...beating heart

Posted by R. Berg on September 12, 2005

In Reply to: Be still, my beating heart posted by Shae on September 11, 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.

: : : 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

: : I had the same frustrating trip via Google. It sounds Sigmund Romberg-y to me. Operetta fans? Jeanette MacDonald fans?

: Dunno about all that but 'Ciunas, a chuisle mo chroí,' [Hush, pulse of my heart] is what an Irish speaker would say to a distressed lover or child to calm them down.

"R. Berg, our expert on early 19th century literature": I'm truly not that.