“I Love You Truly” (Words and Music by Carrie Jacobs-Bond)

Carrie Jacobs died in Hollywood at the age of eighty-four, honored and wealthy. But that is not the story of her earlier life. Carrie was born in Janesville, Wisconsin in August 1862. Her father lost all his money in a grain market panic and died when she was twelve. Carrie spent the rest of her childhood with her grandfather. At the age of twenty-five she married Dr. Frank Bond, her home town physician. He was killed in an freak accident eight years later leaving Carrie penniless. Suffering from rheumatism, she now had a young boy to raise by herself. She turned to song writing and one of her first (1906) was “I Love You Truly.” Her simple sentimental songs did not achieve immediate recognition, however today nearly every new bride chooses the following words to be sung at her wedding:

“I love you tru-ly, tru-ly , dear.
Life with its sor-row, life with its tear,
Fades into dreams when I feel you are near,
For I love you tru-ly, tru-ly dear.”

“Ah! love, ‘tis some-thing to feel your kind hand,
Ah! yes, ‘tis some-thing by your side to stand.
Gone is the sor-row, Gone doubt and fear,
For you love me tru-ly, tru-ly, dear.”

(Written in the key of G and sung andante con amore.)

Though today, I Love You Truly seems to be her most lasting hit, it was not her biggest hit. That honor goes to the great song, A Perfect Day which sold five million copies, matching the previous best seller record of Charles K. Harris' After the Ball from 1892. The story of A Perfect Day is interesting. While traveling in California around 1909, Carrie stopped by at the Mission Inn in Riverside, California. In her own words: "..while dressing for dinner I thought how I wished I could express my thanks to my friends in some little way, just out of the ordinary; and almost at once came the words for "A Perfect Day" I wrote them very hurriedly; I did not have time to change a word or a sentence. I took them down and read them at the dinner that evening, then put them in my purse and thereupon forgot them." Three months later, while crossing the Mojave Desert she began singing a tune to the words. A friend with her said "Carrie, you have another song, haven't you?" To which she replied, "Well, maybe I have." And the rest, as they say, is history.
On September 24, 1940, Carrie Jacobs-Bond gave what was one of her last personal concerts. There at the California Coliseum in San Francisco some of America's greatest composers and songwriters performing their own works. Among the many luminaries, Albert Von Tilzer performed
Take Me out to the Ball Game, L. Wolfe Gilbert performed Waiting for the Robert E. Lee and George M. Cohen performed Over There and a medley of his other famed works. The concert ended with Irving Berlin singing God Bless America. In the first half of the concert, a 78 year old, still robust Carrie Jacobs-Bond took to the stage and played her most famous work, The End of a Perfect Day.

Editor’s Notes: For more information on how Carrie Jacobs-Bond became the first woman composer to earn over one million dollars and what became of her son, Fred, go to the web site www.parlorsongs.com/bios/cjbond/cjbond.asp