Open main menu

"Try to Remember" is a song about nostalgia [1] from the musical comedy The Fantasticks. It is the first song performed in the show, encouraging the audience to imagine what the sparse set suggests. Its lyrics, written by Tom Jones, famously rhyme "remember" with "September", "so tender", "ember", and "December," and repeat the sequence -llow throughout the song: verse 1 contains "mellow," "yellow," and "callow fellow"; verse 2 contains "willow," "pillow," "billow"; verse 3 contains "follow," "hollow," "mellow"; and all verses end with "follow." They also feature an interpolated rhyme in "wept" and "kept," and alliterative lines "when grass was green and grain was yellow" and "without a hurt the heart is hollow." Harvey Schmidt composed the music.

Contents

Pop charts and early recordingsEdit

"Try to Remember" was originally sung by Jerry Orbach in the Original Off-Broadway production of The Fantasticks.

"Try to Remember" made the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart three times in 1965 in versions by Ed Ames, Roger Williams, Barry McGuire,[2] The Kingston Trio, The Sandpipers, and The Brothers Four.

Eddie Fisher released a version in 1965 on his LP Eddie Fisher Today!

The Kim Sisters included it on their 1959 album The Kim Sisters: Their First Album through Monument Records.

Patti Page did her take on the song in 1965 on her album Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte.

Andy Williams recorded it in 1966 for his album The Shadow of Your Smile.

The Temptations rendered their version in 1967 on their album The Temptations in a Mellow Mood.

Perry Como took his turn with the song in 1968 on his album Look to Your Heart.

Roy Orbison cut a track of it in 1969 on his album Roy Orbison's Many Moods.

Also in 1969, the song was recorded by Jamaican reggae singer Pat Kelly. It sold very well despite missing the U.K. pop charts.

Liza Minnelli recorded it for her Liza! Liza! album in September 1964.

The song was the first Australian hit for the then Brisbane-based trio New World, billed at the time as The New World Trio. Their version peaked at no. 11 in late 1968.

In 1971, the Dutch singing duo Saskia & Serge had a smash hit in the Netherlands with their signature song "Zomer in Zeeland", based on the music of "Try to Remember".

In 1975, Gladys Knight & the Pips had a huge international hit with their version of "Try to Remember", combining it into a medley with a cover of Barbra Streisand's "The Way We Were". It reached no. 11 on the Hot 100 chart. In Knight's version, she recited some of the lyrics from "Try To Remember" in spoken-word fashion before beginning to sing "The Way We Were".

Harry Belafonte has recorded the song multiple times.

The Greek singer Nana Mouskouri recorded it in three languages: German, French, and Italian.

Romanian singer Aura Urziceanu created a Romanian language version in duet with Aurelian Andreescu in 1975, titled "Septembrie".

In 1973, actress Patricia Routledge performed it on her solo album Presenting Patricia Routledge Singing the Classics.

Notable appearances in films and TV showsEdit

Later cover recordingsEdit

John Barrowman on his 2003 album Reflections from Broadway.

Josh Groban for his 2015 album Stages.

Barry McGuire on his album Eve Of Destruction in 1965.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Browne, Ray Broadus; Ambrosetti, Ronald J. (1993). Continuities in Popular Culture: The Present in the Past & the Past in the Present and Future. ISBN 9780879725938.
  2. ^ McGuire, Barry. "Try to Remember". YouTube. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  3. ^ "Browning Bryant on Kraft Music Hall". YouTube. Retrieved 12 February 2019.

External linksEdit