Thank you, George! Wonderful story behind the song:Been a Sinatra fan for many years and still rate this song as one of his finest--enjoy?
"Softly, As I Leave You" began life as an Italian song called "Piano," written by composer Antonio De Vita and lyricist Giorgio Calabrese. It was given an English lyric by Hal Shaper in which a man quietly leaves a sleeping woman with whom he has had a long-term relationship (in order to avoid facing her). Some might find such an action cowardly, and the lyric doesn't do much to explain the situation, but in musical terms the song is a lovely ballad."
"British singer Matt Monro introduced "Softly, As I Leave You" in a recording for Parlophone that made the British Top Ten in 1962. Released on Liberty in the U.S., the single made the bottom reaches of the charts before being withdrawn in favor of a shortened version, which was not successful. Two years later, Frank Sinatra recorded "Softly, As I Leave You" with a lush Ernie Freeman arrangement, and it made the Top 40, becoming Sinatra's biggest singles hit in three years. That assured the song's status as a minor standard, and it was recorded by a host of middle-of-the-road singers in the ensuing years."
Piano (In Italian)