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Softly as I Leave You

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(Calabrese / de Vita / Shaper)

 

Information:
Softly as I Leave You was written by G. Calabrese, A. de Vita, and Hal Shaper, and first released in the United States by Matt Monroe (Liberty 55449) in 1962. Frank Sinatra recorded a popular version (Reprise 0301) in 1964, reaching #27 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart and #4 on the Easy-Listening chart. In 1967 Eydie Gormé peaked at #30 on the Easy-Listening chart with her version (Columbia 43971).

 

Elvis sang Softly as I Leave You in concert on a few occasions. Actually, he recited the words while Sherrill Nielsen sang. The midnight show at the Las Vegas Hilton on December 13, 1975, was recorded on a private cassette recorded. It is that version that RCA released as a single in 1978. Softly as I Leave You had an 11-week stay on Billboard's country chart, peaking at #6. It did not reach the Hot 100 chart, but it was listed "Bubbling Under" at #109. Softly as I Leave You was nominated for a Grammy as Best Country Vocal Performance, Male, but lost to Willie Nelson's Georgia on My Mind.

 

Lyrics:


This next song, ladies and gentlemen, is a song that’s been around a long time and I… I’ve never recorded it… uh, I know you’ve heard it by a lot of different people. But I’d like to tell the story behind the song. There’s a man who was dying in the hospital and his wife is sitting by his bedside for three days and three nights. And somewhere on the third day, between midnight and day she lay down beside him and dozed off to sleep. And he felt she dozed off to sleep and at the same time he felt himself start to die. And he didn’t want her to see him pass away. So he took his note pad from the side of the bed and he wrote…

 

Softly (softly)
I will leave you (I will leave you softly)
Softly (softly)
For my heart would break (for my heart would break)
If you should wake (if you should wake)
And see me go (and see me go)

So I leave you (so I leave you)
Softly (softly)
Long before you miss me (long before you miss me)
Long before your arms can beg me stay (long before your arms can beg me stay)
For one more hour (for one more hour)
For one more day (for one more day)

After all the years (after all the years)
I can't bear the tears (I can't bear the tears)
To fall (to fall)
So softly, (so softly) so softly
(I will leave you there)
I will leave you there

 

Where it was released:

Released for the fist time on single

 

Singles:

- Unchained Melody / Softly as I Leave You (RCA PB-11212) March 1978. Standard release »

- Unchained Melody / Softly as I Leave You (RCA JH-11212) March 1978. Disc jockey promotional release. Some of the promos had a star on the label of the Unchained Melody side.

 

LPs/CDs:

– Elvis Aron Presley (1980) »

- Walk a Mile in My Shoes – The Essential 70’s Masters (1995)

- Elvis Aron Presley (1998)

- All the Best (1999)

- Live in Las Vegas (2001)

- Dinner at Eight (2002) – FTD »

- It’s Midnight (2002) - FTD »

- Closing Night (2004) - FTD »

- Nevada Nights (2008) - FTD »

- From Sunset to Las Vegas (2009) - FTD »

- Fashion for a King (2011) - FTD »

– Moody Blue (2013) - FTD »

– Las Vegas '74 (2017) - FTD »

Holiday Season in Vegas (2018) - FTD »

 

Bootleg Releases:

- Sold Out (1974) - E.P. Records

- Elvis Presley is Alive and Well and Singing in Las Vegas, Volume 1 (1975) - no label

- The Vegas Years, 1972-1975 (1976) - TAKRL

- Command Performance (1977) - ECP

 

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