Cheek To Cheek

Written by Irving BerlinUnreleased song

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions


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Song facts

Cheek To Cheek” is a song written by Irving Berlin in 1935, for the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movie Top Hat (1935). In June 2004, the Uncut magazine was issued with a compilation album of some of Paul McCartney’s favourite songs. The album was compiled by him, and he chose to include “Cheek to Cheek” by Fred Astaire on it.

In 2012, when he started the recording of his album “Kisses On The Bottom”, the first song tried out by Paul McCartney during the initial session was “Cheek To Cheek“. He was however not happy with the outcome and the track was shelved. As product Tommy LiPuma explained:

It ended up feeling and sounding a little too much like a ’20s or ’30s pastiche. Paul is a very savvy guy. A lot of artists don’t know when things aren’t right for them, but in this case I didn’t need to twist his arm to make him realise when things were right and when they weren’t.

We all went in with a bit of trepidation as to whether or not it was going to work out, and ‘More I Cannot Wish You’ was probably the breakthrough. That, I think, was the song that gave Paul a sense as to how he should approach this material. It was the second thing we did after ‘Cheek To Cheek’. We didn’t immediately think, ‘This is not working,’ but we all sort of knew it, and then the minute we got to ‘More I Cannot Wish You‘, he found this spot where he was comfortable with his voice, and that sort of broke the ice and got us going.

Tommy LiPuma, from an interview with Sound On Sound, May 2012

Last updated on November 6, 2020

Lyrics

Heaven, I'm in heaven,
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak
And I seem to find the happiness I seek
When we're out together dancing, cheek to cheek
Heaven, I'm in heaven,
And the cares that hang around me through the week
Seem to vanish like a gambler's lucky streak
When we're out together dancing, cheek to cheek
Oh! I love to climb a mountain,
And to reach the highest peak,
But it doesn't thrill me half as much
As dancing cheek to cheek
Oh! I love to go out fishing
In a river or a creek,
But I don't enjoy it half as much
As dancing cheek to…

Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.

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