Cry Me a River
|"Cry Me A River"|
|Written by||Arthur Hamilton|
|Recorded by||Julie London
see article for full list
A jazzy blues ballad, "Cry Me a River" was originally written for Ella Fitzgerald to sing in the 1920s-set film, Pete Kelly's Blues (released 1955), but the song was dropped. Fitzgerald first released a recording of the song on Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie! in 1961. The song was also offered to Peggy King, but Columbia Records A&R chief Mitch Miller objected to the word "plebian" in the lyric and its first release was by actress/singer Julie London on Liberty Records in 1955, backed by Barney Kessel on guitar and Ray Leatherwood on bass. A performance of the song by London in the 1956 film The Girl Can't Help It helped to make it a bestseller (reaching nr. 9 on US and nr. 22 on UK charts). London's recording was later featured in the soundtracks for the movies Passion of Mind (2000), and V for Vendetta (2005).
Subsequent covers include a version by Barbra Streisand on her 1963 debut album as the opening track of Side 1. In 1970, British rocker Joe Cocker made the chart with an upbeat rock rendition on the album, Mad Dogs and Englishmen. In 1995, British actress Denise Welch's double A-side "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" / "Cry Me a River" spent three weeks in the UK Singles Chart, reaching #23. Canadian jazz pianist and singer Diana Krall recorded the song on her 2001 album, The Look of Love. In 2009, Canadian singer Michael Bublé entered the charts with a big-band jazz version, which is also the opening track of his fourth album Crazy Love. This adaption of the song was used in the BBC's advertising for, and theme music for coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Versions in other languages
- French - "Pleure", recorded by Annie Fratellini in 1958
- French - "Pleurer Des Rivières", translated by Boris Bergman, recorded by Viktor Lazlo in 1985 and Eddy Mitchell in 2009
- French - "Noir Est Ta Couleur", adaptation by Christophe, recorded by Christophe in 1983
- Spanish - "Tu No Me Llores" recorded by Mari Wilson
- Finnish - "Joet tulvimaan itke" was recorded by Maire Ojonen (one of the Harmony Sisters) in 1956 and by Carola in 1986 with lyrics by Saukki.
- Portuguese - "Chore por Mim", recorded by Roberto Carlos in his very first album, in 1961.
- Jill Corey recorded the song as a single on Columbia Records in 1955.
- Dinah Washington recorded the song on her album What a Diff'rence a Day Makes! (1959).
- Shirley Bassey recorded the song on her album The Fabulous Shirley Bassey (1959).
- Davy Graham played a guitar instrumental version on a 1959 edition of 'Monitor' for the BBC and also released it on his 1963 album, The Guitar Player.
- Ray Charles recorded the song on his album "Sweet & Sour Tears" in 1964
- Steve Alaimo included it in his album of crying songs, Everyday I Have To Cry (1963).
- Sammy Davis, Jr. recorded the song on his album When the Feeling Hits You! (1965).
- Cher performed this song live on her The Cher Show in 1975.
- Crystal Gayle included the song on her platinum album When I Dream (1978).
- Giorgio Moroder used the 6 notes corresponding to "Now you say you love me" to create part of the soundtrack of Midnight Express in 1978.
- American rock band Aerosmith covered "Cry Me a River" on their 1982 studio album, Rock in a Hard Place.
- A cover by Mari Wilson was featured as the theme music for the British television series, McCallum (1995–96). She had previously recorded it in 1983 for her debut album Showpeople and scored a UK #27 hit with it.
- Combustible Edison recorded the song on their album I, Swinger from 1994.
- Alexia Vassiliou/Alexia/(Αλέξια) recorded the song on her first jazz album, In A Jazz Mood, featuring jazz legend, Chick Corea in 1996.
- Harry Connick Jr. recorded the song on his album Come by Me from 1999.
- Susan Boyle recorded this on her debut album, I Dreamed a Dream in 2009. The Scottish singer originally recorded the song in 1999 on a charity single. After Boyle's performance on Britain's Got Talent generated global interest in her, her performance of this song was uploaded onto YouTube and quickly became an internet sensation.
- Linda Ronstadt recorded a traditional jazz version of this song on her 2004 album Hummin' to Myself. The album hit #2 on Billboard's Jazz Albums chart.
- Recorded by Cynthia Basinet in 2007 as single.
- China Moses sang the song in 2008 accompanied by pianist Raphaël Lemonnier for her Dinah Washington tribut album This One's for Dinah.
- Sylvia Brooks recorded this on her debut album, Dangerous Liaisons in 2009, and has a video of the song on YouTube.
- Liam Payne, member of English boy band One Direction, sang "Cry Me a River" for his audition on the X Factor UK in 2010.
- Jeff Beck recorded the song with Imelda May on his 2011 live album Rock 'n' Roll Party (Honoring Les Paul).
- Tina Arena performed this song on her sold-out 2012 Australian Tour and was eventually recorded and released as a track for the Symphony of Life CD/DVD release.
- The song is featured on the soundtrack of the film Repo Men (2010).
- It was sampled in the song "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" on the Tough Guys Don't Dance album by High Contrast.
- Angie Miller received rave reviews when she performed the song during the One Hit Wonder theme portion of American Idol season 12 on April 24, 2013.
Selective list of recorded versions
||This article possibly contains original research. (March 2011)|
- Aerosmith - Rock in a Hard Place (1982)
- Alexia / Αλέξια / Alexia Vassiliou - "In A Jazz Mood" (1996 Sony-BMG)
- Tina Arena – Symphony of Life (2012)
- Rick Astley - "Portrait (2005)
- Shirley Bassey - "The Fabulous Shirley Bassey" (1959)
- Gene Bertoncini
- Susan Boyle - I Dreamed a Dream (2009)
- Michael Bublé
- Sylvia Brooks – Dangerous Liaisons (2009)
- Ray Charles
- Christophe – "Noir est ta couleur" (French version)
- Natalie Cole - "Take a Look" (1993)
- Sam Cooke - Mr. Soul (1963)
- Sammy Davis, Jr. - When the Feeling Hits You! (1965)
- Lisa Ekdahl - "When did you leave heaven" (1995)
- Ella Fitzgerald - "Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie!" (1961)
- Fourplay Quartet
- Crystal Gayle - "When I Dream" (1978)
- Benny Golson
- Dexter Gordon
- Lesley Gore - I'll Cry If I Want To
- Harmony Sisters (Finnish version)
- Barbara Ireland - Turning Back Time - Classic Songs to Kiss by (2010)
- Jai – Heaven (1997)
- Etta James - "Blue Gardenia" (2001)
- Harry James & His New Jazz Band
- J. J. Johnson
- Norah Jones
- Diana Krall - "The Look of Love (Diana Krall album)|The Look of Love" (2001)
- Gene Krupa
- Joachim Kuhn
- Viktor Lazlo – "Pleurer des rivieres" (French version)
- Maná (Spanish version)
- Brad Mehldau
- Eddy Mitchell – "Pleurer des rivieres" (French version)
- Alison Moyet - "Voice" (2004)
- Anne Murray - Croonin' (1993)
- Olivia Newton-John - "Indigo: Women of Song"
- Cote de Pablo
- Sue Raney - Breathless (1997)
- Diane Schuur - Talkin' 'Bout You (1988)
- Nina Simone
- Frank Sinatra, Jr.
- Barbra Streisand – The Barbra Streisand Album (1963)
- Dinah Washington - What a Diff'rence a Day Makes! (1959)
- Swans - World of Skin (1988)