songs about mother and dying

February 20, 2007 at 5:24 pm (hard living, songwriting)

Chris’s post:

I’m sitting by my mother’s bedside in the hospital today. Mom is in the late stages of cancer and she’s not been responsive much the last few days. My wife sits here with me. So many of the old hard-living country songs about mother and death are close to me now. We just sang the song Far Side Banks of Jordan to mom. Johnny and June Carter Cash sung it as a duet for June’s final album:

Far Side Banks of Jordan

 (Johnny)I believe my steps are growing wearier by day

Got another journey on my mind

Lures of this old world have ceased to make me wanna stay

And my one regret is leaving you behind


(June)But if it proves to be his will that I am first to cross

And somehow I’ve a feeling it will be

When it comes your time to travel likewise don’t feel lost

For I will be the first one that you’ll see



And I’ll be waiting on the far side banks of Jordan

I’ll be sitting drawing pictures in the sand

And when I see you coming I will rise up with a shout

And come running through the shallow water

Reaching for your hand


(Johnny)Through this life we labor hard to earn our meager fair

Its brought us trembling hands and failing eyes

(June) So I’ll just rest here on this shore and turn my eyes away

Until you come and we’ll see paradise


Two other songs that mean a lot right now are Roseanne Cash’s September When It Comes and Lucinda Williams song Fancy Funeral from her new album West. Roseanne’s album Black Cadillac and Lucinda’s West are played a lot right now. Both women worked out their feelings regarding a parent’s passing with these albums. Roseanne lost Johnny, June, and Vivian before Black Cadillac. There’s nothing like losing a loved one to make you feel like you’re in a country song. I think what helps the most is that Roseanne and Lucinda write in the first person in very spiritual ways. They’re both amazing songwriters.



  1. antifolkhero said,

    I’m sorry to hear about your pain. Your article made me think of a Hank Williams song where he sings about his mother dying. The first line is something like “I just told mother, goodbye.” Its really depressing but a great, fantastic song. I wish you the best.

  2. Chris said,

    Sorry to hear you had to bear the pain of going through so much grief ,too. My mom passed away after a long battle with cancer this year, on July 3rd =/ I thought her being sick and her slowly dying was hard but, I wish I could turn back time and have one more sick day with her.

  3. Carman Estes said,

    I am looking for songs for my planing ahead, was recently found out that I also have cancer ,my Grand Baby has been fighting Brain Cancer from Birth and is at Rile children Hospital as I speak . I want some Country songs about Momma to make a c d with pic.s as the music plays , I love Randy Travis songs , Holes in the floor of Heaven , I Lost my Mom to Cancer 20 years ago and have really Been Lost with out her ,so I have an Ideal what my Kids and Grandkids may go threw , Please Pray for my Family , and I need song ideals .Thanks Carman

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