In word or song, blessed to have, be a mother

Published 1:33 am Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Mother’s Day is coming and there are songs for mothers, Reggae songs, country music songs, punk rock Mothers’ songs, Mother’s Day songs that make you cry… The list of music dedicated to mothers and motherhood is endless.
If you go back, you discover lyrics written after the turn of the century that honored mothers. This one, written by Charles Coleman in 1914, celebrates the friendship between mother and child.

…Your mother is your best friend after all,
She’s always there to help you when you fall,
When your days are dark and dreary,
Mother does not grow weary,
Just a word and she comes quickly at your call.
You’ll find lots of friends as through this world you roam,
But there’s no friend like your mother dear at home;
Though her brows all lined with care, And there’s silver in her hair,
Your mother is your best friend after all…

I’m not sure that line about how Mother never grows weary is accurate. And don’t comment on Mom’s silver hair or “brows all lined with care.” Best friends don’t say stuff like that to best friends.

Of course, there is that classic we learned in school — the one kids sang to Mother on her day. I remember my siblings and I at the side of my mama’s bed singing this song. It was probably touching to wake up to the off-key voices of children.
Theodore Morse wrote this tribute in 1915. I wonder if children learn it in 2018. And do they wake Mom up with a rendition of M-O-T-H-E-R. Oh, I hope so.
M is for the million things she gave me.
O means only that she’s growing old.
T is for the tears she shed to save me.
H is for her heart of purest gold.
E is for her eyes, with love light shining.
R means right, and right she’ll always be.
Put them all together they spell MOTHER
The word that means the world to me.

Since I am a mother, I especially love that last line about always being right. However, the whole “tears she shed” is not my favorite. For some reason, I remember learning T is for her tender sweet caresses, which I like better than shedding tears because I’m not sure how that saved anyone from anything. Also, I look real bad when I cry.
There are a lot more modern songs for and about Mother. There is the classic Pistol Packin’ Mama. And, Mama Tried acknowledges even best efforts sometimes fail.
Then Hank Williams, Sr. sang one of the tearjerkers of all times in 1951 when he recorded his buddy songwriter Fred Rose’s song about a mother who can’t go to bed until all of her children, including grown children are safe at home. She even waits for them to come home safely before she passes away. Lordy mercy, that one gets me every time.
And who can forget the day that Mama socked it to the Harper Valley PTA. Now there is a different kind of celebration of mama power.
Yep, singing about our mothers is an age-old way to express how much they mean to us. As this Mother’s Day approaches, my Mother is still with us, which reminds me of another song from long ago, If You Had All the World and Its Gold written in 1916. Music by Al. Piantadosi and lyrics by Bartley Costello and Harry Edelheit. Here are a few lines from the song.
You can’t buy your way into heaven, 
Tho wealth may hold power untold
And when you lose your mother, you can’t buy another,
If you had all the world and its gold.
Yes, I am and grateful this year marks 65 Mother’s Days spent with my mom. I’m blessed to have her for a Mother. She is an inspiration to all of her children.
I wonder if she’d like to wake to a performance of M-O-T-H-E-R. Maybe grown children singing off-key won‘t be quite as touching.