Jalousie, is a tango written by Danish composer Jacob Gade in 1925. Its full title is Jalousie 'Tango Tzigane' (Jealousy 'Gypsy Tango' ) and it soon became popular around the world and is today a classic in the modern songbook.

Contents 1 Music 2 Composition 3 Publication and performance history 4 Recordings 5 In film


The work consists of two themes – the first “a temperamental theme in D minor”, followed by a “lyrical section in D major”, both with a typical tango rhythm.[1] Although it became Gade’s most popular and successful work, he wrote successor tangos, such as the 'Romanesca, Tango' in 1933.[1]


The composer claimed that the mood of the piece had been inspired by his reading a sensational news report of a crime of passion, and 'jealousy' became fixed in his mind.[2]

Gade was principal conductor of the 24-piece orchestra of the important Palads Cinema in Copenhagen at the time he composed the piece. He wrote it at Tibirke Mølle, north Zealand, where he had a holiday home,[3] as part of the musical accompaniment for the Danish premiere of the silent film Don Q, Son of Zorro.[3] It was performed under Gade's baton on the opening night, 14 September 1925.

Publication and performance history Edit

The music was published in 1925 by Gade and Warny in Denmark, then the following year in New York and Paris.[1] Radio broadcasts and its use in 1930s films spread its popularity. The first recording was made in 1935 by the Boston Pops Orchestra, conducted by Arthur Fiedler, on the Victor label.[1] Many others followed, often in highly different arrangements.[4]

Vera Bloom later wrote English lyrics,[citation needed] the song being re-titled with voice as the simple English translation "Jealousy".[citation needed] It too proved popular.

The royalties from the performances of the work allowed Gade to found a charity to help young Danish musicians, called Jacob Gade's Legat.[5]


As "Jalousie" the song was released on a single in 1951 by Frankie Laine with Paul Weston & his Orchestra (Columbia Records catalog number 4-39585). A cover-version with amended English lyrics by Billy Fury reached No.2 on the UK singles chart in 1961.

In addition to Bloom's, lyrics in many languages have been fitted to the composition. An English-language version by Billy Fury reached No.2 on the UK Singles Chart in 1961, giving Fury his biggest UK hit single.

In filmEdit

With and without vocals the piece by its various names has been used in numerous films,[6] including: Don Q, Son of Zorro (1925), starring Douglas Fairbanks Anchors Aweigh (1945), a classic Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra musical Conflict (1945), a Humphrey Bogart mystery[7] Painting the Clouds with Sunshine (1951) Silent Movie (1976), a Mel Brooks satire Death on the Nile (1978), an Agatha Christie mystery Brusten Himmel (Swedish film) (1982) The Man Who Cried (2000), with Johnny Depp playing a 1920s gypsy[8]

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