While he didn’t write the gospel classic, ‘If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again,’ George Jones’ love for his mother shines through when you hear him sing.
The beautiful ballad, ‘If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again’, was actually by John Whitfield ‘Whit’ Vaughan in 1922. He wrote the song as a tribute to his mother, so it is only fitting that Jones used it to honor his own beloved mother. The words are based on a text written by English settler, James Rowe. George Jones recorded it as an homage to his mother in 2003.
While many gospel and country singers have covered the song, it is George Jones’ cover that seems to be one of the most heartfelt of our time. He released the song on his gospel album, 2003’s ‘The Gospel Collection.’ At the time of its release, Jones noted that it was his mother who instilled a love of gospel music in him. She took him to church regularly and saw to it George said his prayers.
George’s parents were both musical; his father played the harmonic and guitar, and his mother played piano for their Pentecostal Church every Sunday. It was there, in church, that George first played guitar for an audience.
Knowing that Jones owes his mother and the church for his love of gospel and his love of the guitar, his emotional version of ‘If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again’ is all the more meaningful.