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Love's old sweet song

First line:
Once in the dear dead days beyond recall
composer
1884; sometimes known as Just a song at twilight
author of text

 
One of the most popular of all Victorian ballads, this has words by Graham Clifton Bingham, whose ‘Love, could I only tell thee?’ is included in Thomas Allen’s first Hyperion volume of ballads. The son of a Bristol bookseller, Bingham wrote stories, children’s books and some 1,650 song lyrics. He claimed to have written the lyric of ‘Love’s Old Sweet Song’ at four in the morning, after which various composers vied to set it. The successful candidate was James Lynam Molloy, who graduated from the Catholic University in Dublin, studied also in London, Paris and Bonn, and was called to the English bar. A noted raconteur, he found congenial occupation in rowing and singing, as well as song composition. Published in 1884, the ballad was first sung by Antoinette Sterling, who did exceptionally well from the royalty she received for introducing it. When Arthur Sullivan was accused of using the song’s first two bars for ‘When a merry maiden marries’ in The Gondoliers, he denied it with the classic reply, “We had only eight notes between us”.

from notes by Andrew Lamb © 2003

Recordings

More songs my father taught me
CDA67374
The Power of Love
CDA67888Composers of World War I

Details

Track 15 on CDA67374 [3'47]
Track 1 on CDA67888 [4'17] Composers of World War I

Track-specific metadata for CDA67888 track 1

Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-12-88801
Duration
4'17
Recording date
17 December 2010
Recording venue
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. The Power of Love (CDA67888)
    Disc 1 Track 1
    Release date: February 2012
    Composers of World War I
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