ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Best Cover Songs 8 - Sway ( ¿Quién será?)

Updated on February 20, 2019
Docmo profile image

Mohan is a family physician, film and TV aficionado, a keen bibliophile and an eclectic scribbler.


When Marimba rhythm starts to play...

All through this series, we encounter eternal tunes that seemingly transcend time and space. There must be something in the musical genes of a tune that enables its immortality. Perhaps it is the same gene that also confers transferability - a tune that resonates in any language, in any nation. Join me once again in a musical journey through the marvel of ¿Quién será? also known as 'Sway'.

When Mexican composers Luis Demetrio and Pablo Beltran Ruiz created a mambo tune called ¿Quién será? back in 1953, little did they know that it will continue to play across the world decades forward. Originally it was a mambo instrumental number and the Spanish lyrics were added later.

Original recording from 1953

"Escuela de vagabundos" featuring Pedro Infante
"Escuela de vagabundos" featuring Pedro Infante

¿Quién será?

The Spanish version of the song reached much wider audience when it featured in the soundtrack of a popular Mexican comedy film Escuela de vagabundos in 1954. Mexican matinee idol Pedro Infante played the lead in this film and sang the ditty making many a woman's heart melt.

This is the original Spanish version of the song with added lyrics as the previous versions were purelyinstrumental. The film, a romantic comedy of errors, was a commercial and critical success and still enjoys repeat airplay on Spanish TV.

Pedro Infante - Quién será

Spanish Lyrics for ¿Quién será?

¿Quién será? - Lyrics
¿Quién será? - Lyrics
Hey Brother, Pour the wine. 1954 album by Dean Martin (Capitol Records). It features the song 'Sway'
Hey Brother, Pour the wine. 1954 album by Dean Martin (Capitol Records). It features the song 'Sway'

Dean Martin

In 1954, the tune came to the attention of Dean Martin. With english lyrics written by Norman Gimbel, 'Sway' was born. The single was released to high acclaim and reached number 15 on the Billboard chart in US. In the UK it reached number 6 in the charts.

Originally released as a single, the song also featured in Dean Martin's album Hey Brother, Pour the wine.

Dean Martin's 'Sway'

'Sway' Lyrics

'Sway' English lyrics by Norman Gimbel 1954
'Sway' English lyrics by Norman Gimbel 1954
Eileen Barton ( (November 24, 1924 – June 27, 2006)
Eileen Barton ( (November 24, 1924 – June 27, 2006)

Eileen Barton - Sway (1954)

Singer and performer Eileen Barton was a protégé of Frank Sinatra after having been a child performer for some year. She had a massive number one hit with her single 'If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked a Cake' for Capitol Records in 1949 and followed this with a series of Billboard hits.

In 1954 she moved to Coral Records where she recorded the English version of ¿Quién será? following Dean' Martin's footsteps - I suspect this may be the first female rendition of 'Sway'

Eileen Barton - Sway ( Coral Records 61185) 1954

'A touch of Tabasco' album 1959 - Rosemary Clooney/ Perez Prado
'A touch of Tabasco' album 1959 - Rosemary Clooney/ Perez Prado

A Touch of Tabasco

Popular Actress and singer Rosemary Clooney (George Clooney's aunt ) joined the RCA label in 1959 after leaving Columbia records. With latin american music proving ever os popular, she joined up with Cuban bandleader Perez Prado to produce a studio album called ' A Touch of Tabasco'. ( apparently the album was promoted with bottles of tabasco sauce!).

The song 'Sway' featured in the album and proved a popular hit for Rosemary Clooney. It also featured other popualr melodies of the day such as 'Corazon de Melon', 'Magic Is the Moonlight' 'Mack the Knife', a Rodger's and Hammerstein number 'Bali Ha'i', a Cole Porter classic 'You Do Something to Me' and the Gershwin melody 'I Got Plenty O' Nuttin' amongst others.

Rosemary Clooney - Sway

Teen idol Bobby Rydell covered 'Sway' in 1960
Teen idol Bobby Rydell covered 'Sway' in 1960

Bobby Rydell

The song seamlessly moved into the winging sixties and became even more popular. Singer Bobby Rydell recorded his version in 1960. Rydell burst into popularity after winning a talent show on the TV series Paul Whiteman's TV Teen Club in 1950. In the early sixties he gained immense popularity as a Teen idol, touring the world and having a series of hits on the Billboard charts.

