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Song Lyric Sunday – Daddy Sang Bass

This week we have a prompt suggested by msjadeli of Tao Talk that goes back to the more normal prompt of Brother/Sibling/Sister.


I wasn’t sure I was going to write this post today. Yesterday was mentally stressful and I did not have the energy to do the research I like to provide, but here is my skeleton version.

I grew up in southwest Virginia. It was very common for people to gather to play music together. People would gather and singalong, or jump in with their own instruments. It is still very much ‘the way’ with country folk. Every instrument from a guitar to a mandolin to a banjo or even a ukulele and someone playing the spoons. All were welcome. If a song was suggested that not everyone knew, the question that was invariably asked was “can you hum a line of it?” And off they would go.

Thus tradition of singing was also present in our family car trips sans instruments. My dad had a deep bass voice which is what brought today’s song to mind.

”Daddy Sang Bass” was written by Carl Perkins and recorded by Johnny Cash in 1968. Both artists attributed their recovery from addiction to finding God.  According to Wikipedia, the line “Me and little brother would join right in there” was written about Johnny Cash’s younger brother Jack who passed away when they were both young boys.

In the original recording, the line of the brothers was sung but uncredited by Don Reid and Lew DeWitt of the Statler Brothers. The line “Mama sang tenor” was sung and uncredited by Jan Howard and not June Carter Cash as some people think. The song would reach #1 in Billboard’s Hot Country Songs.

Daddy Sang Bass
Lyrics from Songfacts.com

I remember when I was a lad
Times were hard and things were bad
But there’s a silver linin’ behind every cloud
Just four people that ‘s all we were
Tryin’ to make a livin’ out of black-land dirt
But we’d get together in a family circle singin’ loud

Daddy sang bass (mama sang tenor)
Me and little brother would join right in there
Singin’ seems to help a troubled soul
One of these days and it won’t be long
I’ll rejoin them in a song
I’m gonna join the family circle at the throne

Though the circle won’t be broken
By and by, Lord, by and by
Daddy sang bass (mama sang tenor)
Me and little brother would join right in there
In the sky, Lord, in the sky

Now I remember after work mama would call in all of us
You could hear us singin’ for a country mile
Now little brother has done gone on
But I’ll rejoin him in a song
We’ll be together again up yonder in a little while

Daddy sang bass (mama sang tenor)
Me and little brother would join right in there
‘Cause singin’ seems to help a troubled soul
One of these days and it won’t be long
I’ll rejoin them in a song
I’m gonna join the family circle at the throne

Oh no the circle won’t be broken
By and by, Lord, by and by
Daddy sang bass (mama sang tenor)
Me and little brother would join right in there
In the sky, Lord, in the sky

In the sky, Lord, in the sky


Why not join in on this Sunday blogging ritual. Head over to  Jim Adams blog to check out the rules and read some of the great responses to the weekly prompt.

Blog

Care Packages From Home

Box of cookies
Image by silviarita from Pixabay

Growing up during the Vietnam war made me have a more global view than I might have had any other way. We saw footage on the news every night of our troops fighting in a country we had never heard of for a cause we never understood.

I am not sure how it all started, but my family often baked cookies and sent care packages overseas to the troops. Especially during the holidays. We learned to pack things like packages of pre-sweetened Kool-aid to disguise the taste of the water. Sticks of pepperoni and beef jerky were packed in the edges around the cookies carefully wrapped and sealed in hopes they would arrive in good condition. We popped bags and bags of popcorn and used it as insulation and for protection against the tussling of the travel ahead. In the top of the box we placed the letters we wrote telling them about the everyday happenings here at home and thanking them for their service. We often got many, many return letters. I wish I had kept them all.

One day my high school and Civil Air Patrol friend, Marilyn, decided to come to my house to bake cookies and help me prepare care packages. We baked all day and filled box after box. Our plan was to write letters later in the evening. Mom and Dad decided to go out that night so Marilyn and I decided to play some records and have some fun.

Our living room had a window seat with a large paned picture window in the front. At night it reflected back like a mirror. Now, I do not recall how Marilyn came to have her bathing suit with her, but we both donned those bikinis, cranked up the music and decided to dance – admiring our reflections in the ‘mirror’ of course. That was when Marilyn suggested it was a shame we did not have a camera because we could send photos of ourselves to the troops.

Vintage polaroid camera
Jonathan Mauer / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Now my dad had some cameras, but his pride and joy at the time was a very fancy box Polaroid camera with an expanding bellows. Perfect! Instant already developed photos would certainly fill the bill. The only problem was that one little thing. We were not allowed to touch dad’s cameras. Oh, and the other tiny problem, I had no idea how it worked. Luckily there was a manual!

We did not quite think through the available film cartridges as photo after photo came out too light or too dark, but we finally got a couple of decent photos for our efforts. By this time the music was cranked up, we were dancing in bathing suits in front of the picture window, and albums were strewn everywhere. That’s when we noticed the police car slowing down in front of the house.

Behaving like the guilty creatures we were, we quickly closed the curtains, turned the music off, threw on our robes and started to gather the albums into a stack. We sat huddled on the couch waiting for the knock on the door which never came. We were quite relieved and starting to feel somewhat full of ourselves when I heard my parents’ car pull in the driveway.  THE CAMERA! I closed the bellows, put the camera in its case, threw all the photos under my bed and tucked it back into its resting place in the closet. Whew! That was close.

Dad never mentioned it if he discovered anything amiss with the camera. We tucked a few photos into our letters and mailed the boxes. We got the same return letters as always and there did not seem to be any level of excitement about our pictures. When I think about it now, we must have appeared a mess and I bet the guys got a good chuckle out of these teenage girls who thought they were something else. Trust me. We weren’t. But the cookies? Now that was something they seemed to really appreciate!