About The Song

“Spanish Harlem” is a classic soul and R&B song performed by Ben E. King. Released in 1960, the song has become one of Ben E. King’s most celebrated hits and a timeless classic in the soul music genre. Here are some details about the song:

Title: Spanish Harlem

Artist: Ben E. King

Release Date: 1960

Album: Spanish Harlem

Label: Atco Records

Writers: Jerry Leiber, Phil Spector

Genre: Soul, R&B

Background: “Spanish Harlem” was written by Jerry Leiber and Phil Spector. The song tells the story of the singer’s fondness for the neighborhood of Spanish Harlem in New York City, capturing the romantic and vibrant atmosphere of the area. Ben E. King’s emotive and soulful vocals bring the lyrics to life.

Musical Style: The song features a rich and melodic arrangement with a prominent use of Latin percussion, which complements the theme of the song. Ben E. King’s smooth and expressive delivery, coupled with the backing vocals and the instrumental elements, creates a captivating sound.

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Chart Performance: “Spanish Harlem” was a commercial success, reaching the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It also achieved success on the R&B charts, solidifying Ben E. King’s status as a prominent figure in the soul and R&B genres.

Legacy: The song has endured as one of Ben E. King’s signature tracks and is often regarded as a classic in the soul music canon. Its timeless quality and cultural significance have contributed to its lasting impact.

Cultural Impact: “Spanish Harlem” has been covered by numerous artists over the years, attesting to its status as a well-loved and influential song. Its inclusion in various films, TV shows, and commercials has introduced the song to new audiences.

Awards: While “Spanish Harlem” did not receive major music awards, its critical acclaim, commercial success, and enduring popularity have solidified its place as one of the standout soul songs of the 1960s.

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“Spanish Harlem” remains a soulful and evocative tribute to a vibrant neighborhood, showcasing Ben E. King’s vocal prowess and the songwriting brilliance of Leiber and Spector. Its enduring appeal continues to resonate with audiences who appreciate classic soul and R&B music.

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Lyrics

“Spanish Harlem”

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

It 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

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

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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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