Love's Old Sweet Song
Just a Song at Twilight
Sometimes on a beautiful summer’s evening a song comes to mind. Floating in the air tonight is “Just a Song at Twilight” performed by two very fine singers of my parents’ generation, Jo Stafford and Gordon MacRae. The song was written in London in the 1880’s and published in America in 1884, the same year that Huck Finn first appeared in print. It was a favorite song of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who featured it in the last book of her “Little House” Series, “These Happy Golden Years” (the story of her courtship and marriage to Almanzo Wilder). One hundred years after Laura’s birth, the song — having been widely performed and recorded throughout the first half of the 20th century — appeared in “The American Songbook” (Dover, 1964), whose editor wrote that, “As a tenderly appealing ballad, ‘Love’s Old Sweet Song’ remains ever popular and attractive to the American People.” In 1964 most Americans knew and loved this song. I hope that you will too.
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