The Gypsy

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"The Gypsy" is a popular song written by Billy Reid, and published in 1945. The ballad tells the story of a person who visits a Gypsy fortune teller and is reassured that their partner is faithful. Though they both know it to be untrue, the narrator resolves to return, "'Cause I want to believe the Gypsy".


"The Gypsy" was originally introduced in the United Kingdom by Reid's orchestra and vocalist Dorothy Squires. In the United States, the song was recorded by Bill Kenny & The Ink Spots, Dinah Shore, and Sammy Kaye's orchestra, becoming a hit for all three.

  • The song was also recorded by Guy Lombardo featuring the female cabaret star Hildegarde singing. It was released by Decca Records as catalog number 23511 in March, 1946. This version was yet regarded as a musical flop.[3]
  • The recording by Dinah Shore was released by Columbia Records as catalog number 36964. It first reached the Billboard charts on May 2, 1946 and lasted 15 weeks on the chart, peaking at #2. This recording was a two-sided hit, with the flip side, "Laughing on the Outside (Crying on the Inside)," reaching #3 the same year.[1]
  • The recording by Sammy Kaye was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-1844. It first reached the Billboard chart on May 9, 1946 and lasted 10 weeks on the chart, peaking at #4.[1]

Other recordings[edit]

The Gypsy was also recorded by Charlie Parker on July 29, 1946, during the famous "Lover" session after which he was committed to the Camarillo State Mental Hospital in California.

Louis Armstrong recorded the song with the Commanders in October, 1953 and it was released on Decca Records as catalog number 28995.

The song appears on Sonny Stitt Sits in with the Oscar Peterson Trio which was released in 1957.

There were two recordings done by Quincy Jones: "The Birth of The Band" year 1959 and in the early '60s "Quincy Jones and His Band: Vol. 1", both albums featuring Phil Woods.

Frank Sinatra recorded the song in 1962 and released it on the album "Frank Sinatra Sings Great Songs From Great Britain".

A more recent version, by Memphis record producer and performer Jim Dickinson was included in his 1997 release A Thousand Footsteps in the Sand, actually recorded in 1992.

This song has recently been featured in the 2008 movie Revolutionary Road starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.


  1. ^ a b c Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940-1955. Record Research. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 275. 
  3. ^ "Billy Reid's The Gypsy". Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
Preceded by
"Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop" by Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra
Billboard Most Played Juke Box Race Records number-one single
June 29, 1946 (The Ink Spots)
Succeeded by
"Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop" by Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra
"Stone Cold Dead in the Market (He Had it Coming)" by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five
Preceded by
"Prisoner of Love" by Perry Como
U.S. Billboard Best Sellers in Stores number-one single
May 25, 1946–July 27, 1946 (The Ink Spots)
Succeeded by
"Surrender" by Perry Como