“Teresa” – A Forgotten (and Not-So-Golden) Oldie

Teresa Wright 45

The lovely actress Teresa Wright

Growing up, I always wondered why my parents had named me “Teresa“. It isn’t a particularly common name (“Theresa” did make it to #65 in 1950); I lost track of the number of “Mary”s I grew up with, however!

The only other girl I knew in Elementary School who shared my name was a friend’s little sister – she was the 3rd or 4th daughter in a Catholic family, and I remember thinking that they must have run out of names by the time she came along (come to think of it, “Teresa” was her middle name; three guesses what her first name was….)

Don’t get me wrong – I like my name; it’s just that I never really had anything that I could point to as a kid and say, “Hey, look – there’s my name!” (that all changed in 1988, when Mattel introduced their “Teresa” Barbie, but by that time I was already a mom).

Teresa Barbie 7

She’s been glammed up a bit since she was first introduced

When we went on vacation, my sister (Beverly) and I would always look for something with our name on it – a cheap license plate, a mug, a thimble, a necklace, etc. Bev lucked out more often than I did.  Most of the time there was a space – and sometimes even a product – for “Terry” (which, I’m told, was originally going to be my name, until I was born; Mom took one look at me and declared that I “didn’t look like a Terry”, so “Teresa” I became) or “Theresa”, but very rarely was there a spot for something with a “Teresa” on it.

And when there was, it was ALWAYS empty. Apparently all of the other “Teresa”s had gotten there before me….

There were a couple of “Theresa”s when I got to high school, but none who spelled their name the same way that I did – or if they did, I never met them. I don’t think I knew any adults who shared my name, either.

Teresa Palmer 3

Wish I looked like this “Teresa”: Australian actress Teresa Palmer

It wasn’t until I got to college that I met anyone with the same name – ironically enough, my suite-mate’s name was “Teresa”; even more amazingly, we shared the exact same birthday (someone in the housing department had a lot of fun with that one, I’m sure – my other suite-mate and I shared the same last name).

The funny thing is that now that I’m an adult, I’ve met more people who share my name; granted, many of them go by “Terry”, “Terrie”, “Terri”, or even “Teri”, but their given name is either “Theresa” or “Teresa”. No less than FIVE of the moms in our local Down syndrome group have that name (although I am the only one who doesn’t spell it with an “H”).

St. Teresa 1

A “Saint” I ain’t…..

When we moved into our house back in 1985, we discovered that our neighbor across the street is named “Teresa” – that’s been a source of fun for folks in the neighborhood for years now 😛

Rebecca’s long-time attendant is also named “Teresa”; I’m not sure that Rebecca realizes yet that her mother’s name is ALSO “Teresa” – I’m “Mom”, and her attendant is “Miss Teresa”, and that’s all there is to it.

I got to thinking about it the other day (don’t ask me why – my brain goes some funny places sometimes), and I realized that there really haven’t been that many popular cultural “Teresa“s, either.

There have been a couple of TV characters who share that name in the last few years on such shows as “The Mentalist” and “Chicago Code”; there have also been three Telenovelas entitled “Teresa” on Latin Television, including one in 1989 (which starred Salma Hayek), and the most recent one in 2010.

Teresa 10 - Cropped

A Saint she ain’t, either….

I wondered if there were any songs with the name “Teresa” in them – I had certainly never heard of one in all my years of listening to music – so I did a quick Internet search. And lo and behold, I discovered a delightful little-known gem of a piece, recorded by Dick Haymes and The Andrews Sisters back in 1948.  This little song made it all the way up to the #21 spot on the charts when it was first released.

There were only 2 or 3 YouTube videos out there of this song, so I decided to make one of my own, using pictures of one of my all-time favorite actresses who happens to share my name (but that’s not why I’m so fond of her), Teresa Wright. I hope you like it!


Here are the lyrics, if you’re interested:

Why am I always yearning for Teresa
When there is Peggy, Marguerite and Mary Jane?
Why does my heart keep burnin’ for Teresa
When I know that lovin’ her is all in vain?
Oh. Peggy is delightful, and Marguerite is sweet
And a little smile from Mary Jane can make my day complete.
Nevertheless there’s only one I dream of –
Teresa, Teresa my love.

Why is he always yearning for Teresa
When we have charms and we have arms to love him so (love him so)?
Why does his heart keep burning for Teresa
When we’d give all the world just to have him alone for our beau?
Whenever we are near him our hearts begin to dance
For he looks at us so tenderly that we think we stand a chance.
Nevertheless there’s only one he dreams of
Teresa, Teresa his love.

Why am I always yearning for Teresa
When there are other girls that I can be around?
Oh how I hate to hear that name, Teresa
What’s she got that I have not I’d like to know?

Oh. Peggy is delightful, and Marguerite is sweet
And a little smile from Mary Jane can make my day complete.
In spite of it all there’s only one he dreams of –

Teresa my love.

