Thursday, December 8, 2011

Deer, Hearts and Gentle People

I'm calling this my "deer, hearts and gentle people" garland. After the song. Do you know it? Are you humming it now? It is catchy. I’ll tell you more about the song in a minute. First – the craft.

The garland is made from recycled jumpers, felted in a hot wash. The decorative details are vintage cotton ric rac and recycled buttons.

The decorations all hangs on a length of mini white cotton ric rac.

One is for sale on our etsy page and if you are in the Brunswick area, our friend Liz at Gleaners inc has a couple for sale - including an extended  l...o...n...g...e...r  version with three deer heads, four snowflakes and four hearts.

Now. The song. “Dear Hearts and Gentle People” was written in 1949. Music by Sammy Fain, most famous for his film song compositions like “Secret Love” (from Calamity Jane) and “Love is a Many Splendoured Thing” and lyrics by Bob Hilliard. First recorded by Dinah Shore in 1949, the song has been recorded by many great singers over the years -  Bing Crosby, Jim Reeves, Marty Robbins, Pattie Page, Perry Como and Gene Autry. It’s a simple heart warming old fashioned song about a home town.
I love those dear hearts and gentle people
Who live in my home town
Because those dear hearts and gentle people
Will never ever let you down.
But here’s the sad part. The song was inspired by the words written on a scrap of paper found on the dead body of Stephen Foster in 1864. Stephen Foster wrote many songs and I know you know them. We all know them. “Camptown Races”,  “ Oh Susannah”,  “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair”, “Swanee River” and “Beautiful Dreamer” are among his catalogue of compositions. Yes, many a popular song. So popular we forget they were even written by someone. If this guy were around today he’d be like a pop star! He’d have a mansion and limousine and squillions. Maybe. But he died alone, impoverished in a New York hotel in 1864 with 38 cents and 3 pennies to his name and a scrap of paper with the words "Dear friends and gentle hearts" written on it. He was just 37 years old.
Now I don’t know if he was even a good person or not but it seems pretty tragic that someone who was so prolific and talented dies like this. Sorry. Gives the song a different air, doesn’t it? But let’s all be grateful for dear hearts, gentle people, dear friends and gentle hearts. And for those who never let us down.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post. He was a prolific writer and I never would have known that had I not read it here. 37 years old. So young. Thanks for sharing