Bésame Mucho

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For the Brazilian film, see Besame Mucho (film).
"Bésame Mucho"
Writer Consuelo Velázquez
Language Spanish

"Bésame Mucho" (Kiss me generously) is a song written in 1940 by Mexican songwriter Consuelo Velázquez.[1]

It is one of the most famous boleros, and was recognized in 1999 as the most sung and recorded Mexican and Latin American song in the world.


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.[2][3]

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.[1]

Comments on lyrics[edit]

There are slight differences in the wording at the end of the chorus, regarding the words perderte después meaning "to lose you afterwards". Considering that Velázquez may have been fifteen years old when she wrote the song, this sentence reflects inexperience and innocence. Indeed, a video from "TV Mexicana"[4] shows Consuelo Velázquez playing the piano while the singer sings perderte después. Many interpretations use perderte otra vez ("lose you once again") instead of the original perderte después ("lose you afterwards").

The line "Besame mucho, que tengo miedo a perderte después" means "Kiss me a lot, as I am afraid of losing you afterwards." The word "mucho" may suggest a desire for the kiss to linger, as it may be the couple's last time being together.

An English-language version of the song was written by Sunny Skylar. The lyrics are different from the direct English translation of the original, but retain the Spanish Bésame mucho.

"Bésame Mucho" is also known by translated names such as "Kiss Me Much," "Kiss Me a Lot," "Kiss Me Again and Again," "Embrasse-moi fort," "Stale Ma Bozkavaj," "Suutele minua", "Szeretlek én" and "Mara beboos".

In politics[edit]

In Brazil in 1990, an affair between the Minister of Economics Zélia Cardoso de Mello and the minister of Justice pt:Bernardo Cabral was revealed when the two danced cheek to cheek to Bésame Mucho.[5] A few days later, the presidential band was to introduce Cardoso de Mello with a military march. Instead, the director of the band had them play Bésame Mucho. He was placed under house arrest for 3 days for insubordination.[6]

Recordings and performances[edit]

Emilio Tuero was the first to record the song, but the Lucho Gatica version made the song famous. Alys Robi recorded the song in a single album in 1943. Pedro Infante sang the song in English in his 1951 movie A toda maquina. Pedro Vargas covered the song in 1941 and his rendition was inducted into the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 2001.[7]

Andy Russell's recording, as produced by Johnny Mercer, became one of the first big hits for Capitol Records.[8]

Corsican singer Tino Rossi recorded the song for Columbia Records (CL8005) on May 10, 1945.

Jimmy Dorsey recorded a version that became a Billboard #1 Hit in 1944.

In 1957, Mexican band leader, pianist, and composer Juan García Esquivel and His Sonorama Orchestra recorded a version.

Covered by the Beatles both on stage and in the studio, they included the song in their setlist during the band's audition for Decca Records, their first EMI recording session and the Get Back sessions. A performance from the Get Back sessions was included in the documentary film Let It Be, while one from the EMI audition appeared on the Anthology 1 compilation. They sang their rendition of the song with English lyrics that do not correspond to the original Spanish lyrics.

The Coasters released a version of the song that featured King Curtis on the saxophone.[9]

A version recorded by American jazz pianist Bill Evans in 1962 was released on his 1998 compilation album Piano Player.

In 1962, the song was performed by vocal group the Hi-Lo's on their final Columbia LP, This Time It's Love, with orchestral accompaniment provided by Clare Fischer. That same year saw the release of an instrumental version by bass guitarist Jet Harris. American jazz guitarist Grant Green included a recording on his 1962 Latin-themed album The Latin Bit.

In 1963 jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery recorded a version for his album Boss Guitar (Riverside).

The Italian diva Mina put the song on the album dedicated to her father, in 1967.

In 1970, João Gilberto recorded it on his album João Gilberto en Mexico.

In 1976, Egyptian-born singer Dalida (Iolanda Cristina Gigliotti) recorded a disco-style version of the song in French.

In 1979, Estonian singer Jaak Joala & Radar recorded version of the song in Estonian.

Herb Alpert has recorded several versions of the song as an instrumental, notably with Hugh Masekela as well as on his 1981 album Magic Man.

Plácido Domingo received a Grammy nomination for Best Latin Pop Performance in 1983 for his version of the song on his album, My Life for a Song.

María Rivas recorded in 1992 a Latin jazz interpretation of the song in her second studio album, Manduco.

