Sunday, April 1, 2018

100 years ago: “Just a Baby’s Prayer at Twilight” hit #1

Just a Baby’s Prayer at Twilight (For Her Daddy Over There)

Henry Burr

Writer(s): M.K. Jerome (music), Sam M. Lewis (words), Joe Young (words) (see lyrics here)

First Charted: April 1, 1918

Peak: 111 US, 18 GA, 18 SM (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 1.0 (sheet music)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.02 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Just a Baby’s Prayer at Twilight (For Her Daddy Over There)” is a “sweet ballad” TY2 “about those left behind when the men went off to fight in the war.” SM Specifically, this is a child’s prayer for her father overseas. This tearjerker “touched many hearts during the war.” TY2

The lyrics were written by Sam M. Lewis and Joe Young. The pair also collaborated on “Rockabye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody” (Al Jolson, #1, 1918), “I’m Sitting on Top of the World” (Al Jolson, #1, 1926), “Dinah” (Ethel Waters, #2, 1926), “In a Little Spanish Town” (Paul Whiteman, #1, 1927).

The composer, M.K. Jerome, worked with Lewis and Young again on the song “Old Pal, Why Don’t You Answer Me?” It was a hit for Henry Burr, reaching #5 in 1921. The most successful version of “Just a Baby’s Prayer at Twilight” was also recorded by Burr. It “became the second biggest recorded hit of the decade.” TY2 He was “voicing the hopes that were being spoken by people, young and old.” SM

There were other versions of the song by Prince’s Orchestra (#6), Edna White’s Trumpet Quartet (#7), and Charles Hart (#10) all released in 1918. PM Bing Crosby recorded the song in 1955. WK


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First posted 3/19/2023.

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