The song was originally written by Oliver Hood, a country music performer from Louisiana, in the 1930s. But it was his friend and fellow performer, Jimmie Davis, who would make it a hit. Davis purchased the rights to the song from Hood’s family for $35 and recorded it in 1940, turning it into a national sensation.
What many people don’t know is that the song was actually written as a love song. However, the original lyrics were much darker and more somber than the ones we know today. In fact, the original chorus was:
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine You make me happy when skies are gray You’ll never know dear, how much I love you Please don’t take my sunshine away.”
But the verses that followed spoke of heartbreak and loss, and included lines such as:
“The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping I dreamed I held you in my arms But when I woke, dear, I was mistaken So I hung my head and cried.”
Davis changed the lyrics to the more optimistic ones we know today, and the song has since become a beloved classic that has been covered by artists ranging from Bing Crosby to Johnny Cash to Aretha Franklin.
Now that you are up-to-date on all things kid songs, it’s time to think about your little one’s 1st birthday. How will you celebrate?! Let’s get a cake smash session scheduled for your little one’s birthday too. I would love to be your Indianapolis photographer to photograph all your family’s milestones.