvis Presley recorded a live version of The Wonder of You. The song was released as a single on April 20, 1970, backed by the song “Mama Liked the Roses”. In the U.S., the songs charted at #9, and was one of Elvis’ most successful records in the U.K. ever.

According to Peterson,

He [Elvis] asked me if I would mind if he recorded The Wonder of You. I said, ‘You don’t have to ask permission; you’re Elvis Presley.’ He said, ‘Yes, I do. You’re Ray Peterson.’

In 2016, an orchestral version of the song was released together with other orchestral versions of Elvis songs in the album “The Wonder of You”.

* Audio video, Elvis Presley, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra:

Audio video, Ray Peterson:

* Live video, Barry Darcy in “Ireland’s Got Talent”, 2019:

There Goes My Everything – Dallas Frazier

There Goes My Everything is a country music standard written by American country musician and songwriter Dallas Frazier (1939- ), and published in 1965. The song is best known in a 1966 version by Jack Greene that reached the top of the U.S. country music chart.

The cover versions by Engelbert Humperdinck in 1967 and by Elvis Presley in 1971 were also highly successful.

Billboard magazine ranks There Goes My Everything the 5th among the best country songs of all time.

* Audio video, Engelbert Humperdinck, with lyrics, 1969:

* Audio video, Elvis Presley, 1970:

Audio video, Ray Price, from album “Heart of Country Music”, 1987:

Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree – Dawn

In October 1971, Pete Hamill wrote a romantic Civil War-era story for the New York Post called Going Home. In it, college students on a trip to the beaches of Fort Lauderdale make friends with an ex-convict who is watching for a yellow handkerchief on a roadside oak in Brunswick, Georgia. Hamill claimed to have heard this story in oral tradition. In June 1972, nine months later, Reader’s Digest reprinted Going Home.

As Songwriter L. Russell Brown (1940- ) remembers, after reading the story he drove the 33 miles up to see American songwriter Irwin Levine (1938-1997). He told Irvin the story, twice. Irwin said, “Handkerchiefs? You blow your nose in them. That’s disgusting.” “What can we do?” Irwin said, “Let’s change it to a ribbon.” Having agreed that handkerchiefs were not the right word, stagecoach became a bus. (Paulson, 2018)

Then they took the song to New York for 11 months, and everybody laughed at them. So finally, in desperation, they went to American singer–record producer Hank Medress (1938-2007). When they got to the end of it, Hank didn’t make a face and all of a sudden, he just jumped up and said, “Smash! I’m cutting it with Tony (Orlando).” Finally they put Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree out with a 50,000-watt clear-channel station — WKBW in Buffalo. And when it stopped, the DJ said, “Please stop calling the station. You’re burning out the switchboard.” It was truly a cultural phenomenon, a global masterpiece.

Levine and Brown then registered for copyright the song. At the time, the writers said they heard the story while serving in the military. Pete Hamill filed suit for infringement. He dropped his suit after folklorists working for Levine and Brown turned up archival versions of the story that had been collected before Going Home had been written.

Tie a yellow ribbonTony Orlando and Dawn’s Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree became a worldwide hit for the group in 1973. The single reached the top 10 in ten countries, in eight of which it topped the charts. It reached number one on the Australian, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S. charts. It was the top-selling single in 1973 in both the U.K. and U.S.

Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree is in Billboard magazine’s list “The Hot 100’s All-Time Top 100 Songs” as of 2018.

Tony Orlando and Dawn is an American pop music group that was popular in the 1970s. Their signature hits include Candida, Knock Three Times, Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree, Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose, and He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You).

* Animation MV, Tony Orlando and Dawn, with lyrics, 1970:

* Audio video, Perry Como, from album “The Very Best of Perry Como” (remastered), 2015:

Video âm thanh, Frank Sinatra:

+ Video trình diễn sống, in “The Voice Thailand”, 2014:

+ To Love Somebody – Bee Gees

To Love Somebody is a song written by Barry and Robin Gibb, and released in 1967. The single reached No. 17 in the United States and No. 41 in the United Kingdom. The song ranked at number 94 on NME magazine’s “100 Best Tracks of the Sixties”. It was a minor hit in the UK and France. It reached the top 20 in the US. It reached the top 10 in Canada.

In a 2017 interview with Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, Barry was asked “of all the songs that you’ve ever written, which song would you choose?” Barry said that To Love Somebody was the song that he’d choose as it has “a clear, emotional message”.

The song has been recorded by many other artists, including Michael Bolton, Michael Bublé, Billy Corgan, Roberta Flack, Janis Joplin, Gram Parsons, Nina Simone, Jimmy Somerville, Rod Stewart, and Hank Williams Jr.

Audio video, Bee Gees, with lyrics:

Audio video, Michael Bublé [Official Music Video]:

Live video, Michael Ketterer, in “America’s Got Talent”, 2018:

To Love You More – Céline Dion

To Love You More is a song written by David Foster (1949- ) and Edgar Bronfman, Jr. (1944- ) writing under the pen-name Junior Miles, and released by Canadian singer Celine Dion as a single in Japan in 1995. The song became a hit reaching number one and selling 1.5 million copies. The lyrics are about a woman who makes an impassioned plea to her lover so that he does not leave her for another woman.

To Love You More became one of the most performed songs by Dion during her live shows.

David Walter Foster is a Canadian musician, record producer, composer, songwriter, and arranger. He has been a producer for many well-known musicians such as Christina Aguilera, Andrea Bocelli, Toni Braxton, Michael Bublé, Chicago, Natalie Cole, Céline Dion, Kenny G, Josh Groban, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Olivia Newton-John, Kenny Rogers, Seal, Rod Stewart, Donna Summer, Barbra Streisand. Foster has won 16 Grammy Awards from 47 nominations.

* Audio video, Céline Dion (Official Audio):

+ * Video âm thanh, Charice Pempengco, 2010:

Live video, Hồ Quỳnh Hương, in “Liveshow Sắc Màu Hồ Quỳnh Hương”, 2011:

Today – The New Christy Minstrels

Today is a folkish ballad composed by American singer Randy Sparks (1933- ), a member of The New Christy Minstrels, for use in a comedy film set during the Civil War titled Advance to the Rear (1964), also recorded by this group.

Today hit the Top 20 of the pop charts and the Top Ten of the easy listening charts, making it the second biggest hit of the Christys’ career. Though occasionally covered, Today remains most closely associated with its initial recording.

The New Christy Minstrels are an American large-ensemble folk music group founded by Randy Sparks in 1961. From their beginnings as prominent figures in the early-1960s U.S. folk revival, the group recorded over 20 albums and had several hits, including Green, Green, Saturday Night, Today, Denver, and This Land Is Your Land. Their 1962 debut album, “Presenting The New Christy Minstrels”, won a Grammy Award and sat in the Billboard charts for two years.

The group sold millions of records and were in demand at concerts and on television shows. They also helped to launch the musical careers of several musicians, including Kenny Rogers, Gene Clark, Kim Carnes, and Barry McGuire. (Wikipedia.)

+ Audio video, The New Christy Minstrels, 1964:

Audio video, John Denver, with lyrics:

Audio video, Bobby Goldsboro, with lyrics, 1969:

Tom Dooley – The Kingston Trio

In 1866, Laura Foster in Wilkes County, North Carolina, was murdered. Confederate veteran Tom Dula, Foster’s lover and the father of her unborn child, was convicted of her murder and hanged May 1, 1868.

A local poet, Thomas C. Land, wrote a popular song about Dula’s tragedy soon after Dula was hanged, titled Tom Dooley. This, combined with the widespread publicity the trial received, further cemented Dula’s place in North Carolina legend.

A man named “Grayson”, mentioned in the song was Col. James Grayson, a Tennessee politician who had hired Dula on his farm when the young man fled North Carolina under suspicion and was using a false name. Grayson helped North Carolinians capture Dula and was involved in returning him to North Carolina.

Dula’s last name was pronounced “Dooley,” leading to some confusion in spelling over the years. The pronunciation of a final “a” like “y” is an old feature in Appalachian speech.

The song becomes widely popular thanks to a hit version recorded in 1958 by The Kingston Trio. It was selected as one of the American Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the National Endowment for the Arts, and Scholastic Inc. Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.

* Audio video, The Kingston Trio, with lyrics, 1958:

Audio video, Nilsen Brothers, German version, 1959:

Audio video, Jean Shepard, 1992:

Tombe la Neige – Salvatore Adamo

Tombe la Neige (English: “The snow falls”) is a French-language song written and sung by Belgian-Italian singer Salvatore Adamo (1943- ). The song was released in 1963 and became an international hit and one of Adamo’s best-known songs.

Following the success of the French version, there are versions in Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), German, Italian, Japanese, Persian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Vietnamese, etc.

Lyrics translation (edited by Diep Minh Tam)

The snow is falling
You won’t come this evening
The snow is falling
And my heart is dressed in black
This silky procession
All in white tears
The bird on the branch
Mourns the magic

You won’t come this evening
My desperation cries out to me
But the snow is falling
Imperturbable carrousel

The snow is falling
You won’t come this evening
The snow is falling
All is white with desperation
Sad certainty
The cold and the absence
This hateful silence
White loneliness

You won’t come this evening
My desperation cries out to me
But the snow is falling
Imperturbable carrousel.