Cesária Évora even recorded 2 versions of it, from 1997 on, one swinging and one in the ballad style.

Luis Miguel recorded the song for the 1997 album Romances, while in 2002, Alejandro Fernández included the song in the live album Un canto de México.

The composition has been used in the soundtracks of numerous other films, including Great Expectations, Moon over Parador, Arizona Dream, Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears, The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear, In Good Company, Paid, Juno, Mona Lisa Smile, Mivtza Savta" israeli film, Ljubav i drugi zločini serbian film, and Santa Sangre.

Fastball's hit 1998 song "The Way" was inspired by "Bésame Mucho" and uses much of the same melody. The same year the song was recorded by Belgian-French singer Viktor Lazlo as a duet with Raul Paz. The song later appeared on Lazlo's album Amour(s).[10]

In 1999, Greek diva Marinella recorded a live version of the song, on her album Me Varka To Tragoudi.

In 2001, Diana Krall recorded the song for the album The Look of Love. It was sung entirely in Spanish.

In 2006, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, famously recorded the song for his album Amore.

In 2007, composer/arranger and jazz trombonist Steve Wiest was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement for his version of "Bésame Mucho" that was recorded by Maynard Ferguson on The One and Only Maynard Ferguson.

In 2009, jazz guitarist Royce Campbell released a version on his album, Solo Wes: A Solo Guitar Tribute to Wes Montgomery.

In 2009, Harry Connick, Jr. released a big-band version with both Spanish and English lyrics on his album Harry Connick, Jr.: Your Songs.

In January 2010, at the 52nd Grammy Awards, Herb Alpert was nominated for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.

In 2010, a version by Mexican electronic group Sussie 4 was included in the compilation album Bimexicano. The song was also included on Sussie 4's 2012 release, Radiolatina.

In 2011, Mexican rock band Zoé released a cover featuring Hello Seahorse! vocalist Lo Blondo as a single from their MTV Unplugged album Música de Fondo. The version was nominated for the Latin Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 2012.

In 2012, Michael Bublé recorded this song along with Thalía, for her album Habítame siempre.

In 2012, Korean pop idol singer Ailee performed a Korean version of this song live in KBS2 program's music show 'Immortal Songs 2'.

In 2013, Arsi Nami released the first duo and Latin house version of "Bésame Mucho" featuring Levi Whalen & Jacqueline Padilla.[11]

In 2013, a version of the song recorded by Natalie Cole was featured on her album Natalie Cole en Español.

In 2013, a bolero/tango version of the song recorded by David Longoria was featured on his album Baila.

In 2013, rumba catalana group Chico & the Gypsies played the song on their album Fiesta.

In 2014, Australian jazz artist Frances Madden performed a version with piano and sax at Foundry616.

Oscar Aleman recorded a cover.


  1. ^ a b Fox, Margalit (January 30, 2005). "Consuelo Velázquez Dies; Wrote 'Bésame Mucho'". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ "Bésame Mucho Consuelito Velazquez News Feature". YouTube. 2008-08-19. Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  3. ^ Burton, Tony. "Did You Know? Consuelo Velázquez and "Bésame mucho". : Mexico Culture & Arts". Mexconnected.com. Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  4. ^ "TV Mexicana Consuelo Velasquez Bésame Mucho". YouTube. 2006-07-17. Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  5. ^ "Headliners; Internal Affair". New York Times (New York). 21 Oct 1990. Retrieved 20 Dec 2014. 
  6. ^ "Band Hits Sour Note". Winnipeg Free Press (Winnipeg, CA). 6 Nov 1990. Retrieved 20 Dec 2014. 
  7. ^ "Latin GRAMMY Hall Of Fame". Latin Grammy Award. Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. 2001. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  8. ^ 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 1, side B.
  9. ^ The Coasters, "Bésame Mucho Part I and Part II" Retrieved February 24, 2012
  10. ^ "AllMusic: Viktor Lazlo - Amour(s)". AllMusic.com/. Retrieved 24 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "Besame Mucho". cdbaby.org. Archived from the original on 15 Jan 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-17. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"My Heart Tells Me (Should I Believe My Heart)" by Glen Gray
U.S. Billboard Best Sellers in Stores number-one single (Jimmy Dorsey version)
March 4 – April 15, 1944
Succeeded by
"It's Love-Love-Love" by Guy Lombardo