Yours (Quiéreme Mucho)

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"Quiéreme Mucho"
Song
LanguageSpanish
English titleYours
Written1911
GenreCriolla-bolero
Composer(s)Gonzalo Roig
Lyricist(s)Ramón Gollury, Agustín Rodríguez

"Quiéreme mucho" is a criolla-bolero composed in 1911 by Gonzalo Roig with lyrics by Ramón Gollury and Agustín Rodríguez. The song was inspired by Roig's wife, Blanca Becerra, and premiered in Havana in 1911 without much success. In 1917, it was included in the sainete El servicio militar obligatorio and performed by Becerra and Rafael Llorens to critical acclaim. Roig published and sold the rights to the song in 1921, and the first recording was made in the United States by singer Tito Schipa in 1922. The English version, "Yours", was published in 1931 in the United States. It featured lyrics in English written by Albert Gamse and Jack Sherr. Both versions have been extensively recorded and arranged by different musicians, becoming Latin music standard.

Composition[edit]

"Quiéreme mucho" was composed by Gonzalo Roig at 21 years of age in 1911, before he had finished his music studies.[1][2] He wrote the melody and played it on his piano, without making any further arrangements.[3] Roig had been composing songs for a few years, since 1907, when he wrote "La voz del infortunio" at age 17.[1] At the time, Roig had begun to work as a pianist at the Monte Carlo cinema (Prado 117) in Havana.[1][4] For "Quiéreme mucho", he combined the structure of a criolla (the first part) with that of a bolero (the second part), this possibly being the first time both genres had been combined in one song.[1] The song has a romantic style, which suggests an influence from the Italian lyric song.[5]

While the music of the song was composed by Roig, the lyrics were originally written by him and his partner Blanca Becerra. Roig and Becerra had just got married in 1911 and decided to paraphrase verses by a now obscure poet and journalist, Ramón Rivera Gollury.[4][6] Roig wrote the first three verses: "Quiéreme siempre, negra querida. No dudes nunca de mi querer. Él es muy grande, él es inmenso". And Becerra wrote the fourth: "Siempre, mi negro, yo te querré".[6] However, this version was not published, since Roig decided instead to directly quote Gollury's poem, which became the widely known first stanza of the song: "Quiéreme mucho, dulce amor mío, que siempre amante te adoraré...".[6] The second stanza ("Cuando se quiere de veras, como te quiero yo a ti...") was written by librettist Agustín Rodríguez (1885–1957), who would write the lyrics to many other songs by Roig.[5][7] Gollury did not know about the song until he saw it performed years later at the Teatro Martí.[6]

Early performances[edit]

The song was premiered by tenor Mariano Menéndez at the Nicolás Ruiz Espadero Hall in the Hubert de Blanck Conservatory of Havana under the title "Serenata cubana" (Cuban Serenade) in 1911.[5][8][9][10][11][12] At first, the song did not have any success. Years later, Roig decided to include the song in the sainete El servicio militar obligatorio about World War I, which premiered at the Teatro Martí in 1917.[8][9] In the play, Becerra and Rafael Llorens performed the song as a duet, which was very well received by the audience and spurred countless covers and performances, including many recordings made in the United States in the 1920s.[8][9]

In 1921, Roig published the song through the Viuda de Carrera shop with its definitive title, "Quiéreme mucho" (Love Me a Lot)[8][13] and crediting Gollury under his pen name Roger de Lauria.[14] However, he never received royalties for the song, since he sold the rights to Viuda de Carrera for 5 Cuban pesos.[3]

Recordings[edit]

Early versions[edit]

Italian tenor Tito Schipa made the first recording of the song in 1922. Other vocalists to record the original song in the 1920s include Elena Ehlers (1923, Columbia Records),[15] José Moriche (1924, OKeh Records)[15] and Mariano Meléndez (1925, Pathé), who had first performed it in 1911. Meléndez's version featured Jaime Prats on piano.[16]

Hit versions[edit]

The success of the Spanish version of the song prompted its translation in the United States, where lyricists Albert Gamse and Jack Sherr published "Yours". This song became popular due to the recordings by the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Vera Lynn, and Dick Contino. A German version was published under the title "Du bist mein erster Gedanke" (You Are My First Thought) and first recorded by Mieke Telkamp (1956, Philips), becoming her first hit in the country. The German version has also been recorded by Cliff Richard with The Shadows, and Julio Iglesias. The latter also recorded the song in Spanish, English and French ("Où est passée ma bohême?"; Where Is My Bohemian?)