Source: https://lyricstranslate.com/en/tombe-la-neige-snow-falling.html

* Audio video, Salvatore Adamo, with lyrics:

+ Audio video, Paul Mauriat:

Live video, Dorothée & Salvatore Adamo (1993):

Top of the World – The Carpenters

Top of the World  is a 1972 song written and composed by Richard Carpenter and John Bettis, and first recorded by American pop duo Carpenters. It was a Billboard Magazine Hot 100 No. 1 hit for the duo in 1973.

The Carpenters originally intended the song to be only an album cut. However, after country singer Lynn Anderson covered the song and it became a number two hit on the country charts, they reconsidered.


The Carpenters were an American vocal and instrumental duo consisting of siblings Karen Carpenter (1950–1983) and Richard Carpenter (1946- ). They produced a distinct soft musical style, combining Karen’s contralto vocals with Richard’s arranging and composition skills. During their 14-year career, the Carpenters recorded ten albums, along with numerous singles and several television specials. They have sold more than 90 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling music artists of all time.

Their career together ended in 1983 when Karen died from heart failure brought on by complications of anorexia. (This is an eating disorder, characterized by low weight, food restriction, fear of gaining weight, and a strong desire to be thin.) Extensive news coverage surrounding these circumstances increased public awareness of eating disorders. Though The Carpenters were criticized for their clean-cut and wholesome conservative image in the 1970s, their music has since been re-evaluated, attracting critical acclaim and continued commercial success. (Wikipedia.)

* Audio video, The Carpenters, with lyrics:

Live video, Zita, Josefien & Precious, in “Battles | The Voice Kids”:

Live video, Celine Tam, 2016:

Try to Remember – The Brothers Four

Try to Remember is a song composed by American composer Harvey Schmidt (1929-2018), with lyrics written by Welsh singer Sir Thomas John Woodward (1940- ), known professionally as Tom Jones. The song is about nostalgia from the musical comedy The Fantasticks. It is the first song sung in the show, to get the audience to imagine what the sparse set suggests.

Try to Remember made the Billboard Magazine Hot 100 pop chart three times in 1965 in versions by Ed Ames, Roger Williams, Barry McGuire, The Kingston Trio, The Sandpipers, and The Brothers Four.

* Audio video, The Brothers Four, 1965:

+ Audio video, Harry Belafonte:

+ Audio video, Josh Groban, 2016:

+ * Live video, The Brothers Four, Campfire 14, 40 years after the first version:

Tumbalalaika / Over and Over – Russian Jewish folk

Tumbalalaika or Tum Balalaika is a Russian Jewish folk and love song in the Yiddish language, Originated in Russia or Eastern Europe in the 1930s. Tum (טום) is the Yiddish word for noise and a balalaika (באַלאַלײַקע) is a stringed musical instrument of Russian origin. The song title means “Play balalaika”. It is a riddle song seeped in ancient European tradition. The boy picks a girl to answer his riddle. “What can grow without rain? What can burn and never  stop burning? What can weep and never shed a tear?” – the boy asks the girl.  Tumbalalaika provides an opportunity for young people to explore the mysteries of life. This is while they get to know each other.

In 1968 Yorgos Petsilas and Michel Jourdan wrote French lyrics and named the song Roule s’enroule. It became so widely popular such that one source put it as a French folk song.

In the following year, 1969, the English version Over and over appeared, made famous by Nana Mouskouri.

The beautiful melody in various languages helps spread the song to many countries, each language shows a distinct cultural flavor of love.

Lyrics translation

A young lad is thinking, thinking all night
Would it be wrong, he asks, or maybe right
Should he declare his love, dare he choose
And would she accept, or will she refuse?

Tumbala, tumbala, tumbalalaika
Tumbala, tumbala, tumbalalaika
tumbalalaika, play Balalaika
tumbalalaika – let us be merry.

Maiden, maiden tell me again
What can grow, grow without rain
What can burn for many years
What can long and cry without tears?

Silly young lad, why ask again?
It’s a stone that can grow, grow without rain
It’s love that can burn for many long years
A the heart that can yearn and cry without tears.

Source: http://www.hebrewsongs.com/song-tumbalalaika.htm

Audio video_Tumbalalaika, The Golden Gate Gypsy Orchestra, in album “The Travelling Jewish Wedding”, 1998:

* Audio video_Tumbalalaika, Maxwell Street Klezmer Band, with lyrics, in album “You Should Be So Lucky!”, 2014:

* Audio video_Over and over, Nana Mouskouri, with lyrics:

* Audio video_Over and over, David Fannel, with lyrics:

+ Live video, Kapela Kollárovci (official videoclip), 2013:

Un-Break My Heart – Toni Braxton

Un-Break My Heart is a song written by Diane Warren and performed by Toni Braxton, from her second studio album, “Secrets” (1996). The song is an R&B ballad about a “blistering heartbreak” in which Braxton begs a former lover to return and undo the pain he has caused. It won a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 39th Annual Grammy Awards in 1997.

Un-Break My Heart attained commercial success worldwide. In the United States, the song reached number one on the Billboard Magazine Hot 100, where it stayed a total of eleven weeks, while reaching the same position on the Hot Dance Club Songs and Adult Contemporary component charts. When Billboard magazine celebrated their 40 years charting from 1958 to 1998, the song was declared as the most successful song by a solo artist in the Billboard Magazine Hot 100 history. In Europe, the song reached the top five in more than ten countries while peaking at number one in Austria, Belgium (Wallonia), Sweden, and Switzerland.

Bille Woodruff directed the accompanying video for the single. It portrays Braxton mourning the death of her lover, while remembering the good times they had together.

Un-Break My Heart is in Rolling Stone magazine list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016, and is in Billboard magazine’s list “The Hot 100’s All-Time Top 100 Songs” as of 2018.

Toni Braxton
Toni Braxton

Toni Michelle Braxton (1967- ) is an American singer, songwriter, pianist, record producer, actress, television personality, and philanthropist. Braxton has sold over 67 million records, including 41 million albums worldwide, becoming one of the biggest selling female R&B artists in history. The Recording Industry Association of America lists Braxton as one of the top selling artists, with 19.5 million certified units in the United States. She has won seven Grammy Awards, nine Billboard Music Awards, seven American Music Awards, among numerous other accolades. (Wikipedia.)

* Audio video, Toni Braxton, with lyrics:

* Audio video, Darin Zanyar, with lyrics:

Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers

Unchained Melody was originally written by composer Alex North and lyricist Hy Zaret as part of a score for an obscure 1955 movie Unchained which was based on a book published by Kenyon Judson Scudder in 1952. Both the book and the movie follow the story of a man serving time in a medium-security prison. He is deeply conflicted and must decide whether to behave himself behind bars and serve out his sentence or try to escape so he can see his wife, who he loves deeply and misses so very much.

Hatfield changed the melody and many subsequent covers of the song are based on his version. The song has since become a standard and one of the most often recorded songs of the 20th century, most notably by the Righteous Brothers.

Over 1,500 recordings of Unchained Melody have been made by more than 670 artists, in multiple languages.

In 1955, three versions of the song (by Les Baxter, Al Hibbler, and Roy Hamilton) charted in the Billboard magazine Top 10 in the U.S., and four versions (by Al Hibbler, Les Baxter, Jimmy Young, and Liberace) appeared in the Top 20 in the U.K. simultaneously, an unbeaten record for any song.

The song saw a massive resurgence in popularity again in 1990 when it was used as the love theme in the movie Ghost (1990). The Righteous Brothers wanted to re-release the song because of the renewed interest caused by the movie. Due to licensing issues, The Righteous Brothers were forced to record a new version of the song. Both the original version and the re-recorded version actually appeared on The Billboard Magazine Hot 100 at the same time, making The Rigteous Brothers the very first group to have two versions of the same song charting in the top 20 at the same time. (Bisson, 2019)

The song continued to chart in the 21st century.

Unchained Melody is is in American Film Institute’s list of 100 greatest songs in American movies as of 2003, and in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

* Audio video, The Righteous Brothers:

* Audio video, LeAnn Rimes:

* Audio video, instrumental, the London Symphony Orchestra, in album “Rock Symphonies Vol.3”, 1991:

* Live video, René Bishop in “The Voice of Holland Senior | The Blind Auditions”, 2018:

MV, Sissel Kyrkjebø, 2019:

Under the Boardwalk – The Drifters

Under the Boardwalk is a pop song written by Kenny Young and Arthur Resnick, and recorded by The Drifters in 1964.

Under the Boardwalk is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

* Audio video, The Drifters:

Audio video, Bette Midler:

Audio video, Guy Sebastian, 2007:

Up Where We Belong – Jennifer Warnes & Joe Cocker

According to Wikipedia, Up Where We Belong is a song written by Jack Nitzsche, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Will Jennings, and recorded by English singer John Robert Cocker (1944-2014), better known as Joe Cocker, and American singer–songwriter–arranger–record producer Jennifer Jean Warnes (1947- ) for the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman. Warnes was recommended to sing a song from the film because of her previous soundtrack successes, and she had the idea for the song to be a duet that she would perform with Cocker. Jennings selected various sections of the score by Nitzsche and Sainte-Marie in creating the structure of the song and added lyrics about the struggles of life and love and the obstacles in the way that we attempt to dodge. It was released in July of that year to coincide with the release of the film.

The song reached number one on the Billboard Magazine Hot 100 in the U.S. and topped the charts in several other countries. It also sold more than one million copies in the US and was recognized by the Recording Industry Association of America as one of the Songs of the Century. Cocker and Warnes were awarded the Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, and Nitzsche, Sainte-Marie, and Jennings won both the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.

