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You are My Eyes

(Bob Nolan)

Sung here by Tommy Doss.

While strolling thru the park one day, I saw a loving pair.
They seemed content and so they spent the hours ling’ring there.
He took her hand and led her down beside a shady dell.
Then smiled at her so tenderly and tried his best to tell
How flowers grew of azure blue and roses blooming red.
Because I find the maid was blind, she turned to him and said,
“I know that days end and streams wend and roads bend and I spend
“The hours ‘mid flowers,
“For you are my eyes, dear one.”

There seemed to be a band of happy angels watching near
Who sang and danced around them when he said, “I love you, dear.”
I’ve wondered if a love divine like that could ever be
But now I know it must be so for I was there to see.
Their arms entwined, a joy to find the other held so near,
The boy then tried a tear to hide as she whispered in his ear,
“I know that hearts yearn when fires burn and leaves turn when birds learn
“To sing sweet while wings beat
“For you are my eyes, dear one.”

Later on that evening when the sun had gone to rest,
He took her hand and helped her stand and started home, I guess.
I wonder if the Lord above arranged their meeting there—
This smiling boy with eyes of blue and maid of golden hair.
You’d never dream she’d never seen the light of gleaming day.,
For as they went a soft wind sent a sigh that seemed to say,
“I know the sky’s blue, your heart’s true, the moon’s new, I love you,
“My darling, for you bring them all
“To my eyes, dear one.”


            "You are My Eyes" was registered for copyright on July 4, 1936, and sheet music was included in "Original Songs of the Pioneers Folio No. 2", Cross & Winge, Inc, 1936
           Although it was part of the Sons of the Pioneers' repertoire in the early 1930s, this rare song was finally recorded in 1966 and made available to the public when the RCA album, "The Sons of the Pioneers Sing the Songs of Bob Nolan" was released. The album contains songs that had never been commercially recorded and care was taken with the arrangements and instrumentation to be sure they were as beautifully presented as possible.

             Of these songs, only "You are My Eyes" had never been previously recorded at all, even for radio transcriptions. It may never have been included in this album except for a chance visit the Sons of the Pioneers had with a blind girl after one of their shows. This is Marti Watson's story of how it happened:


            "I met the Sons of the Pioneers in 1964 at Springfield's Ozark Empire Fair. I had been a Sons of the Pioneers fan since I was little and I was bound and determined I was going to see them. I lived in Webb City, then, and my folks and I came up and we went to see them at the Fair. I was hoping, well, maybe they'll be around after the Fair but they weren't. They got into their little blue bus and they went away.
            "I had a friend in Springfield who was blind, also. I called her and asked if I could come over and maybe we can get to meet them. She knew I liked to sing and that I liked the Sons of the Pioneers so she helped me.
            "The last night of the Fair, we found out where they were staying. We went over to the Fair and we saw the show and when they got done with their part, we jumped into our car and the lady who was driving us got into the back [of the motel] somehow and slapped her car right in behind that little blue bus so they couldn't move. We got out of the car. One of them was changing his shirt and my friend who was blind went up to the door of the bus and they didn't realize she was blind and they said, "Hey! Wait a minute!" So then we told them that we'd like to meet them and then Lloyd Perryman came out and you talk about a sweetheart! There was him and Pat and Rusty Richards, Dale Warren and Roy Lanham. That was the group.
            "I did not believe that Bob Nolan had retired and I asked, "Where is Bob Nolan?" He said, "Well, he's retired now." And so I said, "Where is Tommy Doss?" "Well, he's retired, too." I thought, "Is this guy putting me on?" but I went back and checked and Bob Nolan had retired considerably before this. That's basically how I met the Sons of the Pioneers for the first time.
            "When I was talking with Lloyd Perryman, I asked, "When are you coming out with a new album?" and he said, "What would you like us to do?" I said, "Don't do Tumbling Tumbleweeds, Cool Water, Streets of Laredo or Red River Valley because I have 20 zillion copies of each one. Could you do one of Bob Nolan's lesser-known stuff?" Well, a year later, here comes an album, "The Sons of the Pioneers Sing the Songs of Bob Nolan" and on the album one of the songs on there was called, "You are My Eyes" and it's about a blind girl. Did it blow me away? Yes, it did!"
(Marti's story courtesy of John Fullerton. Marti was a guest on his show when she related this memory to the audience.)


Recording RCA Victor 1966


Chords courtesy of Carlos Fiorelli


1966 01 19 RCA Victor (LPM/LSP 3554)


The Calin Coburn Collections ©2004


            Several hundred of these typed lyric sheets of light card were found in alphabetical order in an old ammunition box in Bob Nolan's estate proving that the Sons of the Pioneers had used this song on radio or in personal appearances. To our knowledge, they did not sing it on radio transcriptions and it was not commercially recorded until January 19, 1966. Roy Rogers had a similar box; perhaps each member of the group had one. 



  Songs of the Pioneers Folio No. 2, ©1936 by AMERICAN MUSIC, INC.


Chords courtesy of Carlos Fiorelli