August 9

Mahalia Jackson: “If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again”

Mahalia Jackson: "If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again" 1
A mother praying with her son |Photo Credits:

There are a lot of songs dedicated for and inspired by women who have brought us to this world — our mothers. Meanwhile, there are also gospel-related tunes that combine this topic with praying. Definitely, country music is of no exception to this. To cite you examples of these, Conway Twitty sang Who Will Pray For Me (When Mama’s Gone).” This is his song that implies the power of prayers from his own mother. As such, it asks the question of who will pray for him in case his own mother is no longer around. Also, this tells that he is left powerless as no one will pray for him anymore.

Similarly, Diamond Rio also imbued such quality in their song, Mama Don’t Forget to Pray for Me.” This represents a child’s plea. Through a mother’s prayer, it points out how it can make a child’s life easier and better. Furthermore, the thought of the song gives an idea that a mother’s prayer provides an individual love, comfort, and protection.

Mothers play an important role not only in the family but also in the society. They are not just caregivers but they are the ones who mold and create a child’s mind as early as they are young. In addition, as a Christian community, mothers are expected to be the image of love, and so they are expected to be godly. Hence, the idea that the role of mothers is to rear and train their children in the best way possible was stressed in the second account of Timothy in the Bible:

“Through faith in God and by honoring His Word, godly mothers have great influence as they train their children.”

(2 Timothy 3:14-17)

Another notable song about praying and mothers is “If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again.” It is a 1922 gospel song most notably sung by the Queen of Gospel Music Mahalia Jackson.

Mahalia Jackson: "If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again" 2
Mahalia Jackson |Photo Credits:

About the Song and Mahalia Jackson’s Version

A popular gospel song conceived in 1922, “If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again” was written by John Whitfield “Whit” Vaughan. As he revealed, it was a tribute to his mother, Clara Beady Burgess-Vaughan. To note, the lyrics of the song were actually based on a text by James Rowe, and English settler to have live in Georgia in the early 1900s.

In 2007, the United States’ National Recording Preservation Board selected the 1934 recording of Thomas A. Dorsey for preservation in the National Recording Registry.

If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again” is a well-loved dedication song for mothers. In fact, it has been sung numerous times by a number of artists including Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, Florida Boys, and Daniel O’Donnell. As mentioned, one of the best-known versions is Mahalia Jackson‘s. Truly, the heavenly voice of the Queen of Gospel Music certainly digs deep into one’s heart. It pierces through it and leaves a feeling of wanting to hear some more.

Mahalia Jackson: "If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again" 3
Mahalia Jackson |Photo Credits:

Here’s a taste of the song:

How sweet and happy seem those days of which I dream, When memory recalls them now and then
And with what rapture sweet my weary heart would beat, If I could hear my mother pray again

If I could hear my mother pray again, If I could hear her tender voice as then
How glad I would be with who means so much to me, If I could hear my mother pray again

LISTEN to the Queen of Gospel Music, Mahalia Jackson, sing “If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again:”

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gospel song, If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again, Mahalia Jackson, mothers, prayers

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