It was introduced by Mary Martin and Kenny Baker in the Broadway musical One Touch of Venus (1943). The 1944 hit single was by Guy Lombardo and his orchestra, with vocal by Billy Leach. Barbra Streisand recorded a David Foster arrangement of "Speak Low" for her 1993 album, Back to Broadway. The tune is a jazz standard that has been widely recorded, both by vocal artists from Billie Holiday to The Miracles to Dee Dee Bridgewater, and such instrumentalists as Bill Evans, Roy Hargrove, Woody Shaw and Brian Bromberg. Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass recorded this in 1983 (on CD Speak Love). Al Caiola's 1961 version reached #105 on Cashbox magazine's "Looking Ahead" survey.
Speak low, when you speak love Our summer day withers away Too soon, too soon Speak low, when you speak love Our moment is swift, like ships adrift, We're swept apart too soon
Speak low, darling, speak low Love is a spark, lost in the dark Too soon, too soon I feel wherever I go that tomorrow is near, Tomorrow is here and always too soon
Time is so old and love so brief Love is pure gold and time a thief
We're late, darling, we're late The curtain descends, ev'rything ends Too soon, too soon I wait, darling, I wait Will you speak low to me, Speak love to me and soon