First Reason: I was an impressionable, romantic young boy aged eleven years (1953), and I had just fallen in love with 12-year-old Winifred Healey, who I’d proposed marriage to at lunchtime. I was awaiting her answer before the school day had ended before I would consider our engagement to marry as being official.
Reason Two: The first time I sang this song was at a talent competition and I won £5 First Prize (half a working man’s average wage in 1953).
Reason Three: Three weeks after winning the first fiver I ever held in my hands, I was run over by a large vehicle on Windybank Estate and incurred a serious accident that almost killed me, left me unable to walk for three years and then left me hobbling around for a further four years. That accident not only crippled me and almost killed me, but it also turned out to be a soul saviour and life changer.
‘Answer me my love’ was originally titled ‘Mûtterlei’ with German lyrics by Gerhard Winkler and Fred Rauch. The English lyrics were written by Carl Sigman in 1953. Carl Sigman originally wrote it as a religious-themed song, ‘Answer Me’ (in which the first line reads "Answer me, Lord above"), as a question posed to God about why the singer has lost his lover. This version of the song became a joint Number 1 hit for both Frankie Laine and David Whitfield in the United Kingdom in November 1953. This was the only time in UK chart history that two versions of the same song tied at the top. However, the BBC banned the song because of its ‘religious’ lyrics, and Sigman rewrote them to address the lost lover directly, under the title ‘Answer Me, My Love’. Whitfield then re-recorded the number with the new lyrics in order to get BBC air-plays. Both his versions have appeared on CD. Frankie Laine went back into the studios of Columbia Records and recorded ‘Answer Me, My Love’, which was released in the UK but failed to overtake the original. The best-selling version of the song was recorded by Nat King Cole in 1954.
Overall, a song from the past where, marriage, money and mortality remain forever inextricably linked within the impressionable mind of an 11-year-old boy called Billy Forde.
Love and peace. Bill xxx