The Original?

I’ll Never Fall In Love Again was one of the last songs that Elvis Presley recorded in a more-or-less studio environment (RCA actually came to Graceland and turned the Jungle Room into a temporary recording studio with a recording truck parked outside). It is not a great performance, but its history is interesting.

It is probably correct to say that most people associate the song, if they know it at all, with Welsh singer Tom Jones. He certainly had great success with it in the late 1960s.

But the song dates from before then.

Indeed, the song goes back to the the early part of the twentieth century, when it was collected and published for the first time in Carl Sandburg’s book, The American Songbag.

Carl August Sandburg (6 January, 1878 – 22 July, 1967) was an American writer and editor best known for poetry. He won three Pulitzer Prizes, two for his poetry and one for his biography of Abraham Lincoln.

He had an intense interest in what might be called folk music. He was perhaps the first American urban folk singer, accompanying himself on solo guitar at lectures and poetry recitals, and in recordings. In 1927 his anthology of folk songs, The American Songbag, was published in New York by Harcourt, Brace and Company, and has since enjoyed many editions.

He dedicated his book, "To those unknown singers—who made songs—out of love, fun, grief—and to those many other singers—who kept those songs as living things of the heart and mind—out of love, fun, grief” and described it in the introduction as, "…a ragbag of strips, stripes, and streaks of color [sic] from nearly all ends of the earth." Indeed, his is "a collection of 280 songs, ballads, ditties, brought together from all regions of America.” Many of the songs had never before been published. Perhaps the song called Wanderin’ was one of those.

Wanderin’? But isn’t this supposed to be about I’ll Never Fall In Love Again? Right you are! But this is where it all started, so read on… 

© David Neale 2020