“Whisper Your Mother's Name”

Author: Lottie Gilson?
Earliest date: 1896
Keywords: reunion sister brother mother family separation
Found in: US(Ap)


The singer is "seated one day in a beautiful cafe" when he sees his sister in the street. His mother's words, "If you should see your sister, do not reproach her, Dwayne," cause him to invite her back to her still-faithful love and her mother's grave


Popularized by Lottie Gilson (1869-1912), a tragicomic singer of the 1890s. This piece entered her repertoire in 1896. McNeil speculates that this may be the only traditional song to have a person named "Dwayne" as a hero; given the piece's overblown sentimentality, one is inclined to hope so. - RBW


  1. McNeil-SFB1, pp. 98-100, "Seated One Day in a Beautiful Cafe" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #4774
  3. BI, MN1098