Sweet Adeline (song)

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Cover of 1903 sheet music, with inset photo of singer Pearl Redding

"(You're the Flower of My Heart,) Sweet Adeline" is a ballad best known as a barbershop standard. It was first published in 1903, with lyrics by Richard Husch Gerard to music by Harry Armstrong, from a tune he had written in 1896 at the age of 18. According to a 1928 newspaper story, the lyrics were inspired "by a girl who worked at the music counter of a New York department store."[1] After failing to find a publisher with the initial title, "You're the Flower of My Heart, Sweet Rosalie", according to a story the two decided a new title was in order and were inspired by a poster advertising the farewell tour of opera singer Adelina Patti. It did not become a hit until it was performed in 1904 by the group The Haydn Quartet. The Haydn Quartet's version was #1 for 10 weeks in 1904, and the Peerless Quartet also hit #1 with their version in 1904, for 3 weeks, according to Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories.

John F. Fitzgerald, who served as mayor of Boston, represented Massachusetts in Congress and was the maternal grandfather of President John F. Kennedy, made "Sweet Adeline" his theme song in 1909. Over the next four decades, he personally sang it at countless political and social events and on the radio.

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ Richard H. Gerard Archived 2003-05-13 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "The Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia: 1930". The Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 2011-05-14. Retrieved 2011-04-24.

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