Can’t Help Falling in Love: A History

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and you know what that means: countless people spending money on expensive chocolates, flowers, and jewelry to show their significant other how much they love them.

With that in mind, today I want to spread some love through the classic Elvis Presley song Can’t Help Falling in Love.

About the Song

Lyrics

Wise men say
Only fools rush in
But I can’t help falling in love with you
Shall I stay?
Would it be a sin
If I can’t help falling in love with you?

Like a river flows
Surely to the sea
Darling, so it goes
Some things are meant to be
Take my hand,
Take my whole life, too
For I can’t help falling in love with you

Melody

The melody is based on Plaisir d’amour (“Pleasure of Love”), a French song composed by Jean-Paul-Égide Martini (1741–1816) in 1784. Martini’s song was a hit during his time as well:

The words to Plaisir d’amour were taken from a poem written by Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian (1755–1794):

Plaisir d’amour ne dure qu’un moment,
chagrin d’amour dure toute la vie.

J’ai tout quitté pour l’ingrate Sylvie,
Elle me quitte et prend un autre amant.
Plaisir d’amour ne dure qu’un moment,
chagrin d’amour dure toute la vie.

“Tant que cette eau coulera doucement
vers ce ruisseau qui borde la prairie,
je t’aimerai”, me répétait Sylvie,
l’eau coule encor, elle a changé pourtant.

Plaisir d’amour ne dure qu’un moment,
chagrin d’amour dure toute la vie.

The pleasure of love lasts only a moment,
The grief of love lasts a lifetime.

I gave up everything for ungrateful Sylvia,
She is leaving me for another lover.
The pleasure of love lasts only a moment,
The grief of love lasts a lifetime.

“As long as this water will run gently
Towards this brook which borders the meadow,
I will love you”, Sylvia told me repeatedly.
The water still runs, but she has changed.

The pleasure of love lasts only a moment,
The grief of love lasts a lifetime

Favorite Covers

Can’t Help Falling in Love has seen its share of success; Presley’s version has been sold over one million times in the United States alone, and the song has been covered many times since its release in 1961. Here are some of my favorite covers of Can’t Help Falling in Love:

Haley Reinhart

Her silky, effortless voice adds another dimension of vulnerability to the song.

Pentatonix

Tight harmonies. Enough said.

The Piano Guys

Their take is so much more upbeat than other covers I’ve heard, and I love it!

Why is Can’t Help Falling in Love so timeless?

The melody is simple and memorable. The tender lyrics are raw and relatable. Combined, the song is unforgettable.

Can't Help Falling in Love

 

24 Comments Add yours

  1. Thank you for sharing this 😘. And how awesomely perfect that you’ve picked Pentatonix and the Piano Guys!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m a big fan of both groups!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Elvis Friday. Should be a thing like Wordless Wednesday….. though I’d struggle to get many pics of my blogging companion Dudley the Labrador into it I suspect.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think that would be a fun challenge! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jessica says:

    So, does it make me a musical derelict if I admit that I really like the UB40 version of this song? Something about the horns just does it for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha! I think their version is really interesting (in a good way); the brass parts are really cool.

      Like

  4. Rob Rehburg says:

    Love, love, love Pentatonix and their cover of this song. Their rendition reminds me of some of the harmonic intervals utilized in Imogen Heap’s “Hide & Seek.” Also a great song.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I agree with that! Have you heard the Pentatonix song “Run to You”? Their harmonies in this remind me of that as well.

      Like

      1. Rob Rehburg says:

        Just took another listen. Yes, that’s in the same vein for sure. I know they’re fans of Imogen’s too because they did one of her lesser-known tracks, “Aha!” on their PTX, Vol. 1 album.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ll have to go listen to “Aha!” I don’t think I”ve heard that cover yet.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Ashley Hyun says:

    This is my favorite song right now, and it was really interesting reading these facts about the historic parts of it!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad you liked the post! It’s so fun to learn about the history of our favorite songs 🙂

      Like

  6. I never heard “Plaisir D’amour” before. What a fascinating connection to the rest of the versions that followed. Love is grand.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree, it’s amazing to hear the connection!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow – you gave us a lot of versions of the song. Incredible! I’ve never been a fan of Elvis Presley, but he does have some good songs.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. He does indeed. Do you have a favorite version?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Piano Guys – they make a slow somber song, sound really cheerful and beautiful. I also enjoyed the Melody, the French version.
        Hey, you see, I enjoyed the piano version! YOU DID IT, I’m enjoying the piano now. I still love the flute and violins too. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. One of my favourite songs 😊 a great post and I love the covers you chose too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Do you have a favorite version?

      Like

  9. ceesther says:

    I am a lover aof piano concerto…I took voices lessons and piano but my instructor fell ill. We sang opera together in her living room. I really wish I had learned. Your talented!😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, it’s never too late to start again! 😊

      Like

      1. ceesther says:

        Maybe your right. Thanks!☺

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Faryal Khan says:

    Love this music juke box 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad, thank you 😊

      Like

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