Perdido (song)

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Juan Tizol 1943.jpg
Juan Tizol in 1943
Written 1941 (music), 1944 (lyrics)
Composer(s) Juan Tizol
Lyricist(s) Ervin Drake, Hans Lengsfelder

"Perdido" is a jazz standard composed by Juan Tizol and was first recorded on December 3, 1941 by Duke Ellington. However, it is the January 21, 1942, recording of the song on the Victor label by the Ellington orchestra, of which Tizol was a member, that is regarded as the original recording.[1] In 1944, Ervin Drake and Hans Lengsfelder were enlisted to write lyrics for the tune.

The song was not usually sung with the Ellington band, the exception being Ella Fitzgerald on her 1957 album Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Duke Ellington Songbook. Later, many others recorded the song, including Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Art Tatum, Quincy Jones, the Charlie Parker Quintet, Dave Brubeck, Charles Mingus, Randy Weston, Erroll Garner, Bill Doggett, Harry James, and "Verden Rundt's" All Star Band.

The melody can be heard in Woody Allen's Another Woman from 1988.

"Perdido" is Spanish and simply means lost, but also sloppy or indecent.[2] The song refers to Perdido Street in New Orleans.[3]


  1. ^ "Perdido" at
  2. ^ H. J. Schaal Jazz-Standards. p. 395.
  3. ^ Basilio Serrano, "Juan Tizol: His talents, his collaborators, his legacy", Centro Journal 18(2): 83–99 (2006).

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