Helen Tulloch Nasmyth was the wife of George Grieve, a plumber. Despite checking all the usual sources, the Friends of Newington Cemetery have been unable to find any other information about either husband or wife. But we were intrigued by the inscription at the bottom of the headstone, which turns out to be the last verse of a popular song called ‘The Rosary’. Among many others, this has been recorded by Perry Como, Mario Lanza, Johnny Mathis, Nelson Eddy, Dame Clara Butt and Josef Locke.
The full text reads:
Words by Robert Cameron Rogers, music by Ethelbert Nevin.
The hours I spend with thee, dear heart
Are as a string of pearls to me
I count them over evʼry one apart
My rosary, my rosary
Each hour a pearl, each pearl a prayer
To still a heart in absence wrung
I tell each bead unto the end
And there a cross is hung
Oʼ memories that bless and burn
Oʼ barren gain and bitter loss
I kiss each bead and strive at last to learn
To kiss the cross, sweetheart, to kiss the cross