"I Love You" in Song

"I Just Had To Say I Love You In This Song."


We've featured many love songs over the years, and even had a few features related to Valentine's Day. This month for both Valentine's and as an extension of last month's feature, we are looking at songs that say "I Love You" through their title. Many of the songs featured this month are rarely if ever heard today. So many wonderful songs have passed into oblivion over the last century it would be almost impossible to find them all. However, as our collection grows (now close to 7,000 songs) we continue to find so may songs that deserve resurrection and exposition. Few of the songs this month will be familiar to you, but some have taken a place in history as permanent hit songs that defy the ravages of time.


Last month (January, 2005) we featured songs of love and adoration for women, by name. This month we take it to the next level, the general use of music to say "I Love You." The idea of expressing love through song is perhaps the seminal use of song. Song is one of the languages of love and one of the most tactile manifestations of emotion. There is something within music that is directly tied to emotion and where words fail, music can express emotion so clearly that just listening to certain music can bring you into an emotional state in sympathy with the emotion expressed by the songwriter or composer. I find it amazing how closely related music is to emotion, especially love. Most of the songs this month have "I Love You" in the title.


What do we do when we want to set a romantic mood? We turn on the stereo or radio to romantic music. When we are alone and deeply in love how many of us turn to music as a way to feel the love? When we meet someone for the first time, how many of us connect to music and establish "our song?' And, when we wed, we spend hours trying to select just the right music for the occasion. Come with us now as we give you yet another musical Valentine and set the mood for love, love and more "I Love You."


Richard A. Reublin, February, 2005. This article published February, 2005 and is Copyright © 2005 by Richard A. Reublin and The Parlor Songs Academy. Text, images or music may not be reproduced in part or in total without express written permission of the author or a company officer.

I Love You In The Same Old Way.


Music by: John W. Bratton
Words by: Walter H. Ford
Cover artist: Unattributed


I've noticed that many love songs use the line, "in the same old way." That line often appears in the title or in the lyrics themselves. That thought symbolizes the changing nature of love that we all see. At first we are consumed by an intense fervor that seems to take control of our life. The object of our love is adored, catered to and constantly in our mind. It seems we simply cannot get enough of each other and the love will never cease. Later, as relationships grow, we find our love changing. The ardor abates and is replaced by a more comfortable love. Still love, but one that is more directed towards respect and companionship. Some people mourn that change. Idealists see it as a loss of true love. Realists see it as the natural progression of love.


Of course, most songs exist in the idealist's world. One where love conquers all and where love is always "new love," continuously renewed and intense at all times. Such is the case with this song which is unfortunately, a funeral dirge of sorts to a love who has passed away and waits for the remaining lover to come join her. Such is the case with so many love songs. This song is quite melodic and reflective of the harmonies of the 90s (very consonant with plenty of octaves). Yet, it is marked "very slow" and does come off as a very funereal work. For fun, if you use the Scorch plug in to view the song, slide the tempo slider up to the far right. You'll see that the nature of the song changes significantly. If you are not using the Scorch plug-in, you are missing the best presentation of music on the net, get it now from Sibelius. Such is the value of tempo and pauses in song. Just the tempo alone can markedly change the emotional nature of the song.


John W. Bratton, Born in Wilmington, Delaware in 1867, Bratton enjoyed substantial popularity in the 1890's. . Bratton was educated in Wilmington and at the Philadelphia College of Music. Early on, he was a stage performer in both plays and as a singer. His primary musical activity was as a composer and writer of Broadway shows in the early 20th century. Many of his published songs had little circulation and popularity beyond the context of his shows. Some of his most notable shows were, Hodge Podge and Company (1900), The Liberty Belles (1901), The School Girl (1904), Buster Brown (1908) and The Newlyweds and Their Baby (1909).


Among his most popular songs were, I Love You In The Same Old Way, Darling Sue with lyricist Walter H. Ford in 1896, My Sunbeam From The South, In A Garden Of Faded Flowers, I Talked To God Last Night, In A Pagoda and The Teddy Bear's Picnic. Unfortunately, none of his songs have passed into the present as lasting hits. Bratton died in 1947 in Brooklyn, NY. (Essential facts from Kunkle, V.2, pg. 617)


Hear this great 1890s love song ( Printable using the Scorch plug-in)

listen to MIDI version



I Wonder If You Love Me In The Same Old Way.


Music by: Henry Schmidt
Lyrics by: P. V. Barber
Cover artist: Unattributed

Not only do we confess our love, but we also need our lover to do the same for us. Of course, not only do we tell our lovers that we love them (in the same old way) but most of us often ask for reassurance that they love us; hence the question "Do you love me (in the same old way)? It seems universal that most of us have the need to love and be loved so we actively seek out confirmation whenever it's not voluntarily offered within our own timetable of need. This song offers the flip side to our previous song and seeks that affirmation.


