Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wishing I was Mary

In the late summer of 1967 I was 24 years old, newly divorced, and the mother of two small daughters. I wasn't sorry that the marriage had ended, but I'd been sad for a long time that my dream of what a marriage could be had not materialized. I don't think I'd felt truly loved for a single day of the six years I was married.

That same summer Al Martino recorded "Mary in the Morning," a song that touched me deeply. I wanted to be loved the way the Mary of the song was loved, with tenderness and passion in equal proportions. Read these lyrics and see what I mean:


Mary in the Morning
(Written by Michael Rashkow and singer Johnny Cymbal)

Nothing's quite as pretty as Mary in the morning
When through a sleepy haze I see her lying there,
Soft as the rain that falls on summer flowers,
Warm as the sunlight shining on her golden hair, um-hum.

When I awake
And see her there so close beside me,
I want to take
Her in my arms,
The ache is there
So deep inside me.

Nothing's quite as pretty as Mary in the morning,
Chasing the rainbow in her dreams so far away,
And when she turns to touch me, I kiss her face so softly,
And then my Mary wakes to love another day, um-hum.

And Mary's there
In summer days or stormy weather.
She doesn't care
`Cause right or wrong the love we share,
We share together.

Nothing's quite as pretty as Mary in the evening,
Kissed by the shades of night and starlight in her hair,
And as we walk, I hold her close beside me,
All our tomorrows for a lifetime we will share, um-hum.


Before another year had passed I found that kind of love. Okay, so it lasted twelve years instead of a lifetime, but by the time it ended, I was no longer desperate for it. I'd experienced it for a time, I'd remember it always, and, most important, I'd learned that I was worth loving. Maybe that was what I'd really needed all along.

The song has remained a favorite, although I've grown to prefer Elvis Presley's version, which is the one I'm bringing to you today. (This one's for you, 4th Sister; I know how much you love Elvis.)

(Thanks to utmom2008 for posting this video on YouTube.)


  1. I hope one day I will be able to write of my past as well as you do, and also be brave enough to allow my daughters to read it. I lasted 10 years in my first marriage never feeling loved. Patiently I waited until someone found me that loved me like Mary was loved. So far, happily ever after....

  2. Yep. Learning that one is worth loving is the lesson... Another beautiful post.

  3. Sandy, by the time I started blogging, I figured my daughters could handle pretty much anything I wrote about--as long as I didn't say too much about them. :)

    Rottrover, isn't it interesting that we don't recognize some of those life lessons until we see them in hindsight?

  4. Isn't it amazing how a song can touch our soul and mean so much to us? It sounds like this one is extra special for you.

    Big hugs,
    xo Catherine

  5. Catherine, I've had a lifelong love affair with words, and words set to music may be the best words of all.

  6. Ah Elvis is my favorite.....I think my Sisters and I are somewhat alike... I am loved by many people and I do not need or want a romantic love at this point of my life or ever again I am sure.even when I was married I was always alone at this point in my life it is by choice....I have a wonderful life...peace is good...

  7. 4th Sister, I'm of the same mindset you are. I'm enough of a romantic to think it must be wonderful to grow old with a partner you've loved for a lifetime, but at this point I have no interest in breaking in someone new. Also, I can't imagine having to share access to the thermostat or the remote control.


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