Don't Cry for Me Argentina
|"Don't Cry for Me Argentina"|
|Single by Julie Covington|
|from the album Evita|
|Genre||Show tune, musical theatre|
|Writer(s)||Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice|
|Producer(s)||Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice and David Land|
|Julie Covington singles chronology|
"Don't Cry for Me Argentina" is a song composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Tim Rice. It was first recorded by Julie Covington on the 1976 concept album Evita, and was later included in the 1978 stage musical of the same name. Sung by the title character Eva Perón, it appears early in the second act as Evita addresses the crowd from the balcony of the Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and features a sweeping melody tied to broad emotional themes of regret and defiance, characteristic of Lloyd Webber's most popular songs.
The song shares its melody with "Oh What a Circus" and "Eva's Final Broadcast" from the same show. Rice and Lloyd Webber received the 1977 Ivor Novello award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically. The song has since been recorded by many other performers.
The title of the song comes from an epitaph on a plaque at Evita Peron's grave in the La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires. The plaque was presented by the city's taxi drivers' union and roughly translates as: "Don't cry for me Argentina, I remain quite near to you."
The musical Evita was initially produced as an album, before being adapted for the stage, following a formula Lloyd Webber and Rice had stumbled upon during the production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Julie Covington played the lead role of Eva Perón on the original 1976 album from which the single was released. The song was first offered to singer Elkie Brooks who turned it down. Whilst producing the Evita album, Tim Rice had tried out various lyrics as the main hook and title of the song including "It's Only Your Lover Returning" and "All Through My Crazy and Wild Days" amid fears that mentioning Argentina would reduce the commercial appeal. Covington recorded both of these lines and a hybrid of the recordings was included on a rarities disc of Andrew Lloyd Webber: Now and Forever, a 2001 box set. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" appeared at the opening and near the end of the show, initially as the spirit of the dead Eva Perón exhorts the people of Argentina not to mourn her – "The truth is I never left you" – and later as she gives a final broadcast – "The truth is I shall not leave you". Shortly before the album was finally mixed, Lloyd Webber suggested to Rice that the line "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" also worked in the context of the new First Lady of Argentina giving a speech. Rice points out that in this instance "cry" refers to shouting or calling out rather than weeping.
Release and reception
Released in the UK in December 1976, "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" reached number 1 in the UK Singles Chart in February 1977 for a week, selling almost a million physical copies in the United Kingdom. Together with digital sales since it has sold over a million. The single was also successful in Australia and New Zealand, reaching number one in both countries, as well as in several countries across Europe. The B-side was "Rainbow High", also from Evita, a song in which Eva is prepared for her "Rainbow Tour" of Europe.
The song was never performed live on British music show Top of the Pops as might have been anticipated, as Covington refused to do so without the full symphonic orchestra. However, during the week that it was number one, she appeared in the audience.
When Covington chose not to reprise the role in the 1978 stage musical, Elaine Paige was cast as Eva in the London production. In the United States, the song is also closely linked with Patti LuPone, who performed the role of Eva in the original Broadway production of the show.
During the 1982 Falklands War between the United Kingdom and Argentina, the song was sometimes played sarcastically by British regimental bands as they deployed to the Falklands. At the same time the Covington recording was banned from play on the BBC.
The song was also banned in the Philippines during the dictatorship (1972–86) of President Ferdinand Marcos. The life of former First Lady Imelda Marcos, Marcos' wife, is similar to that of Evita Peron. The presentation of the musical Evita was repressed.
Charts and certifications
|"Don't Cry for Me Argentina"|
|Single by Madonna|
|from the album Evita|
|Format||12", CD single|
|Madonna singles chronology|
The original album version as it appears in the movie Evita
|Problems playing this file? See media help.|
American singer-songwriter Madonna recorded her version of the song for her starring role in the 1996 film Evita. It was released in December 1996 as the second single from the soundtrack Evita. For the single release, Madonna re-recorded the song as a dance remix, produced by herself, Pablo Flores and Javier Garza. The "Miami Mix" versions included lyrics sung in English and Spanglish.
Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine commented: "Easily one of Madonna's greatest vocal performance to date, the singer's dramatic interpretation of Evita's unofficial theme song was both loyal and bizarrely autobiographical." The single turned out to be a big worldwide hit, taking the number one spot in several countries, most notably in France, where it became her second number one (after "La Isla Bonita"). It was a US top ten hit, peaking at number eight. In Europe it was her ninth single to top the Eurochart Hot 100 Singles. According to The Official Charts Company, the song has sold 340,000 copies in the UK alone.
