Song Lyric Sunday

Helen Espinosa’s theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is missing someone you love. The person I miss the most is the little boy my son used to be. The little boy who kept every sparkly rock he found because it was “special”. The little boy who crawled underneath a big cardboard box, pretending it was his shell and he was a pet turtle named Secret. The little boy who used to write his mother checks for a million dollars so she’d be rich.

I love my grown son, but where did that little guy go? (Photo credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

I chose 1974 Mame’s “If He Walked Into My Life”, performed by Lucille Ball, shown here with the adorable (almost as adorable as my son, Brylan) Kirby Furlong as Mame’s young nephew Patrick. I think every son’s mother will understand. The link to the YouTube video is in the song title.

I miss you, Little Guy.

If He Walked Into My Life

by Jerry Herman
Where is that boy with the bugle?
My little love was always my big romance;
Where’s that boy with the bugle?
And why did I ever buy him those damn long pants?
Did he need a stronger hand?
Did he need a lighter touch?
Was I soft or was I tough?
Did I give enough?
Did I give too much?
At the moment when he needed me,
Did I ever turn away?
Would I be there when he called,
If he walked into my life today.
Were his days a little dull?
Were his nights a little wild?
Did I overstate my plan?
Did I stress the man?
And forget the child.
And there must have been a million things.
That my heart forgot to say.
Would I think of one or two,
If he walked into my life today.
Should I blame the times I pampered him,
Or blame the times I bossed him;
What a shame!
I never really found the boy,
Before I lost him.
Were the years a little fast?
Was his world a little free?
Was there too much of a crowd?
All too lush and loud and not enough of me.
Though I’ll ask myself my whole life long,
What went wrong along the way;
Would I make the same mistakes
If he walked into my life today?
If that boy with the bugle,
If he walked into my life today.
Song Lyric Sunday

Author: Sue Ranscht

I am a writer. Let me tell you a story...

9 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday”

  1. I think it’s more sentimental for me because I feel like I missed so much when my kids were younger… I had depression pretty badly when they were growing up and there is so much that I just don’t remember. But, I’m happy I’m present now and can take part in their lives and laugh and love with them.

    I’ve never even heard of Mame, but it was a lovely song, even though I didn’t much care for Lucille Ball’s voice. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry you had a rough time when your kids were young. Even when we’re present, their childhood is such a fleeting instant in time, it’s gone before we realize it.

      It’s true that Lucille Ball wasn’t a trained singer, and her voice is something between a leaky foghorn and a female impersonator, but that’s the very reason I like her version of this one better than Angela Lansbury’s or Eydie Gorme’s — she’s singing the emotion rather than the technique, and it just rings truer to me.

      My son played the young Patrick in a production at the Lawrence Welk Theater almost 20 years ago. Carol Swarbrick was Mame. There’s no video of her singing this song, but this is a great video showing her talent: One night she sang this song and her voice caught between “that my heart” and “forgot to say”, and it was so evocative, I cried. After the show I mentioned it to her, and she laughed — she had been trying not to cough.

      Anyway, that’s the power of a great performance, and Lucille Ball was always a great performer. Take a look a the hilarious Bosum Buddies number with Bea Arthur, who IS a singer: While Ms. Ball did only the 1974 film version, Mame ran on Broadway for almost 4 years. I love the movie version.


I'd love to hear what you think.

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