Up Where We Belong is in American Film Institute’s list of 100 greatest songs in American movies as of 2003.

The Recording Industry Association of America puts Up Where We Belong as one of Top 25 Song of 20th Century.

* Audio video, Jennifer Warnes & Joe Cocker, with lyrics, in album “Kapalı Gişe (Film Müzikleri)”, 2000:

* Live video, Amanda Harrison, Ben Mingay, Kate Kendall, Alex Rathgeber “The Musical”, 2012:

Live video, Wett N Wild, in “The Voice UK”, 2016:

Vaya Con Dios – Connie Francis

Vaya con Dios (literally “Go with God”, but should be interpreted as “Godspeed”) is a popular song written by Larry Russell, Inez James, and Buddy Pepper, and first recorded by Anita O’Day in 1952. Les Paul and Mary Ford had a No. 1 recording of the song in 1953.

Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time as of 2010.

* Audio video, Connie Francis, 1960:

* Audio video, Anne Murray, English version, with lyrics:

* Audio video, Roy Etzel, instrumental:

Vincent – Don McLean

Vincent is a song written in 1971 by American singer–songwriter Don McLean (1945- ).

The Starry Night
The Starry Night

According to SongFacts (https://www.songfacts.com/facts/don-mclean/vincent),

The words and imagery of this song represent the life, work, and death of Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890). The Starry Night is one of the Dutch impressionist’s most famous paintings.

The lyrics, “Paint your palette blue and gray” reflect the prominent colors of the painting, and are probably a reference to Vincent’s habit of sucking on or biting his paintbrushes while he worked. The “ragged men in ragged clothes” and “how you tried to set them free” refer to Van Gogh’s humanitarian activities and love of the socially outcast as also reflected in his paintings and drawings. “They would not listen/They did not know how” refers to Van Gogh’s family and some associates who were critical of his kindness to “the wretched.”

“How you suffered for your sanity” refers to the schizophrenic disorder from which Van Gogh suffered.

McLean told The Daily Telegraph in 2010 the story of this song: “In the autumn of 1970 I had a job singing in the school system, playing my guitar in classrooms. I was sitting on the veranda one morning, reading a biography of Van Gogh, and suddenly I knew I had to write a song arguing that he wasn’t crazy. He had an illness and so did his brother Theo. This makes it different, in my mind, to the garden variety of ‘crazy’ – because he was rejected by a woman [as was commonly thought]. So I sat down with a print of The Starry Night and wrote the lyrics out on a paper bag.”

McLean was going through a dark period when he wrote this song. He explained: “I was in a bad marriage that was torturing me. I was tortured. I wasn’t as badly off as Vincent was, but I wasn’t thrilled, let’s put it that way.”

This song, and Van Gogh’s painting, reflect what it’s like to be misunderstood. Van Gogh painted Starry Night after committing himself to an asylum in 1889. He wrote that night was “more richly colored than the day,” but he couldn’t go outside to see the stars when he was committed, so he painted the night sky from memory.

* Audio video, Don McLean:

* Audio video, Ellie Goulding, with lyrics:

Live video, Teresa Carpio, in “The Singer 2017”, with lyrics:

+ * Live video, Sophia Kruithof, in “The Voice of Holland”:

Waltzing Matilda – Christina Macpherson & Banjo Paterson

According to SongfFacts (https://www.songfacts.com/facts/traditional/waltzing-matilda),

The most recognized Australian folk song, Waltzing Matilda is filled with argot specific to that country. The song is about a swagman (itinerant worker) who sets up camp near a billabong (small lake formed by a river) under a coolabah tree (a type of eucalypt) and starts to boil water in his billy (a tin pot for boiling water and basic cooking). When a stray jumpbuck (sheep) comes down to the billabong for a drink, he grabs it and throws it in his tucker bag (food bag) to eat later. The squatter (land owner) sees him and the troopers (police) come to question him. He evades them by jumping in the billabong, but his plan is flawed: he can’t swim. He drowns, and now his ghost inhabits the billabong.

The “swag” is the collection of items a swagman carries in his travels, typically in a pack of some kind. He calls his swag “Matilda,” and “waltzing” means walking, so “Waltzing Matilda” means he is walking with his stuff.

There are various legends that explain how the swag came to be named “Matilda.” One popular story states that this swagman’s wife was named Matilda, and when she died, he named it after her in her memory.

Like many folk songs originating in the 1800s, the origins of Waltzing Matilda are murky. According to the Australian historian Roger Clarke, who culled the Australian National Library for information, the song was written in 1985, with music by a musician named Christina Macpherson and lyrics by a poet named Banjo Paterson.

As for the role of Christina Macpherson (https://panique.com.au/trishansoz/waltzing-matilda/christina-macpherson.html),

Christina Macpherson is an often overlooked character in the story of Waltzing Matilda. It was she that inspired Banjo Paterson to compose Waltzing Matilda. There would have been no Waltzing Matilda without her. If not for her compelling first hand account, discovered only in 1991, her contribution to this song may well have gone unnoticed.

In one evening’s entertainment, Christina played the zither or autoharp she had brought with her. One of the tunes she played was the Craigielee March. Banjo asked her what the tune was and she told him she didn’t know. Banjo immediately started to put down some words to the music. Christina and Banjo worked though the score, Christina playing the tune on her autoharp and Banjo penning the words as they came to mind. The two spent many hours fine-tuning the lyrics to the music. The lyrics were based on titbits of information Banjo had collected. These included the story of a swagman who committed suicide by a waterhole, the theft of sheep by roaming swagman and the loneliness of their existence. The song was an instant hit. It spread by word of mouth though the district.

Christina died in obscurity and was buried next to her father and other members of her family at the St Kilda Cemetery.

It was only in the late 1970s while the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) was making a documentary on Waltzing Matilda that her burial plot, without a tombstone, was rediscovered. Christina’s grand-niece Diana Baillieu had a small marker placed on the spot where she was buried. This small marker on a long forgotten grave-site is the only recognition, it seems, given to the woman who inspired the creation of Australia’s most treasured song.

waltzing mathilda

Animation video, Muffin Songs, with lyrics:

* Audio video, Jimmie Rodgers, 1960:

* Audio video, André Rieu and his orchestra:

MV, Slim Dusty in album “West of Winton”, 1998:

+ Video trình diễn sống, John Williamson:

We Are The World – USA for Africa

According to SongFacts (https://www.songfacts.com/facts/usa-for-africa/we-are-the-world),

We Are The World was a benefit single for victims of famine in Africa. It raised over $60 Million, which was distributed to Ethiopia, Sudan, and other impoverished countries. Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie wrote this song.

The USA for Africa project began as an idea calypso singer Harry Belafonte had for a benefit concert featuring black musicians. In late December 1984, looking for artists to participate, Belafonte called Ken Kragen, who managed an impressive roster of talent, including Lionel Richie. Kragen convinced Belafonte that they could raise more money and make a bigger impact with an original song; Belafonte agreed and Richie came on board to help.

Kragen asked Quincy Jones to produce, and Jones enlisted Michael Jackson. Richie got Stevie Wonder involved, and from there, word got out and many members of the music industry signed on to help. The project from conception to recording took about a month.

This all-star charity single was inspired by the British group Band Aid. They served as a template, showing how a disparate group of famous artists could come together in one day to record a song.

This was recorded in Los Angeles on 28 January 1985, the night of the American Music Awards. Since the artists were all in town for the awards, it was much easier to get them together to record the single.

The stars who sang solos were, in order, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, James Ingram, Billy Joel, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, Al Jarreau, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry, Daryl Hall, Michael Jackson (again), Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, and Kim Carnes. Bob Dylan and Ray Charles were also featured on the song and given close-ups in the video.

Quincy Jones was responsible for managing the egos of all the stars. It went very smoothly considering some very famous people did not get to sing a line. Most of the singers knew Jones personally and respected his wishes that they check their egos at the door.

Musically, the song isn’t all that interesting, but that helps draw attention to the singers, and the barrage of distinct voices carries it home. This won Grammy Awards for Song of the Year and Record of the Year.

The single exceeded expectations in terms of sales. Released on 7 March 1985, 800,000 copies were originally shipped, and they sold out the first weekend. Thanks to the wide array of star power, radio stations across a variety of formats put the song in rotation, and MTV gave the video plenty of airplay. The single went to #1 in the U.S. and in the UK.

* MV, USA for Africa (official video), 1985:

From that time until 2020, several groups have been formed to cover We Are The World, either for raising charity fund or for supporting medical personnel and patients of Covid-19.

In 2018, Yael Silver (Tony-winning producer Once on This Island), Robin Carus and Van Dean (Broadway Records, President) released release a new version featuring an all-star roster of theater artists and calling for healing and unity in the world today.

+ * MV, Broadway United, 2018:

Then over 70 members of the Long Island music scene have united to create “We Are The World 2020 – The Quarantine Mix, Long Island” to bring a little hope and healing to New York and to the world during the Covid-19 pandemic. Everyone worked “virtually” from the safety of their own homes to record and video their individual parts either on their smart phones or on their home studio gear and then sent their parts to be edited into this final video.

+ MV, The Quarantine Mix, Long Island, 2020:

We shall overcome – Pete Seeger

According to Graham (2015),

We Shall Overcome is a staple for civil-rights protests—and for that matter, for any kind of social-justice movement. The Library of Congress calls it “the most powerful song of the 20th century.” So it was a surprise to learn that not only is the identity of the person who made it into that anthem known, but he died only on May 2.

