Valencia (song)

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Valencia is a pasodoble song composed by José Padilla for the 1924 Zarzuela La bien amada[1] and included in the 1926 silent film Valencia, with lyrics translated by Lucienne Boyer, Jacques Charles,[2] and Clifford Grey. Recorded by Paul Whiteman & his Orchestra, it became one of the biggest hits of 1926, topping the charts for 11-weeks beginning March 30, 1926.[3]

Tony Martin recorded the song in 1950, and his cover reached #18 on the U.S. chart.[4]

Influences on literature[edit]

In the novel The Invention of Morel, the Argentinian writer Adolfo Bioy Casares often quotes to this song, together with "Tea for Two". The main character is alone, in a wild island, when he starts to hear this unexpected music. In the plot the song stands for the lightheartedness of the high society, that somehow violates the wild space of a lonely island, were the main character is literally "struggling for survival".

One can argue that Bioy Casares chose this song mainly because it was a strong symbol to represent the society of the 40's.

The saxophonist Pablo in Herman Hesse's novel Steppenwolf mentions this song as an example of melodies quietly reproduced every night by dreamy people.


  1. ^ "José Padilla". 
  2. ^ "José Padilla, el músico que convirtió Valencia en melodía". Las Provincias. (Spanish)
  3. ^ CD liner notes: Chart-Toppers of the Twenties, 1998 ASV Ltd.
  4. ^ David F. Lonergan (2005). Hit Records, 1950-1975. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-5129-6.