Two Songs By Jimmy Dean, ‘I.O.U.’ for Mother’s Day and My Favorite ‘Big John’

Just reading a piece from Dave Griffey’s Daffy Thoughts on the evil influence of Rap Music. (I was curious being that a neighbor of mine sometimes tortures us, albeit unintentionally, with the irritating noise.) There was a comment after the piece citing “Big John” by Jimmy Dean as the commenter’s favorite “rap song” — I think he was being a mite sarcastic. I knew nothing about Jimmy Dean except he made good sausages. And, yes, the producer of Jimmy Dean Sausages is the country singer.

So, in looking up Jimmy Dean, I found that he also wrote a song for his mother called “I.O.U.” I was not surprised. Anyone who could create a natural hero like the miner in the ballad “Big John” must have a good heart and good hearts come from good mothers. The song has eleven stanzas. It begins:

Mom, I sure hope you’re listenin’.
Sweet lady, I.O.U. for so many things…..
A lot of services, like nightwatchman for instance…..
Lyin’ awake nights, listenin’ for coughs and cries and creakin’
floorboards…..hah-hah, and me comin’ in too late.
Boy, you had the eye of an eagle and the roar of a lion,
But you always had a heart as big as a house.

Beautiful! Check out the whole song.

And “Big John” too:

Every mornin’ at the mine you could see him arrive
He stood six-foot-six and weighed two-forty-five
Kinda broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip
And everybody knew ya didn’t give no lip to big John
(Big John, big John)
Big bad John (big John)

Happy Mothers Day Mom! Happy Mothers Day, Blessed Mary Our Lady of Fatima!