“Rose of San Antonio“ was the signature song of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys….which was originally an instrumental song written by Bob Wills….who first recorded it with the Playboys on November 28, 1938….as band members added lyrics and it was retitled “New San Antonio Rose”. A fresh recording was made on April 16, 1940 with vocals by band member Tommy Duncan.
The song opens with the refrain:
Deep within my heart lies a melody, A song of old San Antone.
The song is written in the first person with the “Rose of San Antone” being the singer’s lost love. Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time…. as this Texas swing classic is performed by fiddle player extraordinaire Johnny Gimble and his band The Bosque Bandits on stage at Austin City Limits in 1979.