Elvis Presley A portrait of American singer and actor Elvis Presley holding an acoustic guitar circa 1956.
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Elvis Presley's 'Can't Help Falling in Love' Was Inspired by a Classical Song


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More than 40 years since his death, Elvis Presley's music continues to permeate popular culture. His songs are the soundtrack to a nation, and a tune that made a lasting impact is his 1961 classic, "Can't Help Falling In Love." Originally recorded for Presley's movie, Blue Hawaii, the song became a worldwide hit that has since been covered by artists from Andy Williams to Ingrid Michaelson and many more. While the song has become a mainstay in popular culture through the 20th and 21st Centuries, it was inspired by the tune written way back in 1784.

Some may not know that the lullaby-like melody of "Can't Help Falling In Love" was based on a classical French love song called "Plaisir d'Amour" or "Pleasure of Love." The song was written by French composer Jean-Paul-Égide Martini during the classical period in 1784. Written entirely in French, the song is about the pleasure of love, but also the pain one feels when a lover leaves for another. The lyrics of the song came from a poem by Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian from his book, Célestine.

"The pleasure of love doesn't last but a moment / The pain of love lasts for a lifetime," the song's narrator sings.

With inspiration from "Plaisir d'Amore," "Can't Help Falling in Love" was written by Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore and George David Weiss and published by Gladys Music, Inc. According to Songfacts.com, people in Presley's camp and some Blue Hawaii producers did not like the demo of the song, but Presley insisted that it be recorded for the movie. The song was released a few weeks before the movie. In the film, Presley sings the song to his love interest's grandmother while gifting her a music box.

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"Can't Help Falling in Love With You" spent four weeks atop the UK charts and six weeks at No. 1 on the US Adult Contemporary chart. It peaked at No. 2 on the US Hot 100 chart. The song is certified Platinum by the RIAA.

After the release of the movie, Presley incorporated the song into his live show. In the 1960s and '70s, Presley often performed the song at the end of his shows, and did so during his 1968 NBC Television special and during his 1973 telecast, Aloha from Hawaii. A version of the song was also included in Presley's 1977 posthumous TV special, Elvis In Concert. The song was also the last one he ever perfumed prior to his death. That last performance took place at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana in June of 1977.

"Can't Help Falling in Love With You" has had an enduring impact long after Presley's death, and it has long been a top choice for weddings. Countless artists have covered the song, and country artist Kacey Musgraves adds to that list of covers this summer. Musgraves recorded her own version of the song which will be featured in the Elvis biopic, out on June 24. Musgraves revealed that she recorded the classic tune in May.

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"Re-imagining one of the most iconic songs in history was such an honor and adventure," she wrote in the announcement. "This is one of those songs that will always stand the test of flash and trends. One that feels like there couldn't possibly have been a time when it didn't exist."

"Can't Help Falling In Love" Lyrics

Wise men say
Only fools rush in
But I can't help falling in love with you
Shall I stay?
Would it be a sin
If I can't help falling in love with you?

Like a river flows
Surely to the sea
Darling, so it goes
Some things are meant to be
Take my hand,
Take my whole life, too
For I can't help falling in love with you

Like a river flows
Surely to the sea
Darling, so it goes
Some things are meant to be
Take my hand,
Take my whole life, too
For I can't help falling in love with you
For I can't help falling in love with you

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Read More: Priscilla Presley Praises 'Elvis' Biopic, Calls It 'A True Story Told Brilliantly'

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