Not That Bolero!

all my love4

All My Love is a 1950 popular song, written by Paul Durand, with French lyrics written by Henri Contet and English lyrics by Mitchell Parish. There is some mis-information concerning this song that I would like to correct at the outset.

In the first place, there is the erroneous  idea that the song is based on Maurice Ravel’s Bolero. Don Tyler, in his otherwise excellent book, Hit Parade 1920-1955 (An Encyclopedia of the Top Songs of the Jazz, Depression, Swing, and Sing Eras) writes: “Once again a popular song is borrowed from the classics, this time “Bolero” by impressionist composer Maurice Ravel . . . The very distinctive bolero rhythm of Ravel’s original has probably been the key to its continuing popularity. The same melodic idea is repeated over and over, beginning very softly. With each repetition instruments are added, until the sound is almost deafening.” While these words may be a fine description of Ravel’s Bolero, they are not in any way a description of the song All My Love. My only conclusion after reading Tyler’s words is that he never listened to this piece and took for granted that it was based on Ravel’s classic. I suspect that he came to this conclusion was because of the subtitle of the piece, which is “Bolero.” The only possible similarity that this song has with Ravel’s Bolero is the contagious rhythm used in the piece.

Secondly, many of the internet sources state that Cliff Richard had a hit version of the song. While it is true that Richard made a recording of a song entitled All My Love, but it is not the same song written by Paul Durand in 1949. Again, listening to the song would have prevented this error.

Now that we have the misinformation out of the way, let me turn to the 1950 popular song entitled All My Love (Bolero).

This song was originally entitled Bolero and was written by French composer Paul Durand. It became known in United States as All My Love when lyricist Mitchell Parish wrote the English lyrics to Durand’s music. Parish is best known for his lyrics to such songs as Stardust, Sweet Lorraine, Deep Purple, Stars Fell On Alabama, Sophisticated Lady, Volare (English lyrics), and Moonlight Serenade.

Movie poster for the film, Scandal in Champs Elysèe

Movie poster for the film, Scandal in Champs Elysèe

The original version was composed for the movie Scandal in Champs Elysèe (1949) and recalls but does not imitate the rhythm of the famous one-movement orchestral piece written for a ballet entitled Bolero of Maurice Ravel, The movie, Scandal in Champs Elysèe, is a drama in which three ravishing models are murdered at a top designer’s salon. The murders are investigated and after a number of mishaps and a certain amount of flirting, the detective on the case manages to clear up the case.

All My Love was popularized by Patti Page in 1950 and first reached the Billboard chart on August 26, 1950, lasting twenty-two weeks and peaking at #1. It was Patti Page’s first #1 hit. In this song, Patti Page wanders expertly through the octaves, from sultry alto to señorita soprano and she extends the phrase “Ohhhh, ooh-ooh never let me go” into a twelve-second, one-breath plea, and inserts a hiccupping country cry in the phrase, “I can  see…” Even if listeners could not see Page, they certainly became aware of the message of this love song.

The original Billboard review said of the song and Page’s handling of the lyrics: “The adaptation of the French ballad ‘Bolero’ is sung with warmth and persuasion by the thrush. If the plug tune scores, this disking could catch a sizable share.”

Patti Page

Patti Page

Patti Page [birth name: Clara Ann Fowler] was one of the best-known female artists in traditional pop music. She was often introduced as “the Singin’ Rage, Miss Patti Page.” Page signed with Mercury Records in 1947, and became the company’s first successful female artist, starting with 1948’s Confess. Because of a strike, background singers were not available to provide harmony vocals for the song, so instead, Page and the label decided to overdub her own. Mitch Miller, who, at the time was a producer for Mercury Records, was able to overdub Page’s voice, due to his well-known use of technology. Thus, Patti Page became the first pop artist to overdub her own vocals on a song.

In addition to Patti Page’s #1 version, All My Love was also popular in 1950 in versions by Guy Lombardo, Percy Faith, Bing Crosby, and Dennis Day.

THE LYRICS

ALL MY LOVE

Music by Paul Durand; English lyrics by Mitchell Parish

All my love, I give you all my love

The skies may fall, my love

But I will still be true

All my sighs, will disappear at last

Now that you’re here at last

My heart belongs to you

Ohhhhhhhhh ooh, never let me go

You thrill me so

I can see as I recall my life

I’ve waited all my life

To give you all my love

Ay, ay, ay

Ay, ay, ay

Ay, ay, ay

Ay, ay, ay

Bow, caballero, and tip your sombrero

To your señorita, the lovely Chiquita

Waiting so long for you and your song

While you are playing her heart will be swaying

She will surrender her kisses so tender

To you she will cling the moment that you sing

All my love, I give you all my love

The skies may fall, my love

But I will still be true

All my sighs will disappear at last

Now that you’re here at last my heart belongs to you

Ohhhhhhhhh ooh, never let me go

You thrill me so

I can see as I recall my life

I’ve waited all my life

To give you all my love

Ay, ay, ay

Ay, ay, ay

Ay, ay, ay

[FADE]

Ay, ay, ay

BOLÉRO

Music by Paul Durand; French lyrics by Henri Contet

Boléro

Dans la douceur du soir

Sous le ciel rouge et noir

Où chantent les guitares

Boléro

Si tu voulais danser

Dans mes deux bras serrée

Qu’il ferait bon s’aimer

Viens, mon amour t’appelle

Viens, danser encor’

Boléro

Je garderai toujours

Le souvenir du jour

Où j’ai dansé l’amour

Aïe Aïe Aïe Aïe Aïe Aïe Aïe Aïe Aïe

 

Comme en rêve

La nuit qui se lève

Allume une flamme

Au fond de nos âmes

Soleil de tes yeux

Instant merveilleux

Pour que je prenne

Ta main dans la mienne

Dis-moi, quand tu danses

Des mots d’espérance

Dis-moi ton désir

Comme un premier soupir

THE RECORDINGS

 ALL MY LOVE

Patti Page [Harry Geller Orchestra]

Percy Faith and his Orchestra

Bing Crosby [Jeff Alexander Chorus; Victor Young Orchestra]

Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians [vocals by Bill Flanagan]

Dennis Day [Charles Dant Orchestra]

BOLÉRO

 Jacqueline François [Paul Durand Orchestra]

Georges Guétray

Roberto Inglez and His Orchestra (instrumental)

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