His name was Guy Carawan, and he was 87 years old. The story of the song and how Carawan helped make it ubiquitous is full of surprises, and it’s a wonderful demonstration of the folk tradition at work, accreting bits and pieces over the years until it became today’s widely known version. It’s also, appropriately enough for a civil-rights anthem, the story of a song that draws heavily on both African American and European American traditions, just like all the best American music. Like so many folk songs, it feels as though it’s existed forever; asking who wrote it seems ridiculous.

Although the song is old, its history can be fairly carefully traced. The first few bars seem to derive from a hymn first published in 1792, called O Sanctissima, also published as Sicilian Mariners’ Hymn. As The New York Times notes in its Carawan obituary, Beethoven wrote a setting of the hymn, and the resemblance is unmistakable for even the least trained ear, though it diverges after the first few lines. The Times says that a version published in the United States in 1794 was already recognizably the melody known as We Shall Overcome.

The basic frame of the words seems to have come from I’ll Overcome Some Day, a hymn written by the Reverend Charles Albert Tindley, a famed black preacher in Philadelphia, and published in 1901.

So when the did the song cross over from the sacred to the secular? The first appearance of the modern version of We Will Overcome comes from 1945. Workers in the Food, Tobacco, Agricultural & Allied Workers Union in Charleston, South Carolina, went on strike at an American Tobacco Company cigar factory. The workers were largely, though not exclusively, black women. They reportedly ended each day’s picket with a verion of the song. Zilphia Horton, a labor organizer and musician, learned the song from two of the strikers, and Pete Seeger learned it from her. Over the ensuing decade, the song was published and recorded several times. And the song is linked with Pete Seeger.

Pete Seeger
Pete Seeger (1919-2014)

Carawan, meanwhile, had served in the Navy in the U.S. during World War II and then studied at UCLA. Able to play the guitar, banjo, and hammer dulcimer, he moved to New York City and joined the folk revival in Greenwich Village. In 1953, he traveled through the South. At Seeger’s suggestion, they stopped at the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee, an organizing school founded by Zilphia Horton and her husband Myles. Carawan learned We Shall Overcome there. In 1959, when Zilphia Horton died, he became Highlander’s music director.

In 1960, at the founding convention of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, in Raleigh, North Carolina, Carawan was asked to lead delegates in a song, and he chose We Shall Overcome. As he told NPR in 2013, it was an immediate hit.

In February 1965, speaking at Temple Israel in Hollywood, Martin Luther King cited it. In February 1965, speaking at Temple Israel in Hollywood, Martin Luther King cited it. And when Lyndon Johnson called on Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act the following month, in March 1965, he too alluded to the song.

When President Obama and other dignitaries went to Selma, Alabama, in March 2015 to mark the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, he, too, cited the song.

After more than 150 years of near obscurity, the song hasn’t left the popular consciousness since.

Carawan’s legacy in introducing We Shall Overcome to the American people is as timeless as the song feels.

According to Wikipedia,

The U.S. copyright of the People’s Songs Bulletin issue which contained We Will Overcome expired in 1976, but The Richmond Organization asserted a copyright on the We Shall Overcome lyrics, registered in 1960. In 2017, in response to a lawsuit against TRO over allegations of false copyright claims, a U.S. judge issued an opinion that the registered work was insufficiently different from the We Will Overcome lyrics that had fallen into the public domain because of non-renewal. In January 2018, the company agreed to a settlement under which it would no longer assert any copyright claims over the song.

Audio video, Pete Seeger:

Live video, Peter Yarrow, with excellent performance:

+ Live video, Morehouse College, 2009:

Live video, from Pete Seeger’s 90th Birthday Concert (Clearwater Concert), Madison Square Garden, 2009:

What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

What a wonderful world

According to Doyle (2012),

In 1967, at the age of 66, jazz master Louis Armstrong recorded a now-famous song titled What a Wonderful World. Armstrong’s very poignant, gravelly-voiced version of this song – brimming with his ebullient character and optimism – is regarded as a classic, and is dearly loved by listeners and music critics alike. However, this song had something of an uncertain beginning.

The song was written by record producer Bob Thiele and songwriter George David Weiss. Initially, Thiele and Weiss had pitched What a Wonderful World to Tony Bennett, who turned them down. Then in the summer of 1967, another producer, Artie Butler, suggested the song might be offered to Louis Armstrong. Armstrong agreed to do the song and in mid-August 1967, Thiele, Weiss and Butler traveled to Las Vegas where they would meet Armstrong for a late-night recording session.

Armstrong was then appearing in performance at the Tropicana Hotel.  After one of his midnight shows, a recording session was arranged at Bill Porter’s United Studios in Las Vegas.  Armstrong, Theile, Weiss and Butler all met there along with a group of studio engineers and musicians.  By the time they began recording it was around 2 a.m.

However, another person, ABC Records President Larry Newton, had also come to Las Vegas to meet with Armstrong, who had just signed with ABC Records. Newton had come to Las Vegas to have some publicity photos taken of his new star. Newton had high hopes for Armstrong’s music, as the song Hello, Dolly! had stormed the pop charts two years earlier, and Newton expected more of the same. But Newton was not very excited about the slow-tempo ballad that was What a Wonderful World. Newton was opposed to Armstrong doing the song. In fact, he came to the late night recording session and tried to stop it – to the point where he had to be locked out of the studio while the session proceeded.

Recordings in those days were done “live” – with vocalist, band or orchestra, and any background vocals all recorded at the same time.  A recording session could run through dozens of takes to get everything just right.  Overdubbing was still rare then.  That night in Las Vegas, however, proved to be very challenging as the session was interrupted twice by the sounds of a coming and going Union Pacific freight train near the studio, blowing its horn. And fuming ABC exec Larry Newton was still locked outside the studio, but making his presence known.

Despite the interruptions, Armstrong and group eventually got the song they wanted, finishing their work around 6 a.m. Since the session had run longer than planned, the musicians were due extra pay, and Armstrong only accepted the basic scale of $250 to make sure the orchestra members were paid.

Meanwhile, ABC’s Larry Newton – the guy who was locked out of the studio – would have his revenge apparently.  The tapes for the recording of What a Wonderful World languished at ABC Records in New York for months, only being released in the U.K. in early 1968 to ABC Records’ partner there, EMI. What a Wonderful World became the top-selling UK single in 1968.  Back in the U.S., ABC’s Larry Newton refused to promote the song, and it reportedly sold only 1,000 copies.

But 1968 in the U.S. was turning out to be a very tumultuous year, with racial and political havoc added to the Vietnam War.  It was also a presidential election year.  Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy were both assassinated that spring and summer, and there was growing civil and racial unrest with urban riots and Viet Nam War protests. In the midst of all this, songwriters Thiele and Weiss saw Armstrong as “the perfect ambassador to restore race relations” during America’s tumultuous summer.  Yet since the 1950s, Armstrong had been charged by some as being an “Uncle Tom,” catering to white America with his music. But Armstrong’s appeal at the time extended to all races, and the hope was that a 66-year-old singing a tune of goodwill on the airwaves might make a difference.  Armstrong also felt the song needed to be heard in the country to promote a sense of hope and optimism.  He loved the song and performed it everywhere, including numerous television appearances, and its popularity began to grow.  At one performance, he reportedly introduced the song with this explanation:

“Some of you young folks been saying to me: ‘Hey, Pops – what do you mean, what a wonderful world? How about all them wars all over the place, you call them wonderful?’ …But how about listening to old Pops for a minute?  Seems to me it ain’t the world that’s so bad but what we’re doing to it, and all I’m saying is: see what a wonderful world it would be if only we’d give it a chance.  Love, baby, love.  That’s the secret…”

In October 1968, EMI forced ABC to release a U.S. album with the recording, but like the original single, it was never promoted for radio or retail, and did not do well.  After Armstrong passed away in July 1971, dying of heart failure at the age of 69, the record was re-released and enjoyed modest success. But it wasn’t until 1988, more than 20 years after its first recording, that the song found a bigger audience and grew in stature.

In Hollywood, director Barry Levinson was then working on Good Morning, Vietnam. He needed a song to use as a musical backdrop under a montage of Vietnam War images.  He considered dozens of songs, but when he heard Armstrong’s version of What a Wonderful World, he knew it was the perfect choice for the counterpoint he had in mind.  The poignant lyrics and Armstrong’s gravelly voice stood in stark contrast to the images of war Leivinson would screen, a paradox of sight and sound – not exactly the imagery Thiele, Weiss, and Armstrong had in mind at the song’s creation.  Still, the music made its political points in the film, but the song also struck an emotional chord with audiences.  As a result of this exposure, Armstrong’s 20 year-old recording of What a Wonderful World was re-released as a single, hitting No. 32 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in February 1988. In Australia, the single charted at No. 1 in late June 1988.

Since then, the song has been used in at least 50 TV shows and films.

To this day, Armstrong’s version of What a Wonderful World remains a popular fan favorite.

Louis Daniel Armstrong (1901-1971) was an American trumpeter, composer, vocalist and occasional actor who was one of the most influential figures in jazz. His career spanned five decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s, and different eras in the history of jazz. With his instantly recognizable rich, gravelly voice, Armstrong was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes.

Armstrong’s influence extends well beyond jazz, and by the end of his career in the 1960s, he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general. Armstrong was one of the first truly popular African-American entertainers to “cross over”, that is, whose skin color became secondary to his music in an America that was extremely racially divided at the time. (Wikipedia.)

