Al Jolson Home Page|His Works|My Mammy

"My Mammy"

The song popularly known as "My Mammy," which to many people defines Al Jolson, was written in 1921 by Sam Lewis & Joe Young, with music by Walter Donaldson, and entitled "The Sun Shines East - The Sun Shines West." It was introduced by William Frawley, known to later generations as Fred Mertz on "I Love Lucy." Legend has it that it was spotted as a potential hit for Jolson, who introduced it in the show Sinbad that year.

Here are the full lyrics of the song that became Jolson's signature piece.

The Sun Shines East - The Sun Shines West
(aka My Mammy)
Words by Sam Lewis & Joe Young
Music by Walter Donaldson
original copyright 1921 by Irving Berlin Corp.
My Mammy
Ev'rything seems lovely,
When you start to roam,
The birds are singing the day that you stray,
But wait until you are further away.
Things won't be so lovely,
When you're all alone,
Here's what you'll keep saying,
When you're far from home.
Mammy, Mammy,
The sun shines East, the sun shines West,
But I've just learned where the sune shines best.
Mammy, Mammy,
My heart strings are tangled around Alabamy.
I'se a-comin' sorry that I made you wait,
I'se a-comin' hope and pray I'm not too late,
Mammy, Mammy,
I'd walk a million miles for one of your smiles,
We all start our travels,
Looking for a friend.
If you went searching down deep in your mind,
You know you just left the best pal behind,
After all our travels,
Where do we all wend?
Back home to our first love,
At the journey's end.

Click on the Sheet Music if you would like to hear the original recorded version, from March 31, 1928, of My Mammy in Real Audio format.

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This listing and material Copyright © 1995-2010 Marc I. Leavey, M.D. Baltimore, Maryland
Updated 19 Aug 00
Updated 07 Mar 10