Cry Me a River

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the torch song written by Arthur Hamilton. For the 2002 song recorded by Justin Timberlake, see Cry Me a River (Justin Timberlake song). For other uses, see Cry Me a River (disambiguation).
"Cry Me a River"
Published 1953
Writer(s) Arthur Hamilton

"Cry Me a River" is a popular American torch song, written by Arthur Hamilton, first published in 1953 and made famous in 1955 with the version by Julie London.

Origins and early recordings[edit]

Arthur Hamilton later said of the song: "I had never heard the phrase. I just liked the combination of words... Instead of 'Eat your heart out' or 'I'll get even with you,' it sounded like a good, smart retort to somebody who had hurt your feelings or broken your heart." He was initially concerned that listeners would hear a reference to the Crimea, rather than "..cry me a...", but said that "..sitting down and playing the melody and coming up with lyrics made it a nonissue."[1]

A jazzy blues ballad, "Cry Me a River" was originally written for Ella Fitzgerald to sing in the 1920s-set film, Pete Kelly's Blues (released 1955), but the song was dropped. Fitzgerald first released a recording of the song on Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie! in 1961. The song was also offered to Peggy King, but Columbia Records A&R chief Mitch Miller objected to the word "plebeian" in the lyric[2] and its first release was by actress/singer Julie London on Liberty Records in 1955, backed by Barney Kessel on guitar and Ray Leatherwood on bass. A performance of the song by London in the 1956 film The Girl Can't Help It helped to make it a bestseller (reaching nr. 9 on US and nr. 22 on UK charts). London's recording was later featured in the soundtracks for the movies Passion of Mind (2000), and V for Vendetta (2005). It became a gold record, and in 2016, it was inducted by the Library of Congress in the National Recording Registry.[3]

Later recordings[edit]

