My late father, known as 'John' to his side of the family and his workmates and as 'Joe' to my mother, Mary, and her side of the family - his baptismal names were 'John Joseph' - loved a good tune and I often heard him sing bits of songs around the house, though I don't recall him having a 'party piece'. The songs he sang were always melodic. This morning I looked for Till We Meet Again on YouTube, one of the songs I associate with my Dad. Later I realised that today is the 98th anniversary of his birth. The song was written in 1918 by Richard A. Whiting (music) and Raymond B. Egan (lyrics).
Dad was a great fan of Bing Crosby. One of the recordings I came across was by Bing Crosby and Patti page, made in 1952. I have never been a great fan of Patti Page, though I am of Bing Crosby. But I like their version (below). Above is a video of Gordon MacRae and Doris Day singing it, from a movie made in 1951, On Moonlight Bay, but set at the time the song was written, when the USA was already involved in the Great War. Gordon MacRae refers to 'The Doughboys', the nickname used for US soldiers at that time. In World War II they became 'GIs'.
Duets with a male and female singer were very popular when I was a child in the late '40s and early '50s. Gordon MacRae recorded many with Jo Stafford. These songs were all tuneful.
Smile the while you kiss me sad adieu,
When the clouds roll by I'll come to you,
Then the skies will seem more blue,
Down in lovers' lane my dearie,
Wedding bells will ring so merrily,
Every tear will be a memory,
So wait and pray each night for me,
Till we meet again.
My parents grew up with great songs!
Dad died suddenly in the early evening of 11 August 1987, having been at Mass that morning, as he had been every morning of his adult life. Please remember him in your prayers today.