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Shangri La

by

The Four Coins



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Carl Sigman wrote the lyrics to this song. In The Carl Sigman Songbook, his song Michael tells the story:
An enduring standard can get written in a flash of inspiration, but sometimes the process requires years of gestation. In the late '40s, Carl had been given an assignment to write lyrics to a melody by (future "Ebb Tide" collaborator) Robert Maxwell and composer-conductor Matty Malneck. He wrote a decent enough one, but it languished. Almost a decade later, he got a call from publisher Abe Olman saying it was time to finally do justice to this soaring melody. A more seasoned lyricist by now, Carl listened again and this time came up with just the right first line, "Your Kisses Take Me/To Shangri La." The rest of the new lyric flowed like wine, and "Shangri La" became a big, brash 1950s-style pop vocal group hit for The Four Coins in 1957. It was reprised seven years later by Peggy Lee as a hushed, introspective, almost spoken recording, and was also a pop hit for Vic Dana and for The Lettermen in the '60s. The song still plays in theaters across the country as a show-stopper in Forever Plaid, the long-running musical homage to the '50s.

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