Sway (Luis Demetrio song)

"¿Quién será?" is a bolero-mambo written by Mexican composer Luis Demetrio, who sold the rights to fellow songwriter Pablo Beltrán Ruiz.[1][2] Beltrán recorded the song for the first time with his orchestra in 1953. Pedro Infante, for whom the song was written, recorded it in 1954. The English version, "Sway", with lyrics by Norman Gimbel, has become a standard in both the pop and jazz repertoire. The first version to achieve considerable success in the United States was recorded by singer Dean Martin with the Dick Stabile orchestra in 1954.

Pablo Beltrán versionEdit

"¿Quién será?"
Single by Pablo Beltrán y su Orquestra
from the album South of the Border / Al sur de la frontera - Cha-cha-cha
GenreBig band, cha-cha-chá
LabelRCA Victor
Songwriter(s)Luis Demetrio

The first rendition of Luis Demetrio's "¿Quién será?" was recorded by Pablo Beltrán Ruiz with his orchestra as an instrumental cha-cha-chá in 1953. This version was later included on the LP South of the Border / Al sur de la frontera - Cha-cha-cha. According to Demetrio, Beltrán only contributed the first few chords of the song.[3] The rest of the composition and the original lyrics (in Spanish) were all written by Demetrio.[3] However, because Demetrio sold his rights to Beltrán, the song has often been misattributed to the latter.[1]

Beltrán re-recorded the song on numerous occasions including an upbeat cumbia version for the album Mister Cumbia (1966), a ska version for the album Caliente, caliente... a go-go (1966) and a boogaloo version for the album Rosita bonita (1968), all released by RCA Victor. The cumbia version was featured in the 1967 film Su Excelencia.

Pedro Infante versionEdit

Demetrio had written the song specifically for Mexican singer Pedro Infante, who performed it in the film School for Tramps in 1954 and later recorded it for Peerless Records.[3] It became one of Infante's signature songs and a hit across Latin America.[1] Shortly after, Germán Valdés, better known as Tin Tan, performed a parody version of Infante's rendition in the film The Viscount of Monte Cristo.[4]

Dean Martin versionEdit

Single by Dean Martin
from the album Hey, Brother, Pour the Wine
B-side"Money Burns a Hole in My Pocket"
Format7" 45, 10" 78
GenreBig band, pop
Songwriter(s)Luis Demetrio (music)
Norman Gimbel (lyrics)
Producer(s)Dick Stabile
Dean Martin singles chronology
"Hey, Brother, Pour the Wine"
"Money Burns a Hole in my Pocket"

In 1954, the English lyrics were written by Norman Gimbel[5] and recorded by Dean Martin backed by Dick Stabile's orchestra. This recording reached number 15 on the Billboard magazine best-seller chart[6] and number six on the UK chart. The single was released with the B-side "Money Burns a Hole in My Pocket" (Jule Styne, Bob Hilliard) in the US, while the British version was backed by "Pretty as a Picture" (Johnny Anz). The song was well-received by critics, being described as a "happy reading of a listenable ditty in the Latin-American manner" by a contemporary reviewer.[7]


Chart (1954) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[8] 6
US Billboard Hot 100[6] 15

Shaft versionEdit

"(Mucho Mambo) Sway"
Single by Shaft
from the album Pick Up on This
ReleasedAugust 23, 1999
Format12" vinyl, CD single, cassette single
GenreLatin, big beat
Songwriter(s)Norman Gimbel
Pablo Beltrán Ruiz
Producer(s)Al and El
Shaft singles chronology
"(Mucho Mambo) Sway"
"Mambo Italiano"

British electronica band Shaft recorded "Sway" in 1999, retitled as "(Mucho Mambo) Sway", and released it in August 1999 as their debut single. This version peaked at No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart, topped the New Zealand Singles Chart, and reached the top 10 in Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, and on the Canadian Singles Chart. Although it did not chart on Canada's RPM Top Singles chart, it did debut and peak at No. 10 on the RPM Dance chart. The single was later included on Shaft's 2001 album Pick Up on This.