* Audio video, Louis Armstrong, with lyrics, 1967:

* Audio video, Michael Buble, 2001:

* Audio video, Little Voices, album “Little Voices Sing Classic Pop Songs”, with lyrics, 2014:

Live video, Ruti Olajugbagbe & Tom Jones, in “The Voice UK”, 2018:

Where Have All the Flowers Gone? – The Brothers Four

Where Have All the Flowers Gone? is a modern folk-style song written by Pete Seeger in 1955, with additional verses added in 1960 by Joe Hickerson. In 2010, the New Statesman listed it as one of the “Top 20 Political Songs”.

Seeger found inspiration for the song in October 1955 while he was on a plane bound for a concert at Oberlin College. Leafing through his notebook he saw the passage, “Where are the flowers, the girls have plucked them. Where are the girls, they’ve all taken husbands. Where are the men, they’re all in the army.” These lines were taken from the traditional Cossack folk song Koloda-Duda, referenced in the Mikhail Sholokhov novel And Quiet Flows the Don (1934), which Seeger had read

The Kingston Trio recorded the song in 1961. Believing it to be a traditional song, they claimed authorship, although upon notice from Seeger they had their name removed and credited Seeger and Hickerson.

Peter, Paul and Mary included the song on their eponymous debut album (which spent five weeks as the #1 album in the country) in 1962.

Marlene Dietrich performed the song in English, French, and German.

* Audio video, The Brothers Four, with lyrics:

* Audio video, The Kingston Trio, with lyrics:

* Audio video, Chris De Burgh, in album “Footsteps”, 2008:

Who’ll Stop the Rain? – Creedence Clearwater Revival

Who’ll Stop the Rain? is a song written by John Fogerty and originally recorded by Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1970.

According to Wikipedia, lyrically, Who’ll Stop the Rain? breaks into three verses, with a historical, recent past, and present tense approach. All three verses allude to a sense of unending malaise, pondered by “good men through the ages”, “Five Year Plans and New Deals/wrapped in golden chains”, and the Woodstock generation. The malaise is not defined, but appears to allude to a sense that man’s problems have to be dealt with by those who wish to fix them. There could be no end to warfare and poverty with patchwork economic plans which merely reorganize citizens into new productive forces once the pressures for social change have relaxed. The corrupt leadership within a government continued to wage perpetual war contrary to campaign promises. The song’s universal topical appeal made it unusual in the time of its release and gives it a quality that helps it maintain its popularity 40 years later.

Who’ll Stop the Rain? is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

Creedence Clearwater Revival (often referred to as Creedence or CCR) was an American rock band active in the late 1960s and early 1970s which consisted of lead vocalist, lead guitarist, and primary songwriter John Fogerty (1945- ); his brother rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty (1941-1990); drummer Doug Clifford (1945- ); and bassist Stu Cook (1945- ). Their hits include Bad Moon Rising, Cotton Fields, Down on the Corner, Fortunate Son, Have You Ever Seen The Rain?, Lodi, and Who’ll Stop the Rain?.

Their musical style encompassed roots rock, swamp rock, and blues rock. They played in a Southern rock style, with lyrics about bayous, catfish, the Mississippi River, and other popular elements of Southern United States iconography, as well as political and socially conscious lyrics about topics including the Vietnam War.

CCR - L-R Tom Fogerty, Doug Clifford, Stu Cook, and John Fogerty
CCR – L-R: Tom Fogerty, Doug Clifford, Stu Cook, and John Fogerty

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s music is still a staple of US radio airplay; the band has sold 28 million records in the United States alone. (Wikipedia.)

* Audio video, Creedence Clearwater Revival, with lyrics:

MV, Passin’ Notes:

Live video, Who’ll Stop the Rain, Have You Ever Seen the Rain & Proud Mary‏ Edinho Sta Cruz:

Words – Bee Gees

Words is a song by Bee Gees, written by Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb. The song reached No. 1 in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

The song has been recorded by many other artists, including hit versions by Rita Coolidge in 1978 and Boyzone in 1996. This was Boyzone’s fifth single and their first number one hit in the U.K.

* Audio video, Bee Gees, with lyrics:

+ * Audio video, BoyZone, with lyrics, 1996:

Yellow Bird (Choucoune) – The Brothers Four

One of Oswald Durand’s most famous works, the 1883 Choucoune is a lyrical poem that praises the beauty of a Haitian woman of that nickname. Michel Mauléart Monton, an American-born pianist with a Haitian father and American mother composed music for the poem in 1893, appropriating some French and Caribbean fragments to create his tune. The song Choucoune was first performed in Port-au-Prince in 1893 and became popular in Haiti.

The lyrics for Yellow Bird, by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, have no connection with the original poem – other than the poem features the words “ti zwazo” (little bird) in its refrain, and so the original Haitian song is sometimes called Ti Zwazo or Ti Zwezo. The song became a minor hit at number 70 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the Mills Brothers in 1959. Its most successful incarnation came in the summer of 1961 when the Arthur Lyman Group reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the newly formed Easy Listening chart with their Hawaiian flavored instrumental version.

* Audio video, The Brothers Four:

+ Audio video, The Ventures instrumental:

+ Live video, Johnny Tillotson:

* Audio video, The Sapphires, 2012:

Live video, Dano’s Island Sounds, 2016:

Yesterday – The Beatles

Yesterday is a song written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney), and first released in the U.K. and the U.S. in 1965. It is a melancholy ballad about the break-up of a relationship.

Actually this song is not about a romantic relationship. Paul McCartney wrote it about his mother, who died when he was a kid.

McCartney’s vocal and acoustic guitar, together with a string quartet, essentially made for the first solo performance of the band. It remains popular today and, with more than 2,200 cover versions, is one of the most covered songs in the history of recorded music. Yesterday was voted the best song of the 20th century in a 1999 BBC Radio 2 poll of music experts and listeners, and was also voted the No. 1 pop song of all time by MTV and Rolling Stone magazine the following year. Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) asserts that it was performed over seven million times in the 20th century.

Yesterday is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

+ * Audio video:

Live video, Savannah Outen & Snuffy Walden:

* Live video, Connie Talbot:

+ Live video, Himesh Patel:

You Belong With Me – Taylor Swift

You Belong With Me is a song written by Taylor Swift and Liz Rose, and recorded by Swift in 2009. Swift was inspired to write You Belong With Me after overhearing a male friend of hers arguing with his girlfriend through a phone call; she continued to develop a story line afterward. The song contains many pop music elements and its lyrics have Swift desiring an out-of-reach love interest.

You Belong with Me became a top ten hit in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States. The single was certified 7× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It is one of the best-selling singles worldwide, with worldwide sales of more than 7 million units (according to the IFPI).

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift

Taylor Alison Swift (1989- ) is an American singer-songwriter. One of the leading contemporary recording artists, she is known for narrative songs about her personal life, which have received widespread media coverage. Swift was the sole writer of her 2010 album “Speak Now”. It debuted at number one in the United States and the single Mean won two Grammy Awards.

Swift is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 50 million albums—including 31.4 million in the U.S.—and 150 million single downloads. As a songwriter, she has received awards from the Nashville Songwriters Association and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and was included in Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time in 2015. She is also the recipient of various other accolades such as 10 Grammys, one Emmy, 23 Billboard Music Awards, 23 American Music Awards and 12 Country Music Association Awards, and she holds six Guinness World Records. She has appeared in Time’s 100 most influential people in the world three times (2010, 2015, 2019) and Forbes’ list of top-earning women in music (2011–2015). She also ranked first in the Forbes Celebrity 100 (2016) and was the youngest to be featured in the magazine’s listing of the 100 most powerful women (2015). (Wikipedia.)

MV, Taylor Swift, with lyrics:

* Live video, Taylor Swift:

Live video, Xia Vigor in “Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids”, 2017:

You Light Up My Life – Debby Boone

Debby Boone
Debby Boone

You Light Up My Life is a ballad written by Joseph “Joe” Brooks, and originally recorded by Kasey Cisyk for the 1977 film of the same name. The best-known version of the song is a cover by Debby Boone, the daughter of singer Pat Boone.

LeAnn Rimes released her own version of You Light Up My Life as a single in 1997, 20 years after Boone’s version was released. Her version was certified gold.

You Light Up My Life is in Billboard magazine’s list “The Hot 100’s All-Time Top 100 Songs” as of 2018.

Audio video, Debby Boone, with lyrics:

* Audio video, LeAnn Rimes, with lyrics:

Live video, JLS, in “The X Factor”, 2008:

You Must Love Me – Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice

You Must Love Me is a song with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, and recorded by American singer–songwriter Madonna for the 1996 film adaptation of the musical, Evita, based on the life of Argentinian leader Eva Perón. After years of not working together due to their individual projects, Webber and Rice collaborated on creating a new track for the film, with the hopes of obtaining an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. According to Webber, the song’s purpose was to showcase Perón’s emotional state at the time as well as her relationship with her husband Juan Perón.

Madonna undertook vocal lessons to record the songs for the film. You Must Love Me features instrumentation from cello and piano which accompanies Madonna’s vocals. The song garnered positive response from music critics, many of them highlighting Madonna’s enhanced singing ability. It went on to win the Golden Globe and the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1997.

