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You Are My Sunshine

 

The other night dear, as I lay sleeping
I dreamed I held you in my arms
But when I awoke, dear, I was mistaken
So I hung my head and I cried.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You’ll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away

I’ll always love you and make you happy,
If you will only say the same.
But if you leave me and love another,
You’ll regret it all some day:

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You’ll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away

You told me once, dear, you really loved me
And no one else could come between.
But not you’ve left me and love another;
You have shattered all of my dreams:

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You’ll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away

In all my dreams, dear, you seem to leave me
When I awake my poor heart pains.
So when you come back and make me happy
I’ll forgive you dear, I’ll take all the blame.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You’ll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away

 

 

“YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE” – FACTS ABOUT THE SONG

Two versions of “You Are My Sunshine” were recorded and released prior to Jimmie Davis’s. The first was recorded for Bluebird Records (RCA-Victor’s budget label) on August 22, 1939 by The Pine Ridge Boys (Marvin Taylor and Doug Spivey), who hailed from Atlanta. The second was recorded for Decca Records on September 13, 1939 by The Rice Brothers Gang. This group was originally from north Georgia, but had relocated to Shreveport, Louisiana, where they were performing on the city’s KWKH radio station. The version by Jimmie Davis was recorded for Decca Records on February 5, 1940.

Davis and Charles Mitchell are the credited songwriters of “You Are My Sunshine”. Davis bought the song and rights from Paul Rice and put his own name on it, a practice not uncommon in the pre-World War II music business. Some early versions of the song, however, do credit the Rice Brothers. According to some accounts, clarinetist Pud Brown also had a hand with the Rice Brothers in the song’s origin or first arrangement.

Davis said that for some time he had been enthusiastic about the song and had unsuccessfully tried to convince record companies to record it before finally making his own 1940 record of the song. Davis’s version was popular and was followed by numerous other covers, including those of Bing Crosby and Gene Autry, whose versions made the number a big hit.

Davis played up his association with the song when running for governor, singing it at all his campaign rallies, while riding on a horse named “Sunshine”. His authorized biography, You Are My Sunshine: The Jimmie Davis Story, was published in 1987.

Truman Capote stated in a 1974 interview that it was his “favourite country song”.

In 2003, the song ranked #73 in CMT’s 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music

 

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