This song was penned by the Texan writing team of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt for the 1960 musical comedy The Fantasticks, where it was originally sung by Jerry Orbach. The show was an off-Broadway production with a minuscule cast. It ran for 42 years, clocking up 17,162 performances, and became the world's longest-running musical.
The only time this song reached the US Top 40 was in 1975 when Gladys Knight and The Pips recorded a medley of this song and Barbra Streisand's "The Way We Were." It also peaked at #4 in the UK.
Other artists who have covered this song include Ed Ames, Roger Williams, The Brothers Four and Nana Mouskouri. The latter also recorded versions of the song in German, French, and Italian.
A version by the Kingston Trio was included on the soundtrack of the 1976 David Bowie sci-fi movie The Man Who Fell to Earth. However to date no official soundtrack has been released for the film due to a creative and contractual dispute between the film's director and the studio.