* Audio video, Madonna, with lyrics:

Audio video, Lea Salonga:

Live video, Madonna, Lisbon, 2008:

You Needed Me – Anne Murray

Ann Murray
Anne Murray

You Needed Me is a song written by Randy Goodrum, who describes it as being about “unconditional undeserved love”.

It was a number one hit single in the U.S. in 1978 for Canadian singer Debby Boone, for which she won a Grammy Award. In 1999, Irish pop band Boyzone recorded a hit cover of the song that hit number one in the U.K./ Singles Chart.

+ * Audio video, Anne Murray, with lyrics:

Audio video, Shania Twain & Anne Murray:

Live video, BoyZone, 2008:

You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban

You Raise Me Up is a song originally composed by Irish-Norwegian duo Secret Garden. The music was written by Rolf Løvland and the lyrics by Brendan Graham.

Josh Groban
Josh Groban

The song has been recorded by more than a hundred other artists including Josh Groban, who popularized the song in 2003; his rendition became a hit in the U.S. The Irish band Westlife then popularized the song in the UK two years later.

* MV, Josh Groban:

Live video, Helene Fischer, 2013:

* Live video, 13-year old Jeffrey Li, in “America’s Got Talent”, 2018:

+ * Live video, Peter Hollens acapella, 2019:

+ * Live video, Sissel Kyrkjebø, 2020:

Your Song – Sir Elton John

According to Corey Irwin (https://ultimateclassicrock.com/elton-john-your-song-history/),

In early 1970, Elton John was still a struggling singer and piano player. Even though his collaborations with Bernie Taupin had begun, the partnership had yet to bear fruit in the form of a hit. That all changed with the release of Your Song.

The song’s roots can be traced back several years before. John, at the time still going by his birth name, Reg Dwight, had invited Taupin to move into his family’s northwest London home. During breakfast one morning, Taupin felt some sudden inspiration.

“The original lyric was written very rapidly on the kitchen table of Elton’s mother’s house in Northwood Hills in the suburbs of London, if I recall, on a particularly grubby piece of exercise paper,” Taupin recalled in The Independent.

Taupin was only 17 when he penned the lyrics and had very little experience with romance. “It’s the voice of someone who hasn’t experienced love in any way,” he noted. “It’s a very virginal song.” In a 1989 interview with Music Connection magazine, Taupin said Your Song had “one of the most naïve and childish lyrics in the entire repertoire of music, but I think the reason it still stands up is because it was real at the time.”

Upon reading Taupin’s lyrics for the first time, John retreated to the family piano and immediately began formulating a melody. “I remember writing it at my parents’ apartment in North London and Bernie giving me the lyrics, sitting down at the piano and looking at it and going, ‘Oh, my God, this is such a great lyric, I can’t fuck this one up,’” John recalled during a 2013 conversation with Rolling Stone. “It came out in about 20 minutes, and when I was done, I called him in and we both knew.”

Your Song is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

Elton John
Elton John

Sir Elton Hercules John (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, 1947- ) is an English singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin since 1967; they have collaborated on more than 30 albums. John has sold more than 300 million records, making him one of the world’s best-selling music artists. His award-winning songs include Aida, Can You Feel the Love Tonight?, Candle in the Wind 1997, Circle of Life, Daniel, Original Sin, Sacrifice, and Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word.

John has received five Grammy Awards, five Brit Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Tony Award, a Disney Legends award, and the Kennedy Center Honor.

Presented with France’s highest civilian award, the Légion d’honneur, in 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron called John a “melodic genius”, and praised his work on behalf of the LGBT community. (Wikipedia.)

* Audio video, Elton John, with lyrics:

Movie clip_Moulin Rouge (2001), Ewan McGregor:

Live video, Ellie Goulding:

+ Live video, Lady Gaga (Official Audio):

+ Live video, Brian Justin Crum, in “America’s Got Talent Champions 4 AGT”, 2019:

You’re Still the One – Shania Twain

You’re Still the One is a song co-written and recorded by Shania Twain (1965- ). It was Twain’s first single to be released to pop and international markets. The single peaked at number two, becoming Twain’s first top ten hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The song is recognized as Twain’s most successful crossover single, and is one of her most successful singles at country radio. The song was written by Twain and Mutt Lange (1948- ).

You’re Still the One was nominated for four Grammy Awards in 1999, winning two: Best Country Song and Best Female Country Vocal Performance.

You’re Still the One is in CMT’s list “100 Greatest Songs of Country Music” as of 2003, and in Billboard magazine’s list “The Hot 100’s All-Time Top 100 Songs” as of 2018.

Shania Twain.jpg
Shania Twain

Shania Twain (born Eilleen Regina Edwards, 1965- ) is a Canadian singer, songwriter and actress. She has sold over 100 million records, making her the best-selling female artist in country music history and among the best-selling music artists of all time. Her success garnered her several honorific titles including the “Queen of Country Pop”.

Her popular songs include Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, Come On Over, From This Moment On, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry, Man! I Feel Like a Woman!, and You’re Still the One.

Twain has received five Grammy Awards, 27 BMI Songwriter Awards, stars on Canada’s Walk of Fame and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and an induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. According to the RIAA she is the only female artist in history to have three (consecutive) albums certified Diamond by the RIAA, and is the sixth best-selling female artist in the United States.

Other honors include:

  • 2003: Canada’s Walk of Fame
  • 2005: Officer in the Order of Canada
  • 2011: Canadian Music Hall of Fame and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • 2016: the “Artist of a Lifetime” by CMT
  • 2018: CCMA Generation Award

* MV, Shania Twain (official music video), 1998:

Audio video, Bailey Pelkman:

Audio video, Sam Woolf, 2014:

+ * MV, The Petersens:

You’ve Got a Friend – Carole King

You’ve Got a Friend was written and first recorded by Carole King in 1971. Another well-known version is by James Taylor, also released in 1971.

You’ve Got a Friend won Grammy Awards both for Taylor (Best Male Pop Vocal Performance) and King (Song of the Year). Dozens of other artists have recorded the song over the years, including Dusty Springfield, Michael Jackson, Anne Murray and Donny Hathaway.

* Audio video, Carole King, with lyrics:

* Audio video, James Taylor (official audio):

Live video, Carole King, Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan and Shania Twain:

Live video, Lady Gaga:

Video online, London City Voices Choir for the Women’s Aid, 2020:

Film Music

A Fistful of Dollars – Ennio Morricone

Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone

According to Wikipedia,

Ennio Morricone (1928-2020) is an Italian composer, orchestrator, conductor, and former trumpet player, writing in a wide range of musical styles. Since 1961, Morricone has composed over 400 scores for cinema and television, as well as over 100 classical works.

He is particularly well-known for the theme music of four Western films, comprising the trilogy A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), and The Good, the Bad & the Ugly (1966), and Once Upon a Time in the West (1968).

In 2007, he received the Academy Honorary Award “for his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music.” He has been nominated for a further six Oscars. In 2016, Morricone received his first Academy Award for his score to Quentin Tarantino’s film The Hateful Eight (2015), at the time becoming the oldest person ever to win a competitive Oscar. His other achievements include three Grammy Awards, three Golden Globes, six BAFTAs, ten David di Donatello, eleven Nastro d’Argento, two European Film Awards, the Golden Lion Honorary Award and the Polar Music Prize in 2010.

* Audio video, nhạc phim A Fistful of Dollars, 1964:


* Live video, The Danish National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sarah Hicks, 2018:

+ * Video trình diễn sống, The Fantasy Orchestra & Gurt Lush Choir, 2014:

For a Few Dollars More – Ennio Morricone

For a Few Dollars More (Italian: Per qualche dollaro in più) is a 1965 Western film directed by Sergio Leone. The film was an international co-production among Italy, West Germany, and Spain. The film is the second part of what is commonly known as the Dollars Trilogy, following A Fistful of Dollars (1964) and preceding The Good, the Bad & the Ugly (1966).

+ * Movie clip, with theme music:

+ Video trình diễn sống, Ars Cantus – Coro e Orchestra Sinfonici, 2010:

* Live video, The Danish National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sarah Hicks, 2018:

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Ennio Morricone

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Italian: Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo, lit. ”The good, the ugly, the bad”) is a 1966 Italian epic Western film directed by Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach in their respective title roles. Ennio Morricone composed the film’s score including its main theme.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is now seen as one of the greatest and most influential Western movies.

Today, the iconic theme is considered one of the greatest instrumental film scores of all time.

+ Movie clip, with theme music:

* Live video, The Greatness of the Magnificence Fantasy Orchestra & Gurt Lush Choir, 2014:

* Live video, The Danish National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sarah Hicks, 2018:

Once Upon the Time in the West – Ennio Morricone

Once Upon a Time in the West (Italian: C’era una volta il West, lit. “Once upon a time (there was) the West”) is a 1968 epic Western film co-written and directed by Sergio Leone.

The music was written by composer Ennio Morricone. As in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the haunting music contributes to the film’s grandeur and, like the music for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, is considered one of Morricone’s greatest compositions.

Live video, Cara O’Sullivan & RTÉ Concert Orchestra, 2010:

* Live video, Claudia Couwenbergh, 2013:

* Live video, The Danish National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sarah Hicks, 2018:

+ * Video trình diễn sống, Katica Illényi & Győr Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by István Silló:

Colonel Bogey March – F. J. Ricketts

According to Wikipedia,

Colonel Bogey March is a British march that was composed in 1914 by Lieutenant F. J. Ricketts (1881-1945) (pen name Kenneth J. Alford), a British Army bandmaster who later became the director of music for the Royal Marines at Plymouth.

