Country music has really exploded with new sound and trends in the last 2 decades, with hip new stars melding a pop sound into one of the oldest musical genres in North America. With all modesty I have the opinion that Canada seems to produce many talented country and Western music stars, whether they move to Nashville or not.
When I was just starting into the karaoke scene country songs and old time 60’s songs dominated the night, with a few modern rock ‘n’ rollas thrown in. One of the country songs that everyone was singing (besides Picture) was this song by The Wilkinsons called 26 Cents. I heard it every time we went out to karaoke. In those days, there was no Youtube yet, not until 2005. So if you wanted to learn how to sing a song you probably had to go to a record store like CD Plus and comb through them all until you figured out which album it was on and buy the whole thing, then listen to it, over and over and over…….! Thank goodness for Youtube – what a brainstorm that guy had! Up until recently you could still watch Official Videos of recording artists. I don’t know what happened there but I can only find amateur stuff now-a-days. That being said I found a great video of the originally recorded version of 26 Cents from 1998. What was great about this song in the original version was that it had this old country sound with a universal subject.
One of the best things about this song is that The Wilkinsons are from the Belleville-Trenton area of Ontario! They are a trio made up of Steve Wilkinson, his daughter Amanda and his son Tyler. As of 2012 Amanda and Tyler were reformed as Small Town Pistols, still performing country music.
26 Cents was released in June 1998 as the debut single from their first album, Nothing But Love. By August 1998 it was number 1 on RP Magazine’s Country Tracks chart, and number 3 on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks chart. It was named Song of the Year and won Single of the Year at the 1999 Canadian Country Music Association Awards.
And I just thought it was a great song!
She [C] sat all a-[G7]-lone on a [F] bus out of Beaumont,
the courage of [G7] just eighteen [C] years.
A penny and [G7] quarter were [F] taped to a letter,
and Mama’s “good-[G7]-bye” in her [C] ears.
She [C] watched as her [G7] high school [F] faded behind her
and the house with the [G7] white picket [C] fence.
Then she read the [G7] note that her [F] Mama had wrote,
wrapped up with 26 [G7] cents [stop]
CHORUS [tacet] When you get
[Dm] lone-ly, [G7] call me, [Am] anytime at all.
I’ll be there [Dm] with you, [G7] all-ways, [Am] anywhere at all.
[Am] There’s nothing I’ve got that [Em] I wouldn’t give,
and [F] money is never e-[Dm]-nough.
Here’s a [F] penny for your thoughts, a [Dm] quarter for the call
and [F] all of your [G7] Mama’s [C] love.
A [C] penny and a [G7] quarter buys a [F] whole lot of nothin’,
taped to an [G7] old wrinkled [C] note.
When she didn’t have [G7] much, she had [F] all Mama’s love,
Inside that old en-vel-[G7]-ope!
[stop] [tacet] When you get……
[C] Oh, [Am] it’s been years since [G] Mama’s been [F] gone.
But when she [Am] holds the coins, she [G] feels her love
[F-1] Just [F-1] as [F-1] stro-oo-ong!
[stop] [tacet] When you get……
ENDING: Here’s a [F] penny for your thoughts,
[slower] a [Dm] quarter for the call, and [F] all of your [G7] Mama’s [C] love