Moon Over Naples

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"Moon Over Naples" is a 1965 instrumental composed and originally performed by German bandleader Bert Kaempfert and was the first track on his album, The Magic Music of Far Away Places for Decca Records.

Cover versions[edit]

The earliest vocal version was recorded by Freddy Quinn in 1965 titled as "Spanish Eyes"; soon after its release, the single was pulled from the market when Polydor (Quinn's label) and Decca (Kaempfert's label) threatened to sue, claiming ownership of the song. A version by Sergio Franchi with lyrics by Charles Singleton was recorded in late 1965 titled "Moon Over Naples", but did not chart. It would become a hit single in 1966 for Al Martino when a new set of lyrics were written by composer Eddie Snyder, now titled "Spanish Eyes". (All subsequent versions used this title, and now listed both Singleton and Snyder among the credits.) Released in late 1965 in the United States, this recording reached number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100[1] and spent four weeks atop the Billboard Easy Listening chart[2] in early 1966. This vocal version was also a hit in Europe, where it sold an estimated 800,000 copies in Germany[2] and made the UK Singles Chart twice, peaking at number 49 in 1970 and then reaching number five in August 1973.[3]

Andy Williams released a version in 1967 on his album, Born Free.

In 1968, "Moon Over Naples" earned Kaempfert one of five BMI Awards that year; the other awards were for his compositions "Lady", "Sweet Maria", "Strangers in the Night" and "The World We Knew (Over and Over)" with a posthumous BMI Award given September 16, 2003.[4]

As "Spanish Eyes", the song would go on to be performed by the likes of Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, Engelbert Humperdinck, Wayne Newton and Faith No More;[5] it was even sung by Homer Simpson in The Simpsons episode, "Homer vs. Dignity". A cover by Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in 1988.[6]

The song was sung, initially by Geoffrey Hutchings and Sheila Reid as the characters of Mel and Madge in the finale to the third season of the British TV sitcom Benidorm.

Little Willie Littlefield recorded a version for his 1990 album Singalong with Little Willie Littlefield.

In 2013, vocal group Il Divo recorded a duet with British singer Engelbert Humperdinck.[7] Produced by Alberto Quintero, it was included in the album Engelbert Calling released September 30, 2014.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 401.
  2. ^ a b Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications), page 41.
  3. ^ UK Singles Chart info Retrieved 9 September 2009.
  4. ^ Official Bert Kaempfert page listing his awards Archived 2008-06-23 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Spanish Eyes lyrics and brief history at
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2013). Hot Country Songs 1944–2012. Record Research, Inc. p. 238. ISBN 978-0-89820-203-8.
  7. ^ (ed.). "The Engelbert Humperdinck 2014 duets album has a new star act. Il Divo have re-recorded Engelbert's classic 'Spanish Eyes' with the legendary singer".
  8. ^ (ed.). "Engelbert Calling (Deluxe Edition)".

External links[edit]