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Save the Last Dance for Me by The Drifters

The Drifters with Ben E. King "Save the Last Dance for Me"

R&B

This song is a memorable classic golden oldie with somewhat of a Latin flair. Smile and dance with others this evening, but “don’t forget who’s taking you home / and in whose arms you’re gonna be.” The song, written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, comes from a personal experience.  Doc Pomus had polio and was in a wheelchair. On the night of his wedding, he saw his wife Willi Burke, a Broadway actress and dancer, dance with others, but, at the end of the night,  he knew that she would go home with him. The song incorporates wonderful Latin rhythms.  The track was produced by the famous team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who had successful songs with many artists , including Ben E. King as a solo artist, The Coasters, Elvis Presley, and more. Leiber and Stoller wrote in many genres, from R&B to doo wop to rock and roll to pop. In 1960, the song was #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the R&B Chart. It is on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

“Save the Last Dance for Me” is on Rolling Stone’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” And there are been a plethora of covers, including versions by Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Michael Bublé, Jay and the Americans, Buck Owens, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ike & Tina Turner, Harry Nilsson, Patti LaBelle, The Neatbeats, The Troggs, and many more.  In 1960, the Texas soul singer Damita Jo released an answer song called “I’ll Save The Last Dance For You,” which hit #22 in the US.

Membership in The Drifters changed many times through the years, and Ben E. King began a solo career after singing lead with them for a while.

Here are the lyrics to “Save the Last Dance for Me” by The Drifters:

“You can dance every dance with the guy
Who gives you the eye, let him hold you tight
You can smile every smile for the man
Who held your hand ‘neath the pale moonlight

But don’t forget who’s taking you home
And in whose arms you’re gonna be
So darlin’, save the last dance for me, hmm

Oh, I know that the music’s fine
Like sparkling wine go and have your fun
Laugh and sing but while we’re apart
Don’t give your heart to anyone

But don’t forget who’s taking you home
And in whose arms you’re gonna be
So darlin’, save the last dance for me, hmm

Baby, don’t you know I love you so?
Can’t you feel it when we touch?
I will never, never let you go
I love you, oh, so much

You can dance, go and carry on
‘Till the night is gone and it’s time to go
If he asks, if you’re all alone
Can he take you home, you must tell him, no

‘Cause don’t forget who’s taking you home
And in whose arm’s you’re gonna be
So darlin’, save the last dance for me

‘Cause don’t forget who’s taking you home
And in whose arm’s you’re gonna be
So darlin’, save the last dance for me, hmm

Save the last dance for me, hmm, hmm
Save the last dance for me, hmmm
Save”

For more songs by The Drifters: “Under the Boardwalk,” “Up on the Roof,” “This Magic Moment,” “There Goes My Baby,” and “White Christmas.”

For More Golden Oldies Music

The Daily Doo Wop Rec Room has daily featured doo wop, rock and roll, R&B, or rockabilly songs that were hits during the first era of rock and roll (that is, from about 1952 until the British invasion in 1964). After a song is featured, it then goes into the juke box. You are welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections there. Every weekend, there is a Golden Oldies Juke Box Saturday Night, and the juke box is full of song requests from the 1950s and 1960s.

Please click here for the Daily Doo Wop YouTube channel, to which you can subscribe. Thank you for stopping by The Daily Doo Wop. Hope you enjoyed “Save the Last Dance for Me” by The Drifters.

8 Comments

  1. […] E. King. If you would like to read about another by Ben E. King, this time with The Drifters, please click here for “Save the Last Dance for […]

  2. […] If you are interested in reading about and listening to another song by The Drifters, please click here for “Save the Last Dance for Me.” […]

  3. […] more songs by The Drifters: “Save the Last Dance for Me,” “Up on the Roof,” and “White […]

  4. […] more songs by The Drifters: “Save the Last Dance for Me,” “Under the Boardwalk,” “Up on the Roof,” “This Magic […]

  5. […] more songs by The Drifters: “Save the Last Dance for Me,” “Up on the Roof,” and “White […]

  6. […] more songs by The Drifters: “Save the Last Dance for Me,” “Under the Boardwalk,” “Up on the Roof,” “This Magic […]

  7. […] For more songs by The Drifters: “Under the Boardwalk” and ” Save the Last Dance for Me.” […]

  8. […] other songs by The Drifters: “This Magic Moment,” “Save the Last Dance for Me,” “Up on the Roof,” and “Under the […]

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