Begin The Beguine

(Cole Porter)

FZ album(s) in which song has appeared

Tour(s) on which song is known to have been performed (main source: FZShows, v. 7.1)


Marc De Bruyn (, September 5, 2003

"Begin The Beguine" was composed by the magnificent Cole Porter (1891-1964), American composer and songwriter, a contemporary of George Gershwin, Richard Rogers and Jerome Kern. His best-known works include the musical comedies "Kiss Me Kate" (1948)—based on Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew"—and "Anything Goes" (but also "Silk Stockings" and "Can Can"), as well as songs like "Night and Day", "I Get a Kick Out of You", and "I've Got You Under My Skin". He was noted for his sophisticated lyrics, clever rhymes, and complex forms.

When "Let's Do It, Let's Fall In Love" appeared in the 1928 musical "Paris", he had his first big hit: "Birds do it. Bees do it. Even educated fleas do it. Let's do it, let's fall in love"...

Porter broke from the simple sentimentality that dominated Tin Pan Alley; his urbane wit and musical complexity won him the affection of the nation. Songs such as "What Is This Thing Called Love", "I Get A Kick Out of You", and "Too Darn Hot", became instant hits and have remained classics. "Night and Day", "I Get A Kick Out of You", "You're the Top", "Begin the Beguine", "My Heart Belongs to Daddy", are only a few of some of the cleverest, funniest, and most romantic songs ever written; he set the standards of style and wit to which today's composers and lyricists aspire. While his name was associated with many of these upbeat show tunes, a more melancholy side could be seen in such wonderful songs as "Miss Otis Regrets" and "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye".

"When they begin the beguine / It brings back the sound of music so tender, / It brings back a night of tropical splendor, / It brings back a memory ever green. /I'm with you once more under the stars, / And down by the shore an orchestra's playing / And even the palms seem to be swaying / When they begin the beguine. / To live it again is past all endeavor, / Except when that tune clutches my heart, / And there we are, swearing to love forever, / And promising never, never to part. / What moments divine, what rapture serene, / Till clouds came along to disperse the joys we had tasted, / And now when I hear people curse the chance that was wasted, / I know but too well what they mean; / So don't let them begin the beguine / Let the love that was once a fire remain an ember; / Let it sleep like the dead desire I only remember / When they begin the beguine. / Oh yes, let them begin the beguine, make them play / Till the stars that were there before return above you, / Till you whisper to me once more, / "Darling, I love you!" / And we suddenly know, what heaven we're in, / When they begin the beguine"



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