A few years ago, National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore honored mothers on CBS Sunday Morning, sharing that he never gave much thought to Mother's Day -- beyond ordering flowers -- until he heard a mother singing a lullaby to her child. The lullaby turned out to be Baby Mine, written in 1878 by (I believe) Italian-born trumpet player Mike Mosiello. The song was recorded on the Van Dyke label (81878).
"Baby mine, don't you cry.
Baby mine, dry your eyes.
Rest your head close to my heart,
Never to part, baby of mine."
I am reminded of the song Somewhere Out There, written by James Horner, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. It was the theme of the 1987 movie An American Tail.
When I lost full time care of my three children through a divorce custody battle, my heart was shattered. At night when they weren't with me, I'd miss tucking them in and kissing them goodnight. This song played in my mind, and it became for me a lullaby and a prayer for my children across the divide of time and space.
Someone's thinking of me and loving me tonight.
Somewhere out there someone's saying a prayer,
That we'll find one another in that big somewhere out there.
And even though I know how very far apart we are, It helps to think we might be wishing on the same bright star.
And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby,
It helps to think we're sleeping underneath the same big sky.
Somewhere out there if love can see us through,
Then we'll be together somewhere out there,
Out where dreams come true."
Sartore's tribute to mothers included photographs and a recording of his wife Kathy singing Baby Mine to their son. Sartore said that he now understands that, "There is no greater bond than between a mother and her child." I thank Sartore for reminding the world of this truth. It is my Mother's Day gift.