Tears (Ken Dodd song)

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Single by Ken Dodd
from the album Tears of Happiness
B-side "You and I"
Released August 1965
Format 7", 45rpm
Genre Easy listening
Length 2:52
Label Columbia DB 7659[1]
Songwriter(s) Billy Uhr, Frank Capano[1]
Producer(s) Norman Newell[1]
Ken Dodd singles chronology
"So Deep is the Night"
"The River"
"So Deep is the Night"
"The River"

"Tears" ("Tears for Souvenirs") is a song written by lyricist Frank Capano and composer Billy Uhr,[2] and was first recorded by Rudy Vallee in 1929.[3] It was made famous in a version recorded by Ken Dodd, released as a single in 1965. It became a No. 1 hit in the UK Singles Chart,[1] and the best-selling single of 1965. The song also reached number one on the Irish Singles Chart.

Song synopsis[edit]

The main theme is based on Delilah's aria from Samson & Delilah by Saint-Saëns

Music charts[edit]

Although best known as a comedian, Ken Dodd was a prolific recording artist throughout the 1960s and most of his music recordings were serious, not comic. His debut single "Love is like a Violin" reached No. 8 in 1960.[1] Between that and "Tears" he released nine further singles, several of which charted (though none of them made the top 20).[4]

The single spent 24 weeks in total on the chart, with five of those at number 1.[5] It sold over a million copies in the UK, becoming the biggest-selling single of 1965, and was the third-biggest selling single of the 1960s; it was the only non-Beatles song in the top 5.[6] In 2002 it was listed as the UK's 19th-best selling single of all time, with sales of 1,521,000.[7]

Cover version[edit]

Bobby Vinton released a cover of the song in 1966. His version reached No. 59 on the Billboard Hot 100,[8] while reaching No. 27 on the Billboard Easy Listening chart.[9] In Canada, Vinton's version reached No. 24 on the "RPM Play Sheet"[10] and No. 14 on RPM's "GMP Guide".[11]


"Tears" was parodied in a section of the song "I'm Bored" by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, on their album Gorilla (1967).


  1. ^ a b c d e Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 96. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  2. ^ Official Charts Company, "Million Sellers", Music Sales Group, November 20, 2012. Accessed October 24, 2015
  3. ^ "The Unswinging Sixties". BBC News. 2010-06-03. Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  4. ^ "Ken Dodd". 45-rpm.org.uk. 1927-11-08. Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  5. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 183–4. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  6. ^ "Ken Dodd 'third best-selling artist of 1960s'". BBC News. BBC. 1 June 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2010. 
  7. ^ Morgan-Gan, Theo (2002). "The UK's Best Selling Singles". UK Charts Home Page. Retrieved 1 June 2010. 
  8. ^ Bobby Vinton - Chart History - The Hot 100, Billboard.com. Accessed October 21, 2015
  9. ^ Bobby Vinton - Chart History - Adult Contemporary, Billboard.com. Accessed October 21, 2015
  10. ^ "R.P.M. Play Sheet", RPM, Volume 5, Ed. 3, March 13, 1966. Accessed October 24, 2015
  11. ^ "GMP Guide", RPM, Volume 5, Ed. 3, March 14, 1966. Accessed October 24, 2015
Preceded by
"Make It Easy on Yourself" by The Walker Brothers
UK number one single (by Ken Dodd)
30 September 1965 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Get off of My Cloud" by The Rolling Stones