Tears (Ken Dodd song)

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Tears (Ken Dodd).jpg
Single by Ken Dodd
from the album Tears of Happiness
B-side"You and I"
ReleasedAugust 1965
GenreEasy listening
LabelColumbia DB 7659[1]
Songwriter(s)Billy Uhr, Frank Capano[1]
Producer(s)Norman Newell[1]
Ken Dodd singles chronology
"So Deep is the Night"
"The River"

"Tears" ("Tears for Souvenirs") is a song written by lyricist Frank Capano and composer Billy Uhr,[2] and was first recorded by Rudy Vallee in 1929.[3] It was made famous in a version recorded by Ken Dodd, released as a 45 rpm single in 1965. It became a No. 1 hit in the UK Singles Chart.[1] The song also reached number one on the Irish Singles Chart.

Song synopsis[]

The main theme is based on Delilah's aria "Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix" ("Softly awakes my heart") from Act II of Camille Saint-Saëns's opera Samson and Delilah, which dates from 1877.

Music charts[]

Although best known as a comedian, Ken Dodd was a prolific recording artist throughout the 1960s and most of his music recordings were serious, not comic. His debut single "Love is like a Violin" reached #8 in 1960.[1] Between that and "Tears" he released nine further singles, several of which charted (though none of them made the top 20).[4]

The single spent 24 weeks in total on the chart, with five of those at #1.[5] It sold over 1,000,000 copies in the UK, becoming the biggest-selling single of 1965 in the UK, and was the third-biggest selling single of the 1960s; it was the only non-Beatles song in the top 5.[6] In 2017, it was listed as the UK's 39th-best selling single of all time (82nd with streaming), with sales of 1,523,690.[7]

Cover version[]

Bobby Vinton released a cover of the song in 1966. His version reached No. 59 on the Billboard Hot 100,[8] while reaching No. 27 on the Billboard Easy Listening chart.[9] In Canada, Vinton's version reached No. 24 on the "RPM Play Sheet"[10] and No. 14 on RPM's "GMP Guide".[11]


"Tears" was parodied in a section of the song "I'm Bored" by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, on their album Gorilla (1967).


  1. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 96. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
  2. ^ Official Charts Company, "Million Sellers", Music Sales Group, November 20, 2012. Accessed October 24, 2015
  3. ^ "The Unswinging Sixties". BBC News. 2010-06-03. Retrieved 2014-04-06.
  4. ^ "Ken Dodd". 45-rpm.org.uk. 1927-11-08. Retrieved 2014-04-06.
  5. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 183–4. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  6. ^ "Ken Dodd 'third best-selling artist of 1960s'". BBC News. BBC. 1 June 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
  7. ^ Copsey, Rob (19 September 2017). "The UK's Official Chart 'millionaires' revealed". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  8. ^ Bobby Vinton - Chart History - The Hot 100, Billboard.com. Accessed October 21, 2015
  9. ^ Bobby Vinton - Chart History - Adult Contemporary, Billboard.com. Accessed October 21, 2015
  10. ^ "R.P.M. Play Sheet", RPM, Volume 5, Ed. 3, March 13, 1966. Accessed October 24, 2015
  11. ^ "GMP Guide", RPM, Volume 5, Ed. 3, March 14, 1966. Accessed October 24, 2015
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