Paloma Blanca

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"Paloma Blanca"
Single by George Baker Selection
from the album Paloma Blanca
B-side "Dreamboat"
Released March 1975 (1975-03)
Format 7″ single
Genre Pop
Length 3:27
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) George Baker
Producer(s) George Baker
George Baker Selection singles chronology
"Sing a Song of Love"
(1974)
"Paloma Blanca"
(1975)
"Morning Sky"
(1975)

Paloma Blanca, often called Una Paloma Blanca, is a song written by the Dutch musician George Baker and first recorded by his band The George Baker Selection. The single was a hit throughout Europe, and was taken from the group's fifth album of the same name.

The song became a number-one hit on the U.S. Billboard Easy Listening Singles chart in early 1976 (becoming that chart's overall number 1 song for 1976) and peaked at number 26 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100,[1] as well as peaking at number thirty-three on the U.S. Hot Country Singles charts.[2]

The title is Spanish for "a white dove".

Meaning[edit]

Baker has been quoted as saying the song is about "a poor South American farmer who works hard all day and then sits by a tree and dreams of being a white bird with its freedom."[3]

Versions[edit]

The George Baker Selection version of "Paloma Blanca" was widely covered upon its 1975 release. In the UK - where the George Baker Selection took "Paloma Blanca" to a #10 chart peak - "Una Paloma Blanca" by Jonathan King achieved a #5 chart peak: King's version was also a hit in Ireland although its #15 Irish chart peak was bested by another cover as the Dixies (with Rory O'Connor) took "Una Paloma Blanca" to #11 on the Irish chart.

In South Africa an Afrikaans rendering of "Paloma Blanca" entitled "My klein wit duifie" was a hit for a studio group credited as Tameletjie, its chart peak being #9.

A German-language rendering of "Paloma Blanca" was a hit for Nina & Mike (de) in both Germany (#6) and Austria (#7).

In Scandinavia translated renderings of "Paloma Blanca" were hits in for Siw Malmkvist (#8 in Sweden) and Hans Petter Hansen (no) (#7 in Norway) with an alternate Swedish rendering being recorded by Säwes (sv).

In Finland a localized translation of "Paloma Blanca" was #2 hit for Katri Helena besting a rival version by Kisu (fi) although the latter charted as high as #18.Finland is also the only evident territory outside the British Isles to afford chart hit status to the Jonathan King version "Una Paloma Blanca" which peaked at #27 in Finland. The Finnish-language rendering of "Paloma Blanca" has also been recorded by Aaron (fi), Jukka Kuoppamäki, and Matti & Teppo (fi).

Patricia Lavila (fr) recorded both French and Italian renderings of "Paloma Blanca" with the former reaching #39 on the French charts.

Renderings of "Paloma Blanca" were also recorded by Slavko Perović (Serbian) and in 1976 by Věra Špinarová (cs) (Czech as "Být Sluncem Na Tvých Víčkách" featuring Zdeněk Mann) and also Korda György (hu) (Hungarian as "Fehér Galamb").

George Baker rerecorded a solo version of the song in 2005 for the movie Vet Hard; the song had earlier been used in a 1982 movie, The Executioner's Song. Other versions were done by Demis Roussos and Slim Whitman. Bobby Vinton recorded a version that appeared on his 1976 album Serenades of Love.

Given its popularity and middle-of-the-road quality, the song is often parodied. In 1976, the British "Scrumpy and Western" group The Wurzels had a Top 3 UK hit with their parody of the song, "I Am a Cider Drinker", which was covered in 2011 by Scottish Pirate Metal Band Alestorm as a bonus track for their album Back Through Time. In the United States, Eddie Murphy, as the character Buckwheat in a Saturday Night Live television commercial parody, sang a mangled version parodying the Slim Whitman version entitled "Una Panoonah Banka". In May 1985 KNOB had a contest based on who could best replicate the yodel in Whitman's version, calling the contest a "Slim-off". In 1993, the Croatian group Vatrogasci (Firefighters) made a parody named Pekara (bakery in Croatian) in a turbofolk arrangement.

Byron Lee & the Dragonaires released a Reggae- Version in 1976: Paloma Reggae on Reggay international

The radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh uses the Slim Whitman version—studded with cannon fire—for his "Peace Update".

Charts[edit]

Chart (1975-1976) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report) 2
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[4] 1
Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders)[5] 1
Canada (RPM) 10
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM) 1
Canada Country (RPM) 36
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[6] 1
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[7] 1
Germany (Media Control Charts)[8] 1
Italy (FIMI)[9] 12
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[10] 1
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[11] 1
Norway (VG-lista)[12] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[13] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[14] 1
United Kingdom (The Official Charts Company) 10
US Billboard Hot 100 26
US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 1
US Billboard Hot Country Singles 33

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]