The music is early 20th century but is still strongly grounded in the style of the 90s. The introduction has a curious motif ( short melody ) that is very suggestive of the 1902 song In the Good Old Summertime. It is likely that the composer "borrowed" that theme with slight modification for this song, a common practice by composers from the dawn of musical composition. The lyrics describe a lover far away musing on fond memories of their love together. The chorus expresses the singer's longing for their lover while of course asking (wondering) if they still love them (in the same old way).

Enjoy this wonderful old song ( Printable using the Scorch plug-in)

listen to MIDI version



Love Me As I Love You



Words and Music by: W. T. Jefferson
Cover artist: Unattributed


I love the cover on this piece and it too is unsigned. It is not only an excellent example of the style of covers during the 19th century, but is also unintentionally humorous. One aspect of love is what I'll call "clingyness." The tendency of the truly insecure among us to need that constant closeness and affirmation of love. In most cases, it is a self centered view and often smothers the very love it is intended to nurture. Such obsessions often end in the love object to start the run and do not pass "Go." Now, in that context look at the man and woman in the cover image. I am sure that the artist intended a picture of tender love. In my opinion, he produced one that is the opposite. Pay attention to the man, he is "in her face" and has an almost evil look rather than a loving one. Now note the woman, she is turned away and almost looking to us for help. Sorry, but not a great look of love going on there!


The music is a sweet and lovely waltz with simple harmony. Musically, it is very uncomplicated. Almost throughout, the accompaniment is nearly nothing more than a reflection of the melody with the typical waltz 1-2-3 chord line. Of course, often times simplicity is elegant but I'm afraid in this case, the simplicity is just that, simple. Nonetheless, I think you'll find it a pleasant tune with a nice sentiment expressed through the lyrics. I've not found any other songs by the composer nor can I find any mention of him in any of my references or on the net.


Listen to and see this 1898 song Printable score! (Scorch format)

Listen to MIDI version


I Love You Dearly


Words and Music by: Paul Barnes
Cover artist: Unattributed photo, cover art by Carter


For many, love is selfless and they proclaim their love to another without asking anything in return. Such is (almost) the nature of this song that , Paul Barnes brought us in 1902. This wonderful song has a title very nearly like the more famous wedding standard I Love You Truly by Carrie Jacobs-Bond which was published just four years later (see the final song of this feature). The lovely young Miss with the jaunty salute on the cover is the child star Maudie Snyder who has pretty much passed into oblivion along with Barnes. About all we can find about Barnes are the titles of two other songs mentioned on the cover of this song; Good-Bye Dolly Gray and It's Hard to Leave Your Girl Behind both obviously written prior to 1902.


Musically this song is a classic of the era. Certainly much more complex harmonically and thematically than the previous song, I've found it to be one of my favorites from this month's feature. The verse is upbeat and the lyrics sing of the trees, birds, waters, breezes and all of nature symbolizing the love one has for another. The chorus changes tone dramatically to a hymn to the singer's lover and their love. Proclaiming his (or her) love for the other from the treetops, the singer declares that the love no one else and love them truly and dearly. It's a quite nice song, I hope you enjoy it.


Hear this loving song (Scorch format)

Listen to MIDI version


I Love You Ma Chérie.


Lyrics and Music by: Paul Rubens
Cover artist: Unattributed

Anna Held was Florenz Ziegfeld's wife, imported by him from Paris to sing in his stage productions. This song is from one of Ziegfeld's musicals, A Parisian Model, staged at the Broadway Theater in November of 1906. The play's first run was a respectable 179 performances and it was replayed again at the Broadway in 1908 but closed after only 21 performances. The song title gains it's mixed language title from that production. The fellow on the cover, Henri Leoni played the artist Julien de Marsay opposite Held who was in the title role.


The song is very entertaining as it illustrates the on and off again nature that love often brings into our life. It is literally an expression of the "love-hate" emotionally charged atmosphere that is often present in a relationship. The lyrics are humorous with lines such as; "I love you, Ma Chèrie,Whenever you I see, It seems like Heaven, I hate you Ma Chèrie.." and "ah Ma Chèrie, I worship you just madly, You treat me very badly, Ma Chèrie; For I love you but you don't care for me." The poor man, there is nothing quite like unrequited love. Musically the song is a delight as well. The melody is very lovely and the tenor of the music is clearly that of a stage song. The melody is very expressive and marked to bring out that expression through rubato, retards, accelerandos, pauses and dynamic changes. The song is through composed, basically that it flows straight through without going back for repeats of the verse and chorus (strophic form). The through composed form lends itself more to stage shows as it represents more of a conversation than a parlor or popular song.


