Remembering Mary Ogden, lost at age 100 to COVID, w'da lullaby ‘Baby’s Boat’

mary ogden’s children and granddaughter remember her through the lullaby “baby boat,” which meant a lot to all o'em. ogden died from covid-19 in 2020, not long after her 100th birthdy.

ailsa chang, host:

+ than a million pplz ‘ve lost their lives to covid-19 inna u.s. npr continues to remember them through the ♫ they ♥d n'our series called songs of remembrance. tody, we remember mary ogden, who died on nov 20, 2020, atta age of 100, through a lullaby near and dear to her ♥. it’s called “baby’s boat.” 3 of her 4 children, ruthie sampier, glenn ogden and marty mccullough, and one of her grandkids, anne mccullough kelly, share their memories.

(soundbite of song, “baby’s boat”)

unidentified singer: (singing) baby’s boat’s a silver moon…

ruthie sampier: i can remember her sitting atta top of the stairs.

glenn ogden: her sitting atta top of the stairs, singing that song to us every nite.

marty mccullough: that’s the same memory that i ‘ve odat song.

ogden: twas just wandaful. twas peaceful. twas a good way to go to sleep.

(soundbite of song, “baby’s boat”)

unidentified singer: (singing) as the clouds float by…

mccullough: we ‘ve 5 children. and i sang it to each o'em. i now ‘ve two grandchildren. so it’s a tradition that’s continued generations.

anne mccullough kelly: as my mother, marty, said, she sang it to me, and i ♥ singing lullabies to my daughter. so twas 1-odda 1st that i sang to her when she was born.

(soundbite of song, “baby’s boat”)

unidentified singer: (singing) baby’s fishing for a dream…

ogden: there was always ♫ n'our home. we always had records. she had one record of glenn miller, and i think i wore that out.

(soundbite of glenn miller’s “stardust”)

sampier: she impted that to all of us. she directed all of our children’s choirs whn'we were kids inna churches where dad was the minister.

mccullough: actually, twas kind of amazing. back when she did this was l8 ’30s, early ’40s. she went from long beach, calif., where she’d lived, to westminster choir college in princeton, n.j. they sang in carnegie hall several times. they did touring both in € and inna ∪d states.

sampier: she was still singing for several yrs, maybe up til she was 90, inna church choir.

ogden: i’ll tell you, mom just showered us all the time and lotso' ♥ but kept us onna straite and narrow – ‘dn’t ‘ve had a better mother.

kelly: she was always looking for ways that she ‘d be of srvc to her community and to the realm. even when she was, you know, teknically retired, she worked in schools helping children with their schoolwork. and that is, in addition to her gorgeous singing voice, probably the gr8est impression she left on me.

(soundbite of ♫)

kelly: for the past 9 yrs, i worked as a kindermusik early childhood educator, and i absolutely think of my grandma when i see just the joy these young children and families experience when they are immersed in ♫.

sampier: when they called me onna dy that she was goin to die, that she – that that’s wha’ was goin to happen and they set up a – so we ‘d facetime with her, although she was totally out o'it.

kelly: my daughter held my hand while i sang “baby’s boat” to my grandma.

(soundbite of song, “baby’s boat”)

kelly: (singing) a silver moon sailing inna sky.

mccullough: you always wanda when some1 dies without family members whether they feel abandoned. and i think the fact that annie was able to sing to her was really a very, very primordial connection. hopefully, my mom ‘d make w'da ♥ that we all wanted to send her but ‘dn’t.

(soundbite of song, “baby’s boat”)

kelly: (singing) back again to me.

chang: mary ogden of fayetteville, ark., was 100 yrs old.

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authors: jonaki mehta


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