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Written by Nash/Weill

This haunting ballad from Barbra Streisand’s #1 1993 CD – “Back To Broadway” – shows another side of David Foster’s talent, the fantastic ability to take an old classic and “contemporize” it, keeping the classic elements while adding a new, fresh setting to the tune. Foster used this kind of approach in the nineties with quite a few tunes and some, great examples are “When I Fall In Love” by Celine Dion and Clive Griffin, “I’m A Fool To Want You” by Miki Howard and “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” by Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack. It is a tough call but in our opinion the best of these classy up-dates is this song, “Speak Low”.

Here Foster takes a magic melody and adds a contemporary groove and a fabulous orchestration courtesy of the ultra talented Johnny Mandel. The programmed drums and synthesizers really sound great while players like Mike Thompson on guitar and Dave Boruff on the sax solo add their signatures to the final result. The ice on the cake is Barbra Streisand’s vocal performance, with her voice sounding clear and fresh as morning air. Foster has worked many times with Streisand, starting in the seventies playing and arranging on her records, up to the “Broadway Album” and the song “Somewhere” that was a Grammy winner for him in 1986, on to the nineties with many other important productions including her duets with Celine Dion, Vince Gill and Josh Groban.


[audio:|titles=SPEAK LOW|artists=Barbra Streisand]

Synths and Synclavier: Simon Franglen
Bass: Nathan East
Guitar: Mike Thompson
Sax solo: David Boruff
Percussion: Paulinho DaCosta
Produced by David Foster
Coproduced by Barbra Streisand
Arranged by Johnny Mandel and David Foster
Orchestrated by Johnny Mandel
Conducted by Eddie Karam


Speak low when you speak love
Our summer day withers away too soon, too soon
Speak low when you speak love
Our moment is swift, like ships adrift, we’re swept apart, too soon
Speak low, darling, speak low
Love is a spark, lost in the dark too soon, too soon.

I feel wherever I go
That tomorrow is near,
Tomorrow is here and always too soon,
Time is so old and love so brief
Love is pure gold and time a thief.

We’re late, darling, we’re late,
The curtain descends, everything ends too soon, too soon.

I wait, darling, I wait,
Will you speak low to me, speak love to me and soon…

I wait, darling, I wait,
Will you speak low to me,
Slow to me, oh please,
Just don’t say no to me
Let it flow to me, slow to me
Ooo…Soon…Darling, speak low to me
Darling, speak slow to me…
Oh, oh, oh!