Bésame Mucho

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"Bésame mucho"
Single by Consuelo Velázquez
Songwriter(s)Consuelo Velázquez
"Besame Mucho"
Single by Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra (Vocal Bob Eberle & Kitty Kallen)
B-side"My Ideal"
ReleasedDecember 1943 (1943-12)
RecordedOctober 7, 1943 (1943-10-07)
StudioLos Angeles
LabelDecca 18574
Songwriter(s)Consuelo Velázquez, Sunny Skylar

"Bésame Mucho" (Spanish: [ˈbesame ˈmutʃo]; "Kiss Me A Lot") is a bolero song written in 1940 by Mexican songwriter Consuelo Velázquez.[2] It is one of the most popular songs of the 20th century and one of the most important songs in the history of Latin music. It was recognized in 1999 as the most recorded and covered song in Spanish of all time.[3][4] Famous versions were sung by Trio Los Panchos and female vocalist Gigliola Cinquetti in 1968, and by Dalida in 1976. English lyrics to it were written by Sunny Skylar.

The song appeared in the film Follow the Boys (May 5, 1944) when it was played by Charlie Spivak and his Orchestra[5] and in Cowboy and the Senorita (May 13, 1944) with vocal by Dale Evans.[6]


According to Velázquez herself, she wrote this song even though she had never been kissed yet at the time, and kissing, as she heard, was considered a sin.[7][8]

She was inspired by the piano piece "Quejas, o la Maja y el Ruiseñor", from the 1911 suite Goyescas by Spanish composer Enrique Granados, which he later also included as "Aria of the Nightingale" in his 1916 opera of the same name.[2]

In politics[edit]

In 1990, a hitherto clandestine affair between two Brazilian government ministers, Bernardo Cabral (Minister of Justice) and Zélia Cardoso de Mello (Minister for Economy, Finance & Planning), was revealed to public knowledge as the couple danced cheek to cheek to "Bésame Mucho" during a birthday party held for Cardoso de Mello. A married father of three, Cabral was forced to resign as a result.[9]

A few days later, at a ceremony in which Cardoso de Mello was due to receive her country's Order of Military Merit, the regimental band of the presidential guard, Os Dragões da Independência, struck up "Bésame Mucho" as she was presented with her medal. Its musical director, Lt. Geraldo Mendonça da Lima, was subsequently given 3 days' detention for insubordination.[10][11]

Notable versions[edit]

Capitol Records 78rpm record label for USA release of Andy Russell's "Bésame Mucho." Original issue. 1944
External audio
audio icon You may listen to "Besame Mucho" performed by Xavier Cugat conducting his Waldorf-Astoria Orchestra in 1945 here on archive.org


  1. ^ a b Sapna Maheshwari, On YouTube Kids, Startling Videos Slip Past Filters, The New York Times, November 4, 2017
  2. ^ a b Fox, Margalit (January 30, 2005). "Consuelo Velázquez Dies; Wrote 'Bésame Mucho'". The New York Times.
  3. ^ by SocialMusik (December 5, 2019). "Bésame mucho, la canción en español más versionda - Social Musik". Socialmusik.es. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  4. ^ "Hispanic Heritage Month: The 50 Best Latin Songs of All Time". Billboard.com. September 15, 2020. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  5. ^ "Follow the Boys (1944)". imdb.com. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  6. ^ "Cowboy and the Senorita (1944)". imdb.com. Retrieved May 29, 2017.
  7. ^ "Bésame Mucho Consuelito Velazquez News Feature". YouTube. August 19, 2008. Retrieved February 14, 2011.[dead YouTube link]
  8. ^ Burton, Tony (March 14, 2008). "Did You Know? Consuelo Velázquez and "Bésame mucho". : Mexico Culture & Arts". Mexconnected.com. Archived from the original on May 27, 2012. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
  9. ^ "Headliners; Internal Affair". New York Times. New York. October 21, 1990. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  10. ^ "Band Hits Sour Note". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, CA. November 6, 1990. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  11. ^ "Army Bandleader's detention (Port.)". Google Books. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  12. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890–1954. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 132. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
  13. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890–1954. Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 476. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
  14. ^ Gilliland, John. (March 23, 2020). "Pop Chronicles 1940s Program #11 - All Tracks UNT Digital Library". Digital.library.unt.edu. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  15. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2013). Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles, 14th Edition: 1955-2012. Record Research. p. 177.
  16. ^ "A 50 años del Bésame mucho de los Beatles". BBC. July 9, 2012. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  17. ^ "Complete List of the Nominees for 26th Annual Grammy Music Awards". Schenectady Gazette. The Daily Gazette Company. January 9, 1984. p. 49. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
  18. ^ "Latin GRAMMY Hall Of Fame". Latin Grammy Award. Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. 2001. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
  19. ^ "JUAN LUIS GUERRA LEADS LATIN GRAMMY® NOMINATIONS WITH SIX". Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. September 25, 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2011.

in the film Adua e le Compagne at 21.28min in youtube version.

External links[edit]

Performances in Spanish