When I Lost You

Album: Great American Composers (1912)
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • In 1911, Irving Berlin had a massive hit with "Alexander's Ragtime Band"; not unnaturally he thought he'd found a winning formula, although none of his follow ups came close to emulating the success of the original, but the following year he had another massive hit with a song he would rather not have written.
    Berlin met his first wife, Dorothy Goetz through her brother, a collaborator of his, and after a whirlwind romance they married in February 1912. They honeymooned in Cuba where she contracted typhoid, and died the following July.
    His new bride was buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery, and for the next thirteen years he placed flowers regularly on her grave until he remarried, but his immediate reaction was to freeze. "When I Lost You" was written in the wake of his grief. Published by Waterson, Berlin & Snyder of New York, this lachrymosal tribute - in waltz time - became his first hit ballad. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England
Please sign in or register to post comments.


Be the first to comment...

Little Big TownSongwriter Interviews

"When seeds that you sow grow by the wicked moon/Be sure your sins will find you out/Your past will hunt you down and turn to tell on you."

Matthew Wilder - "Break My Stride"They're Playing My Song

Wilder's hit "Break My Stride" had an unlikely inspiration: a famous record mogul who rejected it.

Joan ArmatradingSongwriter Interviews

The revered singer-songwriter talks inspiration and explains why she put a mahout in "Drop the Pilot."

SugarlandSongwriter Interviews

Meet the "sassy basket" with the biggest voice in country music.

Jonathan Edwards - "Sunshine"They're Playing My Song

"How much does it cost? I'll buy it?" Another songwriter told Jonathan to change these lyrics. Good thing he ignored this advice.

Concert DisastersFact or Fiction

Ozzy biting a dove? Alice Cooper causing mayhem with a chicken? Creed so bad they were sued? See if you can spot the real concert mishaps.