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This month's Free Tablature is
"If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again"
James Rowe (lyrics); John Vaughan (music) - 1922





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In honor of Mother's Day, this month's free tab is a 3-part arrangement of the gospel hymn "If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again".   The lyrics were written in 1912 by the prolific poet and hymn writer, James Rowe (1865 - 1933).   Rowe was born in Devonshire, England, the son of a copper miner.   At the age of 24, he emigrated to America, and settled in Albany, NY.   He worked for various railroad companies there for about 10 years.   A natural writer and poet, he would often create poems while speaking extemporaneously, and only later refine them and write them down.   He eventually began  submitting them to various music publishers in Texas, Tennessee, and New York.  Through his contacts with the publishing houses, he was paired with a number of composers, including Howard Smith and John Vaughn.   He is credited with writing the texts to over 2600 hymns during his lifetime.  Some of his other well-known hymns include "After the Midnight", "His Promise to Me", "There is Room In His Heart For You",  "Love Lifted Me" and "Anchored in Love, Divine".

"If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again" was originally submitted to some of the Tin Pan Alley publishers, but none of them thought it worth publishing.  Rowe then sent it to another composer named John W. Vaughan, who ran his own publishing company in Nashville, TN, that specialized in gospel music.   Vaughan re-worked the music, and then published it for the recently established "Mother's Day" in honor of his own mother, Clara Beady Burgess-Vaughan.  It was released on a recording by the Jenkins Family in 1923 as the "B-side" of a record along with "The Church in the Wildwood", and became one of the best-selling 78 RPM releases of the era.

The song underwent a second revival in popularity when Rev. Thomas Dorsey recorded a version of it in 1934.    A few years later,  it became popular in the burgeoning country-western music genre, and has since been recorded by artists such as Roy Acuff, Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Kitty Wells, the Chuck Wagon Gang, and Alabama.   In 2007, Dorsey's 1934 recording  was chosen by the National Recording Preservation Board at the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry.

Here is a link to a YouTube video of Thomas Dorsey's original recording.

Wishing you all a very Happy Mother's Day!

In music and friendship,




How sweet and happy seem those days of which I dream
When memory recalls them now and then
And with what rapture sweet, my weary heart would beat
If I could hear my mother pray again

If I could hear my mother pray again
If I could hear her tender voice as then
So happy I would be, would mean so much to me
If I could hear my mother pray again


She used to pray that I on Jesus would rely
And always walk the shining gospel way
So trusting still His love, I'll seek that home above
Where I shall meet my mother some glad day

Within the old home place, her patient smilin' face
Was always spreading comfort, hope and cheer
And when she used to sing to her eternal King
It was the song the angels love to hear

Her work on earth is done and her life crown has been won
And she will be at rest with Him above
And some glad mornin', she, I know will welcome me
To their eternal home of peace and love















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If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again



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All 3 parts