Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cool Kidsongs: You Are My Sunshine

Elizabeth Mitchell: You Are My Sunshine


Gray Sky Girls: You Are My Sunshine


Norman Blake: You Are My Sunshine


You Are My Sunshine was a popular song written in a time when the audience fragmentation of modern culture had not yet taken place; songs back then were for everyone, and other than playground rhymes, the conceit of "children's song" was a meaningless term. But like so many innocent love songs from the era - see, for another example, Bushel and a Peck - switching its subject from lover to son or daughter only makes the song that much sweeter. And so the song has come to be associated with childhood, a perfect pitch from parent to child, despite the undertone of fear and loss which flavors its lyric.

A few years ago, just before their divorce was finalized, my parents overheard my wife and I singing this song to our daughter, and noted that they had sung the song to me, together in harmony, when I was just a tiny thing myself. It was the last time I saw them smile together, and since then, it's harder to sing without choking up a bit. But we still sing it, just the same.

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