Siempre En Mi Corazón (1942)
Music by Ernesto Lecuona
Ernesto Lecuona (1896-1963)
Spanish lyrics by Ernesto Montaner (1915-1992)
English lyrics (and four line lead-in) by Kim Gannon (1900-1974)
English translation of Montaner’s verses by Manuel García, Jr.
“Always In My Heart” is an English version of “Siempre En Mi Corazón” and was featured in a 1942 Hollywood movie of the same name, with Walter Huston and Gloria Warren (who each sang). The song was nominated for an Oscar as Best Song that year, however the award went to “White Christmas.”
Because of its popularity, a Spanish translation of the song from the movie was soon introduced, and has been covered by many singers since. This later derivative Spanish version is the song most people today have come to know, for example from the fine 1984 recording by Plácido Domingo.
The published sheet music shows Montaner’s Spanish lyrics (first four verses) and Kim Gannon’s English verses and lead-in. The only recording I have found with the complete Montaner lyrics was made by the wonderful Spanish tenor Alfredo Kraus (1927-1999) in 1996, the centenary of Lecuona’s birth.
Siempre En Mi Corazón
There’s no mountain top so high that somehow love can’t climb.
No, No, true love will find a way.
There’s no river quite so wide that love can’t cross in time.
Please believe me when I say:
Siempre está en mi corazón
el recuerdo de tu amor
que al igual que tu canción
quitó de mi alma su dolor.
Siempre está en mi corazón
la nostalgia de tu ser
ya hora puedo comprender
que dulce ha sido tu perdón.
La visión de mi soñar
me hizo ver con emoción
que fue tu alma inspiración
donde aplaqué mi sed de amar.
Hoy tan sólo es pero verte
y ya nunca más perderte,
mientras tanto que tu amor
siempre está en mi corazón.
(Instrumental, versos 1 y 2) —>
Yo bien sé que nunca más
en mis brazos estarás
prisionera de un cariño
que fue toda mi ilusión.
Porque nunca he de olvidarte
ni dejaré de querete,
porque como única dueña (dueño)
estás en mi corazón.
You are always in my heart
as a memory of love,
echos of your voice impart
a warm release my soul dreams of.
You are always in my heart
as a longing for your touch,
fine’ly now I know how much,
how sweetly you forgave my part.
As the vision of my dreams
and the sun of my emotion,
you are the inspiration
in which I quench my love’s extremes.
All I want now is to see you,
and not ever again lose you,
since I’m brimming with your love,
which is always in my heart.
(Instrumental, verses 1 and 2) —>
I know well that nevermore
will I hold you in my arms
imprisoned by love’s charms
that was all my life before.
For I never could forget you
nor will ever stop to love you,
you are the sole proprietor
who is always in my heart.
Alfredo Kraus – “Siempre en mi corazón” (1996)
another recording of the same concert:
Anthony Newman – “Siempre en mi corazón”
(an arrangement for small classical orchestra)
Always In My Heart:
Always In My Heart – Walter Huston in the 1942 movie
Always In My Heart – Gloria Warren in the 1942 movie
Despues de la película:
Manolo Alvarez Mera – “Siempre en mi corazón”
(Spanish version of the 1942 Hollywood movie song “Always In My Heart”)
“Siempre En Mi Corazón” was one of my father’s favorite two songs, “Noche Azul” (also by Lecuona) being the other. As an 18-year-old in 1942, he would walk along the Malecón in La Habana during the evening, to enjoy the splendor of a tropical sunset by the ocean, and to see what young ladies he might chance upon who would enjoy going to the dance halls and clubs with him and his buddies; otherwise, to the pool hall.
Lecuona had a house overlooking the Malecón, and people would stop in front of it to hear his piano playing cascading out of the upstairs windows and balcony. My father was a bodybuilder who used the Charles Atlas method, and was a very handsome man throughout his life. In his teens and twenties he had male model beauty easily matching that of an Errol Flynn or Tyrone Power in their prime (he had in fact been asked to model after he arrived in New York in 1947).
Once, while loitering under Lecuona’s balcony during what sounded like a party, Ernesto and one or two of his “bodyguards” (big muscular men dressed for the heat) came out on the balcony to take the air, and Lecuona, seeing my teen-aged father, flicked his index fingers repeatedly in a come-hither gesture while agitating his tongue with a similar salacious invitation. He was flagrantly extroverted and well known for having an eye for beautiful boys. My father never climbed the stairs to any of Lecuona’s parties, but there were more than enough other well-toned young Cuban men willing and available for casting Lecuona’s scene.
Growing up, we often listened to the great 1954 RCA record “Lecuona plays Lecuona.” I was carried away by the lush music and the pianistic virtuosity. Later, I was to realize that for my father this listening was accompanied by vivid memories, complete with the sights, the sounds, and the smells of La Habana vieja, things like: the smell and feel of moist tropic air wafting onto the Malecón at dusk; the smell of coconut-scented Cuban bread coming out of bakery ovens, and café Cubano, at dawn; and the rich mosaic of music that permeated Cuban life in streets, clubs, dance halls, concert halls and schools every day.
My father was a poet with a 19th century romanticist cast of mind, and it was from his example that I developed my own interest to try writing poetry. One aspect of this effort has been to translate Spanish songs, poetically, into English. “Siempre En Mi Corazón” has been my longest running project in this regard. Only in the last few years, with the ease of internet searching, have I been able to gather all the information needed to finally present the complete original lyrics of “Siempre En Mi Corazón,” and a reasonable English translation of them.
If I ever get back to the Malecón, I will most certainly be singing this song in my mind and in my heart.