Paloma Blanca

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"Paloma Blanca"
Paloma Blanca - George Baker Selection.jpg
Single by George Baker Selection
from the album Paloma Blanca
B-side "Dreamboat"
Released March 1975 (1975-03)
Format 7″ single
Genre Pop, schlager
Length 3:27
Label Warner Bros.
Songwriter(s) George Baker
Producer(s) George Baker
George Baker Selection singles chronology
"Sing a Song of Love"
(1974)
"Paloma Blanca"
(1975)
"Morning Sky"
(1975)

"Sing a Song of Love"
(1974)
"Paloma Blanca"
(1975)
"Morning Sky"
(1975)

"Paloma Blanca" (Spanish for "white dove"), often called "Una Paloma Blanca", is a song written by the Dutch musician George Baker, and first recorded and released by his band The George Baker Selection. The single was a hit throughout Europe, and was taken from the group's fifth album of the same name.

The song became a #1 hit on the U.S. Billboard Easy Listening Singles chart on 14 February 1976 (becoming that chart's overall #1 song for 1976) and peaked at #26 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100,[1] as well as peaking at #33 on the U.S. Hot Country Singles chart[2] and #10 on the UK Singles Chart.

Meaning[edit]

Baker has been quoted as saying the song is about "a poor South American farmer who works hard all day and then sits by a tree and dreams of being a white bird with its freedom."[3]

Cover versions[edit]

The George Baker Selection version of "Paloma Blanca" was widely covered upon its 1975 release. In the UK, where the group took "Paloma Blanca" to a #10 chart peak, the recording by Jonathan King achieved a #5 chart peak. King's version was also a hit in Ireland, although its #15 Irish chart peak was topped by a cover from the Dixies (with Rory O'Connor), who took "Una Paloma Blanca" to #11 on the Irish chart.

Only a few months after George Baker's original, Serbian singer Boris Bizetić did a cover of the song in Serbian.

In South Africa, an Afrikaans rendering of "Paloma Blanca" entitled "My klein wit duifie" was a hit for a studio group credited as Tameletjie, its chart peak being #9.

A German-language rendering of "Paloma Blanca" was a hit for Nina & Mike (de) in both Germany (#6) and Austria (#7).

In Scandinavia, translated renderings of "Paloma Blanca" were hits in for Siw Malmkvist (#8 in Sweden) and Hans Petter Hansen (no) (#7 in Norway) with an alternate Swedish rendering being recorded by Säwes (sv). A Danish version was recorded by Bjørn Tidmand.

In Finland, a localized translation of "Paloma Blanca" was #2 hit for Katri Helena besting a rival version by Kisu (fi) at #18. Finland is also the only evident territory outside the British Isles to afford chart hit status to the Jonathan King version "Una Paloma Blanca" which peaked at #27 in Finland. The Finnish-language rendering of "Paloma Blanca" has also been recorded by Aaron (fi), Jukka Kuoppamäki, and Matti ja Teppo.

Patricia Lavila (fr) recorded both French and Italian renderings of "Paloma Blanca" with the former reaching #39 on the French chart.

The song was covered in Belgium by De Strangers as 'Oh Mijnen Blauwe Geschelpte', changing the bird's colour from white to blue. The tone of the song changed as well, making it a mockery of pigeon racing.

Covers of "Paloma Blanca" were also recorded by Slavko Perović (Serbian) and, in 1976, by Věra Špinarová (cs) (Czech as "Být Sluncem Na Tvých Víčkách" featuring Zdeněk Mann) and by Korda György (hu) (Hungarian as "Fehér Galamb").

A Chinese (Mandarin) version of the song is called Bai Lan Ge, 白蘭鴿, with similar lyrics about a free dove.

Other versions were by Demis Roussos and Slim Whitman. Bobby Vinton recorded a version that appeared on his 1976 album Serenades of Love.

The song is often parodied, given its popularity and middle-of-the-road quality. In 1976, the British Scrumpy and Western group The Wurzels had a #3 UK hit with their parody of the song, "I Am a Cider Drinker", which was covered in 2011 by Scottish pirate metal band Alestorm as a bonus track for their album Back Through Time. In the United States, Eddie Murphy, as the character Buckwheat in a Saturday Night Live television commercial parody, sang a mangled version parodying the Slim Whitman version entitled "Una Panoonah Banka". In May 1985, KNOB had a contest based on who could best replicate the yodel in Whitman's version, calling the contest a "Slim-off". In 1993, the Croatian group Vatrogasci (Firefighters) made a parody named Pekara (bakery in Croatian) in a turbofolk arrangement.

George Baker rerecorded a solo version of the song in 2005, for the film Too Fat Too Furious; the song had earlier been used in the 1982 film, The Executioner's Song. In 2011, it was given a rap make-over on the song-exchange-programme Ali B op volle toeren; George Baker returned the favour by performing a rewritten version of rapper Dio's "Tijdmachine".

Chart history[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 27. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 37. 
  3. ^ TimesDaily (February 6, 1976): 35.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  4. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 25. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  5. ^ "Austriancharts.at – George Baker Selection – Paloma Blanca" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  6. ^ Belgian peak Archived 2012-04-09 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Eurochart peak
  8. ^ "George Baker Selection: Paloma Blanca" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  9. ^ "Musicline.de – George Baker Selection Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  10. ^ "Italiancharts.com – George Baker Selection – Paloma Blanca". Top Digital Download.
  11. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – George Baker Selection" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  12. ^ "Charts.org.nz – George Baker Selection – Paloma Blanca". Top 40 Singles.
  13. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – George Baker Selection – Paloma Blanca". VG-lista.
  14. ^ "SA Number 1s 1965 - 1989". rock.co.za. Retrieved 26 May 2018. 
  15. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – George Baker Selection – Paloma Blanca". Singles Top 100.
  16. ^ "Swisscharts.com – George Baker Selection – Paloma Blanca". Swiss Singles Chart.
  17. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, February 14, 1976
  18. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts" (in German). Retrieved 2018-06-20. 
  19. ^ The Official New Zealand Music Chart - NZ End Of Year Charts 1975
  20. ^ Swiss Year-End Charts, 1975
  21. ^ "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2017-05-07. 
  22. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 26, No. 14 & 15, January 08 1977". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on June 10, 2016. Retrieved December 4, 2017. 
  23. ^ Top 50 Adult Contemporary Hits of 1976
  24. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X. 

External links[edit]