Speak Low

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For the band, see Speak Low (band).

"Speak Low" (1943) is a popular song composed by Kurt Weill, with lyrics by Ogden Nash. It was introduced by Mary Martin and Kenny Baker in the Broadway musical One Touch of Venus (1943). The 1944 hit single was by Guy Lombardo and his orchestra, with vocal by Billy Leach. Barbra Streisand recorded a David Foster arrangement of "Speak Low" for her album Back to Broadway (1993). [1]

The tune is a jazz standard that has been widely recorded, both by vocal artists from Billie Holiday and Tony Bennett to The Miracles and Dee Dee Bridgewater, and such instrumentalists as Bill Evans, Sonny Clark with John Coltrane, Roy Hargrove, Woody Shaw, and Brian Bromberg. Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass recorded this in 1983 (on CD Speak Love). Al Caiola's 1961 version reached #105 on Cashbox magazine's "Looking Ahead" survey.

The opening line "Speak low when you speak, love" is a play of words on a line in William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing (1600), in which Don Pedro says "Speak low if you speak love."

"Speak Low" is featured in the German film Phoenix (2014 film).

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