Unfortunately for the composer, Paul Rubens his presence on the web is totally overshadowed by the renaissance painter Peter Paul Rubens and Pee-Wee Herman. Though I've not nailed down his vital dates, we do know that he was a fairly prolific composer for Broadway shows from around 1902 till 1925. Besides the music for A Parisiann Model, his other works include A Country Girl (1902), Three Little Maids (1903), The Dairy Maids (1907), The Girl From Utah (1914) and his last such work Naughty Cinderella (1925)


Enjoy this classic Ziegfeld production song

Listen to MIDI version


I Wonder Why I Love You So


and Music by: May Greene
Words by: W. A. Lang
Cover artist: Unattributed


From some of these songs, one might be led to conclude that being in love is nothing more than asking questions and pondering the state of the relationship; Do I love You? Do You Love Me? Why Do I love You? Hearkening back to my own love sick days, it seems true that we do spend an inordinate amount of time just mooning over our love, most usually though only in that first stage of love. The composers of this song give us one of those questions, wondering why we love someone so much. I think that most of the authors of these songs must have all been in the throes of new love!


Here we have another waltz, in 4/4 time! When you listen to it at the opening and during the verse, you are sure it must be a waltz but the composer has cleverly taken 4/4 or Common time and made it sound very much like waltz time through the use of tied notes and rests. Of course waltzes are often thought of as love songs. Many of the greatest love songs are in waltz time. This one is a nice tune but not particularly distinguished. The pleasant melody is surrounded by a minimal accompaniment. When we arrive at the chorus, the composer takes us completely away from the waltz sound to a clear 4/4 time and a sound that is more like a popular song.


May Greene, like many women composers of the era has faded into history. I find no reference to her in my library and none on the Internet, W. A. Lang shares her fate.


Listen to this great old song (Scorch format)

Listen to MIDI version


Love Me When The Lilacs Bloom Again


Music by: George A. Smith
Lyrics by: Walter Cavenaugh
Cover artist: Unattributed


The title of this song does not specifically say "I Love You," but the song certainly is a love song. Here we have a great ballad that speaks to the longing we all feel when we part from someone we love. The cover is classic cover art from the period and is graced with an inset photo of Frank Morrel, "The California Boy." Morrell was a well known performer in the early century and his picture can be found on various covers from the period. The use of celebrity photos and endorsements on sheet music was introduced by Charles K. Harris and was a very successful sales booster. Sometimes, the celebrity had no connection to the song but was simply used to promote the song. Most often, the "Successfully Introduced by" or "Sung with great success by" lines with the celebrity name or photo was sure to help sales of a given song. Celebrity endorsements continue to be a staple of sales of items from soup to nuts.


This ballad is rather upbeat musically, somewhat in opposition to some of the lyrics. It's a fairly short work, running just shy of a minute with no repeats. I found it to be a gay song, in the style of the early century. It has a nice melody that is pleasant and easy to sing. The songwriters, George A. Smith and Walter Cavenaugh are two more victims of history and our library does not list either one nor do they seem evident on the net.


Listen to this great song

Listen to MIDI version


Love's Old Sweet Song


Music by: J. L. Molloy
Words by: G. Clifton Bingham
Cover artist: Unattributed


One of perhaps the only two still remembered and performed songs from the ones presented this month is this standard. Though not heard as often any more, it has managed to hang in there for decades. It is now in its 121st year having been originally published in 1884. As with many of the greatest songs of all time, Love's Old Sweet Song has been published over and over. We have several editions in our collection and you'll find the song still available from various sheet music sources (including us). The words are by Clifton Bingham who also collaborated with Molloy on a number of other songs including Golden Bell’, My Own Good Man, Only Youth is Happy, and We’ll Keep the Old Grey Mare, John. The song was introduced in 1894 by Antoinette Sterling a leading singer of the times. Often the song is also (incorrectly) known by the title, Just A Song at Twilight, the most memorable line and melody at the beginning of the chorus.


James Lynam Molloy was one of the 19th century's most gifted Irish songwriters. Born in Cornalaur, Rahan, which is near Tullamore, King's County, Ireland in 1837. He was well known there and wrote a number of idiomatic works in his homeland that reached high levels of popularity including The Old Cottage Clock and The Kerry Dance. Few of Molloy's works reached hit status in the US save his crowning achievement, Love's old Sweet Song, written when Molloy was nearly 60. Unfortunately, much of Molloy's music is lost to us today though copies are still undoubtedly to be found in attics and piano benches around the world. For an excellent look at this composer's life and works, be sure to visit the Molloy biography site, lovesoldsweetsong.com from which these basic facts are taken.


