I Love You Truly
|"I Love You Truly"|
1906 sheet music cover
"I Love You Truly" is a parlor song written by Carrie Jacobs-Bond. Since its publication in 1901 it has been sung at weddings, recorded by numerous artists over many decades, and heard on film and television.
Carrie Jacobs-Bond began to write songs in 1894 to supplement the income of her husband, Frank Bond. When he died in 1895, she returned briefly to her hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin, where "I Love You Truly" was written. She then moved to Chicago where she painted china and rented out rooms to make ends meet. There she continued to write songs and eventually sought to publish them herself. With the encouragement and assistance of friends, including a loan from contralto Jessie Bartlett Davis, in 1901 she published a sheet music collection of her compositions called Seven Songs as Unpretentious as the Wild Rose, one of which was "I Love You Truly". She published it again as a separate song in 1906, at the same time correcting an oversight and filing for copyright. It sold over a million copies, one of the earliest songs composed by a woman to achieve that distinction.[a]
"I Love You Truly" was categorized as a "high-class ballad", a genre of the period applied to serious ballads that were suitable for cultured venues as opposed to vaudeville. It became a standard at wedding ceremonies. It also became a mainstay of barbershop harmony arrangers and singers.
Jacobs-Bond was invited to sing at the White House by three different presidents, and each time sang "I Love You Truly".
The song was a hit record for Elsie Baker in 1912 (Victor B-12069). It has been recorded by numerous artists, including Sophie Braslau (1916), Dusolina Giannini (1926), Al Bowlly (1934), Bing Crosby (1934), Erskine Hawkins (1942), Helen Traubel (1946), Jeanette MacDonald (1947), a 1951 duet by Jo Stafford and Nelson Eddy, and Pat Boone in a 1962 duet with his wife Shirley.
As early as 1929 the song was heard in the comedy movie Wise Girls and has since been heard in numerous movies. The song was also sung by Bert (Ward Bond) and Ernie (Frank Faylen) as they serenaded George (James Stewart) and Mary Bailey (Donna Reed) on their wedding night in It's a Wonderful Life (1946).
It has also been heard on television sitcoms, often for comic effect. In the first season episode of I Love Lucy "The Marriage License" (1952), it was sung by Mrs. Willoughby (Elizabeth Patterson), and in the seventh season episode of All in the Family "The Unemployment Story: Part 1" (1976), it was sung by Edith Bunker (Jean Stapleton). In the seventh season episode of Boy Meets World "It's About Time" (1999), Amy Matthews (Betsy Randle) sang the song.
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I love you truly, truly dear,
Life with its sorrow, life with its tear
Fades into dreams when I feel you are near
For I love you truly, truly dear.
Ah! Love, 'tis something to feel your kind hand
Ah! Yes, 'tis something by your side to stand;
Gone is the sorrow, gone doubt and fear,
For you love me truly, truly dear.
- James, Edward T.; James, Janet Wilson; Boyer, Paul S. (1971). Notable American Women, 1607–1950. Harvard University Press. pp. 194–195. ISBN 978-0-674-62734-5.
- Hannan, Caryn (2008). Wisconsin Biographical Dictionary. North American Book Dist LLC. p. 45. ISBN 978-1-878592-63-7.
- Raph, Theodore (2012). The American Song Treasury: 100 Favorites. Courier. p. 336. ISBN 978-0-486-17133-3.
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- Hamm, Charles (2006). Putting Popular Music in Its Place. Cambridge University Press. p. 378. ISBN 978-0-521-02861-5.
- Hamm, Charles, ed. (1995). Irving Berlin. Early Songs, Part 1: 1907–1911. A-R Editions. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-89579-305-8.
- "Heritage of Harmony Songbook". Barbershop Harmony Society. 1988. Retrieved 2015-01-21.
- Jasen, David A. (2002). A Century of American Popular Music. Taylor & Francis. p. 86. ISBN 978-0-415-93700-9.
- Hart, William S. (2011). In My Lifetime. Xlibris Corporation. p. 47. ISBN 978-1-4568-7764-4.
- Munden, Kenneth W. (1997). The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States. University of California Press. p. 910. ISBN 978-0-520-20969-5.
- Willian, Michael (2006). The Essential It's a Wonderful Life. Chicago Review Press. p. 58. ISBN 978-1-56976-428-2.
- Spangler, Lynn C. (2003). Television Women from Lucy to Friends. Greenwood. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-313-28781-7.