The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #135807   Message #3832827
Posted By: GUEST
15-Jan-17 - 03:26 PM
Thread Name: Origins: I Once Had A Dear Old Mother
Subject: RE: Origins: I Once Had A Dear Old Mother
My mother, who grew up in an orphanage, used to sing this to me. Then, as the result of one of my father's beatings, which she normally survived-despite their extreme, vicious violence-this time her pregnancy compromised things and she died. I was seven, and she had truly been as loving a mother as humanly possible. I cannot hear it, even at age seventy, without crying.

What she had sung went as follows (and fits the meter of the melody better than some reconstructions):

I had a dear old mother,
And dearly she loved me
And when I was in trouble,
She took me on her knee.

One night as I lay sleeping,
Alone upon my bed
An angel came and whispered
And told me she was dead.

Next morning when I woke up
I found the words were true
My mother was in heaven
Above the sky so blue.

So obey your mother children
No matter big or small
For when you lose your mother
You lose the best of all...

(I think there's variations on the second and third lines of the second verse).