Tag Archives: Academy Awards

The High Noon Ballad

Do Not Forsake Me is the song made famous in High Noon (1952) starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly. The song is sung at the opening of the movie and is often instrumentally heard throughout the movie. The movie is not standard western movie fare where you have lots of action leading up to a main gunfight. In this movie, the gunfight occurs near the end. Most of the movie is made up with Gary Cooper’s character trying in vain to find townspeople to help stand with him against Frank Miller and his gang. In the end he must face them alone although his wife does help kill one of the gang. It won many top awards in the 1952 Academy Awards (Best Actor, Best Music, Best Film Editing, Best Music in Song). Tex Ritter, who recorded the song for the movie, played it live for the audience at the Academy Awards.

There are two general versions of the song. One is the Tex Ritter version heard in High Noon which references the name Frank Miller in the lyrics. The second and more commonly heard one omits any reference to Frank Miller and the most famous rendition is by Frankie Laine. Here are both versions for your Academy Award Sunday.