Besame Mucho is one of the most popular songs of all time, being recorded by an extraordinarily diverse range of singers and instrumentalists. It was written in 1940 by a sixteen-year-old Mexican girl called Consuelo Velasquez. The song was a steamy expression of a young girl's longing to be kissed. The title of the song means "kiss me alot" and it stirred the imaginations of men and women all over the world. In 1944 a young American singer named Kitty Kallen sang the song with Jimmy Dorsey and his orchestra and it stayed for six weeks on the charts of Billboard Magazine.
Another key figure in the story of Besame Mucho is Sunny Skylar, composer and arranger who sang with big bands in the nieteen forties. He wrote music and lyrics for many popular songs including: Amor, And So To Sleep Again and Love Me With All Your Heart. There are other translations of the song but Skylar's seems to be a favorite. Here are the lyrics as interpreted by Sunny Skylar: Bésame, bésame mucho Each time I cling to your kiss, I hear music divine Bésame mucho Hold me my darling and say that you'll always be mine This joy is something new My arms enfolding you Never knew this thrill before Whoever thought I'd be Holding you close to me Whispering "It's you I adore" Dearest one If you should leave me Each little dream would take wing, and my life would be through Bésame mucho Love me forever and make all my dreams come true
At the time of writing the song Consuelo insisted she had never been kissed but she certainly sounds like she knew what she wanted. I think Skylar was wise in not translating the words "besane mucho" into literal English like "kiss me much" or "kiss me alot".
Just to get the feel of the song, here are Consuelo's original words: And here are the original lyrics by Consuelo Velazquez: Bésame, bésame mucho Como si fuera esta noche la última vez Bésame mucho Que tengo miedo perderte, perderte otra vez Quiero tenerte muy Cerca, mirarme en tus Ojos, verte junto a mí Piensa que tal vez Mañana yo ya estaré Lejos, muy lejos de ti Bésame, bésame mucho Como si fuera esta noche la última vez Bésame mucho Que tengo miedo perderte, perderte después
If you are a guitar player and you know how to play the A minor, D minor, A major and E major chords you will easily be able to play Besame Mucho.
As for the composer of the song, she was supposed to have been a classical concert pianist having learnt the piano when she was four years old. Consuelo wrote many other popular Mexican songs including: Amar y vivir, Verdad amarga, Franqueza, Que seas feliz, Cachito and Enamorada.
The list of vocal and instrumental artists who have recorded Besame Mucho goes on and on. Some notable ones are: Andrea Bocelli, Artie Shaw, The Beatles, Charles Aznavour, Chris Isaak, Edith Piaf, The Dead Brothers, Leslie Nielsen(!!), Sammy Davis Jr and Stan Getz.
For lovers of acoustic guitar, Besame Mucho is included on an album of latin standards by flamenco guitarist, Paco de Lucia. Other tracks on the CD include: Malaguena, Mantilla De Feria, Granada, Manha De Carnaval, Perfidia, La Virgen De La Macarena and Moliendo Cafe. Paco is one of the world's greatest guitarists and it would be well worth your while to have a listen to this excellent CD. Meanwhile, good luck with your own efforts at playing this luscious song.