Friday, June 02, 2017

Mama's Opry - Iris DeMent

It’s two years today since my mother ‘went ahead’. This song by Iris Luella DeMent (a friend of Merle Haggard's; a huge talent and a Pentecostal-raised girl from Arkansas) has been a big favourite of mine for many years, and even so now. It’s almost autobiographical for me in so many ways. (She also recorded the old hymn Higher Ground as a duet with her mother, but it doesn’t seem to be on YouTube - seek it out, it’s magnificent).

She grew up plain and simple in a farming town

Her daddy played the fiddle and use to do the calling
 when they had hoedowns

She said the neighbours would come
 and they'd move all my grandma's furniture round

And there'd be twenty or more there on the old wooden floor 
dancing to a country sound

The Carters and Jimmie Rodgers played her favorite songs

And on Saturday nights there was a radio show
 and she would sing along

And I'll never forget her face when she revealed to me

That she'd dreamed about singing at The Grand Ol' Opry

Her eyes, oh how they sparkled when she sang those songs

While she was hanging the clothes on the line 
I was a kid just a humming along

Well, I'd be playing in the grass,
to her what might of seemed obliviously

But there ain't no doubt about it, she sure made her mark on me

She played old gospel records on the phonograph

She turned them up loud and we'd sing along
 but those days have passed

Just now that I am older it occurs to me

That I was singing in the grandest opry

And we sang Sweet Rose of Sharon, Abide With Me
Til I ride The Gospel Ship to Heaven's Jubilee

And In That Great Triumphant Morning my soul will be free

And My Burdens Will Be Lifted when my Saviour's face I see

So I Don't Want to Get Adjusted to this world below

But I know He'll Pilot Me when it comes time to go

Oh, nothing on this earth is half as dear to me

As the sound of my Mama's Opry