Sunday Dec. 27, 2020’s Smile of the Day: Sweet Adeline

On this Day:

Sweet Adeline, a barbershop quartet favourite, is first sung. 

“(You’re the Flower of My Heart,) Sweet Adeline” was first published in 1903, with lyrics by Richard Husch Gerard to music by Harry Armstrong, from a tune he had written in 1896 at the age of 18. According to a 1928 newspaper story, the lyrics were inspired “by a girl who worked at the music counter of a New York department store.” After failing to find a publisher with the initial title, “You’re the Flower of My Heart, Sweet Rosalie”, according to a story the two decided a new title was in order and were inspired by a poster advertising the farewell tour of opera singer Adelina Patti. It did not become a hit until it was performed in 1904 by the group The Haydn Quartet. The Haydn Quartet’s version was #1 for 10 weeks in 1904, and the Peerless Quartet also hit #1 with their version in 1904, for 3 weeks, according to Joel Whitburn’s Pop Memories.

John F. Fitzgerald, who served as mayor of Boston, represented Massachusetts in Congress and was the maternal grandfather of President John F. Kennedy, made “Sweet Adeline” his theme song in 1909. Over the next four decades, he personally sang it at countless political and social events and on the radio.

It has been performed by a variety of musicians and used in numerous films over its 117 year history, including: Mickey and Minnie Mouse, I Love Lucy, Bing Crosby, Jimmie Rodgers, Elmo’s World, The Simpsons and many others (per Wikipedia).

First, a Story:

What is the favorite TV show of the barbershop quartet?  ‘The Sopranos’!

Second, a Song:

Needless to say there are MANY versions of Sweet Adeline in existence.  However, there are few versions where one singer can cover all four ranges (Tenor, Lead, Bass and Baritone).

Julien Neel (also known as Trudbol) is a YouTube acapella musician from France. He calls himself a ‘one man barbershop quartet’, referring to the way that he edits his videos and the fact that he sings every role that four separate people would normally have to sing. He often collaborates with other musicians, usually female, in both French and English (per

Here is Julien Neel doing all the parts of Sweet Adeline.  I hope you enjoy this~!


Thought for the Day:

“Happy is the man whom the Muses love: sweet speech flows from his mouth.” – Hesiod

Have a great day!

© 2020 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky

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