Pérez Prado's Famous
Theme to The Movie, Underwater

Quand nous jouions à la marelle
Cerisiers roses et pommiers blancs
J'ai cru mourir d'amour pour elle
En l'embrassant
When we played hopscotch
Pink cherry trees and white apple trees
I believed to die of love for it
By embracing it.

{Babel Fish translation}

The King of Mambo, Cuban born Pérez Prado, made the instrumental "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White", or "Cerazo Rosa" for the first time in 1951. Most think this piece was his creation, a.k.a. "Gummy Mambo," and has been recorded so many times that it is in the top ten performed in this genre; but in fact he was doing a cover of the original French version, "Cerisier Rose et Pommier Blanc."

Avec ses airs de demoiselle,
Cerisiers roses et pommiers blancs
Elle avait attiré vers elle
Mon cœur d'enfant
With its airs of young lady,
Pink cherry trees and white apple trees
She had been attracted towards her
My heart of a child.

The tune was re-done by Pérez Prado for the 1955 diving movie, Underwater, from which most people remember voluptuous Jane Russell and the cinematography beneath the sea over even lead actor Richard Egan. Director John Sturges would not be remembered for this mediocre film, but for The Magnificent Seven in 1960. Arranged slower than his usual Mambos, (it was a cha cha) and featuring that fabulous trumpet solo by Billy Regis, it also deftly utilized that period's state of the art recording technology. Regis' horn playing is captivating with lingering, undulating punctuated notes. All others rendering the work would basically emulate Prado's template. This catchy Latino pop hit topped the U.S. charts for two and a half months; It took Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" to knock it down. American Alan Dale did a vocal version in 1955 that reached #14. In the U.K., trumpeter Eddie Calvert did a cover of it that stayed number one for twice the two week period Prado had achieved. Eventually Prado would have another hit in 1958 with the Cha Cha crossover "Patricia". In 1964, Petula Clark had a go of it, too.

La branche d'un cerisier
De son jardin caressait
La branche d'un vieux pommier
Qui dans le mien fleurissait
The branch of a cherry tree
Of its garden cherished
The branch of an old apple tree
Who in mine flowered.

Louiquy was the real composer of the music, this was the pseudonym for this Barcelona born Catalan, Louis Guigliemi. Louiquy was known for the music to songs like La Vie En Rose as sung and written by French Diva Edith Gasson or La Môme Piaf, (The Little Sparrow). In Paris, Louiquy, along with lyricist Jacques Larue, published this song in 1950; while André Claveau recorded it soon afterwards. A year later, Mack David of Disney's Cinderella's "Bibbidy Bobbidy Boo" fame, gave it English words.

Mack David's Lyrics:

It's cherry pink and apple blossom white
When your true lover comes your way
It's cherry pink and apple blossom white
The poets say:

The story goes that once a cherry tree
Beside an apple tree did grow
And there a boy once met his bride to be
Long long ago.

The boy looked into her eyes,
it was a sight to enthrall
The breezes joined in their sighs,
the blossoms started to fall.

And as they gently caressed,
the lovers looked up to find
The branches of the two trees
were intertwined,

And that is why the poets always write
If there's a new moon bright above
It's cherry pink and apple blossom white
When you're in love.
Jacques Larue was a nom de plume for Marcel Eugene Ageron, who wrote the title song in 1955 for the now cult filme classique, Riffi. "Nuages" (gray clouds) was also penned by him in 1939 (the music was by Django Reinhardt) and can be heard on the 1997 soundtrack of Gattaca.

 The remainder of Larue's:

De voir leurs noeuds enlacés
Comme un bouquet de printemps
Nous vint alors la pensée
D'en faire autant

To see their intertwined flowers
Like a bouquet of spring
We arrived at the thought
To do as much of it.

Et c'est ainsi qu'aux fleurs nouvelles
Cerisier rose et pommier blanc
On fait un soir la courte échelle
À nos quinze ans

And thus with the new flowers
Pink cherry trees and white apple trees
Made one evening the short scale
Of our fifteen years.

Non, non ne dites pas qu'à son âge
Vous n'étiez pas si volage
Non, non quand deux lèvres vous attirent
J'en sais peu qui peuvent dire non

No, no, nothing said of its age
You were not so unsteady
Not, not, when two lips attract you
I know little of it which I could say not.