The sheet music was a million-seller, and the march was recorded many times.

English composer Malcolm Arnold added a counter-march, which he titled The River Kwai March, for the 1957 dramatic film The Bridge on the River Kwai. The two marches were recorded together by Mitch Miller as March from the River Kwai – Colonel Bogey. On account of the movie, the Colonel Bogey March is often miscredited as the River Kwai March.

+ Sound video, original:

+ Movie clip_The Bridge on the River Kwai:

Video flashmob, The Band of The Prince of Wales’s Division and The Band of The Royal Welsh, Cardiff, 2013:

* Live video, Film Symphony Orchestra, album “La Mejor Música de Ciné”, Vol. 2, 2016:

Journey to the West (1986)

Journey to the West (1986) is a Chinese television series adapted from the classic Chinese novel of the same title written by Wu Cheng’en (c. 1500–1582 or 1505–1580). The TV series became an instant classic in China, East Asia and South-East Asia, and is still praised as the best and most authentic interpretation of the novel.

The highly popular music theme is Da Sheng Ge (大圣歌  – Song of the Great Sage) composed by Xu Jingqing (许镜).

* Live video, guitar solo:

* Live video, thousand-hand Buddha dance:

Mission: Impossible – Lalo Schifrin

“Theme from Mission: Impossible” is the theme tune of the TV series Mission: Impossible (1966–1973). The theme was written and composed by Argentine-American pianist, composer, arranger and conductor Lalo Schifrin and has since gone on to appear in several other works of the Mission: Impossible franchise, including the 1988 TV series, the film series, and the video game series.

The theme is written in a 5/4 time signature, which Schifrin has jokingly explained as being “for people who have five legs”. Schifrin started from the Morse code for M.I. which is “_ _ ..”; if a dot is one beat and a dash is one and a half beats, then this gives a bar of five beats, exactly matching the underlying rhythm. The first notes of the theme are played by a flute using a trill.

The official soundtrack for the 1996 film was a success, peaking at No. 16 on the Billboard 200 and spawning the top-10 hit “Theme from Mission: Impossible” by U2 members Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr.

“Theme from Mission: Impossible” was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of 500,000 copies on July 2, 1996, while the soundtrack reached gold status just two weeks later on July 16.

Live video, Flashmob, Sofia, Bulgai, 2012:

* Live video, FSO Tour 2015 Oficial:

* Live video, The Marcin J Żebrowski Music School Orchestra in Częstochowa, Poland, 2018:

Somewhere in Time – John Barry

John Barry
John Barry

John Barry (1933-2011) was an English composer and conductor of film music. He composed the scores for 11 of the James Bond films between 1963 and 1987, and also arranged and performed the “James Bond Theme” to the first film in the series, 1962’s Dr. No. He wrote the Grammy- and Academy Award-winning scores to the films Dances with Wolves and Out of Africa, as well as the theme for the films ChaplinMidnight Cowboy, and the British television cult series The Persuaders!, in a career spanning over 50 years.

The film Somewhere in Time (1980) is known for its musical score composed by John Barry, who also conducted the orchestra from the film.

Movie clip, theme music:

* Audio video, John Barry, instrumental:

* MV, Maksim and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra:

* Live video, Kim Ji-yeon (violin), 2006:

Star Wars – John Williams

John Williams
John Williams

John Towner Williams (1932- ) is an American composer, conductor, and pianist. Widely regarded as one of the greatest American composers of all time, he has composed some of the most popular, recognizable, and critically acclaimed film scores in cinematic history in a career spanning over six decades. Williams has won 24 Grammy Awards, seven British Academy Film Awards, five Academy Awards, and four Golden Globe Awards. With 51 Academy Award nominations, he is the second most-nominated individual, after Walt Disney.

Williams has composed for many critically acclaimed and popular movies, including the Star Wars series, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the Indiana Jones series, the first two Home Alone films, Hook, the first two Jurassic Park films, Schindler’s List, and the first three Harry Potter films. He has been associated with director Steven Spielberg since 1974, composing music for all but five of his feature films: Duel, The Color Purple, Bridge of Spies, Ready Player One, and West Side Story.

In 2005, the American Film Institute selected Williams’s score to 1977’s Star Wars as the greatest American film score of all time. The soundtrack to Star Wars was additionally preserved by the Library of Congress into the National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

* Audio video_theme music Throne Room& Finale, the London Symphony Orchestra:

* Audio video_ theme music The Imperial March, the London Symphony Orchestra:

* Audio video_ theme music Episode IV: The Force Theme, the London Symphony Orchestra:

* Live video_main theme, Stanisław Moniuszko School of Music Symphony Orchestra in Bielsko Biała, Poland, conducted by Andrzej Kucybała /Darth Vader, 2014:

The Deer Hunter “Cavatina” – Stanley Myers

“Cavatina” is a 1970 classical guitar piece by British composer Stanley Myers written for the film The Walking Stick (1970), and better known as the theme from The Deer Hunter (1978). As the Italian diminutive of cavata, cavatina is a musical term frequently applied to any simple, melodious air.

* Sound recording, John Williams:

Audio video, Pat Halling:

* Live video, CARisMA guitar duo with The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, 2013:

The Godfather – Nino Rota

The Godfather is the soundtrack from the film of the same name, released in 1972 by Paramount Records, and in 1991 on compact disc by MCA. Unless noted, the cues were composed by Nino Rota and conducted by Carlo Savina (who was credited on the LP, but not the CD). The song I Have but One Heart is sung by Al Martino, who performed it in the film as character Johnny Fontane.

The score was nominated for an Academy Award; however, the Academy withdrew the nomination after determining that the “Love Theme” was a rewritten version of Nino Rota’s music from the 1958 film Fortunella.

The soundtrack was well received by music critics. It won the British Academy Film Award (Best Film Music), the Golden Globe Award (Best Original Score) and the Grammy Award (Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or TV Special)

Audio video, original:

* Live video, The Mandolina Ljubljana Orchestra, Slovenia, Conductor Andrej Zupan:

0:11 Godfather Waltz
2:36 Connie’s Wedding
4:23 Love Theme

*  Live video, The Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Conductor Sarah Hicks, 2018:

MV, 2CELLOS Luka Sulic & Stjepan Hauser, with The London Symphony Orchestra:

Other songs

There are a number of songs that I love but new versions of them cannot be found, perhaps because they do not suit the present-day audience? Also, some songs are not widely popular but I find beautiful features in them. Other songs once were well-known but somehow become forgotten nowadays.

I introduce here the songs with above-mentioned characteristics even though they may not be considered to be everlasting.

Dans le soleil et dans le vent – Nana Mouskouri

Nana Mouskouri
Nana Mouskouri

Dans le soleil et dans le vent (In the sun and in the wind), also known as Le vieux moulin (The old windmill) is the French song written by the French composer Michel Jourdan (1934- ) and first appeared in 1969.

The lyrics evoke, in a very poetic way, the infinite sadness felt by a young woman from the countryside, just as a soldier – a combat friend of the one she loved – opens her door, and without a word, gives her the chain and the wool jacket of the one she was waiting for. It’s autumn, the harvest season. The young woman understands that she will never see him again. His heart stops at the same time as the old mill that grinds the grain… It is a poignant work, interpreted with great talent and sensitivity by Nana Mouskouri.

Lyrics translation

It’s nearly autumn
The children are harvesting
And I’ve already
Brought back the wood
You, in uniform
With the other men
Very faraway from here
You’ve left
You who used to sing

In the sun and in the wind
The blades of the old mill turning
And they’ll turn as long as
We live hand in hand

A bit of dust
On the snuffbox
Shows me well
That you are faraway
But, I think I hear
The so gentle chorus
That last year
To soothe me
You sang

Yesterday your friend
Came back from war
He didn’t say anything
But I understood
By seeing your chain
Your wool jacket
That never
Will you come and
Sing to me again

The blades turning in the light
Time turns and nothing has changed
But in my heart, since yesterday
The old mill has stopped…

Source: https://www.google.com.vn/search?source=hp&ei=fG0RXYLYJYSchwOE8qWIAQ&q=translate+french+to+english&oq=tr%C3%A1n&gs_l=psy-ab.1.1.35i305i39l2j0i131j0j0i10j0l5.371.1791..4917…2.0..0.218.950.0j6j1……0….1..gws-wiz…..0..35i39.OvWmxWBe6-w

* Audio video, Nana Mouskouri, với ca từ, 1969:

hoặc album “British Concert”, 1972:

+ Audio video, Thanh Lan hát lời Pháp và lời Việt Trong nắng trong gió của Phạm Duy:

Endless Love – Lionel Richie

Endless Love is a song written by Lionel Richie and originally recorded as a duet between Richie and fellow R&B singer Diana Ross. In this ballad, the singers declare their “endless love” for one another.

The magazine Billboard names the original version as the greatest song duet of all-time, and puts the song in the list “The Hot 100’s All-Time Top 100 Songs” as of 2018.

Audio video, Lionel Richie & Diana Ross duet:

+ Audio video, Lionel Richie & Shania Twain duet:

Holiday – Bee Gees

Holiday is a song written by the two brothers Sir Barry Gibb and Robin Gibb, then released by Bee Gees in 1967.

Live video, Bee Gees, 1967:

I’ll Get Over You – Crystal Gayle

Ca khúc I’ll Get Over You is a song written by Richard Leigh, and recorded by American country music artist Crystal Gayle in 1976. The song was Crystal Gayle’s seventh chart hit and her first number-one country hit in 1976.

