A CITY WITH SONG NAME
There are different theories about the origin of Bilbao Song, but what is certain, and remains in the set of anecdotes of famous visitors to the city, is that when actress Susan Sarandon came to visit the city and the Guggenheim Museum said that up to that moment Bilbao meant for her only the title of a great song.
The Bilbao Song is based on a play by Bertolt Brecht and was composed by his friend Kurt Weil in 1929 for a theatre performance entitled “Happy End” which took place in a saloon called the Bill of Bilbao, in Berlin. After achieving an enormous success in Germany, it also came in the U.S., where it has been played by actresses like Liza Minnelli and Meryl Streep, among others.
We do not know whether Brecht was in this town or if there was a bar called like that, what we do know is that for whatever reason, the lyrics and the song left a link forever between the author and Bilbao, since the beginning of last century.
In any case, this song has always enjoyed great success and has been interpreted by singers, bands and orchestras around the world, such as Yves Montand, Andy Williams, Marianne Faithfull, Keren Hadar and the Israel Chamber Orchestra, jazz player André Pervin and Woody Allen, among many other musicians and performers, who have expanded their works and projected the name of Bilbao across the world, in different languages.
May this small sample of some of the renowned visitors that Bilbao has received in recent years with the musical background of Bilbao Song, performed by Andy Williams, serve as a tribute to such distinguished artists who have helped make the name of this city of more than 700 years, be something unforgettable.