Listen to this great old song (Scorch format)

Listen to MIDI version


Why Shouldn't I Love You


Music by: Bert L. Rule
Words by: Ray Sherwood
Cover artist: Unattributed photo


After our little detour, we are back to songs with "I Love You" in the title. This work has an absolutely fabulous art deco style photo on the cover. Though issued in 1915, the change in styles from the first decade of the 20th century is obvious. In between the Victorian times and the Jazz age, you can see the flapper starting to emerge in her dress, headwear and hair style. Of course this decade was a bridge from older more traditional times to the heady days of modern dance and morals. After the 1st World War, the changes came fast and furious in a headlong dash into the era of flappers, booze and the Charleston.


This song is a somewhat smarmy ballad that just drips with loving sentiments. The verse begins in Common time (4/4) and provides the backdrop for the chorus which moves into waltz time (3/4). Melodically the song is somewhat unremarkable with some dissonance that is either intentional or a result of some misprints. You can begin to see some of the elements of later songs where the use of octaves and consonant chords begins to give way to more dense harmonies and some dissonance. It's a good song, not great but good and I hope you enjoy it


Very little seems to be found about the lives of the songwriters Burt l. Rule and Ray Sherwood. We do have other songs in our collection by them and there are several other known works by them from this same time period. Among them are Down Where the Tennessee Flows (1913), I'm Goin' Back To Old Nebraska (1914) Scorch format, and I Hear Dear Old Uncle Pete.


Listen to this love song (Scorch format only)

Listen to MIDI version


In The Land Of Love With The Song Birds


Lyrics and Music by: F. Wallace Regá
Cover artist: Unattributed


Now we've come to my favorite this month and one of those gems of music we often find among the thousands of early popular songs. This one is perhaps the most creative and unique contained in our collection and is clearly a reflection of a master musician. Why all that praise? When you listen you will hopefully agree.


This is a joyful song, a celebration of love that deserves a place of honor in America's music. The composer added a melody line for flute or recorder (though not specified) that adds a flock of birds to the song to provide a background appropriate to the song's title and lyrics. That melody track simulates bird calls and when I first played it, I was startled by how realistic Regá made them. The sheet music includes the comment "with Bird Obligato" and I can see why. Without the "bird" track, the song becomes just a song, with it Regá has created a symphony of style and imagination. Performing the bird staff is no simple feat. With trills dozens of grace notes, and triplets galore, it would require a very accomplished musician to perform well. I've voiced the bird obligato for recorder and do hope you are able to enjoy it. I know I've heaped a ton of praise on the song but I've found it to be nothing short of amazing and certainly deserving of hearing again.


Once again we have a composer who has been lost in the fog of music history. My references do not mention him and only one other song attributed to him can be found in various databases. He apparently went into the publishing business as I did find one work from 1926 (My Own Liberty Bell (1926) Words and Music by Fred W. Hager) that shows the copyright line "F. Wallace Rega, Publisher." The other published piece by him is Let's Go Back to the Village of Love published in 1916.


Listen to this great old song (Scorch format)

Listen to MIDI version


Keep Your Eye On The Girlie You Love


Music by: Ira Schuster
Words by: Howard Johnson & Alex Gerber
Cover artist: Rosencranz Studio


Ok, so I know I've taken a great deal of liberty with these titles but I just needed to add at least one or two novelty songs into the mix. This one, with a great art deco cover by "R.S." (generally accepted to be the Rosencranz Studio, a stable of talented illustrators) is a commentary on the changing mores of America. The song speaks to the emerging sexual and social powers of American women. Somewhat like the above Why Shouldn't I Love You, this song begins to show us a preview of the explosion of women's rights and participation in society. Probably kept in the shadows, the song points out the new "take charge" attitude of women towards relationships and public behavior. No longer did men have a monopoly on wild behavior and sexual freedom.


Basically the song is a warning to men that women are subject to the same temptations as men and are likely to stray unless they were kept at bay and their behavior closely watched and contained. Of course today we know that where there is a will, there is a way and no matter how much scrutiny a partner gets, if they are inclined to stray, they will fins a way. Nonetheless, the song is a delightful melody and the story is told with great humor. It's a welcome break from all this serious love and at least serves as a warning to us all that unless we take care of our partners, someone else just might step in.