The recording by Jimmy Dorsey featured vocals by Bob Eberly and Helen O'Connell and was released by Decca Records as catalog number 3657. It first reached the Billboard Best Seller chart on May 23, 1941, and lasted 13 weeks on the chart, peaking at #2.[17] The recording by Vera Lynn was released by London Records as catalog number 1261. It first reached the Billboard Best Seller chart on October 17, 1952, and lasted 8 weeks on the chart, peaking at #8.[17] The recording by Dick Contino, an instrumental, was released by Mercury Records as catalog number 70455. It reached #27 on its only week on the Billboard Best Seller chart on November 24, 1954.[17] The recording by Cliff Richard (with The Shadows) in German, went to #15 in Germany in 1966.[18] The French recording by Julio Iglesias went to number 1 in France in 1979 achieving double platinum sales. A Spanish-English version by Julio was a hit in England in 1981.

Other versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Roig de Fresquet, Matilde (2004). "Apuntes sobre Quiéreme mucho y Cecilia Valdés". Círculo: revista de cultura, Vol. 33 (in Spanish). El Círculo. p. 137.
  2. ^ Alvarez, Fabio Betancur (1999). Sin clave y bongó no hay son: música afrocubana y confluencias musicales de Colombia y Cuba (in Spanish). Editorial Universidad de Antioquia. p. 48. ISBN 9789586553612.
  3. ^ a b Betancourt Molina, Lino (2015). "Quiéreme mucho se vendió en cinco pesos". Lo que dice mi cantar (PDF) (in Spanish). Havana, Cuba: Ediciones La Memoria. p. 254.
  4. ^ a b Revolucion y cultura, Vol. 69-80 (in Spanish). Havana, Cuba: Consejo Nacional de Cultura. 1978. p. 88.
  5. ^ a b c Rico Salazar, Jaime (1987). Cien años de boleros: su historia, sus compositores, sus intérpretes y 500 boleros inolvidables (in Spanish). Centro de Estudios Musicales y la Academia de Guitarra Latinoamericana. p. 29.
  6. ^ a b c d Bianchi Ross, Ciro (22 June 2013). "No te importe saber". Juventud Rebelde (in Spanish). Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  7. ^ Gómez Sotolongo, Antonio (2011). Del areito a la timba (in Spanish). Lulu. p. 46. ISBN 9780557552559.
  8. ^ a b c d Jiménez, Yamilé (24 July 2015). "Roig y su perdurable reclamo de amor". Radio Musical de Cuba. CMBF. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  9. ^ a b c Orquesta Filarmónica de La Habana: memoria, 1924-1959 (in Spanish). Havana, Cuba: Ministerio de Cultura. 1979. p. 178.
  10. ^ Orovio, Helio (2004). Cuban Music from A to Z. Duke University Press. p. 183. ISBN 9780822385219.
  11. ^ Díaz Ayala, Cristóbal (2003). Música cubana: del areyto al rap cubano (in Spanish). Fundación Musicalia. p. 161. ISBN 9780897297035.
  12. ^ Molina, Antonio J. (1998). 150 años de zarzuela en Puerto Rico y Cuba (in Spanish). A.J. Molina. p. 297.
  13. ^ Duque, Hernán Restrepo (1992). Lo que cuentan los boleros: la historia de 100 hermosos boleros, de sus compositores y de sus mejóres intérpretes (in Spanish). Bogotá, Colombia: Centro Editorial de Estudios Musicales. p. 14.
  14. ^ Agudelo, Darío Jaramillo (2008). Poesía en la canción popular latinoamericana (in Spanish). Pre-Textos. p. 163.
  15. ^ a b Díaz Ayala, Cristóbal (May 2014). "Varios" (PDF). Encyclopedic Discography of Cuban Music 1898-1925. Florida International University Libraries. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  16. ^ Díaz Ayala, Cristóbal (May 2014). "Los cantantes líricos" (PDF). Encyclopedic Discography of Cuban Music 1898-1925. Florida International University Libraries. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  17. ^ a b c Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940-1955. Menomonee Falls, WI: Record Research.
  18. ^ "Cliff Richard's Germany's singles positions at charts.de". Media Control. Charts.de. Retrieved 2013-06-08.
  19. ^ "A Bing Crosby Discography". BING magazine. International Club Crosby. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  20. ^ "allmusic.com". allmusic.com. Retrieved October 11, 2017.