Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Sing Up, Mother ! They Don't Make 'Em Like This Any More.

"The Sunshine Of Your Smile".
Sung by: John McCormack (1916).
Available on YouTube at

"The Sunshine Of Your Smile".

Dear face that holds so sweet a smile for me
Were you not mine, how dark the world would be !
I know no light above that could replace
Love's radiant sunshine in your dear, dear face

Give me your smile, the love-light in your eyes
Life could not hold a fairer Paradise !
Give me the right to love you all the while
My world for ever, the sunshine of your smile !

Shadows may fall upon the land and sea
Sunshine from all the world may hidden be
But I shall see no cloud across the sun
Your smile shall light my life, till life is done !

Give me your smile, the love-light in your eyes,
Life could not hold a fairer Paradise !
Give me the right to love you all the while
My world for ever, the sunshine of your smile !

The front page of the Sheet Music for
"The Sunshine Of Your Smile", published in 1913.
Date: 4 May 2013.
Source: Own work.
Author: Richard J Myers.
(Wikimedia Commons)

"Then You'll Remember Me".
Sung by: 
John McCormack (1916).
From Balfe's "The Bohemian Girl".
Available on YouTube at

This is a pure example of Victorian music and sensibility. McCormack's rendering of
the lovely old Aria is perfect, and captures the earnest, albeit finger-wagging,
sense of morality and propriety so characteristic of the age.
Michael W. Balfe's opera was first performed in London in 1842, and , musically speaking,
is absolutely a product of its time, even though its narrative inspiration would seem to be
an old Cervantes story, La Gitanilla, an "exemplary novel" of the kind made popular
by the great Spanish author, and which charmed the "Urbanites" of earlier Centuries
who took their pleasure in pastoral romances.

"Then You'll Remember Me ".

When other lips and other hearts
their tales of love shall tell
In language whose excess imparts
the pow'r they feel so well
There may perhaps in such a scene
some recollection be
Of days that have as happy been
and you'll remember me
And you'll remember, you'll remember me

When coldness or deceit shall slight
The beauty now they prize
And deem it but a faded light
which beams within your eyes
When hollow hearts shall wear a mask
't'will break your own to see
In such a moment I 
but ask
that you'll remember me
That you'll remember
you'll remember me

Illustration: IMSLP

"When You And I Were Young, Maggie".
Sung by: John McCormack.
Available on YouTube at

It was originally a poem written by the Canadian school teacher George Washington Johnson. Margaret "Maggie" Clark was his pupil. They fell in love and were married in 1864, but Maggie's health deteriorated and she died on 12 May 1865 of tuberculosis.
During the struggle with her illness, George walked to a nearby hill overlooking an old mill, and composed the poem. It was published in 1864 in a collection of his poems entitled "Maple Leaves". James Butterfield set the poem to music (published in 1866) and it became popular all over the world. George Washington Johnson married twice more, and died in 1917 in Pasadena, California.

"When You And I Were Young, Maggie".

I wandered today to the hill, Maggie
To watch the scene below
The creek and the creaking old mill, Maggie,
As we used to long ago

The green grove's gone from the hill, Maggie,
Where first the daisies sprung
The creaking old mill is still, Maggie,
Since you and I were young.

They say that I'm feeble with age, Maggie, 
My steps are less sprightly than then
My face is a well-written page, Maggie,
But time alone was the pen.

They say we are aged and grey, Maggie, 
As spray by the white breakers flung
But to me you're as fair as you were, Maggie,
When you and I were young.

And now we are aged and grey, Maggie,
And the trials of life nearly done, 
Let us sing of the days that are gone, Maggie, When you and I were young.

Illustration: EBAY

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