Weekly chartsEdit

Chart (1999–2000) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[9] 28
Canada (Nielsen SoundScan)[10] 4
Canada Dance/Urban (RPM)[11] 10
Denmark (IFPI)[12] 3
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[13] 15
France (SNEP)[14] 79
Germany (Official German Charts)[15] 92
Iceland (Íslenski Listinn Topp 40)[16] 25
Ireland (IRMA)[17] 8
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[18] 12
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[19] 13
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[20] 1
Norway (VG-lista)[21] 7
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[22] 2
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[23] 6
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[24] 71
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[25] 2

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (1999) Position
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[26] 29
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[27] 63
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[28] 45


Region Certification Certified units/sales
New Zealand (RMNZ)[29] Gold 5,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[30] Gold 400,000 

*sales figures based on certification alone
 sales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Michael Bublé versionEdit

Single by Michael Bublé
from the album Michael Bublé
ReleasedJune 22, 2004[31]
FormatCD single, digital download
RecordedJuly 1998 - April 1999
GenreLatin pop
Label143, Reprise
Songwriter(s)Luis Demetrio, Norman Gimbel
Michael Bublé singles chronology
"Kissing a Fool"
"Spider-Man Theme"

"Sway" was covered by Canadian singer Michael Bublé for his debut major-label studio album, Michael Bublé, released in 2003. Sway was chosen for release as the album's third single, and was released in Australia on June 22, 2004.

Sway was only released as an individual single in Australia. In many other countries, the release of the track was held back until July 26, and packaged as a double A-side with the album's fourth single, Spider-Man Theme. However, due to its popularity with Australian radio stations, the track was given a separate release in the region, with Spider-Man Theme being released three months later in September 2004, as a separate release. Bublé's version of the song has appeared in such television shows and films as Las Vegas, CSI: NY, Malcolm in the Middle, The Wedding Date, Da Kath and Kim Code and No Reservations. The music video for the track was directed by Peter Kasden, who also filmed a music video for the single's B-side, Moondance, which was released exclusively to Australian music channels to promote the release of the single. The video features scenes of Bublé performing the song in the studio, intercut with scenes of Bublé driving a car through the Australian outback. The separate release, two music videos and strong radio airplay meant that Sway reached a peak of No. 15 on the ARIA Singles Chart, making it Bublé's highest charting single to that date.

Track listingEdit

  • Australian CD single[32]
  1. "Sway" (Junkie XL Mix) – 3:46
  2. "Sway" (acoustic version) – 3:08
  3. "Moondance" (live version) – 3:45


Chart (2004) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[33] 15
Poland (ZPAV)[citation needed] 46
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[34] 24

The Pussycat Dolls versionEdit

Single by The Pussycat Dolls
from the album Shall We Dance - Soundtrack from the Motion Picture and PCD
ReleasedSeptember 28, 2004 (2004-09-28)
  • Luis Demetrio
  • Norman Gimbel
Producer(s)Ron Fair
The Pussycat Dolls singles chronology
"Don't Cha"

American girl group The Pussycat Dolls recorded "Sway" for the Shall We Dance? soundtrack. The song was later included as a bonus track on their debut album PCD (2005).

Critical receptionEdit

While reviewing the Shall We Dance? soundtrack, Heather Phares cited "Sway" as one of the highlights of the album.[36] Ashley Spencer from the Orlando Sentinel described the rendition as having a "mesmerizing rhythm".[37] While reviewing the DVD of Shall We Dance? Renata Joy of Dvdizzy.com pointed the song out as "a catchy tune".[38] Rachel Sexton of MovieFreak.com called the cover "great" and noted it as "a classic updated".[39]


The music video for "Sway" was directed by Steve Antin, the brother of The Pussycat Dolls creator, Robin Antin.[40] The video features The Pussycat Dolls dancing against a backdrop of scenes from the movie. The music video was included as bonus clip in the DVD release of Shall We Dance.[38] At that point, the Pussycat Dolls were still recording their album PCD, and the group featured members of the original Pussycat Dolls burlesque troupe who remained after the re-casting process, such as Robin Antin, Cyia Batten, Kasey Campbell and Kaya Jones. Reviewers for Comingsoon.net, Edward Douglas and Scott Chitwood described the video as "sexy" and "stylish". They also wrote that "it perfectly fits the mood of the film."[41] Slant Magazine's writer Ed Gonzales wondered if the editors of Maxim financed the video.[42] Rachel Sexton of MovieFreak.com suggested buyers to skip the video calling it "cheesy".[39] Renata Joy of Dvdizzy.com noted that "the song is much more enjoyable when not watching the accompanying video."[38] "Sway" was performed on Dancing with the Stars along with "Don't Cha" during the results show on January 27, 2006.[43]

Track listingEdit

Digital download[44]

  1. "Sway" (Alternate version) – 3:12


Credits adapted from the liner notes of Shall We Dance - Soundtrack from the Motion Picture.[45]


Chart (2012) Peak
South Korea Gaon International Chart[46] 111

Other versionsEdit

"¿Quién será?" and "Sway" have been recorded dozens of times by many artists over the decades, many of which have been included in feature films and TV episodes. This is merely a select list of popular recordings, not a comprehensive listing.

The song has also been translated and covered in several languages.


