I Hear You Calling Me by Harold Harford

Dad thinks that I should dismiss the last six or so pieces of music from his collection…but, NO WAY!  I’m seeing this documentation through to the end.  I Hear You Calling Me was next in my father’s music.  This one was an English traditional tune coming out of London.

This background, from Wikipedia…

Harold Lake had been a great friend of Harry Dearth, the ballad singer, from when they had been in the choir school of Westminster Abbey together. Dearth had urged Lake to try to write lyrics, but it was not until some years after, that “I Hear You Calling Me” was written. Lake explained that behind the events which led up to its composition lay a story of youthful romance:[1]

A 16-year-old pupil teacher at an elementary school in Canterbury met a girl nearly a year his junior. Then followed three years of utter devotion as only the very young can know, then a fortnight of galloping consumption, and a lad of 19 standing on a November day grave.

Six years later, Lake woke up one morning and the words came to him; they were written in 20 minutes.[1] He was reported to have sold the song for a few pounds, but made a fortune from the sale of its gramophone recordings.[2]

Marshall, who at this time was a struggling song-writer, visited the tenor John McCormack at his lodgings and played him the piece; McCormack started to sing it, and soon became enthusiastic. He suggested that they should visit Mr. Arthur Boosey as he would be sure to publish it.[3]

The song became a bestseller for McCormack and helped to start him on the road to success.[1] He recorded it six times in total, twice for Odeon and four times forVictor.[4] The song became so closely identified with him that his wife Lily adopted it as the title of her biography of him.[3][5

I think pieces was another Festival piece because I find on my sticky note, the name Mrs. Weir, Dad’s music teacher.  There’s quite a sustained note on that word, “calling…”




I like this version…sung in 1949 by James Melton