Lisbon Antigua

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Lisbon Antigua sheet music cover

"Lisbon Antigua" is a Portuguese popular song that became a hit in the United States when recorded by the Nelson Riddle orchestra in 1956. The song was originally written in 1937, with music by Raul Portela and Portuguese lyrics by José Galhardo and Amadeu do Vale.[1] It was brought to Riddle's attention by Nat King Cole's manager who had heard a version played by an orchestra in Mexico. Riddle recorded his own arrangement with himself on the piano accompanied by a string section, brass, and a wordless male chorus. "Lisbon Antiqua" topped the Billboard magazine chart on February 25, 1956 and remained there for four weeks. Riddle then used the song for the theme music when he wrote the score for the 1956 film Lisbon.[2] Billboard ranked it as the No. 3 song for 1956.[3]

Also in 1956, another popular version was recorded by Frank Chacksfield's orchestra under the title "In Old Lisbon," in which the male chorus sang lyrics written in English by Harry Dupree. It was released by the United Kingdom Decca label as catalog number F 10689,and reached #15 on the UK charts.[4]


  1. ^ "The European Song Cover". Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  2. ^ Bronson, Fred (1992). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits - revised & enlarged. New York: Billboard Books. p. 8. ISBN 0-8230-8298-9. 
  3. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1956
  4. ^ "UK Chart Entries 1952-1961". Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
Preceded by
"Rock and Roll Waltz" by Kay Starr
Billboard Top 100 number-one single
(Nelson Riddle version)

February 25, 1956 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"The Poor People of Paris" by Les Baxter