Unchained Melody 🎶

“Unchained Melody” is a 1955 song, four versions of  which were simultaneously in the  US Top 40 on 14 May of that year, recorded by Les Baxter (#1),  Al Hibbler (#3) , Roy Hamilton (#6),  and June Valli (#29). That was an unbeaten record for any song,  the first of its many renditions to chart, as it was covered by hundreds of other singers , in multiple languages.

The most enduring version is by The Righteous Brothers in July  1965 and  it achieved  a second round of popularity when it was featured in the 1990 blockbuster film “Ghost”.

With the help of Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, and some strategically moulded clay, it became one of history’s greatest love songs, often used at wedding, to the po  int that some think the word “unchained” in the title represents love chains, and the various freedoms and captivations of romantic love.

On the contrary, it derives from the fact that it was originally written for a  low-budget movie  “Unchained” released in 1955.   

In 1954, American composer Alex North was contracted to compose the score for the film, as well as  a song based upon its story. Therefore he asked lyricist   Hy Zaret to write the lyrics, but this declined because he was too busy painting his house. North  continued to insist and eventually managed to convince him, and together they wrote “Unchained Melody” even if Zaret refused to include the word “unchained” in his lyrics, which focus on a man  who pines for a lover he has not seen for a “long, lonely time”.

The movie takes place in a medium security prison, and is centred on a convict  struggling with a choice between completing his sentence and returning legitimately to his wife and family, or escaping from prison to live life on the run.

The song was written to reflect the mood of the prisoners as they wait for time to pass. The song is   featured in  a scene in which an inmate perches on a bed in his prison dorm and sings, accompanied only by a mournful acoustic guitar, for a group of his fellow prisoners: “Time … goes by … so slowly … and time can do … so much…”

Unchained Melody

Whoa, my love
My darling
I’ve hungered for your touch
A long, lonely time

And time goes by so slowly
And time can do so much
Are you still mine?

I need your love
I need your love
God speed your love to me

Lonely rivers flow to the sea, to the sea
To the open arms of the sea
Lonely rivers sigh, “Wait for me, wait for me
I’ll be coming home, wait for me”

Melodia liberata (dalle catene)

Ehi amore mio
mia cara
ho desiderato tanto il tuo tocco
per un lungo periodo solitario

E il tempo trascorre così lentamente
e il tempo può fare così tanto
Sei ancora mia?

Ho bisogno del tuo amore
ho bisogno del tuo amore
Dio mi mandi il tuo amore

Fiumi solitari scorrono verso il mare
verso le braccia aperte del mare
i fiumi solitari sospirano: “Aspettami, aspettami
tornerò a casa, aspettami “

53 thoughts on “Unchained Melody 🎶

  1. Devo condividere. Del film ne ho apprezzato la storia di un amore appassionato e struggente. Ma della melodia cantata da un prigioniero non sapevo l’esistenza e mi è sembrata ancora più bella, più toccante. Grazie Luisa

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  2. In una recensione ho letto: “pensate ad un affascinante film del mistero ; pensate poi ad un thriller che fa trattenere il fiato; pensate adesso ad una brilllante commedia; pensate alla piu bella storia d’amore che abbiate mai visto al cinema. Ora, se non avete pensato a quattro film diversi, avete senz’altro pensato a Ghost…”.
    Ciao Luisa. Pensa che canto questa canzone, ne conosco il testo, persino gli accordi; ma non conoscevo il titopo (cioe’ non ho mai badato al titolo, “Unchain melody”). L’ho sempre chiamata “ghost”. Si’, talora mi capita, come il pezzo famoso della carmen di bizet, che suono, che ho sempre chiamato “igiene si’, fatica no”, da una pubblicita’ che ne faceva sentire qualche nota, con quelle parole… Ciao Luisa 🙂

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  3. Nella versione originale è propabilmente più significativa (e anche dolorosa), comunque è una melodia che fa sognare.
    Grazie per le tue sempre interessanti notizie.
    Buon fine settimana Luisa ❤

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  4. ciao Luisa, mi scuso con te perché non sono riuscita a continuare con le dieci poesie. Non ne ho di nuove in questo periodo difficile, perché sono in atto separazioni profonde, sia da amicizie (che avrei dovuto fare molto prima) sia da storie, per cui la fantasia è lenta, tranne qualche momento in cui riesco a ritrovarla. Grazie di nuovo, leggo le tue bellissime!

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    1. Non preoccuparti affatto, Rosalba carissima. L’importante è che tu riesca a venir fuori da questo periodo senza troppe ammaccature.
      Ci vuole tempo perché le ferite si cicatrizzino e facciano meno male
      Ti abbraccio con tanto affetto😘😘😘

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