Some years ago I made a compilation tape of (mostly) country songs, centred on memories of the family home, and in particular its parental occupants. This earlier post of mine reminded me of the tape and sent me off in search of it. Horribile dictu, it was nowhere to be found. I searched high and low, or at least I would have done were that not a bit of a cliché, and consequently I just searched exhaustively, but I could not find the tape. I was downcast. You see, I wanted to blog the thing. And then a couple of weeks ago - readers, you will be overjoyed to learn - I found it. My searches this place and that place notwithstanding, and notevenwithsitting, the tape thought to be lost was there among the tapes I'd been keeping in my office at work, though I must have looked through them at least three times. Let it be a lesson to you - the lesson that you let it be being entirely yours to choose.
So, anyway, now that I have the Momma 'n' Daddy Collection back, or rather now that I know where it is, I'd like to share its contents with you. Be advised, first, that although the beloved parents form a recurrent theme, some of the songs are not directly about them but more loosely connected with home, family and childhood; and be advised, second, that although some of the lyrics are toe-curlingly toe-curling, you need to hear them actually being sung before you can judge if the song is truly awful. Some of them are good despite the appearance of their lyrics. Well, I know that there are those of you out there who sneer about country music. I know it because you'll be a cross-section of ordinary humanity (no, not you - you're an exception), and my wide experience of the world has acquainted me with the sneering. But I wanted to share with y'all the wealth of this musical tradition. If you don't know it, don't knock it.
my dad was a big man with a will that was toughA couple of observations. One of the things I like best about this song is the phrase 'and plenty to wear'. On first hearing, when it slams in there behind 'plenty to eat', you know at once you're caught. Another of the things I like is the piano passage right at the end. You'll never get over it. Just give it a listen and see what I mean.
He was at his best when the going was rough
He made a living for the family and never had to cheat
To keep food on the table and shoes on our feet
we sat down at the table and thanked god in prayer
Cause we had plenty to eat and plenty to wear
We had patches on our britches but momma kept us neat
We had food on the table and shoes on our feet