Day 26: “Bésame Mucho”

When was it recorded? Jun. 6, 1962

When was it first released, and on which album?  Nov. 20, 1995 on “Anthology 1”

Who wrote it?   Consuelo Velázquez (English lyrics by Sunny Skylar)

Have I heard this song before?  No

What my research dug up:

(How lucky did I get having this song fall on Valentine’s Day?)

Mexican songwriter Consuelo Velázquez wrote the bolero “Bésame Mucho” in 1940.  It was recognized in 1999 as “the most sung and recorded Mexican song in the world.”

For those who aren’t habla-español, “bésame” means “kiss,” and “mucho” means “much.”  Dream your own conclusions on the subject matter from there.

Actually, I’ll help you out.  Quoth Wikipedia, “The line ‘Besame mucho, que tengo miedo a perderte después’ means ‘Kiss me a lot, as I am afraid of losing you afterwards.’ The word ‘mucho’ may suggest a desire for the kiss to linger, as it may be the couple’s last time being together.”

Velázquez said she was inspired by Enrique Granados’ “Quejas, o la Maja y el Ruiseñor,” heard below.  He wrote it for the 1911 Goyescas suite and later included it as “Aria of the Nightingale” in hi 1916 opera, “Aria of the Nightingale.”

Quoth Wikipedia, “Emilio Tuero was the first to record the song, but the Lucho Gatica version made the song famous.”  I listened to both and preferred Gatica’s version, posted below.

“Bésame Mucho” is also known in English by a variety of translations – “Kiss Me Much,” “Kiss Me a Lot,” “Kiss Me Again and Again,” etc.  Band Band era composer Sunny Skylar wrote the English lyrics.  They are not a direct translation of Velázquez’s words.

The Beatles performed the song during their live shows before being signed to a record label and included “Bésame Mucho” in their Decca Records audition and their first EMI recording session.  The “Anthology” version below is from the EMI recordings.

The Beatles also performed “Bésame Mucho” during their Get Back sessions, with versions of it appearing as part of the “Let It Be” documentary.  I couldn’t find a video of that with good quality, but here’s the audio

I don’t know what they were smoking on that take.

I’m pretty sure I say this on every cover song, but it’s nigh impossible to beat the original.  My Spanish skills are existant but shaky, so I’m not sure how much gets lost in translation, but I definitely prefer listening to Lucho Gatica’s version.  Something about the Beatles’ cover doesn’t feel as sincere.



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