His songs 'Kissin' time' and 'We got love' were chart hits. In 1960 he recorded 'Sway' and also the evergreen hit 'Volare'.

Bobby Rydell singing 'Sway'

Connie Francis
Connie Francis
Connie Francis Sings Spanish and Latin American Favorites ( 1960 MGM Records)
Connie Francis Sings Spanish and Latin American Favorites ( 1960 MGM Records)

Connie Francis

Multilingual singer Connie Francis covered the track in her 1960 album ' Connie Francis sings spanish and Latin American Favourites'. She covered the original spanish version of the song in this album released under the MGM record label.

She is a regular in this series. She was a chart topping artist in the 50s and 60s and remained a popular draw singing in concerts.

Connie Francis - ¿Quién será?

Ben E King's debut album 'Spanish Harlem' features the track 'Sway'
Ben E King's debut album 'Spanish Harlem' features the track 'Sway'

Ben E King

Of the 'Stand by me' fame, Ben E King, also recorded the song in 1961 for his debut album Spanish Harlem in 1961. King enjoyed solo success and was also the lead singer in the chart topping act 'The Drifters'.

Among other tracks the album also featured our old favourite Besame Mucho ( see Best cover songs 7 in this series), 'Amour' , 'Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps' , ' Love me, Love me' and the eponymous title track 'Spanish Harlem' .

Ben E King sings ' Sway'

Cliff Richard's 1963 album' When in Spain'
Cliff Richard's 1963 album' When in Spain'

Cliff Richard

Across the pond in the UK, singer Cliff Richard recorded his version in 1963 for his album 'When in Spain' with his band The Shadows for Columbia Records.

It was an album of popular Spanish standards and it reached number 8 in the UK album chart. It contains many of the old favourites such as Perfidia , Amor Amor Amor, Vaya Con Dios, Tus Besos, along with our Quién será.

Cliff Sways

Julie London

Julie London
Julie London
Julie London's 1963 album 'Latin in a Satin Mood' features 'Sway'
Julie London's 1963 album 'Latin in a Satin Mood' features 'Sway'

Julie London Croons in

The sultry, talented beauty Julie London, did an album in the same year (1963) called 'Latin in a Satin Mood'. It featured many a latter day classic including ' Perfidia', 'Vaya con dios', 'Bésame Mucho', 'Be Mine tonight' and another impeccable cover of our eponymous hit 'Sway'. Julie lends her smoky and sensual vocals to our classic and makes it her own as she does with many of the other numbers in this popular album.

Movie Magic - Out To Sea (1997)

After a long hiatus in the seventies and eighties when there was so much new music that a sway cover wasn't considered necessary, the song enjoyed a resurgence in the 90s. This resurgence emerged as an unlikely rendition in a little known comedy film, Out to sea featuring Walter Mathau and Jack Lemmon. It features the vocals of Brent Spiner, ( aka Data from Star Trek- The Next Generation) playing a cruise crooner called Gil Goldwyn. A trifle laboured perhaps but a brave attempt nonetheless.

Brent Spiner singing 'Sway'

Movie Magic- Dark City (1998)

The vastly underrated cult science fiction movie ( see it if you love a dystopian sci-fi blended with Raymond Chandleresque noir thriller) Dark City was released in 1998. Directed by Alex Proyas (The Crow, I,Robot) and a screenplay by Proyas, Dobbs and David S Goyer, the film was not a massive hit in cinemas but like Blade runner went on to enjoy cult fandom on DVD release. The film starred Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, and William Hurt.

In a brilliantly picturised nightclub scene, we see Jennifer Connelly's character singing the song 'Sway' to an assembled audience. The vocals on the soundtrack were rendered by singer Anita Kelsey. Connelly's beautiful visage lends an ethereal glamour to the popular melody.

Anita Kelsey - Sway from the film 'Dark City'

Michael Bublé

Michael Bublé resurrects the classic

In 2003, the phenomenon that is Michael Bublé, reinvented and resurrected the melody for the modern audience, as he had done since with many a Sinatra and Dean Martin classic. Canadian Michael Bublé comes from an Italian family and says his owes his love for the Dean Martin and Sinatra classics due to his Grandfather's vinyl collection. Encouraged by his grandpa, who apparently also drive him for his performances and nurtured his love of the classic American hits, Bublé has become a global phenomenon.