Billboard magazine put I’ll Get Over You in the list of Top 100 country songs of all time.

Audio video, Crystal Gayle:

Jailhouse Rock – Elvis Presley

Jailhouse Rock is a song written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller that first became a hit for Elvis Presley, released in 1957.

Jailhouse Rock is in American Film Institute’s list of 100 greatest songs in American films as of 2003, and in Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” as of 2016.

Movie clip_Jailhouse Rock (1957):

Movie clip_The Blues Brothers (1980):

Just Pretend – Elvis Presley

Just Pretend is a song composed by Guy Fletcher in partnership with his writing partner Doug Flett, then recorded by Elvis Presley in 1970.

In 2016 the song appeared on the album “The Wonder of You: Elvis Presley” with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which included new versions of Presley’s songs, remixed and dubbed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. There were two versions of the song: Presley’s solo version and his duet with Helene Fischer.

* Audio video, Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra [Official Audio]:

Live video, Elvis Presley & Helene Fischer, with lyrics, 2016:

La Violetera – Sara Montiel

La Violetera is a copla song (a form of Spanish popular song deriving from the poetic form of the same name), with the rhythm of a habanera, composed by José Padilla (1889-1960) with lyrics by Eduardo Montesinos (1868-1930), then interpreted and popularized by the Spanish singer Raquel Meller in 1914 among the French and Spanish public first, and later worldwide. In Spanish, “Violetera” is a girl or woman who sells violets in the street.

Movies using La Violetera include City Lights (1931) by Charles Chaplin with him and Virginia Cherrill; La Violetera (1958) by Luis César Amadori with Sara Montiel, All Night Long (1981) by Jean-Claude Tramont with Barbra Streisand and Gene Hackman, Scent of a Woman (1992) by Martin Brest with Al Pacino, In the mood for love (2000) by Wong Kar Wai with Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung, etc.

Live video, Sara Montiel, 1958:

Audio video, Michel Villard & his orchestra:

Massachusetts – Bee Gees

(The Lights Went Out in) Massachusetts is a song written by Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb then released by Bee Gees in 1967.

The song became the first of the group’s five No. 1 hits in the U.K, reached No. 1 in twelve other countries, peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100, and eventually became one of the best-selling singles of all time, selling over five million copies worldwide.

The song was intended as an antithesis to flower power anthems of the time such as Let’s Go to San Francisco and San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) in that the protagonist had been to San Francisco to join the hippies but was now homesick. The idea of the lights having gone out in Massachusetts was to suggest that everyone had gone to San Francisco.

+ * Audio video, Bee Gees:

Live video, Bee Gees, in “For All Tour Live in Australia 1989”:

Oh! Carol – Neil Sedaka

According to SongFacts (https://www.songfacts.com/facts/neil-sedaka/oh-carol),

Neil Sedaka named this song for the songwriter Carole King. They went to Abraham Lincoln High in Brooklyn, New York, along with Neil Diamond. Carol (as her birth name of Carol Klein, before she picked the stage name of Carol King) first came into Neil Sedaka’s life as a member of the Linc-Tones, the first group that Sedaka hustled together out of high school.

Neil Sedaka’s career was on the rocks before this song. Producer and longtime friend Don Kirshner gave Sedaka the following advice: “Write a song with the girl’s name in the title. Talk in the middle like The Diamonds did in ‘Little Darlin’.”

Sedaka, who co-wrote the song with Howard Greenfield, recalls the inspiration slightly differently. He studied Billboard magazine, and says, “I looked at the #1 record in every country in the world and analyzed it. And that’s how Howie and I wrote Oh! Carol.’ I took the beat, I took the drum licks, I took the guitar licks, I took the harmony changes, and I went to school on them. Howie wrote the lyrics in twenty minutes but was embarrassed. He thought it was terrible. But it was exactly what I wanted.”

+ * Audio video, Neil Sedaka, with lyrics:

Only Love – Nana Mouskouri

Only Love is a 1985 song with music by Vladimir Cosma, lyrics by N. Gimbel, and performed by Greek singer Nana Mouskouri. It is the theme song to the American TV series Mistral’s Daughter (1984) – based upon the novel by Judith Krantz – and when released as a single it reached number 2 in the U.K. Singles Chart in early 1986.

The song was also a hit in its other versions: L’Amour en Héritage (French), Come un’eredità (Italian), La dicha del amor (Spanish), and Aber die Liebe bleibt (German).

Do not be confused with another song of the same name by Westlife, beginning with “Two a.m. and the rain is falling”.

* Audio video, Nana Mouskouri:

+ Audio video_Kjærlighet, Sissel Kyrkjebø, 2001:

Say You, Say Me – Lionel Richie

Ca khúc Say You, Say Me is a song written and recorded by Lionel Richie for the film White Nights (1985). The single hit number 1 in the U.S. and on the R&B singles chart in 1985.

The track won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song as well.

Say You, Say Me is in Billboard magazine’s list “The Hot 100’s All-Time Top 100 Songs” as of 2018..

* Audio video, Lionel Richie, with lyrics, 1985:

+ * Live video, Lionel Richie, in “Festival de Viña”, 2016:

Sha-La-La-La-La – Vengaboys

Sha-La-La-La-La is a song written by Torben Lendager and Poul Dehnhardt, band members of Danish glam rock band Walkers, then recorded by this band. It achieved worldwide exposure after being covered by Dutch dance/pop group Vengaboys.

Live video, Vengaboys:

Concluding remarks

The compiler observes that a majority of songs introduced here appeared before 2000, and most of them during the 1960s and 1980s. I wonder whether I am so old-fashioned that I cannot enjoy newer songs? I can enjoy some – but not many – songs that appeared after 2000.

To find out the evaluation for the current superstars Beyoncé, Brittney Spears, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift, in June 2019 I checked the ranking lists, and found the results as follows:

  • Rolling Stone magazine’s list “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” (as at 2016-06-10): no song by Beyoncé or Brittney Spears or Lady Gaga or Taylor Swift;
  • Billboard list “Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Singles”: no song by Beyoncé or Brittney Spears or Lady Gaga or Taylor Swift;
  • com “Top 100 Songs of All Time”: one song by Brittney Spears; no song by Beyoncé or Lady Gaga or Taylor Swift.

Thus, some composers and performers may be great, but their songs may not be everlasting; it takes more time to prove this.

One the other hands, well-known ranking lists – such as those of Rolling Stone and Billboard magazines – are limited to American songs, at most covering also songs from Canada and the U.S. And most based on sales. This compilation expands the scope a bit – just a bit – so that you can enjoy some songs from China including Taiwan, Cuba, France, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Russia, etc. For example, the folk song Pokarekare Ana from New Zealand does not appear in any ranking list but it has wonderful melody through different interpretations.

References and bibliography

Billboard. Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Singles. https://www.billboard.com/charts/greatest-hot-100-singles

Bisson, K. (2019). The Story Behind the Song “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers. https://spinditty.com/artists-bands/The-Story-Behind-the-Song-Unchained-Melody-by-The-Righteous-Brothers

Cornelius,V. (2016). Tanjong Katong. http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_829_2005-01-18.html

Deignan,T. (2018). The real story behind Danny Boy, the beloved Irish ballad. https://www.irishcentral.com/culture/entertainment/danny-boy-beloved-irish-ballad

Doyle, J. (2012) What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong: 1967-1968. https://www.pophistorydig.com/topics/wonderful-world-armstrong/

Eames, T. (2019). The Story of… ‘Suspicious Minds’ by Elvis Presley. https://www.smoothradio.com/features/the-story-of/suspicious-minds-elvis-presley-lyrics-meaning/

Havers, R. (1014). Louis Armstrong’s Wonderful World. https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/louis-armstrongs-wonderful-world/

Hutchinson, L. (2015). From a Distance. http://performingsongwriter.com/from-a-distance/

MusicBrain. The Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (as at 2016-06-10). https://musicbrainz.org/series/b3484a66-a4de-444d-93d3-c99a73656905

Nystrom (2013). Manitoba History: The True Story of the Song “Red River Valley”. http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/mb_history/72/redrivervalley.shtml

Paulson (2018). Story Behind the Song: ‘Tie a Yellow Ribbon’. https://www.tennessean.com/story/entertainment/music/story-behind-the-song/2018/11/09/tie-yellow-ribbon-tony-orlando-dawn-l-russell-brown/1895280002/

Pomarico, N. (2018). Taylor Swift Said “All Too Well” Now Makes Her Proud Instead of Sad, Thanks To Fans. https://www.bustle.com/p/taylor-swift-said-all-too-well-now-makes-her-proud-instead-of-sad-thanks-to-fans-11452033

Rolling Stone (2014). 100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-lists/100-greatest-country-songs-of-all-time-11200/99-harry-choates-jole-blon-1946-214113/

Hofstede, S. (2013). Ue o muite arukou or Sukiyaki – the saccharine Japanese song with protest roots. https://sensehofstede.nl/ue-o-muite-arukou-the-saccharine-japanese-song-with-protest-roots

Top40Weekly.com. Top 100 Songs of All Time. https://top40weekly.com/top-100-songs-of-all-time/

Utton, D. (2009). My way: The story behind the song. https://www.express.co.uk/expressyourself/91687/My-way-The-story-behind-the-song

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Note: This post is still open, to be supplement whenever there is new information.

Compiled by Diệp Minh Tâm – Updated: Oct-2020

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