Appalachia Music

If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again


Paul and Chitter have been learning the old song “If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again”. They finally decided they had it good enough to video one day last week. Paul said he first heard the song done by the Whitstein Brothers. I’m not sure who I heard sing the song first. Mahalia Jackson and Loretta Lynn both recorded the song, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard either one them do the song.

According to Wikipedia the song was written by John Whitfield Vaughan in honor of his mother. The words in the song are actually based on James Rowe’s writings. Thomas Dorsey’s 1934 recording of the song has been added to the National Recording Registry in the Library of Congress.

As you might have guessed from the title, the song is a tear-jerker. There’s a lonesomeness in the song for anyone whose mother has gone on, but there’s also a reminder for those of us who still have a mother among the living to cherish the days we have left with her.

If you’re into harmony singing you might have noticed they switched keys and parts on the last verse. That switch makes me especially like the song. Changing parts mid song might be easy for an old pro like Paul, but it’s a real accomplishment for Chitter especially since she typically leaves the harmony singing to her sister.

Hope you enjoyed the song!


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  • Reply
    September 24, 2019 at 11:40 am

    I have heard this song at church
    They always would sing on Mothers Day. I loved it then but now that my Mother has went on to be with the Lord, It really makes you wish you could hear her pray again and just to look to see her beautiful smile.
    I had wonderful parents and miss them both.
    I thank GOD for great Christian parents who raised us up in church teaching us to always look to Jesus for all things and to always put him first in our lives.

  • Reply
    Dale Drawbond
    April 15, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    Loved Paul and Chitter singing on this song. Had privilege of hearing it first sung by T. Texas Tyler! Sitting on a chair on a stage with just his guitar. Keep up the good posts.

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    February 19, 2018 at 8:00 am

    tipper I loved this song..and chitter sang beautiful harmony…..I loved hearing them sing such soulful music….hoping all are well…sending love and ladybug hugs to you

  • Reply
    Cheryl Soehl
    February 19, 2018 at 12:34 am

    This was sung a lot in my home when I was growing up. I like this version from the Carter family:

  • Reply
    February 18, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    Well done! Loved Paul and Chitter’s song.

  • Reply
    Susan Jones
    February 18, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    My mama said the most beautiful blessings before meals. Unbeknownst to her, my sister recorded her on several occasions. Mama has been gone eight years in March, and I still can’t bring myself to listen to those recordings. Maybe after hearing Chitter and Paul I can work up the nerve…need to buy some extra Kleenex first!

  • Reply
    February 18, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    It seems like they always sing that song on mothers day at church. I still have my momma but it always makes me sad.

  • Reply
    Lee Mears
    February 18, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    What a great job they did. How did the whole family get such voices????
    I’ve never heard this song before but am glad I finally got to here.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    February 18, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    I hope I have not posted this before but I credit my Mom’s prayers for my working lifetime. I wanted to be an archaeologist and set off to college to do it. My Mom wanted me to be a ‘Ranger’ with the US Forest Service. Well ….. I never made what the Forest Service calls a Ranger but I did become a forester and was with them for 30 years. I expect there is many a soul walking around whose steps were ordered in consequence of their Mom’s prayers. And I expect some of them will read this. You know who you are.

  • Reply
    February 18, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    Paul and Chitter did a great job on that song. I remember when two of my uncles (Mama’s brothers) came to our house. Wade and Hazel, John and Pearly could really sing. They hadn’t been there very long until Hazel or Pearly would be on our old Ward Piano and they could play that thing. They’d play and all would sing “If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again.” That’s the only time in my lifetime I could see Happy Tears in my daddy’s eyes.

    My brother John could play that song too. The first time I looked it up, I listened to “Nexus” play it, and it sounded just like John was playing. Later he became a Preacher and was Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Savannah. He was the first brother to go and meet The Master. …Ken

  • Reply
    February 18, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    Beautiful! I cried through the whole thing. I miss my Mama, but she’s in a better place with no aches and pains.

  • Reply
    C. Ronald Perry, Sr.
    February 18, 2018 at 1:00 pm


  • Reply
    betty stephenson
    February 18, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    beautiful job on this well done people love it

  • Reply
    Bob Dalsemer
    February 18, 2018 at 11:40 am


  • Reply
    February 18, 2018 at 11:06 am

    I have been watching and listening to Chitter and Paul sing this song on YouTube for a couple of days now. I left my comment there. If you want to read it, hop on over and read it. And while you are there, subscribe, leave a thumbs and leave a comment there, too.

    Ima tellin Paul you called him old. But ain’t you his older sister? Maybe I’m confused?

  • Reply
    Kenneth Ryan
    February 18, 2018 at 10:40 am

    Great job on the song.

  • Reply
    Don Byers
    February 18, 2018 at 10:02 am

    The Thomas Dorsey story is very interesting….he was born in Villa Rica GA……look up his bio….

  • Reply
    February 18, 2018 at 9:42 am

    Very good rendition. I did like the part change over a lot.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    February 18, 2018 at 9:33 am

    I loved the harmony and the key switch …Great job to both Paul and Chitter…They are just good, what can I say except I loved this song on this Sunday morning.
    Thanks Tipper
    PS…The sun is shinning here…hope it is shinning on your side of the mountain before the day is done! Looking forward to this weeks extreme warm-up…So thinking it will cause our trees to pop a bit early though. Watch for the Sarvis…

  • Reply
    Janis Sullivan
    February 18, 2018 at 9:02 am

    It takes a lot of work to learn and do these songs for us out here. I just want you to know they are so appreciated. I especially look forward to Sunday mornings.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    February 18, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Loved the harmony change on the last verse.

  • Reply
    February 18, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Beautiful! Thank you, Paul and Chittter!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 18, 2018 at 7:20 am

    That was beautiful, good job! I’m really impressed with the switch they did, that’s got to be hard to do!

  • Reply
    Ken Yount
    February 18, 2018 at 6:28 am

    What a wonderful way to start this Sunday morning!

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