The Ballad of High Noon

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"The Ballad of High Noon"
Published 1952
Composer Dimitri Tiomkin
Lyricist Ned Washington

"The Ballad of High Noon" (or "Do Not Forsake Me, O My Darlin‍ '​ ") is a popular song published in 1952, with music by Dimitri Tiomkin and lyrics by Ned Washington.[1]


It was introduced in the movie High Noon, sung over the opening credits by Tex Ritter. It was awarded the 1952 Academy Award for Best Original Song,[1] and was performed that night for the Academy by Ritter.[2] The song is about the film's main character, Will Kane; played by Gary Cooper, and his moral dilemma of his new wife; Amy Fowler-Kane, played by Grace Kelly, abandoning (or "forsaking") him because he chooses to stay and fight instead of running away with her after their wedding. The song refers to how he can't have a safe life with her until he has eliminated the threats that face him, and he wants her to stay with him just a while longer until it's all over and not give up on him for good.

In the context of film music, "The Ballad of High Noon" is acclaimed not merely for its musical integration with High Noon's score, but also for expounding lyrically on the themes of honor and obligation which define the film.[citation needed] It is placed at #25 on "AFI's 100 Years... 100 Songs". Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.[3]

Recorded versions[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 134. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ The Making of High Noon, hosted by Leonard Maltin, 1992, interview with John Ritter. Available on the Region 1 DVD from Artisan Entertainment.
  3. ^ Western Writers of America (2010). "The Top 100 Western Songs". American Cowboy. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. 
  4. ^
  5. ^

See also[edit]