"You Belong to Me" is a pop music ballad from the 1950s. The singer reminds his/her lover that, whatever exotic locales and sights he/she experiences, "you belong to me." It is credited to three writers: Pee Wee King, Chilton Price, and Redd Stewart. Price wrote most of the song, and ceded equal credit to the other two in exchange for their work in promoting it. King and Stewart did rearrange the song because it was written as a war song during World War II and changed the title to "You Belong To Me" along with arranging the music.The original version of the song was recorded by Sue Thompson on Mercury's country label. It was soon covered by Patti Page, whose version was issued by Mercury as catalog number 5899, with "I Went to Your Wedding" (a bigger Patti Page hit, reaching #1) on the flip side. It entered the Billboard chart on August 22, 1952, and lasted 12 weeks on the chart, peaking at #4.
A cover version by Jo Stafford became the most popular version. Issued by Columbia Records as catalog number 39811, it was Stafford's greatest hit, topping the charts in both the United States and the United Kingdom (the first song by a female singer to top the UK chart). It first entered the US chart on August 1, 1952 and remained there for 24 weeks. In the UK, it appeared in the first ever UK chart of November 14, 1952 (then a top 12) and reached number 1 on January 16, 1953, being only the second record to top such chart, remaining in the chart for a total of 19 weeks. Another cover version, by Dean Martin, released by Capitol Records as catalog number 2165, was also in play at that time. This version first entered the chart on August 29, 1952, and remained on the chart for 10 weeks, reaching #12. All the versions were combined in the rankings on the Cash Box charts, and the song reached #1 on those charts as well, lasting on the chart for more than half a year.
In 1958 the song crossed over into rock for the first time on the Capitol album "Gene Vincent Rocks and the Blue Caps Roll." A later version of the song, by The Duprees, also made the Billboard Top 10, reaching #7 in 1962. It was recorded by many other pop vocalists, including Patsy Cline and Bing Crosby. A solo acoustic version was recorded by Bob Dylan for the 1992 album Good as I Been to You but was eventually left off as an outtake, the recording only surfacing two years later in the soundtrack for the 1994 movie Natural Born Killers.
The song has also appeared on many soundtracks. Vonda Shepard's cover was used frequently on the TV series Ally McBeal alongside romantic scenes of Ally McBeal and Billy Thomas. A version by Jason Wade was part of the soundtrack to the 2001 animated film Shrek. Rocker Tori Amos also sang the classic for the Julia Roberts film Mona Lisa Smile in 2003. Actress Rose McGowan sang it on the soundtrack for the Planet Terror segment of the 2007 movie Grindhouse. While onscreen, Bette Midler sings a fragment of the song (to Nick Nolte) in the 1986 comedy Down and Out in Beverly Hills.
On February 1, 2007, a short rendition of the song was sung by 64-year-old Sherman Pore as an audition piece for the television show American Idol, as a tribute to his wife who had died from cancer two days before.
Mary Higgins Clark references the song throughout her novel of the same name which was published by Pocket on April 1st 1999.