Posted by Smokey Stover on September 11, 2005
In Reply to: Be still, my beating heart posted by James Briggs on September 10, 2005
: : : Who first came up with the line "Be still, my beating heart"?
: : I think it was a line in a 1950s popular song. Later, Sting had the same words in a different song. Sadly, I can't remember the name of the 1950s song, but tiny bits of of it are still around in my head, including 'that' line.
: It only goes to show how memory fails! My phrase was "beware my foolish heart". So, I got it all wrong, apart from Sting's participation. See http://www.mixed-up.com/lyrics/round/beware-my-foolish-heart/
This is immensely frustrating. I Googled the phrase, of course, and got the Sting song of 1987. And found that the Google results fall into three categories. One is reference to the Sting song, another is sly references to the phrase by cardiologists, and the third just general quotations of a well-known phrase--which it is. But why? Naturally I tried Bartlett's Quotations online, but I never get a damn thing from that site except titles of books sold by Amazon. I know that there is some literary or quasi-literary source. It may be serious, or it may be just a sarcastic imitation of a comment of that nature, mock excitement. It is frequently used to indicate excitement of a sort but in a somewhat humorous way. "Be still my beating heart, I have found a restaurant with unforgettable tete de chaveau." Semantically it means, of course, "stop pounding so hard, o heart of mine." But some doctors have used it to lead into the subject of stopping a heart when necessary. R. Berg, our expert on early 19th century literature, may have stumbled on it used seriously somewhere. SS