  1. ^ a b c Infante Quintanilla, José Ernesto (2006). Pedro Infante: el ídolo inmortal (in Spanish). Mexico City: Océano. p. 96. ISBN 970-777-085-6.
  2. ^ Catalog of Copyright Entries: Third series (Volume 8, Part 5A, Number 1). Washington, DC: Copyright Office, Library of Congress. 1954. p. 20.
  3. ^ a b c Vázquez, Benito (2002). "La canción "Quién será" es totalmente mía". Revista de revistas (in Spanish). Mexico DF. p. 63.
  4. ^ Aviña, Rafael (2000). "Los ritmos populares en el cine mexicano". Cinémas Amerique Latine (in Spanish). Toulouse, France: Presses Univ. du Mirail. 8: 49.
  5. ^ Jacobs, Dick (1988). Who Wrote That Song?. Cincinnati: Betterway Publications. ISBN 1-55870-100-1.
  6. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940–1955. Record Research.
  7. ^ "Review Spotlight on Records". The Billboard. 29 May 1954. p. 54.
  8. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Shaft – (Mucho Mambo) Sway". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  10. ^ "Canadian Billboard Digital Songs Sales Charts from 2000". Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  11. ^ "Top RPM Dance/Urban: Issue 9778." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  12. ^ "Top National Sellers" (PDF). Music & Media. 4 December 1999. p. 13. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  13. ^ "Shaft: (Mucho Mambo) Sway" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  14. ^ "Lescharts.com – Shaft – (Mucho Mambo) Sway" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  15. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Shaft – (Mucho Mambo) Sway". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  16. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (Vikuna 21.10. - 28.10. 1999 43. Vika)" (PDF) (in Icelandic). Dagblaðið Vísir. Retrieved 13 July 2018. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  17. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – (Mucho Mambo) Sway". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  18. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 44, 1999" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  19. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Shaft – (Mucho Mambo) Sway" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  20. ^ "Charts.nz – Shaft – (Mucho Mambo) Sway". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  21. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Shaft – (Mucho Mambo) Sway". VG-lista. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  22. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  23. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Shaft – (Mucho Mambo) Sway". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  24. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Shaft – (Mucho Mambo) Sway". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  25. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  26. ^ "End of Year Charts 1999". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  27. ^ "Årslista Singlar - År 1999" (in Swedish). Hitlistan. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  28. ^ "Best Sellers of 1999: Singles Top 100". Music Week. London, England: United Business Media. 22 January 2000. p. 27.
  29. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Shaft – Mucho Mambo". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  30. ^ "British single certifications – Shaft – Mucho Mambo Sway". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 22 May 2018. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Mucho Mambo Sway in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  31. ^ "Sway: Amazon.co.uk: Music". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  32. ^ "Items found similar to "MICHAEL BUBLE SWAY AUSSIE CD SINGLE NM"". eBay. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  33. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Michael Bublé – Sway". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  34. ^ "Michael Buble Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  35. ^ "Pussycat Dolls* - Sway". Discogs.
  36. ^ Phares, Heather. "Shall We Dance? - Original Soundtrack : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
  37. ^ Spencer, Ashley (October 29, 2004). "Shall We Dance?' Soundtrack Will Sweep Listeners Along". Orlando Sentinel. Tribune Company Allmusic. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
  38. ^ a b c Joy, Renata. "Shall We Dance? (2004) DVD Review". Dvdizzy.com. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  39. ^ a b Sexton, Rachel. ""Shall We Dance?" DVD Review". MovieFreak.com. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  40. ^ "The Pussycat Dolls : Sway". MTV. Archived from the original on June 10, 2015. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  41. ^ Douglas, Edward; Chitwood, Scott. "Shall We Dance? Blu-ray and DVD Review". Comingsoon.net. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  42. ^ Gonzales, Ed (January 26, 2005). "Shall We Dance? DVD Review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  43. ^ "Quick Hits: Linkin Park, Grammys, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, Joe Strummer, Motley Crue, Pussycat Dolls, Auf der Maur, Grateful Dead, Megadeth, Judas Priest, Eagles Of Death Metal, Candlebox". FMQB. January 26, 2006. Archived from the original on June 10, 2015. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  44. ^ "Music - Sway (Alternative Version) - Single by The Pussycat Dolls". iTunes Store (United States). Apple. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  45. ^ Shall We Dance - Soundtrack from the Motion Picture (Booklet). Various Artists. Casablanca Records. 2004.CS1 maint: others (link)
  46. ^ "South Korea Gaon International Chart". Gaon Chart. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  47. ^ Deveny, Thomas G. (2012). Migration in Contemporary Hispanic Cinema. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. p. 235. ISBN 9780810885042.

External linksEdit