(Orchestral Break)

I haven’t found the answer, and chances are I might –
If he knew the way to capture her, his future would be bright.
Nevertheless there’s only one we dream of –
No one but Teresa
Teresa, Teresa my love

Mother Teresa

The “Mother” of all Teresa’s

About Teresa in Fort Worth, TX

A short, fat, over-the-hill, happily-married mother of 4 daughters. I know just enough to get myself in trouble....
This entry was posted in Contemporary, Family, Humor, I Love America, Music, The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth, Think about it and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to “Teresa” – A Forgotten (and Not-So-Golden) Oldie

  1. Mom says:

    I love your name – you just didn’t look like a Terry – too small and delicate.
    Was Teresa Parker in your class or another one?
    Still love you as much, actually much more, than when you were born way back when.



  2. Teresa says:

    Oh thank you for this!! I’m a “Teresa” too and never, ever do you hear our name in anything mainstream. This was delightful!


  3. Theresa says:

    Driving to a family party yesterday I asked my mom who’s name is so Theresa if she know of any songs with the name Theresa in it. She told to to goole it or whatever we do on the phone to get information. We both got a kick out if the song. Many thanks. I do love my name and I don’t answer to Terry or any other shorten version. If my parents wanted me called Terry they would have name me that. From Theresa with an “h” as I do tend to raise hell sometimes. 🌹


  4. Teresa Mah says:

    Thank you for the rendition of “Teresa’ with Dick Haymes singing it accompanied by The Andrew Sisters! It’s a beautiful and simple song. I live in Malaysia, my name is Teresa and I am a senior citizen of 75.. I took the name because of Mother Teresa and the good works she was doing. Good Bless You.



  5. Teresa says:

    I am all about music and have made comments over the years that there are songs about everyone except for me, Teresa. Have been told at times that my life is not a song but some how feel as though it could be at times. This article was excellently written, very informative and refreshing. My name came from a Catholic calendar at the last minute as the story was told by my mother and I have always loved it, shortening such an elegant name to Terry is simply not acceptable. Will listen to the song with Dick Haymes and The Andrew Sisters tonight in the quiet of the evening, thank you. Teresa Ann Yarnell, Parkersburg, West Viringia (June 15, 2017)


  6. Theresa says:

    Hello there Teresa! I’m Theresa with a ‘H’. I know so many Teresa’s, but very few are spelled like mine. I never cared much for my name growing up, but now I feel special because of the reason my Mom named me that. I had a sister that was 15 yrs older than me and 3 brothers in between us. When Mom was expecting me, my sister wanted a sister so bad and had heard my name in a movie she had seen. She kept asking Mom if she had a girl would she please name her Theresa. Mom didn’t like that name & wanted to name me after her Mother. When she delivered me & the nurses ask what she was naming me, her answer was ‘ My daughter wants me to name her Theresa and I hate that name, but I guess that’s what we’ll go with.’ After the nurses wrote it out with several different spellings, Mom thought it looked the prettiest with the ‘H’. Even with the big age difference my sister & I had a very special relationship, she was my big sister, my best friend, my 2nd Mom…my hero. Now my sister has been gone almost 3 1/2 years and when I think of how I got my name, it brings a smile to my face and I now love my name, because someone I love, loved it and loved me even more. Thank you for posting this song! ❤


  7. John R. Stasny Sr. says:

    My wife’s name is Theresa. I had known about her because I knew her older sister. When we officially me everybody called the “Teri.” For some reason I couldn’t stand people calling her Teri and I have only ever called her Theresa. Sometime after we became a couple her friends asked her about me always calling her Theresa and she told them that she liked me calling her Theresa. She was born on October 15. I have called her Theresa for almost 51 years and ever since then nobody calls her Teri. Theresa or Teresa is a beautiful name.


  8. Teresa Brodsky says:

    Hi, I only knew a Terese growing up, I thought Teresa was a rare name. Then I heard it over the years in movies and songs, lots of people have told me I have a beautiful name and now I love my name. The thing about items with the name Teresa is so true! GOD bless


  9. Teresa R says:

    Thank you for sharing this song!
    There’s another one out there as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAeWVM14BXU
    I was named after my grandmother, who was named Teresa, because her father (a mailman) found a dime at the bottom of his mail bag one day which has the name engraved into it. (When my Grandmother died, I received it, and other personalized objects– a seashell with the name carved into it, a belt that my grandfather made for her..) There was exactly one other girl with my name in school– but she spelled hers with an H, and for many years, I didn’t see very many people spelling the name without (French influence in the area, and Teresa is more of an Italian/Spanish spelling.)
    Only a few in my family tried to nickname me Terry, and it wasn’t until my other grandmother’s death that they realized that I don’t go by that nickname at all, and don’t really like it. (40+ years, they really weren’t around me or the rest of the family to realize that it hadn’t caught on with any of us.)
    I grew up thinking that there was no song with my name in it. I don’t know if they didn’t hear them or remember them, but it’s kind of eerie and thrilling to hear your name in song.


  10. William Lieberman says:

    Just now saw your blog, several years after you wrote it. My older cousin, Teresa Magro, told me that the song “Teresa” was named for her. She lived in L.A. was involved in the music business in the late 1940s. Perhaps she knew one of the songwriters (Jack Huffman and Babe Russin). She passed away a couple of years ago, so there’s no way to check. Until she told me that story, about 10 years ago, I hadn’t heard the song.


  11. Teresa Holmes says:

    I’ve wondered about my name many times. I knew one other Teresa in elementary school and met a couple others when my children were in elementary school. Just not a very popular name. I personally like it much better than Terry. Interesting info. And a song! Who’s have thunk it?!!


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