Springtime in the Rockies, where I grew up, was an uncertain affair, full of breathtaking hope when flowers budded, only to be crushed under late snows. Later I learned that spring is fickle everywhere.
warm, then cool, then warm,
springtime smiles behind a fan,
wind scatters blossoms
We used to sing bits of the old song “When It’s Springtime in the Rockies.” Today I decided to look at the lyrics, and I discovered a verse I hadn’t noticed before.
“The twilight shadows deepen into night, dear
The city lights are gleaming o’er the snow
I sit alone beside the cheery fire, dear
I’m dreaming dreams from out the long ago…”
Mary Hale Woolsey wrote the lyrics in Spanish Fork Utah in 1929 and sent them to Robert Sauer, a band director at Brigham Young university. The song was rejected by 14 publishers and finally purchased by Villa-Moret Inc. in San Francisco. Years later, Ms. Woolsey happened to hear her lyrics in a song attributed to T. Snow and confronted Sauer. He apparently had lost her name and made one up! They made a contract, and the next printings attributed the song correctly. Her words inspired a Hollywood film starring Gene Autrey. Ms. Woolsey had written more than 60 songs by 1934, yet her most famous one was almost lost under the Snow.
Inspired by dVerse