Other recordings include a version by Shirley Bassey on her third album, The Fabulous Shirley Bassey, her debut for Columbia in 1959; a version by Barbra Streisand on her 1963 debut album as the opening track of Side 1; and a version by British rocker Joe Cocker, who made the chart in 1970 with an upbeat rock rendition on the album, Mad Dogs and Englishmen. Crystal Gayle recorded the song in 1978, and it was the B-side of her number-one Country hit, "Why Have You Left the One You Left Me For". In 1995, British actress Denise Welch's double A-side "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" / "Cry Me a River" spent three weeks in the UK Singles Chart, reaching #23. Canadian jazz pianist and singer Diana Krall recorded the song on her 2001 album, The Look of Love. In 2009, Canadian singer Michael Bublé entered the charts with a big-band jazz version, which is also the opening track of his fourth album Crazy Love. This adaption of the song was used in the BBC's advertising for, and theme music for coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Date Artist Album Notes
1955 Eileen Barton Single Coral Records
1955 Jill Corey Single Columbia Records[4]
1955 Dexter Gordon Dexter Blows Hot and Cool
1955 Julie London Julie Is Her Name Also rel. as 10" shellac and 7" single with George and Ira Gershwin's "'S Wonderful" on B-side; both on Liberty[5]
1956 Maire Ojonen (Harmony Sisters) Finnish version "Joet tulvimaan itke"
1957 J. J. Johnson First Place
1958 Annie Fratellini French version "Pleure"
1959 Shirley Bassey The Fabulous Shirley Bassey
1959 Davy Graham The Guitar Player (1963) Instrumental version orig. for BBC's Monitor
1959 Dinah Washington What a Diff'rence a Day Makes!
1961 Roberto Carlos Louco Por Você Brazilian Portuguese version "Chore Por Mim"; debut album on Columbia
1961 Ella Fitzgerald Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie!
1962 Dexter Gordon Cry Me a River recorded live at Jazzhus Montmartre with the Atli Bjorn Trio[6]
1963 Steve Alaimo Everyday I Have to Cry
1963 Sam Cooke Mr. Soul
1963 Lesley Gore I'll Cry If I Want To Debut album
1963 Barbra Streisand The Barbra Streisand Album
1964 Ray Charles Sweet & Sour Tears
1964 Gene Krupa The Great New Gene Krupa Quartet Featuring Charlie Ventura
1965 Sammy Davis, Jr. When the Feeling Hits You!
1965 Marie Knight single
1966 Lorraine Ellison Heart & Soul Debut album
1970 Joe Cocker Mad Dogs & Englishmen
1975 Cher The Cher Show
1977 Joan Baez Blowin' Away
1978 Crystal Gayle When I Dream
1978 Giorgio Moroder O.S.T. of Midnight Express Moroder used the 6 notes corresponding to the line "Now you say you love me"
1982 Aerosmith Rock in a Hard Place
1983 Christophe French version "Noir est ta couleur"
1983 Mari Wilson Showpeople Debut album; the song scored #27 in the UK. It was later featured as the theme music for the British television series, McCallum (1995–96).
1985 Viktor Lazlo She French version "Pleurer des rivières", translated by Boris Bergman
1986 Aaron Neville Make Me Strong
1986 Carola Finnish version by Saukki, "Joet tulvimaan itke"
1988 Patti Austin The Real Me Arranged and conducted by Marty Paich
1988 Diane Schuur Talkin' 'Bout You
1988 Kate Ceberano and Wendy Matthews You've Always Got the Blues
1988 Swans World of Skin
1990 Björk Cover Me Live rec. with Tríó Gudmundur Ingolfssonar at Hotel Borg in Reykjavik on unofficial compilation
1991 Mari Wilson Rhythm Romance
1992 Maná ¿Dónde Jugarán los Niños? Spanish version "Te lloré un río"
1993 Natalie Cole Take a Look
1993 Anne Murray Croonin'
1994 Combustible Edison I, Swinger
1995 Lisa Ekdahl When Did You Leave Heaven
1995 Ithamara Koorax Rio Vermelho
1996 Benny Golson Benny Golson Tenor Summit[7]
1996 Alexia (Vassiliou) In a Jazz Mood Debut album, featuring Chick Corea
1997 Sue Raney Breathless
1997 Jai Heaven
1999 Susan Boyle I Dreamed a Dream (2009) Orig. issued on a charity single. After Boyle's performance on Britain's Got Talent generated global interest in her, her performance of this song was uploaded onto YouTube and quickly became an internet sensation.[8]
1999 Harry Connick Jr. Come by Me
2000 John Martyn Glasgow Walker
2001 Etta James Blue Gardenia
2001 Diana Krall The Look of Love
2001 Brad Mehldau Progression: The Art of the Trio, Vol. 5
2003 Jeff Beck, Van Morrison Red, White and Blues Directed by Mike Figgis, one of seven films in the Martin Scorsese series, The Blues
2004 Alison Moyet Voice
2004 Olivia Newton-John Indigo: Women of Song Produced by Phil Ramone
2004 Linda Ronstadt Hummin' to Myself Album hit #2 on Billboard's Jazz Albums chart.
2005 Rick Astley Portrait
2006 Fourplay Quartet Now to the Future
2006 Norah Jones Heaven in Creepy from album by Jim Campilongo Electric Trio
2006 Frank Sinatra, Jr. That Face
2007 Cynthia Basinet Single
2008 China Moses This One's for Dinah Dinah Washington tribut album, with pianist Raphaël Lemonnier
2009 Sylvia Brooks Dangerous Liaisons
2009 Michael Bublé Crazy Love
2009 Lynda Carter At Last Potomac Productions
2009 Eddy Mitchell French version "Pleurer des rivières", translated by Boris Bergman
2010 Liam Payne X Factor UK audition (Member of English boy band One Direction)
2011 Jeff Beck with Imelda May Rock 'n' Roll Party (Honoring Les Paul)
2011 Lana Del Rey An unreleased cover of the song leaked on August 6, 2015.
2012 Tina Arena Symphony of Life
2013 Angie Miller One Hit Wonder theme portion of American Idol season 12 on April 24
? Nina Simone ?
? Gene Bertoncini ?
? Harry James Harry James & His New Jazz Band, Vol 2
? Cote de Pablo ? singer on Roberto Pitre's Vivo en vida where she sings "Samba in Prelude" and "Cry Me a River"
? Mari Wilson Showpeople Spanish version "Tu no me llores"


External links[edit]