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I Love You, Mama

This song is by Shirley Caesar and appears on the album Rejoice (1980).

You know so ofttimes people ask me
Shirley. why is it that you sing about mothers so much?
But you know, my Mama has been both mom and dad for me
Maybe many of you don't know it, but my mother is a semiinvalid
Today I'd like to just say thanks, Mom
Thanks for sharing and caring about me
The many nights that you laid awake while I was out on the road singing
And many nights, many mornings rather, you wouldn't even go to sleep
Until you'd hear me put my key in the door
I wanna say thanks for the many mornings that you'd get up
And would fix us some lunch when so many kids didn't have anything to eat
And I remember, in my little ol' selfish way I would complain
Because I had to take biscuit and a piece of meat between the bread to school
And the children would laugh at me and I'd come home crying, saying
Mama, I don't take that to school anymore and my Mama would say thanks
Because I remember so vividly that morning you called in the kitchen
And you told me to look down in the bag
I said, Mama, there's nothing down in the bag but meat and bread
And Mama, I remember you took the meat and the bread out and you put it on the table
And I said, Mama, there's nothing down in the bag
And you said, yes, it is, that's what you told me
She said, you'll take this meat and this bread and you'll go to school
And whenever the children laugh at you, you tell them that every morning when I get up
The first thing that I do is I put my love in that bag
Thanks, Mom

When Daddy died, I remember, the relatives came
And they wanted to take us all from you
And I remember you saying with tears in your eyes
I know that nobody's gonna give me a job
And I know that my check that I get each month is not going to be enough to take care of my children
But some kind of way, God's gonna make a way
And I remember you used to sing this song all the time

"Courage my soul and let me journey on
Though the night seems dark, it won't be very long
Thanks be to God the morning light appears
The storm is passing over, hallelujah"

And, Mama, we can say today that that storm passed over
And, Mama, I wanna say thank you for denying yourself
There were times that you wanted a dress - you bought us that dress
There were times when you needed shoes - you bought us those shoes
There were times when you wanted to go out - you stayed home
Thank you, Mama, thank you for teaching me how to love
Teaching me about Jesus, making me go to Sunday school when I didn't want to go
For, Mama, today when I look back over my life I can say that you been a good mom
And Mama, I want to thank you for all of those whippings I got
At times I'd throw rocks and break out windows and break out street lights
And a time I'd go to the grocery stores and then steal twin popsicles and ginger snaps
And I've looked you square in the eye and I've lied some about I been doing
And you, being a good mom, you knew when I was lying
I want to thank you, Ma, for those whippings I got

And then Mama, I want to thank you for teaching me to understand, teaching me sharing, teaching me caring
Mama, when I saw the other kids in the neighborhood, how you would take them in when they were hungry
Oh, you've been a good Mama
I'd like to just sum up this little tribute to you in four beautiful words
And I know I can't say thank you enough, but thank you with these four words
I love you, Mama, I love you
I love you, Mama
I love you, Mama

Written by:

Shirley Caesar, David Briggs

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