June Knight first sang “Begin the Beguine” and then danced to it with Charles Walters in the 1935 Cole Porter musical Jubilee. The song garnered little attention until Artie Shaw recorded Jerry Gray’s arrangement of the tune in 1938. Ironically, “Begin the Beguine” was recorded as the flip side of “Indian Love Call” which was intended as the hit song by the producer who objected to Shaw’s choice of the Porter composition. In fact Shaw’s version, which sold in the millions (the largest sale of any instrumental up to that time), was so well-liked that audience insistence that he play it may well have contributed to his decision to leave the music business.
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 of green
I'm with you once more under the stars and down by the shore an orchestras 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
a moments divine what rapture serene to 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 dont 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 til 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