When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano

The Ink Spots

About When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano

"When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano" is a song written by Leon René and first recorded by The Ink Spots featuring Bill Kenny in May 1940. The Ink Spots' recording of the song reached #4 on the US charts, and a recording by Glenn Miller reached #2 the same year. Other recordings were made at about the same time by Xavier Cugat and Gene Krupa. The song was later recorded by Fred Waring, Guy Lombardo, Billy May, Pat Boone—whose version reached #80 on the Billboard Top 100 Chart in 1957 (The Billboard Hot 100 Chart was established on August 4, 1958 issue), as the B-side of "April Love"—The Five Satins, Chris Blount and Elvis Presley, among many others. René wrote the song as a tribute to the annual springtime return of the cliff swallows to Mission San Juan Capistrano in Southern California. A glassed-off room in the mission was later designated in René's honor, and displays the upright piano on which he composed the tune, the reception desk from his office, several copies of the song's sheet music and other pieces of furniture, all donated by René's family. 


Year:
1956
2:59
1,211 
#1

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When the swallows come back to Capistrano
That's the day you promised to come back to me
When you whispered, "Farewell", in Capistrano
Twas the day the swallow flew out to sea

All the mission bells will ring
The chapel choir will sing
The happiness you'll bring
Will live in my memory
When the swallows come back to Capistrano
That's the day I pray that you'll come back to me

All the mission bells will ring
The chapel choir will sing
The happiness you'll bring
Will live in my memory
When the swallows come back to Capistrano
That's the day I pray that you'll come back to me

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The Ink Spots

The Ink Spots were a vocal group in the 1930s and 1940s that helped define the musical genre that led to rhythm and blues and rock and roll, and the subgenre doo-wop. They and the Mills Brothers, another black vocal group of the same period, gained much acceptance in both the white community and black community. They were inducted into the vocal group hall of fame in 1999. more »

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Written by: LEON T. RENE

Lyrics © RESERVOIR MEDIA MANAGEMENT INC

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind


10 facts about this song

Origin
'When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano' is a song that was written by Leon René in 1940.
Billy May
Billy May, an American composer, produced his version of 'When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano'. Despite being widely recognized for his work with Frank Sinatra, May's take on this piece is also memorable.
Gene Krupa
Gene Krupa, a renowned jazz and big band drummer, also performed a version of this song. His upbeat renditions of tracks are well-known in the music industry.
Glenn Miller
Glenn Miller, a famous American big-band trombonist, arranged and recorded his rendition of 'When The Swallows Come Back to Capistrano'. Miller's version is notable for its distinctive trombone sound.
Guy Lombardo
Guy Lombardo, a Canadian-American bandleader, also famously interpreted the song. He was well known for his "sweet" music style, slowly-paced big-band arrangements with a focus on melody.
The Ink Spots
The Ink Spots, an American vocal jazz group, made a notable recording of 'When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano' on May 11, 1940. This recording was included in The Ink Spots' second album, which was released in 1947.
Xavier Cugat
Xavier Cugat, a Spanish-American bandleader, produced a recording of 'When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano' as well. His Latin-inspired rendition focused on the song's underlying melody and rhythm.
Track Significance
The song is based on the annual return of the swallows to the Mission San Juan Capistrano in California, which is celebrated with a festival. It was a popular hit during its time and has been covered by numerous artists transcending several genres.
Chart Success
'When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano' achieved great success, with Glenn Miller's recording reaching number 2 on the Billboard charts in 1940.
Cultural Impact
The song's enduring popularity has made it an iconic representation of Capistrano's swallow migration. The tune is often played during the town's annual St. Joseph’s Day festival.

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