Mona Lisa (3:28)

Cover of The Ultimate Collection

From The Ultimate Collection and 565 other releases

In this song, Nat King Cole compares his love to the famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci. The Mona Lisa is famous for her smile and her mystique, as the portrait has become one of the most famous works of art in history.

This song was written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston for the movie Captain Carey, U.S.A… It won an Oscar for Best Song.

Before this big hit Nat King Cole was better known as a pianist. As a result of the success of this recording he became recognized as a vocalist.

This soundtrack version by Nat King Cole spent 8 weeks as #1 in the Billboard chart in the USA in 1950.

In 1987, this was used as the theme of the British film Mona Lisa.

Livingston told American Songwriter Magazine July/August 1988 the story behind this song: “There was a picture called OSS, which took place during World War II, and Alan Ladd was in a little Italian town where the clandestine radio was, and they needed a song to warn them that the German patrol was coming. There was this blind accordion player who wasn’t blind playing on the street and every time he saw the Germans coming he would play a certain melody, so we wrote ‘Mona Lisa’ and they said that it sounded Italian and they liked it. Then they called us and said they had changed the title from OSS to After Midnight and we had to write a song with that title. They loved title songs because it sold their picture. So we threw away the lyrics of ‘Mona Lisa’ and wrote ‘After Midnight.’ A month later we picked up Variety and read where Alan Ladd’s new picture was going to be called Captain Carey, USA.


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Mona Lisa, Monalisa, men have named you
You're so like the lady with the mystic smile
Is it only 'cause you're lonely, they have blamed you
For that Monalisa strangeness in your smile?

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics


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  • Bolters

    So SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!He was the best!!!!

    25 Jan 11:08pm Reply
  • oldchap2

    Smoothness defined.

    26 Nov 2013 Reply
  • NitaD1

    Oh my.....lovely

    14 Feb 2013 Reply
  • veronikesilva

    Belissíma essa música... Belíssima Mona Lisa...

    12 Dec 2012 Reply
  • majjo01

    my nice music ohhhh beautiful und ich bin germany boy aber sehr schöne töne und gesang vom feinsten und this is only my music,verry schön,ich grüsse alle liebhaber von schöner musik auf last fm und ich hoff das alle viel spass hier haben...ich hoffe wir lesen mal von einander...see you

    23 May 2012 Reply
  • BlueOclock

    pete1032, So true! This is a nice tune though.

    13 Apr 2012 Reply
  • pete1032

    A true star but was commercialised away from his jazz roots in which he truly was one of the great piano players

    25 Mar 2012 Reply
  • bicknor

    If still alive, NKC would now be 93.

    25 Mar 2012 Reply
  • ladycaroledowns

    Thanks Jem :-))

    8 Mar 2012 Reply
  • Roy787

    What a great voice.

    13 Feb 2012 Reply
  • antgibbs

    I miss my Nat King Cole cassette tape.

    1 Feb 2012 Reply
  • steppenwolf53

    Nothing need to be said

    27 Jan 2012 Reply
  • drymac555

    The ultimate Nat.

    11 Jan 2012 Reply
  • jetgar


    11 Jan 2012 Reply
  • jomabbs

    Such a voice as his, don't come round twice in a lifetime.

    2 Jan 2012 Reply
  • pier007

    Saw Neil Jordan's 1986 film with Bob Hoskins and Michael Caine. I've always love this song, and it suited the movie perfectly, it's sensual... moving... indeleble..

    26 Nov 2011 Reply
  • antgibbs

    In the late nineties I went through a Jackie Robinson/Nat King Cole phase. One of the better phases I've ever gone through. I never get tired of listening to Nat King Cole.

    22 Nov 2011 Reply
  • Lor51

    There no words for this song by Nat.

    25 Oct 2011 Reply
  • Im2Jazzy4U

    Great photos...thanks!

    24 Oct 2011 Reply
  • ank92

    what a great voice timless classic

    3 Jul 2011 Reply
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