You are my Sunshine

Anne Murray:  You are my Sunshine

Quiz by Sharon Michiko Yoneda

"The other night dear.  As I lay sleeping.  I dreamed I held you in my arms. When I awoke, dear.

I was mistaken. So I hung my head and cried."

"Smilers never lose.  And frowners never win."

"So let the sunshine in.  Face it with a grin."

Artist:  Anne Murray

Songwriters:  Jimmie Davis and Stuart Hamblen as "Open up your Heart"

Release date:  2001 by Anne Murray

Anne Murray was born on June 20, 1945, in the small, coal-mining town of Springhill, Nova Scotia.  Her father was the town doctor, and her mother, a registered nurse.  Recognizing her love of music early, Murray studied the piano for six years and by the age of fifteen, Murray was taking classical voice lessons.

Following high school, Murray enrolled at the University of New Brunswick majoring in Physical Education.  Soon after, she was teaching her specialty in Summerside, Prince Edward Island and continuing in her passion for singing.

After a year of teaching, the call to music pushed her to audition for a music show for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).  Her performance springboarded her to record her first solo album in 1968, "What About Me".  

Then, came her second album in 1970 containing the sleeper hit, "Snowbird."  The song indelibly defined her image which she has kept to this day--the sweet small-town Canadian girl, flying into the States from the frozen north.  The real bird was actually a snow bunting.  In its habits of migration, a new expression was born into the Canadian vernacular---"a snowbird" which describes the flight of a well-off Canadian who can afford to spend winters in Florida.  

"Snowbird" soared up the international music charts bringing our Canadian songbird to instant celebrity and appearances on a variety of television shows in the U.S.  

These are the original lyrics of "Open up your Heart" (Davis and Hamblin) from whom Murray borrowed heavily from in her rendition of "Sunshine".


Mommy told me something

A little kid should know

It's all about the devil

And I've learned to hate him so

She said he causes trouble

When you let him in the room,

He will never ever leave you

If your heart is filled with gloom

So let the sunshine in

Face it with a grin

Smilers never lose

And frowners never win

So let the sun shine in

Face it with a grin

Open up your heart and let the sunshine in.

When you are unhappy

The devil wears a grin

But oh, he starts to running

When the light comes pouring in

I know he'll be unhappy

'Cause I'll never wear a frown

Maybe if we keep on smiling

He'll get tired of hanging 'round.

If I forget to say my prayers

The devil jumps with glee

But he feels so awful awful

When he sees me on my knees

So if you're full of trouble

And you never seem to win

Just open up your heart and let the sunshine in.

So let the sun shine in

Face it with a grin

Smilers never lose

And frowners never win

So let the sunshine in

Face it with a grin

Open up your heart

And let the sunshine in

The biggest hit version in the US was a recording by Stuart Hamblen's Cowboy Church Sunday School (peaking at #8 on the Billboard charts); in the UK, by Joan Regan and her son Rusty. Another US recording was made by the McGuire Sisters.

When the Cowboy Church Sunday School version is played at normal speed, 45 rpm, the vocal sounds unnaturally high. When played at 33⅓ rpm the vocal sounds more natural. In fact the song was recorded at that speed by Stuart Hamblen's wife and adult daughters, so that when played at 45rpm it sounds as if it is being sung by small children.

The version sung by The Cowboy Church Sunday School was featured twice in the 2004 film, "A Dirty Shame." The song was first used as an angelic juxtaposition to the intolerant concept of "Not In My Back Yard" ("NIMBY"). It was later used satirically in a scene depicting the religious aspects of 12-step programs.