Amapola (song)

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For other uses, see Amapola (disambiguation).
"Amapola (Pretty Little Poppy)"
Single by Jimmy Dorsey, Helen O'Connell, and Bob Eberly
Recorded 1941
Genre Pop, classical
Length 4:49
Writer(s) Music: Joseph Lacalle,
English lyrics: Albert Gamse
Jimmy Dorsey, Helen O'Connell, and Bob Eberly singles chronology
"Amapola (Pretty Little Poppy)"
"My Sister and I"

"Amapola (Pretty Little Poppy)" is a 1924 song by Cádiz-born composer José María Lacalle García (later Joseph Lacalle), with Spanish lyrics. After the composer died in 1937, English language lyrics were written by Albert Gamse.[1]


Miguel Fleta sang "Amapola (Pretty Little Poppy)" in the 1925 film "The Lecuona Cuban Boys"; Deanna Durbin in the 1939 film "First Love"; Alberto Rabagliati in a 1941 film; Sara Montiel in 1962 movie La bella Lola. Japanese singer Noriko Awaya released her version of the song in 1937. A popular recorded version was made later by the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra with vocalists Helen O'Connell and Bob Eberly;[2] this was released by Decca Records as catalog number 3629 and arrived on the Billboard charts on March 14, 1941, where it stayed for 14 weeks and reached #1. Another version, with vocals in English, was recorded by Spike Jones and his City Slickers in the unforgettable comic style of his band; the flip-side was Jones Polka, a drinking-song, sung in a strong European accent. Since its debut "Amapola" has been a favorite recording of opera tenors: Tito Schipa (1926), Alfredo Kraus (1959, Luigi Alva (1963), and, most notably, the 1950 recording by Jan Peerce. An orchestral version of "Amapola" directed by Ennio Morricone served as a leitmotif in the 1984 gangster film Once Upon a Time in America. In 1990 Amapola was sung during the first Three Tenors concert in Rome. Ryuichi Kawamura's cover appears on his 2011 album The Voice.


Spanish version (original)

De amor en los hierros de tu reja
De amor escuché la triste queja
De amor que sonó en mi corazón
Diciéndome así
con su dulce canción

Amapola, lindísima amapola,
Será siempre mi alma tuya sola.
Yo te quiero, amada niña mía,
Igual que ama la flor la luz del día.

Amapola, lindísima amapola,
No seas tan ingrata y ámame.
Amapola, amapola,
¿Cómo puedes tú vivir tan sola?

English lyrics (1940) by Albert Gamse

Amapola, my pretty little poppy,
You're like the lovely flower so sweet and heavenly.
Since I found you my heart is wrapped around you,
And, loving you, it seems to beat a rhapsody.

Amapola, the pretty little poppy
Must copy its endearing charms from you.
Amapola, Amapola,
How I long to hear you say "I love you."

In popular culture[edit]

Natalie Cole included 'Amapola' on her 2013 album Natalie Cole en Español.


  1. ^ Collected Works of George Grant: 1933-1950 George Parkin Grant, Peter Christopher Emberley, Arthur Davis - 2000 footnote Page 35 "38 'Amapola,' a popular love-song in 1941 written in French in 1924 by Joseph M. Lacalle and later given English words by Albert Gamse. The song was recorded by many artists, including Deanna Durbin."
  2. ^ Gilliland, John (1994). Pop Chronicles the 40s: The Lively Story of Pop Music in the 40s (audiobook). ISBN 978-1-55935-147-8. OCLC 31611854.  Tape 2, side A.