'Dear Old Pal of Mine'
'Dear Old Pal of Mine'. Pop song from World War I with music by Gitz Rice. The idea for the song, according to an editorial note on the sheet music (Ricordi 1918), was conceived by Rice while on sentry duty at the front lines at Ypres, France. The words, written by Harold Athol Robé (b USA 1881, d 1946), express the longing of a man, presumably a soldier, for his sweetheart (the 'pal' of the song's title). The universality of the sentiment may have contributed to the song's post-war popularity. The song was recorded by several tenors and baritones; one of two versions (Victor 755) by John McCormack was among the Irish tenor's most popular 78s. Among other vocal recordings were those by the Canadians Henry Burr and Hector Pellerin (the latter's in French), and instrumental versions were made by Sascha Jacobsen (violin), Sam Moore and Leroy Smeck (handsaw and guitar), and the Joseph C. Smith orchestra. Details of these and other recordings have been published in Roll Back the Years.