Mais un beau jour les demoiselles
Frimousse rose et voile blanc
Se font conduire à la chapelle
Par leur galant

But one beautiful day young ladies,
Pink Frimousse and white veil,
Are made to lead to the chapel
By their gallantry.

Ah quel bonheur pour chacun
Le cerisier tout fleuri
Et le pommier n'en font qu'un
Nous sommes femme et mari

Ah what a happiness for each one
The cherry tree very flowered
And the apple tree do only one of them
We are woman and husband.

De voir les fruits de l'été
Naître des fleurs du printemps
L'amour nous a chuchoté
D'en faire autant

To see the fruits of the summer
To be born from the flowers of spring
The love whispered us
To do as much of it.

Si cette histoire est éternelle
Pour en savoir le dénouement
Apprenez-en la ritournelle
Tout simplement

If this history is eternal
To know the outcome of it
You learn the old story
Quite simply.

Et dans deux ans
Deux bébés roses faisant la ronde gentiment
Vous chanteront
Cerisier rose et pommier blanc

And in two years
Two pink babies making the round nicely
You will sing
Pink cherry trees and white apple trees.


  -= John Barry, The EMI Years Volume Three,
       Scamp 9710

  -= Francis Bay, The Bay Big Band's Latin Beat
       Omega OSL-20

  -= Stanley Black, The Cash Box Instrumental Hits,
        London PS 158

  -= Martin Boettcher, Marina/Am Tag, als der Regen Kam,
       CD EAN  4000127165886,

  -= Earl Bostic, Greatest Hits,
       King LP

  -= The Brass Ring, Gazpacho,
        Dunhill  DS-50034

  -= Xavier Cugat, Cha Cha Cha
        Columbia CL 718

  -= Lenny Dee, Dee-Latin,
        Decca DL 8718

   -= Irving Fields Trio, Fabulous Touch,
        Gone LP-5003 
   -= Ralph Font Orchestra/Bill Diablo Sextet, The Best and Most Popular Cha Cha Chas of the Fabulous Fifties,
         Kapp KL1060

    -= Al Hirt, They're Playing Our Song,
        RCA Victor LPM-3492

    -= Henry Jerome, Brazen Brass Goes Latin,
        Decca DL 74226

    -= Jonah Jones Quartet, Great instrumental hits styled by Jonah Jones
         Capitol ST-1557

    -= The Lavaliers, Peg O' My Heart and Other Harmonica Favorites
         Camden  CAS-810

    -= Michel Legrand, Happy Radio Days,
         WEA/Atlantic/Erato CD

    -= Enoch Light, Command Performances Vol 2
         Command RS 915 -=SD

    -= Joe Loco, Loco Motion

    -= Billy May, As You Remember Them,
         Time-Life Records STL 247

    -= Fiesta for Pipe Organ, RCA Victor

    -=  Hugo Montenegro, Cha Chas for Dancing
          Time S2018

    -=  Jerry Murad's Fabulous Harmonicats, Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White
          Columbia CL 1556/CS 8356

    -= Billy Mure, A String of Trumpets
          Everest SDBR 1067

    -= The Original Orchestra with the Single Singers
          Boussole MG-75001

    -= Norrie Paramour, Silver Serenade,
         Total Records TRC 1039

    -= Pérez Prado, Mambo Mania
         RCA Victor

    -= Tito Puente, Dance the Cha Cha Cha,
         Tico LP 1010

    -= Ralph Robles Octet, Caliente Brass,
         Audio Fidelity AFLP 2156

    -= Edmundo Ros and his Orchestra, Dance Again
          London Phase 4 SP 44015

    -= Pete Rugolo, Ten Trumpets and Two Guitars
         Mercury PPS 2016

    -= Pete Terrace, Going Loco: Plays Joe Loco Arrangements
          Fantasy 3-203

    -= Billy Vaughn, The Golden Instrumentals,
         Dot DLP 25016

    -= The Ventures, The Colorful Ventures,
         Dolton BST-8008

    -= Roger Williams, Autumn Leaves-
         1965, Kapp KS-3452

    -= John Young Trio, Young John Young,
          Argo LP-612



The Mad Weeks of May

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