It was perhaps first known there as the bel air. Porter himself recalled that in Twenties Paris the bandleader would set the rhythm with a drum, then start the dance with the signal "beguine". Its seductive pace echoes the French word - beguin - for a fancy or infatuation.
More difficult than seduction itself , the song took a while to gain wide recognition, with Artie Shaw's version. But are there religious echoes? It was a medieval order named after Lambert le Begue, so called because he stammered. This order was chaste, the Dutch less so: nuns could leave and marry - end the beguine, one might say.Reuse content