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Mona Lisa as Performed by Nat King Cole [Video]

Nat King Cole


And no one could sing it better than the legendary Nat King Cole.

I was thrilled to randomly find this particular video on YouTube, taken from a rare technicolor clip from what looked like a television variety show.

About The Song

Mona Lisa was written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston in 1950 for the movie, “Captain Carey, U.S.A.”. It was made famous by Nat King Cole. The original arrangement was by Nelson Riddle and performing behind Nat King Cole was Les Baxter and his Orchestra.

Nat King Cole’s rendition of this lovely song spent 8 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Charts. And the song has been covered numerous times.

Mona Lisa – Lyrics

Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa
Men have named you
You’re so like the lady with the mystic smile

Is it only ’cause your lonely
They have blamed you
For that Mona Lisa strangeness in your smile?

Do you smile to tempt a lover
Mona Lisa?
Or is this your way to hide a broken heart?

Many dreams have been brought to your doorstep
They just lie there, and they die there

Are you warm, are you real, Mona Lisa?
Or just a cold and lonely, lovely work of art.

Words and Music by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston

In Pop Culture

  • Nat King Cole’s version of the song was played in the closing credits of the movie by the same name, starring Bob Hoskins, Cathy Tyson and Michael Caine. (1987)
  • The song won Best Oscar (1951)
  • Nat King Cole recorded the song in March of 1950 at Capitol Records. A young Nelson Riddle wrote and arrangement and orchestration, and soon after was in demand, writing orchestra arrangements for other top artists such as Frank Sinatra.
  • Carl Mann recorded a Rockabilly version of the song (1959).
  • It was known that Natalie Cole, daughter of Nat King Cole, began her musical career singing only this song, later to stop performing it because it was too emotional for her.

Sources: WikipediaMetroLyricsSongFacts

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Randomguru is a musician and blogger living in San Diego.


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