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Amapola – Jimmy Dorsey (Bob Eberly & Helen O’Connell)

August 23, 2022

Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra with Bob Eberly and Helen O’Connell released “Amapola” on February 3, 1941.

“Amapola” has quite an attractive melody with a reasonably dramatic setting. 

Jimmy Dorsey’s Orchestra’s performance starts slow, as Bob Eberly starts the tune, but the tempo quickens, and soon, Helen O’Connell enters with the second vocal passage.

Fun Facts: 

  • The artistic clarinetist, music critic, and composer, José María Lacalle, composed “Amapola.” It was originally in Spanish. 
  • Albert Gamse gave “Amapola” English lyrics in the early 1940s.
  • Amapola means poppy, a vibrant-looking opium-containing red flower.
  • American soldiers in World War II remembered Dorsey’s version and sang with irony as they fought in France.
  • Jimmy Dorsey began playing in his father’s band when he was seven years old. He made his first public appearance at the age of nine. 
  • Jimmy Dorsey has several motion picture appearances, such as That Girl From Paris, The Fleet’s In, Shall We Dance, Lost in a Harem with Abbot, and I Dood It. 
  • Jimmy and his Orchestra’s 1942 recording of “Brazil” was added to the Grammy Hall of Fame. The US postal Service also issued the two brothers commemorative postage stamps in 1996 for their contribution to the industry.
  • Jimmy was among hundreds of artists that lost many of his materials to the 2008 Universal Fire. The blaze resulted from a worker using a blowtorch to warm asphalt shingles during installation on a building’s façade.


A boy found a dream upon a distant shore

A maid with a way of whisp’ring “si senor.”

Each night while guitars would softly play,

The tune seemed to dance ’round the words that he’d say:

Amapola, my pretty little poppy

You’re like that lovely flow’r so sweet and heavenly,

Since I found you, my heart is wrapped around you

And loving you, it seems to beat a Rhapsody.

Amapola, the pretty little poppy

Must copy it’s endearing charm from you.

Amapola, Amapola, how I long to hear you say “I love you.”

The boy left his love upon a distant shore

And sailed from the one his arms were longing for.

He vowed he’d return one sunny day,

Once more to repeat what his heart had to say


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