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"At seventeen he falls in love..." | 26-May-05

"At seventeen he falls in love with eyes of azure blue,
At twenty-four he..."

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Comments:

This is a popular song, but I don't know where from or who wrote it. It goes something like:

At 17 he falls in love quite madly
with eyes of azure blue,
At 24 he gets it rather badly
with eyes of a different hue.
At 36 you'll find him flirting sadly
with two or three or more;
When he fancies he is past love,
It is then he meets his last love,
And he loves her as he's never loved before.
A M Shankland

This is possibly an Edwardian music-hall song, which my mother and her mother used to sing. My mother ws born in 1892, and I was born in 1922.
You might ask the actor Roy Hudd who is an expert on music hall songs.
I think the second line has 'eyes of tender (not azure) blue.
Eileen Perrin

It is from 'Maid of the Mountains'.

Lyrics by Harry Graham. Music by Harold Fraser-Simpson
Liz Warr

'with eyes of azure blue' shoulld be 'of a tender hue.'

'At 36 you'll find him flirting sadly' should be 'at 35.'

I believe this song was used as the theme music of 'To Paris with love,' a 1955 British film which starred Alec Guiness and Odile Versois.

lee lester

'A Bachelor Gay' was the hit song of 'The Maid of the Mountains, a highly-successful musical comedy/operetta which premiered in Manchester, Lancs., England, on December 23, 1916. Lyrics are credited to Harry Graham and music to Harold Fraser-Simpson with additional lyrics by F. Clifford Harris and 'Valentine' and additional music by James W. Tate. (1875-1922) who is said to be the remembered for the song.

There are a number of LPs, CDs, MP3s etc. of 'A Bachelor Gay' available via the web, possibly the best being that sung by Peter Dawson.

Here, from the web, is one claimed version of the lyrics:

A bachelor gay am I, though I suffer from Cupid's dart
But never I vow will I say die in spite of an aching heart
For a man who has loved a girl or two though the fact must be confessed
He always swears the whole way through
To every girl he tries to woo
That he loves her far the best:

At seventeen he falls in love quite madly with eyes of tender blue
At twenty-four he gets it rather badly with eyes of a different hue
At thirty-five, you'll find him flirting sadly with two or three or more
When he fancies he is passed love
It is then he meets his last love
And he loves her as he's never loved before.

A girl as you've heard of old, is a kind of a paradox
She changes her mind more times I'm told than ever she does her frocks.
And a man's like a moth around a flame for it's nearly always found
He burns his wings but all the same
The nicest part of Cupid's game
Is fluttering round and round:

At seventeen he falls in love quite madly with eyes of tender blue
At twenty-four he gets it rather badly with eyes of a different hue
At thirty-five, you'll find him flirting sadly with two or three or more
When he fancies he is passed love
It is then he meets his last love
And he loves her as he's never loved before
lee lester

This song was sung by Maurice Chevallier, (the Frech actor),at a sidewalk caf'e, in the movie "Gigi".
Fred Wright

I found this text' at seventeen'...
"""with eyes of TENDER blue""""
Lyn MACDONALD Passendaele 1917
C 1978 lyn macdonald
original title: "they called it Passchendaele"
ISBN 90 7634177 X

It was a famous musical at this time brought by the Daly's Theatre: titled "the maid of the mountains"
According to the author soldiers in Ypers played it over and over.

I'm writing music on this theme. (WO I) Somekind of oratorium /orchestra-vocals-narator and so on.

Who can help me to find more information...
rudi van nuffelen
rudi van nuffelen

I can remember it being sung by Richard Dawson an Australian
He was known world wide as a baritone before the war. The music was very catchy
Donald Hill

Broad is the gate and wide the path
that sends man to his daily bath.
But e'er you spend that shining hour
With plunge and spray, with sluice and shower remember
Geraldine Pardoe

I had a colleague in the 1960s who was mad about musicals, and who sang the first line as "with eyes of shining blue". I think the age in the 'third period' was 35 rather than 36, and the last line but one I recall as " It is then he finds his last love". I do not claim this to be authoritative, and merely offer it FWIW.
Martyn Crosby

At seventeen he falls in love quite madly with eyes of china blue
At twenty four, he falls in love once more, but with eyes of a different hue
At thirty four he's flirting oh so sadly with two or three or more
And then when he thinks he's past love, ah tis then he meets his last love
And he loves her as he's never done before

From Maid of the Mountain

KEITH LEWIS
kEITH LEWIS

I remember my father (1901-1987) used to sing this song, which I believe he first heard at a 'concert party' possibly at Bournemouth, in the 1920s. I can still hum the tune, but I am not able to write it down in musical notation. I believe that in the first line my father sang 'eyes of tender blue'.
Tony Newman

The Australian baritone Peter Dawson recorded this song. I first heard it on the BBC Good Old Days.
Peter Smith

Surely this song or at least the chorus was used in a BBC programme called "A life of bliss" . If memory serves, George Cole played David Alexander Bliss and Percy Edwards the role of his dog, a noisy little yapper named Psyche
Neil Smith

The final three lines were quoted by John Thaw as Inspector Morse in one episode. He'd fallen, once again, for the wrong woman. But the words summed up just how he felt.
Graham Jerome

My husband was a musician and he was much older than me and we married in 1972

This was "our song" and he often played it to me. I sang it to him in hospital just before he died.

