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"Perfidia" (Spanish for "perfidy", as in faithless, treacherous or false) is a popular song written by Alberto Domínguez (1911–1975), a Mexican composer and arranger born in the state of Chiapas, about love and betrayal. Aside from the original Spanish, other renditions exist, including English and instrumental versions. The English lyrics are by Milton Leeds. The song was published in 1939 and became a hit for Xavier Cugat in 1940. Desi Arnaz sings the Spanish version in the 1941 film, "Father takes a Wife" which starred Gloria Swanson. This version was used by director Wong Kar-wai in his films Days of Being Wild, In the Mood for Love, and 2046.
"Perfidia" has been recorded by many artists, including Julie London, The Four Aces, Charlie Parker, Laurel Aitken, Mel Tormé, Olavi Virta, Café Tacuba, Glenn Miller, Nana Mouskouri, King Tubby, Phyllis Dillon, James Last, The Shadows, The Ventures, Trini Lopez, Linda Ronstadt (in Spanish and English), Nat King Cole, Sara Montiel, Los Tres Caballeros and Javier Solis (in Spanish), Cliff Richard, Lawrence Welk, Luis Miguel, Issac Delgado, mandolinist Dave Apollon, Olivia Molina, Perez Prado, Freddy Fender, Ibrahim Ferrer, Los Rabanes, Andrea Bocelli, British Beefcake and Ben E. King.
In popular culture
- The song is played in the film Casablanca when Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) and Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) dance in the Paris nightclub, in the flashback sequence of their romance there.
- The song is played in the 1942 film The Gay Sisters when Evelyn attempts to seduce Gig Young (her sister's fiancé). The song is played in a similar scene in the 1943 film "Old Acquaintance" when Dierdre is (unintentionally) seducing the almost-fiance (also played by Gig Young) of Dierdre's courtesy aunt.
- The song is heard in the film The Mask of Dimitrios (1944) but the story is set in 1938 (a year before the song was published).
- It also sets a romantic mood in the film Now, Voyager, with stars Bette Davis and Paul Henreid seen sitting together in a Rio de Janeiro nightclub:
- Henreid (as music plays): May I have this dance?
- Davis: Oh, I'm afraid I don't know how to dance.
- Henreid: Try it ... just this once.
- This song was the episode title and played in the final episode of Journeyman (2007) on NBC.
- Perfidia is a song in the Off-Broadway musical Forever Plaid (1990).
- The song has also been used as the opening theme to the television show George and Martha.
- Perfidia was also included on the Dexter soundtrack.
- This song was in the beginning of the 1978 movie Alexandria... Why?, directed by Youssef Chahine.
- This song was played in a 1975 episode of "Happy Days" titled "Fonzie Joins the Band".
- Perfidia was used in the Benny Hill Show.
- Linda Ronstadt's version of the song in English with a Spanish introduction was used in the 1992 movie The Mambo Kings. Ronstadt also recorded the song in Spanish for her 1992 album Frenesí. At the 9th Lo Nuestro Awards, her version received a nomination for Tropical Song of the Year.
- The Argentinian rock band La Portuaria plays a version of this song.
- Perfidia was played in 2007 BBC2 "Daphne".
- Perfidia (Perfidy) is a gay movie that came out in 2009 and heavily features the song. It was directed by Rodrigo Bellott and starring Gonzalo Valenzuela as Gus.
- World famous tenor Andrea Bocelli sang “Perfidia” in Spanish at his Andrea Bocelli: Love in Portofino concert in August, 2012. The concert special in Italy was recorded live in HD video and released to cinemas and also presented by PBS in America as part of its Great Performances series.