Don't Cry for Me Argentina

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"Don't Cry for Me Argentina"
Single by Julie Covington
from the album Evita
Writer(s)Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice
ProducerAndrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, David Land
Julie Covington singles chronology
"Two Worlds Apart"
"Don't Cry for Me Argentina"
"Only Women Bleed"
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"Don't Cry for Me Argentina"
Single by Julie Covington
from the album Evita
Writer(s)Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice
ProducerAndrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, David Land
Julie Covington singles chronology
"Two Worlds Apart"
"Don't Cry for Me Argentina"
"Only Women Bleed"

"Don't Cry for Me Argentina" is a song from the 1978 musical Evita with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. Sung by the title character Eva Perón, it was titled "It's Only Your Lover Returning" before Rice settled on the eventual name. It appears early in the second act as Evita addresses the crowd from the balcony of the Casa Rosada and features a sweeping melody tied to broad emotional themes of regret and defiance, characteristic of Lloyd Webber’s most popular songs.

The song shares its tune with "Oh What a Circus" and "Eva's Final Broadcast" from the same show.


Original version

The musical Evita was initially produced as an album, before being adapted for the stage, followed a formula Lloyd Webber and Rice had stumbled upon during the production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Julie Covington played the lead role of Eva Peron on the original 1976 album from which the single was released. It reached No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart in February 1977 for a week, selling almost a million copies in the United Kingdom.[1]

The song was never performed live on British music show Top of the Pops as might have been anticipated as Covington refused to do so without the full symphonic orchestra. During the week that it was No. 1, though, she appeared in the audience.

Whilst producing the Evita album, Tim Rice had tried out various lyrics as the main hook and title of the song including "It's Only Your Lover Returning" and "All Through My Crazy and Wild Days" amid fears that mentioning Argentina would reduce the commercial appeal. Covington recorded both of these lines and a hybrid of the recordings was included on a rarities disc of Andrew Lloyd Webber: Now and Forever, a 2001 box set. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" appeared at the opening and near the end of the show, initially as the spirit of the dead Eva Peron exhorts the people of Argentina not to mourn her - "The truth is I never left you" - and later as she gives a final broadcast - "The truth is I shall not leave you". Shortly before the album was finally mixed, Lloyd Webber suggested to Rice that the line "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" also worked in the context of the new First Lady of Argentina giving a speech. Rice points out that in this instance "cry" refers to shouting or calling out rather than weeping.

The B-side was "Rainbow High", a song in which Eva is prepared for her "Rainbow Tour" of Europe.

When Covington chose not to take the stage role, Elaine Paige was cast as Eva in the London production. In the United States, the song is also closely linked with Patti LuPone, who performed the role of Eva in the original Broadway production of the show.[2]

During the 1982 Falklands War between the United Kingdom and Argentina, the song was sometimes played sarcastically by British regimental bands as they deployed to the Falklands. At the same time the Covington recording was banned from play on the BBC.[3]

The song was also banned in the Philippines during the dictatorship Ferdinand Marcos. The life of Marcos' wife Imelda Marcos is similar to that of Evita Peron. The presentation of the musical Evita was repressed.[4]

Cover versions

The song has been either recorded or performed live by:

Paloma San Basilio and Nacha Guevara recorded versions of the song in Spanish ("No llores por mí Argentina"). Katja Ebstein did a popular German version called "Wein’ nicht um mich Argentinien".

Laura Branigan never recorded the song, but regularly sang it during concerts throughout her career.

Gheorghe Zamfir also produced a classical version of the music as part of his Magic of the Panpipes collection.

Madonna version

"Don't Cry for Me Argentina"
Single by Madonna
from the album Evita
ReleasedFebruary 11, 1997
Format12", CD single
GenreOrchestral pop
LabelWarner Bros.
Writer(s)Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice
ProducerNigel Wright, Alan Parker, Andrew Lloyd Webber, David Caddick.
Miami Mix:
Madonna, Pablo Flores, Javier Garza
Madonna singles chronology
"You Must Love Me"
"Don't Cry for Me Argentina"
"Another Suitcase in Another Hall"

American singer-songwriter Madonna recorded her version of the song for her starring role in the 1996 film Evita. It was released as the second single from the soundtrack. Evita was released in the US on February 11, 1997 by Warner Bros. Records and. For the single release, Madonna re-recorded the song as a dance remix, produced by herself, Pablo Flores and Javier Garza. The "Miami Mix" versions included lyrics sung in English and Spanglish.

Music Video

The music video was directed by Alan Parker and contained footage from the motion picture. A remix to the 'Miami Mix Edit' was also released.

Live performances

The original soundtrack version was used as an instrumental interlude on her 2001 Drowned World Tour. She performed the song exclusively at the River Plate Stadium shows of the 2008 leg of her Sticky & Sweet Tour.


Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine commented: "Easily one of Madonna's greatest vocal performance to date, the singer's dramatic interpretation of Evita's unofficial theme song was both loyal and bizarrely autobiographical."[9] The single turned out to be a big worldwide hit, taking the number one spot in several countries, most notably in France, where it became her second number one (after "La Isla Bonita"). It was a U.S. top ten hit, peaking at number eight, and a number three hit in the UK (placing in the top 40 at the year end and selling 338,494 copies).[citation needed] Sales and airplay were aided by the dance remix. In Europe it was her ninth single to top the Eurochart Hot 100 Singles. According to The Official Charts Company, the song has sold 340,000 copies there.[10]



Track listings

  1. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" (performed by Madonna) – 5:31
  2. "Santa Evita" (performed by Orchestra/John Mauceri) – 2:30
  3. "Latin Chant" (performed by Orchestra/John Mauceri) – 2:11
  1. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" (Miami Mix Edit) – 4:31
  2. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" (Miami Spanglish Mix Edit) – 4:29
  3. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" (Miami Mix) – 6:51
  4. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" (album version) – 5:31
  1. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" (Miami Mix Alternative Ending)
  2. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" (Miami Spanglish Mix)
  3. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" (Miami Mix Edit)
  4. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" (Miami Dub Mix)
  5. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" (Miami Mix Instrumental Version)
  6. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" (Miami Spanglish Mix Edit)
  1. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" (Miami Mix Edit) – 4:31
  2. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" (Miami Mix) – 6:51
  1. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" (Miami Mix) – 6:51
  2. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" (Miami Mix Edit) – 4:31
  3. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" (Miami Spanglish Mix Edit) – 4:29
  1. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" (Radio Edit) – 4:49
  2. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" (Album Version) – 5:31

Charts and certifications

Peak positions
Chart (1997)Peak
Australia ARIA Singles Chart9
Austrian Singles Chart3
Belgian Flemish Ultratop 505
Belgian Wallonie Ultratop 402
Canadian Singles Chart[12]14
Dutch Top 401
Eurochart Hot 100 Singles1
Finnish Singles Chart8
French SNEP Singles Chart1
German Singles Chart3
Irish Singles Chart9
Italian FIMI Singles Chart[13]2
Norwegian VG-lista Singles Chart9
Spanish Singles Chart[14]1
Swiss Singles Chart4
Swedish Singles Chart9
UK Singles Chart3
U.S. Billboard Hot 1008
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary21
U.S. Billboard Adult Top 4014
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play1

Year-end charts

Chart (1997)Position
Australia ARIA Singles Chart[15]56
Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders)[16]36
Belgian Singles Chart (Wallonia)[17]18
French SNEP Singles Chart[18]14
Italian Singles Chart[19]21
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)[20]80
Swedish Singles Chart[21]54
Swiss Singles Chart[22]22
United KingdomSilver[27]
Preceded by
"Don't Give Up on Us" by David Soul
UK Singles Chart number-one single (Julie Covington version)
February 12, 1977
Succeeded by
"When I Need You" by Leo Sayer
Preceded by
"Freed from Desire" by Gala
French SNEP Singles Chart number-one single (Madonna version)
January 25, 1997 - February 15, 1997
Succeeded by
"Let a Boy Cry" by Gala
Preceded by
"Unbreak My Heart" by Toni Braxton
Eurochart Hot 100 Singles number-one single (Madonna version)
February 14, 1997 - March 15, 1997
Succeeded by
"Don't Speak" by No Doubt
Preceded by
"Never Miss the Water" by Chaka Khan featuring Me'Shell Ndegeocello
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single (Madonna version)
February 22, 1997
Succeeded by
"Runaway" by Nuyorican Soul featuring India

Title origin

At Evita Peron's grave in the La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires, one of the plaques is a tribute from the city's taxi drivers' union. One of her epitaphs, roughly translated, reads: "Don't cry for me Argentina, I remain quite near to you."[28]

References in modern culture

In the Goodies episode Goodies and Politics, the song "Don't cry for me Marge and Tina" is sung by Tim Brooke-Taylor.

In the third episode of the fifteenth season of The Simpsons, "The President Wore Pearls", Lisa sings "Don't cry for me, kids of Springfield" as she is driven away on the school bus.

In the December 6, 2009 comic Pearls Before Swine, Pig says "Dunk rye for me Arch and Tina".

In the TV series Glee, Kurt Hummel sang this song after leaving McKinley High School and transferring to Dalton. It was his solo audition song, suggested by Rachel Berry, and expressed his feelings about leaving the school, and his friends, behind.

"Don’t cry for me, Salt Lake City" was featured in a 1997 musical, Saturday’s Voyeur (a parody of Saturday's Warrior), performed by the Salt Lake Acting Company.[29]

In the sixteenth episode of the seventh season of the show Charmed, the character of Drake de Mon said "Don't scry for me Argentina".


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  8. ^ "Glee" Kids Sing "Don’t Cry for Me Argentina" and More (Audio) - Playblog
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