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I Love You Truly

Published February 24, 2017
Countries: USA
Age Levels: 12 and up

I Love You truly

Adapted by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller

Carrie Jacobs-Bond began to write songs in 1894 to supplement the income of her husband, Frank Bond. When he died in 1895, she returned briefly to her hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin, where "I Love You Truly" was written.

She then moved to Chicago where she painted china and rented out rooms to make ends meet. She continued to write songs and eventually sought to publish them herself. Loaned her money to publish a collection of her compositions called Seven Songs as Unpretentious as the Wild Rose, one of which was "I Love You Truly" in 1901.   She published it again as a separate song in 1906, at the same time correcting an oversight and filing for copyright. It sold over a million copies.

"I Love You Truly" was categorized as a "high-class ballad", a genre of the period applied to serious ballads that were suitable for cultured venues as opposed to vaudeville. It became a standard at wedding ceremonies. It also became a mainstay of barbershop harmony arrangers and singers.

Jacobs-Bond was invited to sing at the White House by three different presidents, and each time sang "I Love You Truly".

The song was heard in the comedy movie Wise Girls. It was sung by Bert (Ward Bond) and Ernie (Frank Faylen) as they serenaded George (Jimmy Stewart) and Mary Bailey (Donna Reed) on their wedding night in It's a Wonderful Life.   It was also heard on television in All in the Family, I Love Lucy and in other shows.

I love you truly, truly dear,

Life with its sorrow, life with its tear

Fades into dreams when I feel you are near

For I love you truly, truly dear.


Ah! Love, 'tis something to feel your kind hand

Ah! Yes, 'tis something by your side to stand;

Gone is the sorrow, gone doubt and fear,

For you love me truly, truly dear.