Bublé's is a silky smooth modern rendition worthy of the original interpreters. It featured in his eponymous album 'Michael Bublé'. The song has since enjoyed repeat play in all his live tours, to rapturous audience response, as you can see below...

Michale Buble sings 'Sway'


Pussycat Dolls

The Pussycat Dolls did an amazing rendition of the song for the soundtrack of a 2004 Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez film ' Shall we Dance'. The song was alter also included in their debut album PCD. Their lively, jazzed up dance music version is one of the highlights of their album. It updates the classic to the modern ears and lends it some pizzazz.

The film was a remake of a hit Japanese movie of the same title where a bored estate lawyer ( an accountant in Japanese version) finds himself taking ballroom dancing lessons secretly to liven up his days.

Pussycat Dolls - 'Sway'

Puppini Sisters

Puppini Sisters

The English harmony trio Puppini sisters ( Italian-born singer Marcella Puppini and English singers Kate Mullins and Emma Smith - yes they are not related) covered the song in their 2007 album, Betcha Bottom Dollar. They have opened for Michael Buble during his tours and have also performed with him on TV.

There is a gloriously slow rendition with a swing undertone in the grand burlesque tradition.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez took the song back to its Spanish roots in the same year. She recorded a smoky original version of Quien Sera in 2007.

Japanese Group, Peanuts.
Japanese Group, Peanuts.

International- Japanese

As far back in 1959, the melody travelled east and was covered by the Popular Japanese duo Peanuts ( Za Pīnattsu). The twins Emi Itō and Yumi Itō had a hit number with their rendition of 'Sway'. It became a popular item in their live repertoire as in their early years they mostly covered popular international songs in Japanese before moving to original songs in their later years.

Japanese version of 'Sway'

Popular Finnish singer Olavi Virta covered Quien Sera ( Sway) in 1959.
Popular Finnish singer Olavi Virta covered Quien Sera ( Sway) in 1959.

International - Finnish

The King of Finnish Tango music scene, Olavi Virta, was a popular singer in the fifities and sixties. His enormous output of songs during his heyday include over 600 original and cover renditions. He also appeared in many Finnish Films and theatrical productions.

He covered Quien Sera in 1959. In Finnish it was called 'Keinu kanssani'

Olavi Virta- Quien Sera - ( Sway)

International - Italian

Italian singer Mina, covered the song in 1962. The Italian version was called Chi sarà and proved a popular hit for Mina.

She is one of the most successful Italian singers of all time and one of the most versatile. She had a fantastic vocal range and was able to do justice to swing, pop as well as traditional Italian melodies.

Mina - Chi sarà ( Sway)

International - Turkish

Turkish singer Ajda Pekkan
Turkish singer Ajda Pekkan

Ajda Pekkan

Like many songs in this series, there is a transferable quality to the tune and it travels well across continents, here is a Turkish version rendered by their hit artist, Ajda Pekkan, first in 1976.

The song is called 'kim ne derse desin aşk için' in Turkish.

Björk - Icelandic

International - Icelandic

Quirky artist Björk, covered the song in 1990 for her album Gling-Gló, as "Í dansi með þér".

Björk - "Í dansi með þér" ( Sway)

Anzhelika Varum - Russian

International - Russian

Evergreen Russian songstress Anzhelika Varum has had hit album after hit album in her native Russia since 1991.

Her catchy cover is Sway is called "Румба" (Rumba) in Russian. The video is a sizzling dance rendition and is well choreographed.

Румба (Rumba) - Sway Cover

Matthew Morrison - Glee

Matthew Morrison delivered his version of Sway in Glee Season 2 Episode 8- called 'Furt'. Here he gives a barnstoming live performance in London.


Kalimba with his version of 'Quien Será'
Kalimba with his version of 'Quien Será'

Back where we started....

Yet again in this series, we see the glorious celebration of a wonderful melody that can travel through space and time, touching hearts everywhere - across continents and cultures. I enjoy these trips down the musical memory lane, and hopefully you do too.

Whatever your musical tastes, I am sure you'll agree it is wonderful to see a song interpreted by such diverse artists who transmit their love of music to the listener's ears.

