Dionne Warwick - Walk On By - 1964


"Walk On By" is a song composed by Burt Bacharach, with lyrics by Hal David, famously recorded by Dionne Warwick in 1964. This song is a significant part of music history, not only because of its commercial success but also due to its influence on the pop and R&B genres. Let's dive into the details of this classic track.

Background and Composition

"Walk On By" was written by the legendary songwriting duo Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Burt Bacharach, known for his unique melodies, and Hal David, with his introspective lyrics, created a song that resonated with many listeners. The composition features a sophisticated blend of pop and R&B elements, a characteristic of many Bacharach-David collaborations.

Recording and Release

Recorded by Dionne Warwick in 1964, "Walk On By" quickly became a hit. Warwick's interpretation of the song showcased her vocal prowess and emotional depth. The recording featured a lush arrangement, typical of Bacharach's style, and stood out for its innovative use of strings and rhythm.

Impact and Legacy

"Walk On By" is not just a song but a piece of musical history. Its influence extends beyond its chart success, as it has been covered by numerous artists across various genres. The song is often cited for its impact on the development of pop and R&B music in the 1960s.

For further reading, explore these topics:

  1. Burt Bacharach
  2. Hal David
  3. Dionne Warwick
  4. 1960s in Music
  5. Pop Music
  6. R&B Music

Interactive Tasks

Quiz: Questions on the song

What year was "Walk On By" released? (1964) (!1970) (!1960) (!1985)

Who composed the music for "Walk On By"? (Burt Bacharach) (!Leonard Bernstein) (!Elton John) (!Paul McCartney)

Which genre does "Walk On By" primarily belong to? (Pop and R&B) (!Country) (!Jazz) (!Rock)

For which artist is "Walk On By" particularly famous? (Dionne Warwick) (!Aretha Franklin) (!Whitney Houston) (!Ella Fitzgerald)

What characterizes the arrangement of "Walk On By"? (Lush use of strings and rhythm) (!Heavy electric guitar) (!Minimalist acoustic style) (!Synthesizer-dominated sound)

Quiz: Questions on the Performer

In which decade did Dionne Warwick achieve major success? (1960s) (!1950s) (!1970s) (!1980s)

Which famous songwriting duo frequently collaborated with Dionne Warwick? (Burt Bacharach and Hal David) (!Lennon and McCartney) (!Elton John and Bernie Taupin) (!Rodgers and Hammerstein)

Dionne Warwick is also known for her work in which field outside music? (Humanitarian work) (!Acting) (!Politics) (!Fashion design)

Which of these songs is also a hit by Dionne Warwick? ("I Say a Little Prayer") (!"Natural Woman") (!"Respect") (!"Rolling in the Deep")

What is Dionne Warwick's relation to Whitney Houston? (Cousin) (!Sister) (!Mother) (!No relation)

Quiz: Questions on the lyrics

What is the main theme of the lyrics in "Walk On By"? (Heartbreak and moving on) (!Joyful celebration) (!Social justice) (!Childhood memories)

Which line follows "If you see me walking down the street"? ("And I start to cry each time we meet") (!"And the sun begins to fade") (!"I will always think of you") (!"Life is old there, older than the trees")

The lyrics "Let me be" imply what emotion in "Walk On By"? (A desire for privacy in grief) (!Anger towards a former lover) (!Happiness in newfound freedom) (!Indifference to the world)

What does the recurring theme of "walking" in the song symbolize? (Moving forward from a past relationship) (!A journey through different stages of life) (!The joy of exploration) (!The physical act of walking)

How does the song "Walk On By" end lyrically? ("Walk on by") (!"I will survive") (!"We will meet again") (!"Love is all around")


Create a memory game with matching pairs for this topic.

Dionne Warwick "Walk On By"
1964 Year of Release
Burt Bacharach and Hal David Songwriters
Pop and R&B Genre
Heartbreak and moving on Main Theme

Open Tasks


  1. Research Dionne Warwick's discography: Explore other popular songs by Dionne Warwick and their impact on music.
  2. Listen and Compare: Listen to different covers of "Walk On By" and note how each artist interprets the song uniquely.
  3. Musical Elements Analysis: Identify the key musical elements in "Walk On By" that define its genre.


  1. Interview Older Family Members: Talk to family members who lived through the 1960s about their memories of "Walk On By" and its cultural impact.
  2. Create a Playlist: Compile a playlist of songs from the 1960s that share themes or styles with "Walk On By".
  3. Analyze the Lyrics: Write a detailed analysis of the lyrics of "Walk On By", discussing themes of heartbreak and resilience.


  1. Musical Influence Essay: Write an essay on how "Walk On By" influenced later music, particularly in the pop and R&B genres.
  2. Cover the Song: Record your own cover of "Walk On By", paying attention to vocal expression and musical arrangement.
  3. Compare and Contrast: Analyze "Walk On By" in comparison with a modern song that deals with similar themes, discussing evolution in music and lyrics.

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Oral Exam

  1. Discuss the Significance: Talk about the significance of "Walk On By" in the context of 1960s music and its lasting impact on pop and R&B.
  2. Influence of Bacharach and David: Discuss the role of Burt Bacharach and Hal David in shaping the sound of the 1960s and their influence on Dionne Warwick's career.
  3. Themes in Music: Explain how the themes of heartbreak and resilience in "Walk On By" are reflected in other songs from the same era.
  4. Musical Evolution: Discuss how the musical style of "Walk On By" reflects the evolution of pop and R&B music.
  5. Personal Connection: Share a personal story or connection to "Walk On By" or Dionne Warwick's music and what it means to you.

OERs on the Topic


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