Song ‘In the Gloaming’ Composed at Marion

The Gazette
October 5, 1939

Hopkins’ Home is Song’s Birthplace

‘ Long Lost Love’ Was Incentive to Composer

In the gloaming, oh my darling
When the lights are soft and low
And the quiet shadows, falling,
Softly come and softly go
When the trees are sobbing faintly
With a gentle unknown woe
Will you think of me and love me,
As you did once, long ago

In the gloaming, oh my darling
Think not bitterly of me
Though I passed away in silence
Left you lonely, set you free
For my heart was tossed with longing
What had been could never be
It was best to leave you thus, dear,
Best for you, and best for me

In the gloaming, oh my darling
When the lights are soft and low
Will you think of me, and love me
As you did once long ago

One of America’s best known and loved songs, “In the Gloaming”, was composed right here in Union Parish.

In the little town of Marion, nestled in a protective covering of trees and ivy, stands an old home — known to citizens of the vicinity as “Mrs. Alice Hopkins’ home.”

There, in 1850, Anna Portesque Harrison wrote the beautiful melody that has become a part of American’s musical heritage.

Was Music Instructor

With her mother, Miss Harrison had installed herself in the old home as a music instructor to the daughters of a Baptist minister, Rev. Elias George, who had migrated to Louisiana from Alabama.

Amid the truly romantic settings of the pre-war South, Miss Harrison only 18 at the time met and fell in love so the story goes, with Miles Goldsby, a native Louisianan.

But it was a tragic love affair Miss Harrison’s mother and friends intervened, saying that Goldsby was not the proper person for the refined, cultured young New Orleans girl.

Returned to New Orleans

The young musician loved him deeply. However, she was convinced that a marriage would be tragic and unhappy. Accordingly, mother and daughter left Marion and returned to new Orleans.

There she soon published the famous song, “In the Gloaming.” which she had written before her return to the Cresent City. With words written by Meta Orred, following Miss Harrison’s suggestions, the song was an immediate success. It was one of the most popular songs of the time, a period when sentimentality was the rule instead of our modern popular ballads.

In the Gloaming

 

You may also enjoy this article about the Hopkins House:

The Story of Hopkins House

 

 

 

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