Everyone knows the classic song “You Are My Sunshine.” You’ve probably sung it as a lullaby to your little one at one point another. “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are grey. You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away.” It’s really an adorable, beautiful little tune!
However, there’s much more to the song than meets the eye. There are other verses in the song that points to a much more negative connotation to the song that we’ve all been missing.
There were two or three versions of this song recorded in 1939, but many historians believe that it originated with Paul Rice who then sold the rights to the song off to Jimmie Davis. Davis’s version, which was released in 1940, was a huge hit and sounds of a mix between hillbilly swing and Dixieland jazz.
The song would go on to be covered by other huge names in the music industry such as Gene Autry, Lawrence Welk, and Bing Crosby, but Davis’s version would always be the version that people went back to.
While this song has become an absolute classic and has even made its way into the minds of children as a lullaby of sorts, that is only because many artists have twisted the song a bit to sound like a love song. The song, as seen by the lyrics below, actually details a story of love followed by heartbreak.
Some of the lyrics to some of the last verses and choruses of the song are as follows:
If you will only say the same
But if you leave me to love another
You’ll regret it all someday
You make me happy when skies are grey
You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away
And no one else could come between
But now you’ve left me and love another
You have shattered all my dreams
Big difference, right? We’ve been hearing it wrong all along! But it’s okay, we’ll just keep singing the happy chorus because it’s a feel-good tune the way we know it.
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Check out the original version by Jimmie Davis below: