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The Windmills of Your Mind

"The Windmills of Your Mind" is a song with music by French composer Michel Legrand and English lyrics written by Americans Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman. The French lyrics, under the title "Les moulins de mon cœur", were written by Eddy Marnay. The song (with the English lyrics) was used as the theme for the 1968 film, The Thomas Crown Affair.[1] The opening two melodic sentences were borrowed from Mozart's second movement from his Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra, K. 364.

In the original 1968 film, the song was performed by Noel Harrison who took the song to #8 in the UK Singles Chart. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1968.[1] In 2004 that version finished at #57 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema. A version by Sting was used in the 1999 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair.

Cover versions

The song has been covered by some orchestras and a large number of singers, in English and in other languages. Dusty Springfield's version of the song from her album Dusty in Memphis is well known; this version reached #31 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and #3 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart in 1969.[2] This recording also appeared on the soundtrack to Breakfast on Pluto (2006). Petula Clark's recording of the song is heard in the movie Killing Them Softly, Spanish version by the Mexican singer Rosario De Alba in 1968.

"The Windmills of Your Mind" has also been recorded by All Angels, Tina Arena, Lill-Babs (in Swedish as "Vinden I Min Själ", Pedro Biker (da), John Davidson, Neil Diamond, Val Doonican, Sinne Eeg, Esthero, Connie Evingson, José Feliciano, Earl Grant, Terry Hall of the Colourfield, Jack Jones, Kiri Te Kanawa, The Anita Kerr Singers, Michel Legrand, Barbara Lewis, Gloria Loring, Arthur Lyman, Sally Ann Marsh, Maureen McGovern, Meck, Farhad Mehrad, Eva Mendes, Alison Moyet, Elaine Paige, Parenthetical Girls, Dianne Reeves, Rita Reys, Jimmie Rodgers, the Sandpipers, Sharleen Spiteri, Johnny Mathis, Barbra Streisand, Swing Out Sister, Take 6, Grady Tate, Billy Paul, Vanilla Fudge, Vassilikos, Helena Vondráčková, and Edward Woodward.

A French language rendering: Les Moulins de mon cœur'' (lyrics by Eddy Marnay), has been recorded by Frida Boccara, Grégory Lemarchal, Jason Kouchak, Natalie Dessay, Didier Barbelivien, Amaury Vassili, Dany Brillant, Claude François, Noëlle Cordier, Michel Legrand, Caterina Valente, Jessye Norman and Julia Migenes.

"The Windmills of Your Mind" has been recorded in German by Udo Lindenberg on his 1997 album Belcanto as "Unterm Säufermond", and in Dutch by Herman van Veen as "Cirkels" on his album "Alles" in 1971.

Instrumental versions of "The Windmills of Your Mind" were recorded by Henry Mancini and James Last. An arrangement for 16 Harps was recorded under the direction of Geoffrey Simon for a CD entitled "The London Harp Sound."

It was performed on the episode shown on 26 November 1977 of the second season of The Muppet Show.

The song was adapted, orchestrated and conducted by Oussama Rahbani into the Arabic version "La Bidayi Wala Nihayi" and sung by Hiba Tawaji.

The song was recorded in Czech by Hana Hegerová in 2011 on her album "Mlýnské kolo v srdci mém" (it's also the name of the song). Czech lyrics written by Pavel Vrba.


  1. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 135.  
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 592.
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