No Charge …….
Originally penned in 1974 by Harlan Howard and recorded by Melba Montgomery, for me, “No Charge” was really made famous by Gospel Singer Shirley Caesar in 1975. Keep in mind that I was born in 1968 so I was 7 when she recorded it – it wasn’t until the year 2000 when it truly hit home for me. My Mother had some issues that she was forced to deal with and in an attempt to maintain my faith, I began listening to more Gospel, worship and praise songs and music. That’s when I discovered that wonderful song and gifted singer.
I have always loved what is typically known as Southern Black Gospel. Songs and Hymns that, for the most part were performed by the African American Culture in the South. Jubilee songs and sorrow songs were two types of spirituals that emerged during the 18th and 19th centuries and were adapted throughout the decades. This type of Gospel has always grabbed my heart and made me feel closer and stronger to my faith than any other music. Now please don’t get me wrong, I truly love Bluegrass Gospel just as much but there is something about the Black Southern Gospel.
Now for those of you, who have never heard the song “No Charge”, please let me give you a synopsis of what it is about:
A young boy hands his mother an itemized list of charges he says he’s owed for performing various chores and comes to collect. The mother responds by reminding her son about all the things she’s done for him, that she never asked him to pay for services rendered and that, all things considered, “the cost of real love is no charge.” Enlightened, the young boy realizes that his mother is right and changes the amount due to “paid in full”. “No Charge” was one of the few songs that talked about motherhood during this time of the Christian movement, which might be one of the reasons why it was so popular.
As a young boy, I was very tender hearted and Mom used to always say that I got my heart from her. Mom is now 72 years old and to this day – my Mother and I often refer back to this song to remind us just what our love has endured over the years. The love between a Mother and a Child is something very special and that it is often times taken for granted by so many. There are also so many people that, for whatever reason; are abandoned physically or emotionally by their parents and loved ones and who have not experienced this blessing. I am very thankful for my Mother and I thank God every day for what I have.
If you have never heard this song before – I urge you to check it out. Like I said, I prefer Shirley Caesar’s rendition but any musician / Singer will surely do it justice.
Now go Hug your Mother – and tell her you Love her!