Mama’s Song

Cover art for 'Mama's Song' by Well Grounded, a reggae cover of 'You Are My Sunshine' with intro and verse from 'This Train' by Bob Marley

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‘Mama’s Song’ is a reggae cover of ‘You Are My Sunshine’ with intro and verse from ‘This Train’ (original on YouTube, alternate on Wikipedia) by Bob Marley & The Wailers. Both songs mean a lot to me, and I’ve been toying with the idea of this medley for some 10 years.

When I was just a kid
My mama used to sing this song
Now I’ve grown to be a man
It still lingers deep within my soul
I said it lingers deep within my soul

‘This Train’, Bob Marley & The Wailers

The intro to ‘This Train’ always spoke to me, whether it was Bunny Wailer singing on the original cut, or Bob Marley on the alternate. It has always reminded me of how my mom would sing ‘You Are My Sunshine’ when I was a kid. Both songs have only come to mean more to me as I’ve grown older. These experiences of love that we have from our childhood resonate throughout our lives. They ground us when we are at risk of becoming untethered. The songs our parents sing to us also teach us what is important to them and should be to us.

When I finally recorded this song, I was shocked at how dark the lyrics to ‘You Are My Sunshine’ were. Really, the song is about love lost and how the writer refuses to let his lover move on. However, I knew the song as more of a lullaby, as I think many others do. As such, I chose to omit a lot of the original, darker lyrics. I felt a mournful-sounding bridge would provide a good contrast and space for resolution in the second half.

I dedicate this reggae cover of ‘You Are My Sunshine’ to all the mamas who sang this to their kids, all the kids who had this song sung to them by their mama, and all those who have experienced love and love lost.

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Lyrics

When I was just a kid
My mama used to sing this song
Now I’ve grown to be a man
It still lingers deep within my soul
I said it lingers deep within my soul

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy, when skies are grey
You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away

The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping
I dreamt I held you in my arms
When I awoke, dear, I was mistaken
So I bowed my head and I cried

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy, when skies are grey
You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away

Now I am a man
I remember my mama’s song
And the feeling that it gives
Still lingers deep within my soul
I said it lingers deep within my soul

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy, when skies are grey
You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away

I’ve always loved you, and made you happy
And nothing else could come between
But now you’ve left me, to love another
You have shattered all my dreams

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy, when skies are grey
You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy, when skies are grey
You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away
Please don’t take my sunshine away

Additional Metadata
Music by: Jimmie Davis, Bob Marley, Justin Daniel Quinn
Lyrics by: Jimmie Davis, Bob Marley
Contains explicit lyrics?: no
Record label: Just Don’t Quit Music
Publisher: Just Don’t Quit Music
Barcode: 196699048819
ISRC: QZXL82300002

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