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Mr. Sandman record by The Chordettes
|Single by The Chordettes|
|B-side||'"I Don't Wanna See You Cryin'"|
|The Chordettes singles chronology|
"Mr. Sandman" (sometimes rendered as "Mister Sandman") is a popular song written by Pat Ballard which was published in 1954 and first recorded in May of that year by Vaughn Monroe & His Orchestra and later that same year by The Chordettes. The song's lyrics convey a request to "Mr. Sandman" to "bring me a dream" – the traditional association with the folkloric figure, the sandman. The pronoun used to refer to the desired dream is often changed depending on the sex of the singer or group performing the song. Some time later, Ballard also rewrote the lyrics for Christmas use as "Mr. Santa". The chord progression in each chorus follows the circle of fifths for six chords in a row. Singer Dorothy Collins charted with "Mr. Santa" (#51, US trade Music Vendor. 1955). The song was later recorded by Tony Sandler and Ralph Young (1968) and Suzy Bogguss.
The Chordettes' recording of the song was released on the Cadence Records label, whose founder, Archie Bleyer, is credited on the disc's label as "knees played by" and orchestra conductor. Bleyer's voice is heard in the third verse, when he says the word, "Yes?" The piano is played by Moe Wechsler. Liberace's name is mentioned for his "wavy hair" and Pagliacci, for having a lonely heart (a reference to the opera Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo).
The single reached #1 on the Billboard United States charts and #11 in the United Kingdom charts in 1954. In November 1954, The Four Aces, backed by the Jack Pleis Orchestra, released a version that charted even higher in the UK, reaching #9 and in the same year, a version by Max Bygraves reached #16 in the UK charts. The most successful recording of the song in the UK was by Dickie Valentine, which peaked at #5. On the Cash Box magazine charts in the US, where all versions were combined, the song also reached #1.
There are numerous other recorded versions of the song including versions by Chet Atkins, Mocedades, Blue Diamonds, Marvin Gaye, Gob, Jose Melis, The Chipmunks, The Supremes, The Andrews Sisters, Pomplamoose, The Puppini Sisters, Blind Guardian, Linda McCartney, Al Hirt, the Orlons, The Osmond Brothers The Fleetwoods, and Jose Melis.
Joe Loss and his Orchestra recorded it in London on November 1, 1954. The tune was released by EMI on the His Master's Voice label as catalog number BD 6184. Vaughn Monroe with Orchestra recorded it in 1954 which was released as a single on RCA Victor label as catalog number 47-5767.
A modified version for children was recorded on Golden Records by Anne Lloyd (with "the Sandpipers and Orchestra", referring to the group also known as the "Golden Sandpipers"). The revised lyrics included "... bring me a dream/ And wrap it up in a pretty moonbeam/ I'd love to dream that I really can do/ The things that Santa Claus and Peter Pan do" and "...bring me a dream / Bring me a dream that's sweeter than peaches and cream./ Give me a pumpkin (punkin) coach like poor Cinderella/ A pretty satin dress all green and yellow (yella)".
It has featured in a number of TV and film soundtracks including The Simpsons, Futurama, Grease 2 (sung by the movie's "Peptones" contestants from a male-to-female viewpoint), Back to the Future, Breaking Bad, Eight Heads in a Duffel Bag, Mr. Nobody, Nip/Tuck, Groundhog Day, Philadelphia, Planet 51, Uncle Buck, I Saw What You Did, Cry-Baby, Halloween II, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, Family Ties, Haven and Doctor Who. A version by the band Oranger also featured as an intro song and later on a cutscene in the video game Stubbs the Zombie - Rebel without a Pulse and can also be heard in the video games Mafia II and Little Big Planet 3. It is also used in a Kia Optima commercial when The Sandman gives the owner a dream about the vehicle while the song plays as background music. In the Philippines, a version of the song with slightly altered lyrics was used in a TV advertisement promoting McDonald's Big N' Tasty and in the UK, a pastiche version was used in 2014 by the payday lender, Wonga, with words promoting their product. It was also in an episode of the television series Grimm named after the song.
"Mr. Sandman" was also famously sung as a lullaby on The Golden Girls in the season five episode "Not Another Monday" when Dorothy, Rose, and Blanche are trying to help a newborn, Francis Lilistrand, fall asleep.
Emmylou Harris version
|Single by Emmylou Harris|
|from the album Profile II: The Best of Emmylou Harris|
|Emmylou Harris singles chronology|
In the late 1970s, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, and Linda Ronstadt recorded a version of the song for a planned trio album which was ultimately scrapped. (The three would eventually reunite and record the first of two Trio albums nearly a decade later in 1987). Harris included the trio recording of "Mr. Sandman" the song on her 1981 album Evangeline, though with the stipulation that it not be released as a single (given that Parton and Ronstadt both were affiliated with other record labels). However, when Harris later changed her mind and wanted to put the song out as a single, she rerecorded it, singing all three parts herself, and releasing it in 1981, under the title "Mister Sandman". Harris's single version did not appear on an album until the 1984 compilation Profile II: The Best of Emmylou Harris.
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||37|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles||10|
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||42|
|Canadian RPM Country Tracks||1|
|Dutch Top 40||9|
|New Zealand Singles Chart||16|
Blind Guardian version
|Single by Blind Guardian|
|from the album The Forgotten Tales|
|Released||February 7, 1996|
|Recorded||Sweet Silence Studios|
|Blind Guardian singles chronology|
In 1996, German power metal band Blind Guardian released a single with a cover version of "Mr. Sandman." While the song starts in a similar mood to the original, it becomes increasingly aggressive, introducing heavy metal guitars in the second verse and a double bass drum in the third.
- "Mr. Sandman" – 2:12
- "Bright Eyes" (Edited Version) – 4:04
- "Hallelujah" – 3:18
- "Imaginations from the Other Side" (Demo Version) – 7:14
- "The Script for My Requiem" (Demo Version) – 7:01
- Hansi Kürsch – vocals and bass
- André Olbrich – lead guitar
- Marcus Siepen – rhythm guitar
- Thomen Stauch – drums
"A Headache Tomorrow (Or a Heartache Tonight)"
by Mickey Gilley
|RPM Country Tracks
(Emmylou Harris version)
May 16-May 23, 1981
"Am I Losing You"
by Ronnie Milsap
- Recordings by 'The Four Aces (Jack Pleis Orch) '
- "allmusic.com Albums containing the song "Mr. Sandman"". Retrieved 2011-09-24.
- "The Simpsons Archive - Music Featured on the Simpsons". Retrieved 2008-03-30.
- "Review of Blind Guardian version on Encyclopaedia Metallum". Retrieved 2012-12-16.
- "RPM Country Tracks for May 9, 1981". RPM. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
- "RPM Country Tracks for May 16, 1981". RPM. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
- "RPM Country Tracks for May 23, 1981". RPM. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
- "RPM Country Tracks for May 30, 1981". RPM. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
- Mr. Sandman at AllMusic
- discogs.com The Chordettes on discogs.com, a community-built database of music information.
- Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics