As we exited the sanctuary after my mother’s funeral the pianist played Let Me Call You Sweetheart. In 2006 I spent many hours interviewing my mother about her childhood and one of the things she told me was………
“When I was a child we traveled with a horse and sleigh in winter. But in summer my Dad got out his Ford touring vehicle which he kept up on blocks in the garage during the snowy months. Our Ford had curtains you snapped on instead of windows.
My Dad always wanted our family to sing when we traveled anywhere together in the car. I remember him singing lots of Negro spirituals and other songs like Way Down Upon the Swannee River, Down By the Old Mill Stream and Let Me Call You Sweetheart.”
Mom also told me that she and her siblings were big Bing Crosby fans and they had quite a number of his 78 records. Her Dad liked Bing Crosby too and since he was an excellent whistler he often whistled Bing Crosby tunes. In 1934, when my mother was nine years old Bing released a recording of Let Me Call You Sweetheart that became a big hit for him.
When I was a child my mother routinely spent an hour or more on Sunday afternoons at the piano playing all kinds of music that had been popular in her childhood and teen years. Let Me Call You Sweetheart was one of her standards.
Two months before my Mom died I went along with my grandson to his Kindermusik class and one of the songs the children sang and danced to was Let Me Call You Sweetheart. I told Mom about it when I got home and even though at that point in time it was sometimes difficult for her to remember things she sang the whole chorus to me word for word.
I included Let Me Call You Sweetheart in the list of suggested music I gave to Roxanne Klassen the accomplished pianist and organist who served at Mom’s funeral and it was her idea that she could play it as we left the church. I could almost hear my Mom singing along.
I’ve been writing a series of posts about the music at my mother’s funeral. Music was such an important part of our mother’s life and we wanted that reflected at her funeral. Writing these posts is a way to help me remember and reflect on that music because the day of the funeral I was too emotional to really do so. Here are a list of the other posts I’ve done so far………