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A Mother’s True Love for Mother’s Day from Cheryl Pepsii Riley

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful moms out there! Today’s SongLyricsSunday, bought to you by Jim at a Unique Title For Me, details a mom’s love for their child. This post was written four years but I love this song this so much that I reblogged it (and of course, edited!).

A Song From a Mother

“Thank You For My Child” starts off with a lento tempo. Only a series of triads and skeleton chords are played to support Riley during the first verse. The instrumentation rarely ever expands on those chords with the help of an 808 bass, Roland synthesizer, and electric piano. The instrumentation doesn’t gain memento until the last third of the song when the instruments play a little bit more of a recognizable melody. Though “Thank You For My Child” is at a slow tempo, one of my favorite parts of the song is when the electric piano plays a sweet chordal progression when the song briefly switches to a minor key during the first verse.

Riley’s vocals are one of the pinnacle points of “Thank You For My Child”. Her voice is smooth yet just the right of power needed for this song. It’s a perfect fit for this inspirational ballad as it isn’t overpowering the backing instrumentation. Its tone is pretty warm in order to help support and convey the song’s meaning in a motherly way. An example of this is found at the ending when Riley sings strong yet tender vocal runs.

The lyrics are another important point. It’s beautifully written as it told from a perspective of a single mother who cherishes and thanks to the man above for her precious child. It is such an inspiration to mothers and non-mothers alike as anyone can relate this warm and care to thank you letter.  Actually, the song, written by Bowlegged Lou, was a mid-tempo ballad about Lou’s experience with his wife’s complications during her first pregnancy.[1]

Moms, thank you for all that you do and loving your family unconditionally. You’re the true superheroes.

Lyrics From a Mother’s Heart

You came into my life
You just made everything right
And even though
My man has left me behind
I don’t regret a thing for having you

Thanks for my child
I’m really thanking you
The man above
Thanks for my child
You brought me so much joy
This bundle of love

Thanks for my child
And though your father
He ran away free
The love I have for you, baby
Is the love I have in me

Ooh, oh
I’ll stay and watch you grow
Yes, I will
I’ll raise you by myself
A one-woman show

You make life worth singing a song
With you
Right here with me
I’ll have the strength to go on

Thanks for my child
I’m really thanking you
The man above
Thanks for my child
You brought me so much joy
This bundle of love

I’ll hold you in my arms
I hold you close to me
Rock a bye, my baby
I’ll rock you to sleep

I understand your language
Your baby talk
You forgot to crawl
Before you walked

There you are
Just looking so beautiful
And all the while
You’re wrapped in blankets
You are my love child

Thanks for my child
Here we are today
The years have gone by

Thanks for my child
You grew before my eyes
Time after time

Thanks for my child
And though your daddy
He ran away free
The love I have for you, baby
Is the love I have in me

Inside of me
The love I have in me

I just know
I’ll never let you go
No, no
No, no, no, oh, yeah
‘Cause you’re my sweet baby

Papa can’t preach
Papa was a rolling stone
Because he left his beautiful
Cause he left us all alone

About the Artist

Cheryl Pepsii Riley is a New York native singer. Riley was a nurse while pursuing a side job of singing. She would sing at nightclubs, do community theater, and also be part of a group called Stargaze during her free time. During this time, Full Force member Bowlegged Lou approached Riley with an offer to produce her singing career with a song called “I Wonder If I Take You Home” in 1984. But, Riley refused the song and Lou eventually gave the song to Lisa Lisa & The Cult Jam, which was a huge hit for the group.

Regretting the decision of rejecting the successful “I Wonder If I Take You Home”, Riley reached out to Lou again in order for him to write another song for her. Eventually, she hit success with one of her first singles, “Thank You For My Child”, in 1988 when it reached #1 on the R&B charts in the US.

Although Riley enjoyed the success of having her song top the charts, she continued her career as a nurse while releasing songs and other material. She released three albums, which the first one reached #18 on the charts, with semi-successful singles. However, she took a break from the music industry after the release of her third album in 1993.

Riley reemerged in the late 90s and early 00s as an actress in a bunch of Tyler Perry’s plays. She also appeared in various film adaptations of Perry’s productions such as 2011’s “Madea’s Big Happy Family”.

[1]  “Cheryl Pepsii Riley – Thanks For My Child.” Genius. Web. 15 May 2016. (

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