FrenesiWords & Music by Ray Charles & S. K. Russell
Adapted from a song by Alberto Dominguez
Recorded by Julie London, 1963
Em7 Cdim Am7 D7 It was a fi - es - ta down in Mex - i - co, Em7 Cdim Am7 D7 And so I stopped a while to see the show; G Cdim Am7 G Am7 I knew that fre - ne - si meant “Please love me,” G Am7 Cdim Am7 G And I could say fre - ne - si. Em7 Cdim Am7 D7 A hand - some cab - el - ler - o caught my eye; Em7 Cdim Am7 D7 I stood en - chan - ted as he wan - dered by, G Cdim Am7 G Am7 And nev -er know - ing that it came from me, G Am7 Cdim Am7 G D C I gent - ly sighed “fre - ne - si.” Bridge: B Am7 B He stopped and raised his eyes to mine, C D Am7 B D C His lips just plea - ded to be kissed; B Am7 B His eyes were soft as can - dle - shine, C Am7 D9 Am7 D7 So how was I to re - sist? Em7 Cdim Am7 D7 And now with - out a heart to call my own, Em7 Cdim Am7 D7 A great - er hap - pi - ness I've nev - er known, G Cdim Am7 G Am7 Be - cause his kiss - es are for me a - lone - G Am7 Cdim Am7 G Who would - n't say “fre - ne - si?”
According to one published source I've seen, bandleader Artie Shaw walked away from the music business during the height of its (and his) popularity in 1939 to go to Mexico. While there, he heard this song, and rushed back to the United States to record it. It hit the charts in a big way, staying in the top ten from December of 1940 until April of 1941, and held the number 1 spot for three weeks. Shaw's version obviously scored far better in the charts, but London's version is one of the relatively few I've found that contained the vocal.