We now come a full circle. From Pablo Ruiz we come to Kalimba - a Mexican singer of immense talent, who renders Quien Será to a modern audience with immense glle and celebration in this live performance.



Copyright © Mohan Kumar 2015

Sheet Music for Quien Sera ( Sway)
Sheet Music for Quien Sera ( Sway)

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2015 Mohan Kumar


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      An afternoon and an evening of great music, vocals, solos, and videos. This is the Hub I have spent the most time on of all the Hubs I have read, watched, and commented on

      Thanks so much. I will be back.

    • Docmo profile imageAUTHOR

      Mohan Kumar 

      5 years ago from UK

      @mcbirdbks- I was going for that 'musical' feel, my friend. Glad you could visit. Thank you.

      @Ruchira - thank you for the cha cha chas.

    • Docmo profile imageAUTHOR

      Mohan Kumar 

      5 years ago from UK

      @drbj, dear friend, it is nice to have you over to this page and am glad you like my labor of love. Glad I got you humming and hopefully swaying. Thank you.

    • Docmo profile imageAUTHOR

      Mohan Kumar 

      5 years ago from UK

      @torrilyn - thank you for your visit. much appreciated.

    • Ruchira profile image


      5 years ago from United States

      Cha Cha Chas!

      What a fantastic collection!

      Loved it!

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      I feel like I have attended a Broadway musical. 'Sway' must have hit an international nerve to have traveled around the world and over five decades. Now that is a recommendation.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      5 years ago from south Florida

      Mohan - This is such a perfect tribute to 'Sway' that I think it must have been a labor of love ... and it shows! I remember listening to Dean Martin singing this beautiful song and now I'm going to be humming it for the rest of the week ... or longer. Thank you for this lovely treat.

      Muchas gracias, mi doctor.

    • torrilynn profile image


      5 years ago

      It was nice to learn of the original cover of the song which was done by Pablo Ruiz. Also, I enjoyed hearing others cover the song as well. great hub. thanks. Best of wishes.

    • Docmo profile imageAUTHOR

      Mohan Kumar 

      5 years ago from UK

      Buenas noches mi amiga querida x

    • fpherj48 profile image


      5 years ago from Carson City

      Cochinera de marrano, de nada, Senor. Y besame mucho a tu! Bueno sueno...

    • Docmo profile imageAUTHOR

      Mohan Kumar 

      5 years ago from UK

      @Daisy May - Muchas Gracias, senora. Te he echado de menos todo. Estoy tan contenta de que vinieras. quién será el que me ama; quién será ? Creo que es Daisy May. Seguir cantando y bailando! Besame mucho.

    • Docmo profile imageAUTHOR

      Mohan Kumar 

      5 years ago from UK

      @znait- The Doc is always precise with his dosing. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      5 years ago from Carson City

      Whooooooooo! Yes! Bravo!! Mas, por favor. DOCMO, this is the most fabulous hub I've experienced thus far this year!.....Love, LOVE LOVE it!

      I'm still singing and swaying.

      Like Sha says.....THIS WAS WORTH THE WAIT to hear from you again.

      Wakes us up to why we've been missing SEXY Doctor! UP+++ shared, pinned & tweeted......I'll still be dancing in my sleep!!

    • znait profile image

      aziz naitabdellah 

      5 years ago from aziz naitabdellah

      Thanks for my dose of music for today,

    • Docmo profile imageAUTHOR

      Mohan Kumar 

      5 years ago from UK

      @Linda- nice of you to visit first and make me sway and smile. Glad you enjoyed the fun x

      @Shauna - thank you so much. Glad you enjoyed this offering. Been very busy with work and family and don't always have time to post often or read. Hope you are well x

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      5 years ago from Central Florida

      Doc, you don't post often but when you do, you pack a punch!

      I enjoyed this article and the videos immensely.

      Music truly is the universal language. Even if you (we) don't understand the verbal language, we understand - and are moved by - the rhythm of the music. That's a story in itself.

      Music speaks volumes. It gets the body moving and brings smiles to those who are dancing and those who are watching (how can you not get up and let the music move you?)

      You've rekindled the dancer in me, Doc. I'm sharing this all over the place in hopes others are so moved.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thanks for my dose of music for today, Docmo! I had fun Swaying and Cha Cha Cha'ing! :)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)