Far I Shields

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Mama Sula – Original Song By Far I – Description & Lyrics

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Mama Sula

This song is about my fathers mother.  Her name was Ursula Shields born Ursula Adams. All Dolled up - show stoppahWhat a lady.  I remember her charm and style. Mama Sula was ruff yet she so had class.

From the south my father was a part of the Great Migration as African Americans escaped the rigors of racism and pains of sharecropping and moved west.  Above my Grandmother is pictured with her daughter who shared her name Ursula on a visit to her home town of Yazoo City Mississippi where she was born Ursula Adams.

The move to the west suited Mama Sula just fine.  Fine cars, beautiful homes and the good life.  She lived it up.  Mama Sula iondulged in all that was good about the big city life of Los Angeles, California. Before they information was present about the dangers of drinking and smoking Mama Sula was all in. She became an avid smoker and died of lung cancer in her early 50’s.  I remember before she died she had her lung removed. She had it placed in a jar next to her hospital bed for the whole family to see.  From that moment I vowed never to smoke cigarettes.

My grandmother was mean.  Se was so mean that I had a complex.  Other grandmothers that I saw seemed so nice and loving. Mine grandmother was a knock down drag out serious southern woman from Arkansas who you better be on your p’s and q’s or you were going to get a sharp reprimand with a quickness.  Grandmamma didn’t take no mess.

I also mention her brother Joseph Thomas Adams in the song Mama Sula.  He was very loving, wise and lived to the age of 84.  Much like his sister he battle alcoholism yet he always managed to be loving even when drinking heavily.   Uncle Joseph overcame his drinking habit and became an outstanding member of AA.  He touched many live with his love and encouragement.  Some of his favorite saying were.  “You reach a point where you get sick and tired of being sick and tired”  & “this to shall pass”

Above Uncle Joseph is pictured with is incredibly lovely wife Aunt Leora.  Together they nurtured me through many difficult times.

I longed for a sweet reassuring grandmother yet it just was not in the cards I was dealt.  I wanted a grandmother to say come here baby – you know grandma loves you.  As I entered my 30’s I began to realize that my grandmother loved her family through her cooking.  She was one of the best cooks I ever encountered.  It was like she had some magic in the kitchen and would sprinkle it in the pots.  Gumbo, salmon crockets, mashed potatoes, greens – all the great food the south has to offer.  Then she would follow it up with Sweet Potato Pie and Peach Cobbler.  The crust she made was worth walkin for miles and miles to taste.  Mama Sula past in 1978 and I still can taste her cookin.

The song Mama Sula is a way of me saying to my Grandmother – ok, I get it.  You did love us.  You loved us through your cookin and I still feel the love.

Mama Sula Lyrics

Hey Mama,  Mama Sula
Hey Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama
Mama Sula

Well Life is full of Love if we just see it right
Sunshine on your face and the groove is tight
Plenty of Love so why don’t ya come on in
We got hugs and kisses and good cookin
Gumbo on the stove and we got alot
we got crab on the bottom and shrimp on the top

Well now every time I see yall I don’t want to go
Oh Mama Sula I love you so

Hey Mama,  Mama Sula
Hey Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama
Mama Sula

Hey yall Uncle Joseph’s in the house
All yall babies come gather around
pull up a chair sit down I’m talking to you
stories of life and love and adventure too
well one thing that I know is right
Uncle Joseph is going to make you love your life

Hey Mama,  Mama Sula
Hey Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama
Mama Sula

Mama Sula Can burn she will cook you to life
She got seasonings from heaven make your soul take flight
House full of love that what it means to me
Every time I go there all the family I see
Grandmama your my rock, my sun shining smile
Peach Cobblah, Taata Pie Crust, Melt In My Mouth

Well now every time I see yall I don’t want to go
Oh Mama Sula I love you so

Written by farishields

March 11, 2011 at 2:43 pm

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