Challenges

Tune Tuesday: Frankie Laine 1969

Posted on Updated on

Frankie Laine Image One
Photo Credit: toledoblade.com

Fifty years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart was You Gave Me A Mountain by Frankie Laine. Written by singer-songwriter and NASCAR driver Marty Robbins, Laine’s version charted the highest of any performer, including Robbins.

From Wikipedia:

The lyrics to the song detail a series of challenges that the singer has endured in his life, including the death of his mother while giving birth to him, [being] deprived of the love of his father [described as] like time spent in prison “for something that I never done” and, the singer’s wife taking their child and leaving. He describes these setbacks as hills that he has scaled in the past but, then states that “this time, Lord, you gave me a mountain” […]

The original third line of Robbins’ song mentioned that he was “despised and disliked from my father” but, Laine requested that this line be changed to “deprived of the love of my father” when he recorded his version, since Laine’s father had died shortly before the recording took place.

Many other artists recorded the song including Johnny Bush, Don McLean, Eddy Arnold, Ray Price, Jim Nabors and Dean Martin. Elvis Presley included this song in the set for his Aloha From Hawaii concert in 1973.

This was the final Top 40 hit of Laine’s career.


 

Lyrics
Born in the heat of the desert
My mother died givin’ me life
Deprived of the love of a father
Blamed for the loss of his wife

You know, Lord, I’ve been in a prison
For something that I’ve never done
It’s been one hill after another
But I’ve climbed them all, one by one

But this time, Lord, you gave me a mountain
A mountain I may never climb
And is isn’t a hill any longer
You gave me a mountain this time

My woman tired of the hardships
Tired of the grief and the strife
So tired of workin’ for nothin’
Tired of bein’ my wife

She took my one ray of sunshine
She took my pride and my joy
She took my reason for livin’
She took my small baby boy

So this time, Lord, you gave me a mountain
A mountain I may never climb
And is isn’t a hill any longer
You gave me a mountain this time