The Song: In Brief
In 1962, the American country music singer, songwriter, and television personality Bill Anderson recorded a song that earned him his first big hit. Titled “Mama Sang A Song”, this tune was penned by Anderson, himself. The wordings were written in the form of a recitation and its recording was backed with Christian hymns sang by a choir. Upon its release in 1962, the song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot C&W Sides chart. It then occupied the chart’s top for seven non-consecutive weeks. The track’s reign on the country chart’s top 40 lasted for 27 weeks in total. Meanwhile, on the Billboard Hot 100, the song peaked at number 89.
Fascinated with the song, many other artists from the music industry recorded their own version of it. From the country music genre, singers such as Walter Brennan, Stan Kenton, Jimmy Dean, and Faron Young covered “Mama Sang A Song” following the steps of Anderson. Apart from these country music artists, the Irish singer Crawford Bell also came up with his own rendition of the song.
Immersing on the Lyrics
In “Mama Sang A Song”, the narrator who is a sharecropper, tells his emotional memories about his mother during his childhood. He recalled how poor and simple their life was. Not being able to provide better things for his children, the father couldn’t help feeling frustrated sometimes. However, although deprived of material wealth, the family is rich with love, patience, and virtue.
In times of trials and sorrow, the family finds comfort from the hymns their mother would usually sing. More than providing comfort, those tunes also uphold their strong Christian faith.
Usually, before going to bed at night, the mother would sing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” and “Rock of Ages”. On the other hand, the father would get the Bible then followed by another hymn from the mother. As days went by, the family continued to face many challenges in life. But no matter how difficult were the situations surrounding them, they’ve maintained that their Christian faith is much stronger.
When the narrator has grown into a young man and had a better life, he reminisced his childhood home. He wondered what the place has become since he left it a long time ago. Revelation of his mother’s death was also noted emphasizing that her golden voice now sings in Heaven. At the song’s conclusion, the man expressed his belief that his mother’s singing of a song has turned the world into a better place. In the video below, Anderson performs the song with The Whites.
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Bill Anderson, Crawford Bell, Faron Young, Jimmy Dean, Stan Kenton, Walter Brennan