32 years ago, today, on 08/08/88, my wife Sheila and her first husband, Anton Murray, married. Anton sadly died in 2007, and when I first met Sheila, she had been widowed for three years. We married on my 70th birthday of 10/11/2012. Is it a matter of coincidence that both Sheila and I place prominence on numbers and dates for their symbolism, or is it one of fate? My dedication today, also goes to my wife and Anton’s wedding anniversary when Sheila was ‘Anton's gal’ before Sheila Forde became mine.
My song today is, ‘For Me and My Gal’. This song is over 100 years old and was first recorded in 1917 by Van and Schenck; the Prince’s Orchestra, Henry Burr, Albert Campbell, and Billy Murry, among others. This standard song was by George W. Meyer with lyrics by Edgar Leslie and E. Ray Goetz.
This song was used in the 1942 film of the same name, where it is the first song that Jo Hayden (Judy Garland) and Harry Palmer (Gene Kelly) perform together. The Decca single release of the Garland/Kelly version was a major hit in 1942.
The film of this song’s name was released during the year of my birth, and it holds an additional significance for me. I was taken to see the film by my mother who would take me, and sometimes our Mary and Eileen, to the Picture House (cinema) in Cleckheaton every week. As the firstborn of seven children, I was always be taken on my own initially around the age of 7 and 8 years, while my next two siblings in line had to wait a few years longer than me before they were permitted to accompany us.
My mother was born an Irish romantic and she died one. Mum loved all kinds of singing films that had a romantic love storyline to them, while dad only liked the religious films and the westerns. I think that the only film which all the Forde family jointly liked was the film with Maureen O’Hara and John Wayne called ‘The Quiet Man’ which was set in Ireland.
Being brought up with a weekly film attendance of every musical film ever produced, I was in my element and it was no great surprise that I would naturally develop into the singing of love ballads from childhood into my adult years. I still love seeing a good romantic film today, and I often get a speck of dust in my eye (which I have to remove with my handkerchief) when I am viewing sad romantic scenes.
Love and peace Bill xxx