Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet

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"Love Theme From Romeo & Juliet"
Henry Mancini – Romeo & Juliet.jpg
Single by Henry Mancini
from the album A Warm Shade of Ivory
B-side"The Windmills of Your Mind"
ReleasedMay 1969
LabelRCA Victor
Songwriter(s)Nino Rota
Producer(s)Joe Reisman
Henry Mancini singles chronology
"Wait Until Dark"
"Love Theme From Romeo & Juliet"
"Theme from "Love Story"

"Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet", also known as "A Time for Us", is an instrumental arranged by Henry Mancini (from Nino Rota's music written for Franco Zeffirelli's film of Romeo and Juliet, starring Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey).[1] It was a number-one pop hit in the United States during the year 1969. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart on June 28, 1969, and remained there for two weeks;[2] it was also his only Top Ten single on that chart.[3]

Rearranged by Mancini, who played the piano part himself,[4] the song started competing with rock and roll songs from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones on an Orlando, Florida radio station and spread from there.[1] It faced stiff opposition from some radio stations for being too soft. Those stations had to change their mind when the song became number one, ending the five-week run of "Get Back" by the Beatles as the top song.[3]

This release also topped the U.S. easy listening chart for eight weeks where it was Mancini's sole number one on the chart.[5]

The score was used for Lana Del Rey's song "Old Money" on her album Ultraviolence.[6]


There are two different sets of English lyrics to the song. The film's version is called "What Is a Youth?", featuring lyrics by Eugene Walter, and sung by Glen Weston. This version has been released on the complete score/soundtrack release. An alternate version, called "A Time for Us", featuring lyrics by Larry Kusik and Eddie Snyder.[7] This version has been recorded by Johnny Mathis, Shirley Bassey, Andy Williams, Stevie Wonder, and others. Josh Groban performed "Un Giorno Per Noi", an Italian version of "A Time for Us".[8]

The song has been very popular in Finland and several Finnish artists have covered it after Simola.[9][circular reference]

A third version is called "Ai Giochi Addio", featuring Italian lyrics by Elsa Morante, and has been performed by opera singers including Luciano Pavarotti and Natasha Marsh.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b John Caps (15 February 2012). Henry Mancini: Reinventing Film Music. University of Illinois Press. pp. 116–. ISBN 978-0-252-09384-5.
  2. ^ Bronson, Fred (7 December 1996). 'Romeo + Juliet' Adds Drama to Charts. Billboard. p. 98. ISSN 0006-2510.
  3. ^ a b Bronson, Fred (1992). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits - revised & enlarged. New York: Billboard Books. p. 255. ISBN 0-8230-8298-9.
  4. ^ Tom Breihan (2018-11-27). "The Number Ones: Henry Mancini's 'Love Theme From Romeo And Juliet'". Stereogum. Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 154.
  6. ^ "Here's Why Lana Del Rey's "Old Money" Sounds So Familiar". BuzzFeed.
  7. ^ Laurence E. MacDonald (1 January 1998). The Invisible Art of Film Music: A Comprehensive History. Scarecrow Press. pp. 232–. ISBN 978-1-4616-7304-0.
  8. ^ Kevin J. Wetmore Jr. (7 May 2015). Shakespearean Echoes. Springer. pp. 71–. ISBN 978-1-137-38002-9.
  9. ^ fi:Kun aika on
  10. ^ Manconi, Luigi (23 May 2012). La musica è leggera. Racconto autobiografico sul sentimental kitsch (in Italian). Il Saggiatore. pp. 211–. ISBN 978-88-6576-217-2.