Just Awearyin' for You
1911 recording of Elizabeth Spencer (soprano) singing "Just Awearyin' for You" without the "morning" stanza which has the birds' "notes / That come trilling from their throats"
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1911 recording of Evan Williams (tenor) singing "Just Awearyin' for You" with all three stanzas
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"Just Awearyin' for You" is a parlor song, one of that genre's all-time hits.
The lyrics were written by Frank Lebby Stanton and published in his Songs of the Soil (1894). The tune was composed by Carrie Jacobs-Bond and published as part of Seven Songs as Unpretentious as the Wild Rose in 1901. Harry T. Burleigh also composed a tune (copyrighted in 1906), but it never approached the popularity of the Jacobs-Bond tune. Although Stanton originally wrote the lyrics in dialect ("Jes' a-wearyin' fer you") for a column in the Atlanta Constitution, the song has generally circulated with the more mainstreamed diction of the Jacobs-Bond version.
Sentimental yet artful, "Just Awearyin' for You" has been recorded by numerous performers, including Elizabeth Spencer (see inset), Evan Williams (see inset), Anna Case, Sophie Braslau, Eleanor Steber, Gladys Swarthout, Thomas Allen (baritone) & Malcolm Martineau (piano), Johnny Hartman, John Arwyn Davies, Jane Morgan, Peggy Balensuela (mezzo soprano) & William Hughes (piano), and, perhaps most famously, Paul Robeson. In 1934 Jay Wilbur and his band did a foxtrot rendition. The QRS Records company produced a "Just Awearyin' for You" piano roll for Heintzman player piano.
Along with "I Love You Truly" and "A Perfect Day" (song), "Just Awearyin' for You" forms the triumvirate of works for which Jacobs-Bond is remembered. A dedicatory phrase "To F. B." atop the musical score (on p. 3 of the sheet music) refers to her second husband, Frederic Bond.
Prior to publication with her tune, Jacobs-Bond was unaware that the lyrics were written by Stanton; she thought them anonymous as indicated in the Chicago newspaper from which she took them. Once the oversight became apparent, Jacobs-Bond resolved the situation amicably with D. Appleton & Company, which had published Stanton's Songs of the Soil, thus providing Stanton with a royalty stream that by his own admission brought him more revenue than everything else in Songs of the Soil combined. "Linger Not" and "Until God's Day" are two other songs on which Stanton and Jacobs-Bond collaborated.
- See Professor De Lerma's essay Henry "Harry" T. Burleigh (1866-1949): African American Composer, Arranger & Baritone" which notes the tune for "Just Awearyin' for You" by African-American composer Harry T. Burleigh:
- Just a-wearying for you, for medium voice & piano. New York: William Maxwell, 1906. 6p. Text: Frank L. Stanton. Library: Library of Congress.
- For sources see the article on Frank Lebby Stanton.
- The sentimentality of the lyrics has occasionally become an interest of analogists and parodists, as in Mark Steyn's 2007 May 9 commentary on Barack Obama titled "Just a-wearyin' for you" in National Review and Bobskins imitation of Robeson on YouTube. In a more serious direction Arthur Eedle & Rosalind Eedle have undertaken to revise the lyrics to cause "Just Awearyin' for You" to become a hymn welcoming Jesus Christ ("Just a Wearyin' for You" in Prophetic Telegraph, No. 99 [June 1997]).
- Anna Case rendition on YouTube (accessed 2010 February 11), distinguished by Case's special attention to trilling the "r"s.
- Sophie Braslau rendition on YouTube (recorded by Columbia Records in 1928 June).
- Steber rendition on YouTube (accessed 2010 February 11).
- Swarthout rendition removed from YouTube.
- Allen & Martineau rendition (accessed 2010 February 11). See also Hyperion version with commentary by Andrew Lamb (writer) (accessed 2010 February 17).
- Hartman rendition on YouTube (accessed 2010 February 11).
- Davies rendition on YouTube (accessed 2010 February 11).
- Jane Morgan rendition.
- Songs my grandmother taught me: Songs of Carrie Jacobs-Bond (Albany, NY: Albany Records, 2001), ASIN B000QWU5PW.
- Robeson rendition on YouTube (accessed 2010 February 11).
- Jay Wilbur foxtrot rendition on YouTube (accessed 2011-04-04).
- QRS Blue Bird Ballad 128 on YouTube (accessed 2011-04-04). Cf. the live [organ rendition and interpretation] (accessed 2011-04-04).
- Bay, Mel (2005). "Modern Guitar Method Grade 6" (Expanded ed.). Pacific, Missouri: Mel Bay Publications. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-7866-7760-3.
- For further information see the article on Carrie Jacobs-Bond.
- Max Morath, I Love You Truly: A Biographical Novel Based on the Life of Carrie Jacobs-Bond (New York: iUniverse, 2008), ISBN 978-0-595-53017-5, pp. 14-17. Stanton's name is absent from the frontispiece of the first edition (inset), but was later added above the score on page 3 of the sheet music.
- Tubb, Benjamin Robert (1999-12-13). "The music of Carrie Jacobs-Bond (1861-1946)". PDMusic. Retrieved 2012-07-17.