I'll Walk Alone

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"I'll Walk Alone"
Song by Dinah Shore
Released1944 (1944)
Composer(s)Jule Styne
Lyricist(s)Sammy Cahn

"I'll Walk Alone" is a 1944 popular song with music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Sammy Cahn. The song was written for the 1944 musical film Follow the Boys, in which it was sung by Dinah Shore, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song but lost to “Swinging on a Star”. Shore also released the song as a single which became her first #1 hit on the Billboard charts.


Like other songs that came out during the World War II years such as "Till Then," it reflects the enforced separation of couples caused by the war. While "Till Then" is written from the point of view of the soldier wanting his lover to wait for him, "I'll Walk Alone" is written from the point of view of the stay-at-home lover, promising to be true.[original research?]


Dinah Shore made the best-known version of this song, recording it twice.[1] She first introduced it in the Universal Studios film Follow the Boys (1944), taking it to the top of the charts (her first #1 hit) for four weeks and reaching number ten on The Harlem Hit Parade in 1944.[2] Shore later recorded the song in the early 1960s. Martha Tilton[3] also fared well, placing the song in the Billboard Top Ten. The song was also recorded by Jane Froman (1952).[4]

Oddly, when "I'll Walk Alone" was revived in the 1950s, it was often done by male singers, with a very popular version being done by Don Cornell[5] (1952 top ten). Teen idol Ricky Nelson recorded a version for his 1958 album Ricky Nelson.[6] In the Pop Chronicles documentary, Cahn himself performed the song while explaining that it began with a phone call from Follow the Boys producer Charles K. Feldman.[7]

Marty Robbins recorded "I'll Walk Alone" for his 1962 album Portrait of Marty.[8][9][10] The song is sometimes confused with his 1968 country hit "I Walk Alone."[11] (The Willie Nelson song titled "I'll Walk Alone" is actually a version of "I Walk Alone."[12])

Cliff Richard recorded it for his 1965 album, Love is Forever.

Engelbert Humperdink recorded it for his 1985 album A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening.

Jazz singer Nancy Wilson recorded the song for her 1969 album But Beautiful.[13]

For the film, Flags of Our Fathers, director Clint Eastwood sings his version of the song on the soundtrack.

In the episode of The Phil Silvers Show named "The Eating Contest", this was the song that depressed Private Ed Honnergar, played by Fred Gwynne, making him have unlimited eating capacity, which was exploited by Sgt. Bilko to win an eating contest.


  1. ^ Allmusic "I'll Walk Alone" Dinah Shore with music sample
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 524.
  3. ^ Allmusic "I'll Walk Alone" Martha Tilton with music sample
  4. ^ Allmusic "I'll Walk Alone" Jane Froman (10", Album 'With A Song In My Heart' 1952) with music sample
  5. ^ Allmusic "I'll Walk Alone" Don Cornell
  6. ^ Allmusic "I'll Walk Alone" Rick Nelson with music sample
  7. ^ Gilliland, John (1994). Pop Chronicles the 40s: The Lively Story of Pop Music in the 40s (audiobook). ISBN 978-1-55935-147-8. OCLC 31611854. Tape 2, side A.
  8. ^ Discogs Marty Robbins Portrait Of Marty
  9. ^ LP Discography Marty Robbins
  10. ^ "Kristy's Marty Robbins Page". Archived from the original on 2012-04-24. Retrieved 2011-12-24.
  11. ^ Allmusic "I Walk Alone" Marty Robbins with music sample
  12. ^ Amazon "I'll Walk Alone" Willie Nelson MP3 with music sample
  13. ^ Allmusic "I'll Walk Alone" Nancy Wilson with music sample