Mama was a beautiful woman and she had a beautiful singing voice as well. She loved to sing. Sometimes I felt like I was growing up in a musical. Mama had a song for every mood but usually she sang happy tunes. She loved big band singers and the female leads in popular film musicals of the 50's and 60's. I knew very well the music of Doris Day and Debbie Reynolds, when I was 6 or 7 years old. I planned to grow up to be a combination of the two, Doris and Debbie. Que Sera, Sera, was a song I knew by heart and I loved to sing along with Mama. The song by Debbie Reynolds in Tammy and the Bachelor in 1957, Tammy's in Love, had a lot to do with the fact that my oldest daughter is named Tammy.
She would often say, "Listen, this is a song my Little Grandpa would sing to me." The she would sing these lyrics,
Hello Central give me heaven
For my mama's there
You can find her with the angels
on the golden stair.
K-K-K-Katy, beautiful Katy,
You're the only g-g-g-girl that I adore;
When the m-m-m-moon shines,over the mountain,
I'll be waiting at the k-k-k-kitchen door.
Sometimes she would sing words that her mother taught her.
I'm forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air,
They fly so high,
Nearly reach the sky,
Then like my dreams....
I heard tunes made popular by Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Dean Martin. She threw in an Elvis song every now and then. Television was new when I was a small child and Mama had listened to the radio a lot and knew the popular songs of the 40's and 50's. I remember our times sitting in the porch swing or climbing into her lap and always there was song. I usually fell asleep listening to her sweet voice.
She would often sing the hymns she had learned in church. Among her favorites were The Old Rugged Cross, and In The Garden. At Easter she sang Here Comes Peter Cottontail. At Thanksgiving she sang Over The River and Through The Woods and We Gather Together. At Christmas she sang, Jingle Bells and Come All Ye Faithful. There was always a song.
But I think the most memorable of all was to hear her sing, You Are My Sunshine. She would usually start by saying, "My baby brother Walter, would sing this to me."
I miss Mama everyday and I miss her singing.