“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.

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