About The Song

Title: Spanish Harlem

Artist: Ben E. King

Release Date: 1960

Album: Spanish Harlem

Writers: Jerry Leiber, Phil Spector

Genre: R&B, Soul

Chart Performance:

  • “Spanish Harlem” by Ben E. King reached No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960.
  • The song is one of Ben E. King’s signature hits and a classic in the soul genre.

Musical Style:

  • “Spanish Harlem” is a soulful ballad that features King’s smooth and emotive vocals.
  • The track is characterized by its Latin-inspired percussion, melodic arrangement, and the prominent use of strings.

Song Structure:

  • The song opens with a distinctive piano riff and the entrance of King’s soulful vocals.
  • The lyrics evoke the romantic atmosphere of Spanish Harlem in New York City and the emotions associated with love.

Cultural Impact:

  • “Spanish Harlem” is regarded as one of the standout songs in Ben E. King’s career, showcasing his ability to convey deep emotions through his singing.
  • The song’s success further solidified King’s reputation as a leading figure in the R&B and soul music scene.
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Usage in Media:

  • “Spanish Harlem” has been featured in numerous films, TV shows, and commercials.
  • Its enduring popularity has led to its inclusion in compilations and retrospectives of classic soul and R&B music.


  • “Spanish Harlem” remains a timeless classic in the soul genre and a testament to Ben E. King’s vocal prowess.
  • The song has been covered by various artists, attesting to its enduring appeal and cultural significance.

In summary, “Spanish Harlem” by Ben E. King is a soulful and romantic ballad that has left an indelible mark on the R&B and soul music landscape. Its evocative lyrics, lush musical arrangement, and King’s soul-stirring vocals continue to resonate with audiences, making it a cherished classic in the world of soul music.



“Spanish Harlem”

There is a rose in Spanish Harlem
A red rose up in Spanish HarlemIt is the special one, it’s never seen the sun
It only comes out when the moon is on the run
And all the stars are gleaming
It’s growing in the street
Right up through the concrete
But soft and sweet and dreaming

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There is a rose in Spanish Harlem
A red rose up in Spanish Harlem

With eyes as black as coal
That looks down in my soul
And starts a fire there and then I lose control
I have to beg your pardon
I’m going to pick that rose
And watch her as she grows
In my garden

I’m going to pick that rose
And watch her as she grows
In my garden

(There is a rose in Spanish Harlem)…

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