»  Peter Dawson sings "Parted"

 

Parted

by Frederick Weatherly, sung by Peter Dawson

 

•  Background

"Parted" deserves, I think, the title "best adultery song ever written." Who wrote it, though? This Peter Dawson recording, for which I have no date, only credits "Tosti-Weatherly." Tosti must be the great Edwardian popular composer Francesco Paolo Tosti (1846-1916); Weatherly is surely the impossibly talented and prolific lyricist (among many, many other things) Fred Weatherly (1848-1929).

The lyrics, however, seem to me to show the hand of a born poet. They would not have disgraced Lord Byron in one of his lower moods. Is there a poetic original? The internet has this by someone named Susanna May Lougheed, about whom the internet is otherwise mute. A link now defunct gave a date of September 18, 1916. The problem is that this is a bit late for Tosti, who died in December that year, in Rome, whither he had returned in 1913. The other stanzas don't appear on the internet at all, except in fragments for which people have obviously stolen them.

Weatherly's 1926 autobiography Piano and Gown (in his day job he was a barrister) has this to say (p. 272):

And before I settled in Bath in 1900 I had written my English version of Cowen's "Signa" and De Lara's "Amy Robsart," and among many songs, "Bravo Jack" and "Ever so Far Away" for Maybrick, "'Tis June" for Denza, "Nini, Ninette, Ninon" and "Oh" for Lionel Monckton, and "Parted" for Tosti. That song had a curious history. When it appeared in 1899 it had the sale which Tosti's songs usually secured after publication, and then died.

It was revived by Hubert Eisdell after the war, and though that excellent singer says that "Parted" made him, I venture to think his lovely voice made "Parted," or at least created a new interest in the song.

Well, it's an exceptionally lovely song, even if you're not disposed to adultery. If anyone knows anything about it, please send an email to me at the address on my home page.

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•  Listen to the song

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•  Lyrics of the song


    Parted

        by Frederick Weatherly

Dearest, our day is over —
    Ended, the dream divine.
You must go back to your life;
    I must go back to mine.

Back to the joyless duties,
    Back to the fruitless tears.
Loving and yet divided
    All through the empty years.

            How can I live without you?
            How can I let you go?
            I that you loved so well, dear —
                You that I worship so,
                You that I worship so.

Dearest, the night is passing.
    Waneth the trembling moon.
Hark!  how the wind ariseth.
    Morn will be here so soon.

Tell me again you love me —
    Kiss me on lips and brow.
Love of my soul, I love you.
    How can I leave you now?

            How can I live without you?
            How can I let you go?
            I that you loved so well, dear —
                You that I worship so,
                You that I worship so.
            I that you loved so well, dear —
                You that I worship so.