Song of the Day: Cheek to Cheek by Fred Astaire

“Cheek to Cheek” is a song written by Irving Berlin in 1935, for the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movie Top Hat (1935).

Lyrics:

Heaven, I’m in heaven
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak
And I seem to find the happiness I seek
When we’re out together dancing cheek to cheek

Heaven, I’m in heaven
And the cares that hung around me through the week
Seem to vanish like a gamblers lucky streak
When we’re out together dancing cheek to cheek

Oh, I love to climb a mountain and to reach the highest peak
But it doesnt thrill me half as much as dancing cheek to cheek
Oh, I love to go out fishing in a river or a creek
But I dont enjoy it half as much as dancing cheek to cheek

Dance with me
I want my arm about you
That charm about you
Will carry me through

To Heaven, I’m in heaven
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak
And I seem to find the happiness I seek
When we’re out together dancing cheek to cheek

Come on and dance with me
I want my arm about you
That charm about you
Will carry me through

To Heaven, I’m in heaven
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak
And I seem to find the happiness I seek
When we’re out together dancing cheek to cheek
Out together dancing cheek to cheek
Out together dancing cheek to cheek

……

Performed by Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong

In the movie, Astaire sings the song to Rogers as they dance. The song was nominated for the Best Song Academy Award for 1936, which it lost to “Lullaby of Broadway”. Astaire’s recording of the song in 1935 spent five weeks at #1 on Your Hit Parade and was named the #1 song of 1935. Astaire’s 1935 recording with the Leo Reisman Orchestra was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000.

The song is probably most famous for its opening lines, “Heaven, I’m in heaven, and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak…” and quickly became a standard of the Great American Songbook. The lyrics were parodied by Berlin himself in his subsequent song He Ain’t Got Rhythm, from the film On the Avenue (1937).

The song, as sung by Astaire, and separately by Ella Fitzgerald (see her 1956 album Ella and Louis), is featured in the movie The English Patient, and the version by Glenn Miller in Les Misérables. It is sung by Kenneth Branagh in Love’s Labour’s Lost. The original Astaire version is also featured in The Green Mile, Rain Man, A.I. Artificial Intelligenceand The Purple Rose of Cairo, when Top Hat is being viewed. It can also be heard briefly in the movie Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps during the evening dinner scene.

The song was covered by actors Matthew Morrison and Jane Lynch (as their characters Will Schuester and Sue Sylvester, respectively) on the FOX television series Glee, in theseason five episode “Puppet Master”.

In 1976, Robert Reed and Florence Henderson performed the song in the pilot of The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.

Recorded versions

  • Larry Adler
  • Ambrose
  • Julie Andrews
  • Ray Anthony
  • Louis Armstrong
  • Desi Arnaz
  • Fred Astaire (1935 #1 hit)
  • Carmen McRae
  • Chet Atkins
  • Count Basie
  • Tony Bennett
  • Polly Bergen
  • Irving Berlin
  • Stanley Black
  • Pat Boone
  • The Boswell Sisters
  • Connee Boswell
  • Sam Browne
  • Charlie Byrd
  • Carmen Cavallaro
  • Eva Cassidy
  • June Christy
  • Rosemary Clooney
  • Alma Cogan
  • Ken Colyer
  • Ray Conniff
  • Bing Crosby
  • Vic Damone
  • Sammy Davis, Jr.
  • Doris Day
  • Buddy DeFranco
  • Tommy Dorsey
  • Dolores Duran
  • Eddie Duchin
  • Roy Eldridge
  • Ziggy Elman
  • Eddie Fisher
  • Ella Fitzgerald
  • Erroll Garner
  • Sara Gazarek
  • Carroll Gibbons
  • Benny Goodman
  • Stephane Grappelli
  • Buddy Greco
  • Roy Hamilton
  • Sensational Alex Harvey Band
  • Dick Haymes
  • Billie Holiday
  • Marilyn Horne
  • Harry James
  • Joni James
  • Al Jolson
  • Shirley Jones
  • Jane Krakowski and Tony Sotos (in Gray Matters)
  • Diana Krall in Live in Rio DVD
  • Steve Lawrence
  • Peggy Lee
  • Guy Lombardo
  • Jane Lynch and Matthew Morrison on Glee
  • Machito
  • Sanjaya Malakar
  • Los Manolos
  • Branford Marsalis
  • Miki Matsubara (1984)
  • Billy May
  • Susannah McCorkle
  • Robin McKelle
  • Yehudi Menuhin
  • Glenn Miller
  • Jane Monheit
  • Matt Monro
  • Sara Montiel
  • Red Norvo
  • Lisa Ono
  • Paper Lace
  • Pasadena Roof Orchestra
  • Joe Pass
  • Donald Peers
  • Oscar Peterson
  • Louis Prima
  • Max Raabe
  • Ray Reach
  • Rita Reys
  • Regine
  • Rosie Ribbons
  • Buddy Rich
  • Ginger Rogers
  • George Shearing
  • Alex Harvey
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Rod Stewart
  • Lew Stone
  • Taco
  • Mel Tormé
  • Sammy Davis Jr
  • Sarah Vaughan
  • Teddy Wilson
  • Adam Aston

Irving Berlin

BerlinPortrait1.jpg

Birth name Israel Isidore Baline (Beilin) (Belarusian: Ізраіль Бэйлін,Russian: Израиль Бейлин)
Born May 11, 1888
Tyumen, Siberia
Died September 22, 1989 (aged 101)
New York City, New York, United States
Genres Broadway musicals, revues,show tunes
Occupations Songwriter, composer, lyricist
Years active 1907–1971

Fred Astaire

Astaire, Fred - Never Get Rich.jpg

Born Frederick Austerlitz
May 10, 1899
Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
Died June 22, 1987 (aged 88)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor, dancer, singer, choreographer, percussionist
Years active 1904–1981
Spouse(s) Phyllis Livingston Potter
(m. 1933–1954; her death; 2 children) Robyn Smith (m. 1980-1987; his death)
Children Fred, Jr. (b. 1936)
Ava Astaire McKenzie (b. 1942)
Eliphalet (Peter) Potter IV (stepson)
Relatives Adele Astaire
(sister, deceased)
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This entry was posted in Music and Musicians / Song of the Day and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Song of the Day: Cheek to Cheek by Fred Astaire

  1. beyondpop says:

    I love this song! Thanks for posting. Greetings from Beyond Pop!

    Like

  2. Chiara. says:

    Thank you for visiting my blog! ;D

    Like

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