The words of ‘Passing by’ are attributed to the seventeenth-century poet Robert Herrick, who wrote the words of the song ‘Cherry Ripe’. The composer, who used the pseudonym Edward C Purcell, survived his setting’s publication by almost sixty years, without achieving any comparable success. The song’s graceful vocal line helped make it one of the most enduring of Victorian ballads. Like others in this collection, it was memorably recorded—in 1940—by John McCormack.
from notes by Andrew Lamb © 2002