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Saturday, November 05, 2016

MOM

Recently I was watching an old movie starring James Cagney called Yankee Doodle Dandy. At one point in the movie, a song is sung that shot me back to my childhood.

Whenever Mom cooked or cleaned, she was known to break out in song. In her own sweet voice, she would sing for her children’s benefit songs that were popular to her childhood and made them so for our childhood. One of those songs was: ‘Mary’

My mother's name was Mary
She was so good and true
Because her name was Mary
She called me Mary, too
She wasn't gay or airy
But plain as she could be
I hate to meet a fairy
Who calls herself Marie

With the deftness of a magician, she could wipe with that dust cloth while singing, to help her while the boredom away as worked through the house. Her soft gentle but untrained voice was the music to my ears, as I listened to her lyrics. There was one song in particular that she always sang, and it never occurred to me as why she sang it until I watched this movie a few days ago.

For it is Mary, Mary
Plain as any name can be
But with propriety, society will say Marie
But it was Mary, Mary
Long before the fashions came
And there is something there that sounds so square
It's a grand old name

Often when she cooked, turning the pasta so it wouldn’t stick, she waited for it to finish, wooden spoon embedded deep in the pot, oblivious to the world around her, she would sing:
For it is Mary, Mary
Plain as any name can be

Now, when her name is Mary
There is no falseness there
When to Marie she'll vary
She'll surely bleach her hair

No matter what her troubles were, no matter what our troubles were, Mom in her heart lit up her home for her children, and singing was her way to tell us that life is good if you let it be that way.

Though Mary's ordinary
Marie is fair to see
Don't ever fear sweet Mary
Beware of sweet Marie

Mary was her mother’s name, and Marie her sister’s.

For it is Mary, Mary
Plain as any name can be
But with propriety, society will say Marie
But it was Mary, Mary
Long before the fashions came
And there is something there that sounds so square
It's a grand old name







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