You Are My Sunshine

you-are-my-sunshine

The girls learned the old standard “You Are My Sunshine” a couple years back for a Little Middle Folk School performance. They’ve been doing the song ever since and its a real crowd-pleaser. The girls always ask everyone to sing along and most of the time the entire audience joins in which makes it really cool.

A few weeks back they were playing at the local Cherokee Indian Senior Center and decided it would be the perfect venue to play “You Are My Sunshine.” Chatter said she noticed an elderly man get up from the back of the room while they were singing and move closer to the front. He was singing along and the girls figured he was trying to get closer so he could hear better.

After the show ended the gentleman came up to them and told them he was really glad they sung “You Are My Sunshine” because he had a very special memory about the song.

He served in WWII and was stationed in Germany. His unit had been given the news that they would be heading to the front lines in the Battle of the Bulge. The troops that weren’t shipping out held a little going away party for the men. He said they announced a little Dutch girl was going to sing a song for them. The elderly man said he and his buddies sure wished they could hear some American music as a send off, but knew the little Dutch girl would probably sing in German and they wouldn’t even know what she was saying.

The soldiers were surprised and pleased when the little girls began to sing “You Are My Sunshine” in English. The elderly man told Chitter the unit of soldiers knew many of them wouldn’t return from the battle they were about to enter, but hearing the little girl sing the song from their own homeland was exactly what they needed to face what lay ahead.

Here’s a video of us doing the song a few weeks back at the Historic Union County Courthouse in Blairsville GA. If you listen close you can hear the crowd singing along.

I’ll never hear “You Are My Sunshine” again that I don’t think of a small Dutch girl giving our soldiers a taste of home in a foreign land before they went to fight for the good of me.

Tipper

Subscribe for FREE and get a daily dose of Appalachia in your inbox

You Might Also Like

21 Comments

  • Reply
    Diane Rennie
    November 2, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    This song holds a special place in my heart, it’s the song I sing to him all the time. Heartwarming story for sure!

  • Reply
    Flatroofer
    November 1, 2018 at 7:00 am

    Beautiful, love the harmony.

  • Reply
    Catharine White Tucker
    October 31, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    Thank you! Mama & I used to sing this in harmony like this. Singing with her all the songs & hymns we knew is something I really miss. And thanks for sharing the soldier’s story, too.

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    October 8, 2018 at 3:15 am

    isn’t it wonderful tipper…how music touches the souls of all of us…and unites our hearts with love….sending many blessings your way,
    the song is one my beloved father always sang to us children…I love it..thank you for sharing…your girls voices are so beautiful…they cheered me when I really needed it…been feeling blue…fall does that to me

  • Reply
    Tom Deep
    October 7, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    What a great song fro the family.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    October 7, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    What a lovely story! I still love that song. Here’s a poem I wrote about my earliest
    memory of singing it:

    TWO MINUTES IN THE SPOTLIGHT:
    SINGING AT THE SUNSHINE THEATER
    WHEN I WAS FIVE YEARS OLD

    That inauspicious day is no doubt gone
    from every living memory but mine.
    My sisters were the culprits in the scheme
    for me to win the Sunshine Talent Show.
    It wasn’t something I had planned to do,
    although I dearly loved to sing at home.
    You Are My Sunshine was the tune they chose.
    They made me practice morning, noon, and night.
    They coached me on my posture and my smile;
    they starched and ironed my yellow pinafore.
    On Saturday the talent show was held,
    and pickup-loads of kids showed up on time.
    The Sunshine’s rows had never been so full
    of people — and excitement in the air.
    I wish that I could tell you all about
    how my performance went and how I felt,
    but it was just like singing in a dream —
    I don’t remember anything at all.
    My parents said I did our family proud,
    and both my sisters told me I looked cute.
    I never sang again on any stage,
    and agents haven’t knocked on my front door.
    Of course I didn’t win a prize that day,
    yet few things after that held any fear.

  • Reply
    Debbie
    October 7, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    That is the song I sing to my Border collie.Her name is My Hallie Sunshine.She is my sunshine.

  • Reply
    Betty Hopkins
    October 7, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    One of the most favorite memories of my childhood was my sweet Aunt Viola singing and teaching me the words to “You are My Sunshine” when I was a little girl. When she sang it to me, it endeared her to me and created a lasting bond between us. Over the years at Christmas and birthdays, we exchanged cards and never failed to write “You are my sunshine” at the bottom. She was such a ray of sunshine in my life and lit up the room whenever she entered it. Aunt Viola is gone now, but as Maya Angelou said, “You may forget what people said, you may forget what they did, but you will never forget how they made you feel.” I’ll never forget how Aunt Viola made me feel, and to this day whenever I hear “You are My Sunshine,” I think of her. Thanks, Tipper, for letting us share our sunshine on this beautiful, sunshiny Fall day!

  • Reply
    Charline
    October 7, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    What a sweet story! My Mother often sang this. One of her wartime beux would sing this to her and he nicknamed her “Sunshine.”
    Wish I could be at the festival today.

  • Reply
    jim keller
    October 7, 2018 at 11:53 am

    What a strange coincidence, just yesterday evening the wife and I attended a concert by the legendary cowboy singing group “Riders In The Sky” in Mountain City TN. Of the many songs they preformed “You are my sunshine “ was one. The average age of the audience was the mid 60s, but by all the people singing along with them you would have thought they were teenagers.

  • Reply
    Jane W Bolden
    October 7, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Lovely story! Always loved this song!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    October 7, 2018 at 9:57 am

    A lovely story, thank you for sharing this.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 7, 2018 at 9:36 am

    Some days you are really my only sunshine. Thanks for everything you do. I wish I had a way to repay you for all you freely give.

  • Reply
    Gigi
    October 7, 2018 at 9:18 am

    Tipper, that brought tears to my eyes. Reading that, i was right there. Beautiful! And thank your girls for that. I know he will never forget that and they won’t either. Bless you all for everything you do.

  • Reply
    Tamela
    October 7, 2018 at 9:13 am

    Lovely story.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    October 7, 2018 at 8:17 am

    Just goes to show we are not good judges of whether something is a ‘small’ thing or not. What the little Dutch girl did is still going. That old soldier has now passed it on. May each of us do at least one thing of such lasting merit, whether we know it or not.

  • Reply
    Susan Jones
    October 7, 2018 at 8:00 am

    What a great way to begin a Sunday morning, Tipper!
    That child probably had not idea of what she meant to those soldiers that day. We can all do small things that impact others in a wonderful way. So happy that your family is blessed with music and that they are so willing to share with their community and, thanks to the web, the world!

  • Reply
    Monica Hatzis
    October 7, 2018 at 7:50 am

    Wow
    What a beautiful story and such a lovely song. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    October 7, 2018 at 7:23 am

    I am sure a lot of older folks especially enjoy this song. It was one of the first songs we ever learned.. I still enjoy singing along.

  • Reply
    Annette Hensley
    October 7, 2018 at 6:23 am

    What a wonderful story! Haven’t heard the song in years but it will have a special place in my heart now.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 7, 2018 at 5:37 am

    Love the song and love the story! I don’t remember where or when I first heard You are My Sunshine but it is a part of my being. The song comes to mind often and catch myself singing it or humming it.
    Thanks for the sunshine this morning!

  • Leave a Reply