Listen to this great old novelty love song Printable! (Scorch format only)

Listen to MIDI version


I Love Her


Words and Music by: Jack Glogau
Words by: Harry Rose
Cover artist: Rosencranz Studio


Another humorous "I Love You' song is this offering from Harry Rose and Jack Glogau. Once again we are faced with the women's movement and men's loss of control, in a humorous way. I believe many of the songs written during this period were reflective of men's fears that they were losing some control and giving up their monopoly on "bad" behavior. For many men, the changes in women's rights and their open participation in society had to be a serious threat to their ego and manhood. Many of the humorous songs probably were rooted in this fear and was a non threatening way for those concerns to be expressed. OK, enough of the psychoanalysis!


The song lyrics start right off in the verse talking about the "wild, wild women everywhere." The singer confesses he is confused and unable to decide what to do because he's "in love with a wild, wild woman too." It's a fun song with a real upbeat sound to it and the music itself sets a happy and humorous tone in it's melody and meter. The sound is very similar to other novelty songs of the period and if you listened to the music without the words, I believe you would intuitively recognize it as a humorous song. Enjoy!


Listen to this wonderful song (Printable using the Scorch plug-in)

Listen to MIDI version



I Love You Truly


Words and Music by: Carrie Jacobs-Bond
Cover artist: Bond


Now we arrive to the one song that says "I Love You" that can be considered the ultimate song in this category. I Love You Truly was published in 1906 as a part of a set of seven songs published by Carrie Jacobs-Bond. It was probably her first mega-hit song and was the one that propelled her into the forefront of popular song composers. Bond went on to become the leading woman songwriter in America and was the first millionaire woman songwriter in American music history. Her life story is inspiring and engaging and to read about her life, be sure to visit our biography of Bond before you leave us today, you'll find it to be a wonderful story of personal courage and determination in overcoming adversity.


Little needs to be said about this song. It is still regularly used in weddings and is one of the few songs that have been a staple of that genre for almost a century. It is timeless in it's style and melody and the words speak directly to the heart. Bond had a penchant for getting to the heart of matters with her songs. Her lyrics are hauntingly beautiful and at the same time reflective of the sadness she endured throughout her life due to a number of personal tragedies. However, despite it all she managed to write some of the most uplifting songs that strike the soul and speak to the heart. I've always loved her music and she is my favorite popular song composer of all time. I've collected almost all of her published works and have a number of autographed photos and sheet music that are my most prized musical treasures. Her photo sits above my computer as a constant reminder of the beauty of music and those who create it for us all. My wife has duly noted my infatuation with Bond and calls her my "dead girlfriend." Rather gruesome, but I must confess, true.


Listen to this wonderful original song (Scorch format)

Listen to MIDI version


This article Copyright ©2005, written and published by Richard A. Reublin and The Parlor Songs Academy, Inc., February, 2005

This article published February, 2005 and is Copyright © 2005 by Richard A. Reublin and The Parlor Songs Academy Text, images or music may not be reproduced in part or in total without express written permission of the author. Though the songs published on this site are often in the Public Domain, MIDI renditions are protected by copyright as recorded performances.

Thanks for visiting us and be sure to come back again next month to see our new feature or to read some or all of our over 100 articles about America's music. See our resources page for a complete bibliography of our own library resources used to research this and other articles in our series.


If you'd like to contribute an article to us at ParlorSongs, we'd love to have your help and contribution. The "rules" for submissions can be found here, we'd love to have submissions by any of our readers, anytime and would enjoy having a "reader submission" or "favorites" feature from time to time. Heck, get involved, help us out and write a feature for us!

The Parlor Songs Academy is an educational website, designated by the "ac" (academic) domain

If you would like to submit an article about America's music for us to publish, go to our submissions page for information about writing articles for us. We also welcome suggestions for subjects for future articles.

Please Help Us Continue our Efforts with a donation. The Parlor Songs Academy. is a Tennessee unincorporated association. Donations go towards the aquisition of additional music, preservation of music, equipment and educational efforts. If you like what we do, please help us out. Donation funds are used entirely for the operating expenses of Parlor Songs and/or aquisition of additional music or equipment.

We realize that there are those who prefer not to transact financial matters on the Internet. If you would like to donate or make a purchase by check, email us for mailing information.
A great deal of work and effort has gone into these pages. The concept, design, images, written text and performance (MIDI and other recordings) of these works, the web pages, custom images and original content are Copyright © 1997-2023 by Richard A. Reublin or Richard G. Beil. Before using any of these images, text or performances (MIDI or other recordings), please read our usage policy for standard permissions and those requiring special attention. Thanks.

We respect your privacy and do not collect or divulge personal information see our privacy policy for more information

E-Mail us for more information or comments or read our FAQs to get instant answers to our most often asked questions.

Return to Top of Page