My Gal Sal

Album: The Jazz Singer (1905)
  • songfacts ®
  • Also known as "They Call Her Frivolous Sal," this 1905 song by Paul Dresser has the distinction of being the first song ever performed in a motion picture film. This was of course The Jazz Singer which was released October 6, 1927.

    Dresser died in 1906 so had no idea his work would be so honored. In the film it is sung briefly (and ostensibly) by the teenage Robert Gordon, although it is dubbed by an unknown singer.
  • Since its first publication at New York in 1905, "My Gal Sal" has been republished a number of times including around 1960, and has also been fairly widely recorded. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2
  • In 1942, a musical film based on Paul Dresser's life called My Gal Sal was released. Victor Mature played Dresser.
  • This an upbeat song about a guy who is looking forward to seeing his girl again. He sings her praises, calling her a "wild sort of devil, but dead on the level."

    The song is usually performed with one verse sandwiched between two repetitions of the chorus, but Dresser wrote a second, rarely heard verse, which reveals that Sal is dead:

    Brought her little dainties just afore she died
    Promised she would meet me on the other side
    Told her how I love her, she said,
    "I know Jim, just do your best, leave the rest to Him"

    Gently I pressed her to my breast
    Soon she would take her last, long rest
    She looked at me and murmured, "Pal"
    And softly I whispered "Goodbye, Sal"
  • Bobby Darin covered this song on his 1960 album This Is Darin. Benny Goodman did a popular instrumental version of the song.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Lita FordSongwriter Interviews

Lita talks about how they wrote songs in The Runaways, and how she feels about her biggest hit being written by somebody else.

Don FelderSongwriter Interviews

Don breaks down "Hotel California" and other songs he wrote as a member of the Eagles. Now we know where the "warm smell of colitas" came from.

Charles FoxSongwriter Interviews

After studying in Paris with a famous composition teacher, Charles became the most successful writer of TV theme songs.

Dean Friedman - "Ariel"They're Playing My Song

Dean's saga began with "Ariel," a song about falling in love with a Jewish girl from New Jersey.

Deconstructing Doors Songs With The Author Of The Doors ExaminedSong Writing

Doors expert Jim Cherry, author of The Doors Examined, talks about some of their defining songs and exposes some Jim Morrison myths.

Meshell NdegeocelloSongwriter Interviews

Meshell Ndegeocello talks about recording "Wild Night" with John Mellencamp, and explains why she shied away from the spotlight.