EVERY UK NUMBER ONE SONG: ‘Smoke Gets in Your Eyes’ – The Platters

What was the number one song in the UK on 20th March 1959?

By Hayley Beasley Dye

American vocal group, The Platters were number one with Smoke Gets in Your Eyes for 1 week.

This song just makes me want to melt. The lyrics are sublime. There is something so moving about it, but what for me is the real highlight of this song, is the lead vocalist’s (who I believe at the time was Tony Williams) voice throughout the song. His voice was just stunning and he seemed to sing with such ease, demonstrating his vocal talents.


“Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” is a show tune written by American composer Jerome Kern and lyricist Otto Harbach for the 1933 musical Roberta. The song was sung in the Broadway show by Tamara Drasin. Its first recorded performance was by Gertrude Niesen, who recorded the song with orchestral direction from Ray Sinatra, Frank Sinatra’s second cousin, on October 13, 1933. Niesen’s recording of the song was released by Victor, with the B-side, “Jealousy”, featuring Isham Jones and his Orchestra.

Paul Whiteman had the first hit recording of the song on the record charts in 1934.

The song was reprised by Irene Dunne, who performed it in the 1935 film adaptation of the musical co-starring Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, and Randolph Scott. The song was also included in the 1952 remake of Roberta, Lovely to Look At, in which it was performed by Kathryn Grayson, and was a number 1 chart hit in 1958 for The Platters.


They asked me how I knew
My true love was true
I of course replied,
“Something here inside
Cannot be denied”
They said someday you’ll find
All who love are blind
When your heart’s on fire
You must realize
Smoke gets in your eyes
So I chaffed them and I gaily laughed
To think they could doubt my love
Yet today, my love has flown away
I am without my love
Now laughing friends deride
Tears I cannot hide
So I smile and say,
“When a lovely flame dies,
Smoke gets in your eyes”
Smoke gets in your eyes”

The Playlist

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Every UK Number One Song

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