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Love Story – Where Do I Begin Sax Cover

Love Story – Where Do I Begin Saxophone Cover

(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story” is a popular song published in 1970, with music by Francis Lai and lyrics by Carl Sigman. The song was first introduced as an instrumental theme in the 1970 film Love Story after the film’s distributor, Paramount Pictures, rejected the first set of lyrics that were written.[1] Andy Williams eventually recorded the new lyrics and took the song to number nine on Billboard magazine’s Hot 100[2] and number one on their Easy Listening chart.[3]

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The score for Love Story was written by Francis Lai, and the company that published the music for Paramount felt that the track heard over the opening and closing credits, which was titled “Theme from Love Story”, needed lyrics.[4] Michael Sigman, son of lyricist Carl Sigman, recalled that his father was asked to provide the words and received “a synopsis of the script and the lead sheet of the music. The story was schmaltzy, but the music inspired words that expressed the sadness beneath the schmaltz.”[4] The initial set of lyrics his father wrote mirrored the storyline of the film from the prospective of the male protagonist, who describes a woman who enters his life (“So Jenny came”) and then “suddenly was gone.”[4] Paramount executive Robert Evans “thought the lyric was a ‘downer.’ Further, he couldn’t abide the phrase ‘Jenny came,’ believing it too sexually suggestive for a mainstream audience. He demanded a rewrite,”[4] and this upset Carl. “At first, justifiably proud of the fine lyric he crafted, he was angry and felt like refusing to do a rewrite. But the next day he cooled off and, pacing around his living room, said to his wife, ‘Where do I begin?’ and the new lyric was launched.”[5]

Before the film opened in theaters on December 25, 1970,[6] the recording of “Theme from Love Story” by Henry Mancini was released as a single and made its debut on BillboardEasy Listening chart in the issue of the magazine dated December 19.[7] Two versions of “(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story”—one by Williams and one by Tony Bennett—were released on January 15, 1971,[6] and an article in the magazine’s January 23 issue tried to explain the gap between releases of the instrumental and vocal versions as intentional. The logic behind the decision was that “only the instrumental version should hit the market before the picture’s release, and that the vocal version should be held up until several weeks after the film’s release so that ‘the theme and the image of Love Story would be implanted in the audience’s mind.'”[6]

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