The University Record, February 11, 1998
By Joanne Nesbit
News and Information Services
It has become an anthem sung for decades at weddings across the country. Yet, Carrie Jacobs-Bond's saccharine 1901 melody and words were first published as one of the offerings of "Seven Songs."
"I Love You Truly" was written by the widow who, between the ages of 48 and 56, turned out 59 compositions and became one of the most revered and acclaimed composers of her time. The Wisconsin native who spent the first seven years of her married life in Iron River, Mich., moved to Chicago with her young son after the accidental death of her physician husband. It was there that she rented rooms to university students and took odd jobs that included painting china. While painting, Jacobs-Bond would hum improvised tunes to which she would add verses. It wasn't long before she was painting the title pages and publishing her own songs, examples of which can be found in the Special Collections Library.
Her business grew and Jacobs-Bond moved to Hollywood. With California as her home base, she traveled the world by train, steamship and auto to receive accolades for her songs. She often visited friends in Detroit and in 1940 appeared at the Third Annual Cascades Festival in Jackson, a festival billed as the "Greatest Spectacle Ever Staged," with "10 gigantic stages, a cast of 1,000, a symphony orchestra, 50 cascades singers, gorgeous costumes, dazzling lighting, and a gladiolus show." After the strenuous eight nights of the Festival, Jacobs-Bond visited the Battle Creek Sanitarium where for six days she rested "body and brain."
Of her climb to wealth and fame, Jacobs-Bond said, "I am glad I have been poor, being poor makes one more humane. But for poverty I may never have been able to write the songs which have brought success."
The U-M collection also includes hundreds of letters written by Jacobs-Bond to her friends, family and business manager.
The Special Collections Library is on the seventh floor of the Hatcher Graduate Library.
If you get caught without roses and chocolates on Saturday, you can sing a few bars:
I love you truly, truly dear,
Life with its sorrow, life with its tear
Fades into dreams when I feel you are near
For I love you truly, truly dear.
Ah! Love, 'tis something to feel your kind hand
Ah! Yes, 'tis something by your side to stand;
Gone is the sorrow, gone doubt and fear,
For you love me truly, truly dear.