Heart of My Heart

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"(The Gang that Sang) Heart of My Heart" is a popular song. The music and lyrics were written by Ben Ryan (1892–1968) in 1926. It reminisces about singing a song called "Heart of My Heart" in a youthful quartet.

History and Origins[edit]

The original "Heart of My Heart," so longed for in the 1926 song, is also known as "The Story of the Rose," and was written by Andrew Mack (1863–1931) in 1899, according to the Barbershop Harmony Society. Mack was a popular Irish actor, singer and comedian who reportedly first sang this song in an 1899 show at The Academy of Music in New York. The show was The Last of the Rohans, written and produced by Mack.

Barbershop song reminisced about[edit]

The earlier 1899 song is a standard among barbershop quartets the world over. It is one of the most popular songs sung on Valentine's Day, as quartets deliver Singing Valentines to unsuspecting recipients in their homes, offices, classrooms, shops, train stops and other likely and unlikely places. In this context, the verses are usually omitted and only the chorus is sung.

Other versions[edit]

Cultural references[edit]

According to the book Grace and Power: The Private World of the Kennedy White House by Sally Bedell Smith, this song was a particular favorite of U.S. President John F. Kennedy; the book mentions that the president often asked his younger brother Teddy to sing it at family gatherings.

The music of the 1926 song was used for the 1954 French song "Plus je t'embrasse".[2] The French lyrics, by Max François, bear no relation to the English lyrics. Jazz versions of "Plus je t'embrasse" have been recorded by Blossom Dearie and by Diana Panton.

In the Get Smart episode "Weekend Vampire," an attempt to reconstruct a tune heard just as a murder was committed led to an enthusiastic—if irrelevant—rendition of the 1926 song by Max, the Chief, and detect-o-tune operator Arrick.


  1. ^ Portuguese is unlikely as the original language of a Trini Lopez album.
  2. ^ Plus je t'embrasse, 1954, OCLC 659110193 

External links[edit]