Romeo (Petula Clark song)

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"Romeo" is a 1961 pop song recorded by Petula Clark.


Produced by Alan Freeman and featuring Big Jim Sullivan on guitar, "Romeo" was Clark's recording of a 1919 composition by Robert Stolz entitled "Salome" which had featured a German-language lyric by Arthur Rebner (de). The lyric for Clark's "Romeo" was newly written by Jimmy Kennedy: Arthur Rebner is sometimes afforded a songwriting credit for "Romeo".[1]

The song peaked at #3 on the UK Singles Chart dated 26 August.[2] Despite peaking lower than her #1 UK comeback hit "Sailor", "Romeo" earned Clark her first Gold record by selling 400,000 units in the UK. In Ireland "Romeo" reached #2. Jean Broussolle who had translated Clark's precedent hit "Sailor" rendered "Romeo" as "Roméo" which became Clark's first #1 hit in France on 20 January 1962 - Clark's next two singles would also reach #1 in France where overall she'd top the charts five times.[3] "Roméo" was also ranked at #1 on the chart for the Wallonia region of Belgium while the original English version had been a hit (#2) in Belgium's Flemish region.

"Romeo" also achieved hit status in Denmark (#3), the Netherlands (#10), Norway (#7)[4] and Australia (#25).[5]

Cover versions[edit]

  • Rina Pia (nl) recorded a Flemish rendering of "Roméo" which reached #3 on Belgium's Dutch chart in the autumn of 1962.
  • A Czech rendering of "Romeo" was recorded in 1963 by Yvetta Simonová (cs).
  • An earlier English-language rendering of "Salome" by lyricist Bartley Costello entitled "Sal-o-may" had been published in 1920 but was evidently never recorded although instrumental versions of Stolz' piece were recorded under the title "Sal-o-may" by the Paul Biese Trio and also by the Joseph C. Smith Orchestra in 1921.
  • A hit in Germany in the summer of 1961 via a recording by Lucas Quartett (de) (chart peak #20), the German-language original version of "Salome" has also been recorded by Medium-Terzett (de) (album Weit ist die Welt/ 1967), Harry Friedauer (de) (album "Mit Musik Geht Alles Besser/ 1969), Heino (album La Montanara/ 1973), and Extrabreit (album Welch Ein Land! - Was Für Männeré/ 1981), while a Finnish rendering was recorded in 1961 by Kukonpojat (fi).
  • An Italian version of Stolz's "Salome" entitled "Abat-jour", introduced in 1920 by Lino Ossani (it) and remade in 1958 by Aurelio Fierro, reached #4 on the Italian hit parade in September 1962 to rank as the year's #9 hit via a remake by Henry Wright (it) which bested a rival version by Milva. The success of Wright's "Abat-jour", which was perceived as a local cover version of Clark's "Romeo" prompted the decision to have Clark herself cut songs for the Italian market.
    • Henry Wright's version of "Abat-jour" is prominently featured in the 1963 film Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Sophia Loren, playing the prostitute Mara, plays Wright's record as the background music for the strip tease she performs for a client played by Marcello Mastroianni. The 1994 film Prêt-à-Porter featured Loren and Mastroianni in what was in effect a remake of the strip tease scene from Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow with Wright's "Abat-jour" again played as background music.
  • Kukonpojat (fi) recorded a version of "Salome" with Finnish lyrics in 1961.


  1. ^ "The Originals by Arnold Rypens". Archived from the original on 21 June 2008. Retrieved 20 February 2009.
  2. ^ "Chart For Week Up To 26 August 1961". Retrieved 20 February 2009.
  3. ^ "National Chart - France". Retrieved 20 February 2009.
  4. ^ "National Charts - European". Retrieved 20 February 2009.
  5. ^ "National Charts - Australia". Retrieved 20 February 2009.