I’M BUILDING A PALACE IN PALESTINE

I’M BUILDING A PALACE IN PALESTINE
Song
Richard Howard
Richard Howard
Clara Kimball Young
Daly Music Publisher, Boston
E. H. Pfeiffer
“Till the desert sands grow cold” echoes Ernest R. Ball’s hit of 1913 “Till the Sands of the Desert Grow Cold.”

The rhyme scheme forces “Palestine,” “palace” and “Alice” (not a Middle Eastern name).

The name of the male singer is never revealed. “Our” land is left ambiguous: “yours and mine” or “the homeland of the Jewish [or Arab] people.”

The American dream of a separate house with a rose garden is transferred to Palestine.

The second verse may reflect the urban working and living conditions in American cities vs. the imagined blissful conditions in rural Palestine.

Information about Richard “Dick” Howard from his obituary in the Keene, NH Sentinel of 17 November 1981: Born in Keene 10 October 1890 he attended Keene schools, but graduated from Watertown, MA, High School. He served as a yeoman in the U.S. Navy in WWI, then went into vaudeville. His best known musical work was “Somebody Else Is Taking My Place.” He and his wife Loula (Cole) Howard lived in Newton, MA, before moving to South Danville, NH, in 1937. Mrs. Howard was the only survivor of the marriage. The funeral was held in Exeter, NH, with the Rev. Everett Palmer of the Danville Baptist Church officiating. Burial was at the Putnam Hgts. Cemetery in Putnam, CT. [Did the Coles or the Howards come from Putnam originally?]

My thoughts are turning over the sea
To Palestine, sweet Alice mine
My heart is yearning once more to be
Among the flowers in that land of ours–
Beautiful girl of my dreams, dear
Somehow or other it seems, dear.

Chorus:
I’m building a palace in Palestine,
A beautiful palace for you
(just for you, you know I love you true)
Where we can live when we grow old,
Where we can love till the desert sands grow cold,
There in a garden of roses
I will be faithful and true,
That’s why I’m building, sweet Alice, a beautiful palace
In Palestine, sweet gal o’ mine,
For you, for you.

There’ll be no sorrow, there’ll be no pain
In Palestine, sweet Alice mine,
Dreams of tomorrow that seemed in vain
Sweetheart, for you dear, they shall all come true dear
Sometime though May’s like December
Through darkest days, just remember.

Palestine (pre-1948)
I’M BUILDING A PALACE IN PALESTINE