Sunday, 9 May 2010

Rose Ann of Charing Cross

"There by my lonely bed, a lovely angel stopped and said: 'That's only thunder overhead' And that's how we met. Rose Ann of Charing Cross, the rose you gave me never died. Rose Ann of Charing Cross, it knows one day you'll be my bride. And it will live till then, until that happy moment when I know our paths will cross at Charing Cross again, Rose Ann ..." sing the Four Vagabonds in exquisite harmony on their 1943 hit Rose Ann of Charing Cross. It's an interesting one this, as most of the popular songs of WW2 on the face of it have nothing to do with the war itself. But this is a number seemingly about a wounded soldier who falls in love with a nurse while laid up in Charing Cross Hospital. The Four Vagabonds had the hit, but plenty of others have sung it including Frank Sinatra. It was written by the American team of Kermit Goell and Mabel Wayne, which perhaps is why the location is a little eyebrow-raising and doesn't bear too close an analysis. Mind you, this was well before the hospital moved way out west. The Four Vagabonds have been cited as pioneers of r 'n' b vocal stylings, and it's easy to make the link to the doo wop boom. Listening to the group's wartime tribute to Rosie the Riveter it's easy to make links to Billy Stewart and General Johnson ...


  1. My cousin Rosanne M. was named after this song... "Rosanne of Charing Cross"

  2. My wife, age 68 in 2015, just learned that her dad named her Rosanne after the song after he returned from Europe after WWII. She had not heard of the song before this year.