- the Miami Mix versions are not remixes of the original version, the vocals were re-recorded and this version is produced by Madonna, Pablo Flores and Javier Garza. These versions also contain lyrics from "Eva's Final Broadcast" and uses samples of "Fracanapa", written by Ástor Piazzolla and performed by Ástor Piazzolla and his Tango Quintet.
- Writers – Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice
- Producers – Nigel Wright, Alan Parker, Andrew Lloyd Webber, David Caddick
- Remix producers – Madonna, Pablo Flores, Javier Garza
- Orchestra – John Mauceri
- Engineer – Javier Garza
- Mixing – Madonna, David Reitzas, Nigel Wright
- Photography – David Appleby
Charts and certifications
The song has been either recorded or performed live by:
- Julie Covington (1976)
- Farhad Mehrad (1976)
- Olivia Newton-John (1977, on her album Making a Good Thing Better)
- The Carpenters (1977, on their album Passage)
- Petula Clark (1977, CBS single, her French version "La Chanson d'Evita" peaked a No. 8 in France). She also recorded an Italian-language version, "La No flores por mi Argentina"
- Elaine Paige (1978 original London cast)
- Shirley Bassey (1978, on her album The Magic Is You and in 1993 on her album Sings the Songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber)
- The Shadows (1978)
- Festival (1979 a dance disco version) (Later versions of album Disco Evita (Chronicles) (CD))
- Tom Jones (1979, album "Rescue Me")
- Patti LuPone (1979 original American cast recording)
- The Dooleys (1980, on their album Full House)
- Joan Baez (1980)
- Marti Webb (1981 on her album Won't Change Places and in 1995 on the album Music and Songs from Evita) Webb was the second actress to play Eva in London.
- Donna Summer (1981) on the album I'm a Rainbow
- Barbara Dickson (1985)
- Helene Fischer
- Stephanie Lawrence (1988) Lawrence succeeded Marti Webb, who had in turn replaced Paige in the original London production of Evita.
- Laura Branigan (1990, on her VHS / LD Laura Branigan in Concert)
- Sinéad O'Connor (1992, on her album Am I Not Your Girl)
- Andrea McArdle (1995)
- Sarah Brightman (1996)
- Madonna, for the 1996 film Evita
- The Mike Flowers Pops (1996)
- Maria Friedman (1996)
- Priscilla Chan (1997 Musical Encounters with Priscilla and the Philharmonic Orchestra)
- Iza released a Eurodance cover version of the song on the CD "Dance World Television Hits Volume 2" in Poland in 1997.
- Judy Collins (1999, on her album Classic Broadway)
- Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (1999, on their album Me First and the Gimme Gimmes Are a Drag)
- Julian Lloyd Webber on the 2001 album Lloyd Webber Plays Lloyd Webber
- Elena Roger (2006 London cast recording and the 2012 New Broadway Cast Recording)
- Tina Arena (2003)
- Cilla Black
- Sharon Campbell
- Idina Menzel (2008 at Andrew Lloyd Webber's 60th Birthday Concert in London's Hyde Park )
- Fiona Hendley
- Katherine Jenkins
- Lea Michele and Chris Colfer (2010 for the TV series Glee) as a duet, with each singer taking a different stanza and performing before a different audience in a split-scene. Their solo versions were also in Glee: The Music, The Complete Season Two
- Nicole Scherzinger – (2013) Andrew Lloyd Webber ITV1 40th anniversary special
- Amanda Harrison (2013) for ABC Classics as part of a compilation album, I Dreamed a Dream: The Hit Songs of Broadway
- Il Divo (2011, on their album Wicked Game)
- Shir Ordo (2013, on the Israeli TV show "musics school" – "beit sefer le musica" in channel 2)
- Vice Ganda (17 May 2013 on his "I-Vice Ganda Mo 'Ko Sa Araneta" concert)
Laura Branigan never recorded the song, but regularly sang it during concerts throughout her career.
Contestant Alex Baldwin covered the song on the X Factor, in 2013.
Gheorghe Zamfir also produced a classical version of the music as part of his Magic of the Panpipes collection.
"Don't Give Up on Us" by David Soul
|UK Singles Chart number-one single (Julie Covington version)
12 February 1977
"When I Need You" by Leo Sayer
"Freed from Desire" by Gala
|French SNEP Singles Chart number-one single (Madonna version)
25 January 1997 – 15 February 1997
"Let a Boy Cry" by Gala
"Unbreak My Heart" by Toni Braxton
|Eurochart Hot 100 Singles number-one single (Madonna version)
14 February 1997 – 15 March 1997
"Don't Speak" by No Doubt
"Never Miss the Water" by Chaka Khan featuring Me'Shell Ndegeocello
|Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single (Madonna version)
22 February 1997
"Runaway" by Nuyorican Soul featuring India
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