Words & Music: Jimmie Davis (1939)

Lyrics

Chorus
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.

Verse
The other night, dear,
As I lay sleeping
I dreamt I held you
In my arms.
When I awoke, dear,
I was mistaken,
So I hung my head
And I cried.

Background

“You Are My Sunshine” is a popular song first recorded in 1939. It has been declared one of the state songs of Louisiana as a result of its association with former state governor and country music singer Jimmie Davis. Davis’s version was popular and was followed by numerous other covers, including those of Bing Crosby and Gene Autry, whose versions made the number a big hit.

Davis emphasized his association with the song when running for governor, singing it at all his campaign rallies, while riding on a horse named “Sunshine.” His authorized biography, You Are My Sunshine: The Jimmie Davis Story, was published in 1987.

Performances

A classic recording by the song’s creator country and western singer, Jimmie Davis. This is the full version (3 verses and chorus):

Incidentally, Davis was twice elected democratic governor of Louisiana, partly because of the fame of this song!

And here is the Sing-A-long version for listening to and downloading:

You Are My Sunshine