This was a song I believe in a musical before the 1st world war, he said it was fom "Maid of the Mountains"

It goes someting like this

At seventeen he falls in love quite madly with eyes of tender blue
At 24 he gets it rather badly with eyes of a different hue,
at 35 you'll find him flirting sadly with two or three or more,
But it's when he thinks he's past love,
That is when he meets his last love,
And he loves her like he's never loved before
Kate Speed

What is the song title and who was the publisher?
John Hammond

I remember it as the theme song sung at the end of a radio programme in the 50s called "A life of bliss" with a batchellor character called David Bliss played by a young George Cole.
Brian Hicks

I think the lee lester copy is the correct one
but I remember at 35 you'll flirting sadly with three or four or more
George Keys

Close - but here is how it goes...

At seventeen he falls in love quite madly
with eyes of tender blue,
At twenty four he gets it rather badly
with eyes of a different hue.
At thirty five you'll find him flirting madly
with two or three or more;
And when at last he thinks he's past love,
it is then he meets his last love,
and he loves her like he's never loved before
Pat Parker

It comes from a musical of about 1930s I think but I cannot recall the name of this work
joan liddle

I would like to hear a recording
Jacqueline Summers

firstworldwar.com/audio/1917 via Google

This lin k lets you hear the song, the text is as follows fot the chorus:

At 17 he falls in love quite madly
with eyes of azure blue,
At 24 he gets it rather badly
with eyes of a different hue.
At 36 you'll find him flirting sadly
with two or three or more;
When he fancies he is past love,
It is then he meets his last love,
And he loves her as he's never loved before.

Here's my translation into French:

A dix-sept ans, il tombe fou amoureux
D'yeux bleus et attendrissants,
A vingt-deux ans, il s'éprend, s'entiche d'yeux
D'un coloris différent.
A trente-cinq ans, à trois, quatre ou plus il fait, triste, des yeux doux;
Lorsqu'il pense être au delà de l'amour
Là il croise son dernier amour
Pour l'aimer comme jamais avant du tout.

Alternative for lines 6 & 7:

Pensant qu(e) l'amour lui est derrière
Alors il croise sa dernière



Andrew Kelly

I watched John Hanson (i thnk his name was) sing this in (The maid of ythe mountais) during a tour that his company did during the late 60`s. I did buy a 7" LP disc of this at the time but unfortunately was lost many years ago to my disappointment.
leslie macalister

I came of the net looking for this song. My Mum would very often sing it to me in the 50's I am 66 now and Mum passed away at 88 three years ago.
The comment made by Pat Parker has the lyrics which I remember.
Bryan Robert Gregory

I remember it as an old music hall song. At seventeen, he falls in love quite madly with eyes of tender blue. At 25, he gets it rather badly for eyes of a different he. At 34, you,ll find him flirting sadly with 3 or 4 or more...just when he thinks he,s past love, that,s when he meets his last love, and he loves her as he,s never loved before.
Kathleen Madden

"At 17he fell in love quite madly, with eyes of baby blue"
At 35 he fell in love quite sadly/gladly, with eyes of a different hue.

"At 35 he found another lover to worship and adore".
"and when he thought that he was past love, it was then he met his last love, and he loved her like he'd never loved before"
Maggie Young-Cass

Lee Lester has it correctly.

You can hear a couple of versions of thyis song sung by Peter Dawson on YouTube. I'd post a link, but, infuriatingly, this site won't allow me to.

You can also find info on 'The Maid of the Mountains' itself on Wikipedia. (Again, OI'm, not allowed to post a link.) After an initial try-out in 1916, the operetta was rewritten and premiered on 10 February 1917.
Mike Field

I have the full score of The Maid of the Mountains. It's a musical play in 3 acts. Book by Frederick Lonsdale; Lyrics by Harry Graham; additional lyrics by F.Clifford Harris and Valentine. Music by Harold Fraser-Simson; additional numbers by Jas.W.Tate
Copyright 1917 Asherberg, Hopwood & Crew Ltd
16, Mortimer Street, London W New York: Leo Feist (Inc) The Copyright was held by the executors of the late George Edwardes, Daly's Theatre, London W.
Rights for all countries vested in the publishers. [A,H & C]
The song A Bachelot Gay is item 15. in the score, with words by Clifford Harris and Valentine and music by Jas. W.Tate.
Here are the lyrics, as they appear on the score.
1. A bachelor gay am I - Tho' I've suffered from Cupid's dart-
But never I vow will I say die In spite of an aching heart.-
For a man always loves a girl or two,
Tho' the fact must be confessed-
He always swears the whole way thro',
To ev-'ry girl he tries to woo,
That he loves her far the best.- He loves her far the best.-

At seventeen- he falls in love quite madly
With eyes of tender blue, - At twenty-four he gets it rather badly
With eyes of a diff-'rent hue.- At thirty-five you'll find him flirting sadly With two or three or more-
When he fancies he is past love, It is then he meets his last love, And he loves her as he's never loved before.

2. A girl as you've heard of old-
Is a kind of a paradox- She changes her mind more times I'm told
Than ever she does her frocks. - And a man's like a moth around a flame, For it's nearly always found- He burns his wings but all the same
The nicest part of Cupid's game Is fluttering round and round, Fluttering round and round.-
[Chorus as after verse 1.]
Barbara Fisher


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