The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (80): First glimmer of hope

The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (80): First glimmer of hope


norman lebrecht

June 03, 2020

We’ll Gather Lilacs In The Spring was written by Ivor Novello for the West End musical Perchance to Dream, which opened in April 1945 and ran for three years. It was the first harbinger of post-Wat hope.

Olive Gilbert sang it first.

Ziegler and Booth made a massive hit of it.

Then Sinatra murdered it.

Und zen there came Richard Tauber.


  • Luke Lovell says:

    Interestingly, Ohio Light Opera gave a wonderful performance of this show just last year.

  • V.Lind says:

    Here’s one for Norman (pity I couldn’t find a piano version by Lang Lang, conducted by Dudamel):

  • Martin Carpenter says:

    A comforting song indeed. Thanks so much

  • Martin Carpenter says:

    Lovely. My vote for the Comfort Zone would be Quasthoff singing this Michel Legrande

    • V.Lind says:

      Just this last fortnight, with things as bad as coronavirus infecting our world, I kept thinking of “Quant on a que l’amour” by Brel.

  • stanley cohen says:

    Richard Tauber and Terry Thomas were on the same Workers Playtime bill and the comedian mimicked the great tenor in his act singing ‘We’ll Gather Lilacs in the Spring Again.’ After the show Tauber asked Thomas where he had trained as a singer.

  • Peter Phillips says:

    There was a truncated but very touching rendering at an Ivor Novello prom a few years ago. It’s on YouTube and has Toby Spence and Sophie Bevan withe Hallé and Mark Elder. Also, in his day Webster Booth was a fine tenor, now almost forgotten.

  • DML says:

    And a lovely rendering by Lucy Crowe as an encore at her live lunchtime BBC/Wigmore Hall recital a few days ago.

  • Paul Brownsey says:

    As your photo of the music cover shows, the title of the show was changed to “Lilacs in the Spring” for the film version.

  • Paul Brownsey says:

    PS to above: I may have got it wrong. Wiki says that the film was based on a different, non-Novello show. It looks as if the Novello song only was taken from the Novello show.