“For All We Know” was the lead track on Ray Conniff’s 1965 album, “Love Affair”.
Not to be confused with a track of the same title by The Carpenters, the song recorded by Ray Conniff and The Singers was written by J. Fred Coots and Sam M. Lewis back in 1934.
In the years since, “For All We Know” has been recorded by a wide range of artists including The Andrews Sisters, Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, Ray Charles, and Nat King Cole, without perhaps getting the critical and commercial reception this lovely bittersweet song deserves.
“For All We Know” was a solid album track for hundreds of artists, but never a big hit single.
Sam Lewis’s lyrics are about the fragility of life…
For all we know
We may never meet again
Before you go
Make this moment sweet again
“For All We Know” was recorded pretty extensively in the post-war years, when a lot of people would remember the experience of spending a final night with a loved one, knowing that could be the last time they’d ever see them.
They were going off to fight for their country. They hoped and prayed for their safe return, but nothing was guaranteed, sadly.
We won’t say goodnight
Until the very last minute
I’ll hold out my hand
And my little old heart’ll be in it
Saying goodbye, and knowing it might be for the last time in this world, brings a whole range of emotions to the surface.
Along with many Brits my age, I associate “For All We Know” mostly with a late, and much-loved, DJ from early morning radio.
His name was Ray Moore and he did the 5am till 7.30am weekday slot on BBC Radio 2. Every time Ray went on holiday, the last record he played just before 7.30 on the Friday morning before he disappeared for a couple of weeks was always Ray Conniff’s version of “For All We Know”.
It became a ritual to the small number of people, like me, who were crazy enough to be awake early enough to hear Ray’s good-humoured voice crackling through the airwaves every weekday morning.
We all knew the likelihood was he’d be back in a couple of weeks, rested and refreshed. But the fragility of life, which “For All…