Friday, September 23, 2011

Sing The Clouds Away

Before I entered elementary school, my mother would often settle my brother and I down for an afternoon nap—just one of a million things she had to do in her day. She would either place us on our beds or on a blanket on the floor but she would always position us by a window.


I remember vague snippets of those moments before I fell into an afternoon's slumber: namely the way the marshmallowy clouds looked in the skies above our apartment building and the sound of my mother's sweet voice softly singing us to sleep. Perhaps she chose a spot close to a window so we could indeed see the clouds above—rather fitting, as her song of choice was called "Sing the Clouds Away". Perhaps not intended as a lullaby, the song hails from a Christian gospel background. Although I'm not religious in that sense anymore, it is indeed a song special to my history. I still remember the tune and most of the lyrics (although time has jumbled some of the verses in my head). Most of all, however, I remember how hearing my mother sing this melody made me feel: safe, secure, loved and hopeful. 

I found two different versions of the song with slight differences in lyrics and even song title but the gist of the song is there. Also, not the best quality but click here to get an idea of what the tune sounds like. It's one of those hallmark type moments from childhood that bring to mind the concept of journey. From humble beginnings, eyes on the heavens, sleeping, dreaming and ever onwards on the path.


Sing The Clouds Away (source)
Sing the clouds away,
Night will turn to day;
If you’ll sing and sing and sing
You’ll sing the clouds away.
Smile the clouds away,
Night will turn to day;
If you’ll smile and smile and smile
You’ll smile the clouds away.
Sing and smile and pray,
Pray and pray and pray;
Night will turn to day,
No matter what they say;
Sing and smile and pray,
That's the only way
If you’ll sing and smile and pray
You’ll drive the gloom away.

And:

Sing and Smile and Pray the Clouds Away (source)

Sing the clouds away, night will turn to day;
If you sing and sing and sing, You'll sing the clouds away.

Smile the clouds away, night will turn to day;
If you smile and smile and smile, You'll smile the clouds away.

Pray the clouds away, Pray and pray and pray;
Night will turn to day, No matter what they say.

Sing and smile and pray, that's the only way!
If you sing and smile and pray, You'll drive the clouds away.
[Written by The Brocks, 1934]

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