Now Is The Hour

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Songfacts®:

  • Also called "Now Is The Hour When We Must Say Goodbye", writing in Musicology Australia, Volume 30, 2008, Alan Thomas, formerly of the School of Music at Victoria University, said there is an underlying similarity between this song and "God Defend New Zealand" both of which he says "reflect the country's isolation, the sadness of farewells as travellers leave, and New Zealand's vulnerability in being isolated and alone".

    Written in English and Māori, it is often believed to be a traditional Māori song, although it appears to have been co-written by Clement Scott, Maewa Kaihau and Dorothy Stewart. Scott (1841–1904) was an Englishmen, travel writer and theatre critic for the Daily Telegraph newspaper. Dorothy Stewart was a New Zealand poetess, and Emira Maewa Kaihau born Louisa Flavell was part-Māori, a musician, singer and poet.
  • "Now Is The Hour" is also known as "Haere Ra Waltz Song" or simply "Haere Ra" as well as "Swiss Cradle Song" and "Po Atarau", this latter being used as a farewell to Māori soldiers in the Great War (as it was then known).
  • As might be suspected from all of the above, there has been some controversy over its actual origin, including the contribution of Clement Scott. It has the same melody as the hymn "Search Me, O God".

    Whatever its actual provenance, it has been widely recorded since it first appeared in this form in 1913, including by Gracie Fields, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. Its first actual recording appears to have been by Ana Hato, in 1927. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 3

Comments: 2

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1948 {April 3rd} "Now Is The Hour" by Margaret Whiting peaked at #2* {for 1 week} on Billboard's 'Records Most-Played By Disk Jockeys'* chart, for the week it was at #2, the #1 record for that week was "Manana" by Peggy Lee...
    And also at the time Bing Crosby's version of "Now Is The Hour" was at position #2 on both the Billboard's Best-Selling Retail Records chart and Most-Played On Juke Boxes chart...
    Between 1942 and 1967 the Ms. Whiting had fifty one records on the Billboard charts, fourteen made the Top 10 with two reaching #1, "A Tree In The Meadow" in 1948 and "Slippin' Around" {a duet with Jimmy Wakely} in 1949...
    Seven of her fifty one charted records were duets with Jimmy Wakely, and all seven records made the Top 10...
    Margaret Eleanor Whiting passed away at the age of 86 on January 10th, 2011...
    May she R.I.P.
    * "Now Is The Hour" was Margaret Whiting's first of two of her records to peak at #2, her other #2 record was "Far Away Places" in 1949...
    And from the 'For What It's Worth' department, the remainder of the 'Most-Played By Jockeys' Top 10 on April 3rd, 1948:
    At #3. "I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover" by Art Mooney with vocals by Ensemble
    #4. "Now Is The hour" by Bing Crosby
    #5. "Now Is The Hour" by Gracie Fields
    #6. "Now Is The Hour" by Buddy Clark and the Charioteers
    #7. "Sabre Dance" by Woody Herman
    #8. "Slap'er Down Again, Paw" by Arthur Godfrey
    #9. "Beg Your Pardon" by Francis Craig
    #10. "Baby Face" by Art Mooney with vocals by Ensemble
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn September 29th 1956, the half-hour sitcom 'The Gale Storm Show' premiered on the CBS-TV network...
    The series ran for four seasons with 143 original episodes...
    On the day the show debut, Gale Storm's covered version of "Now Is the Hour" was at #64 on Billboard's Top 100 chart; eventually it peaked at #59 and spent 7 weeks on the chart...
    Ms. Storm had six other songs make the Top 100 chart in 1956; her biggest hit that year was "Memories Are Made of This", it peaked at #5 and she had two songs reach #6 {"Teen-Age Prayer" and "Ivory Tower"}...
    Ms. Storm, born Josephine Owaissa Cottle, passed away on June 27th, 2009 at the age of 87...
    May she R.I.P.
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