Musical Mother’s Day

I happened to get one song stuck in my head yesterday which lead me down a YouTube rabbit hole of my childhood in music, with my parents as the deejays. It was a good time for music, the seventies and eighties. Mostly because that’s when I was alive and open to the world, but man, I love these songs!

I knew every word to this song. Every. Word. Neil Diamond was my mom’s version of NKOTB and was just as ubiquitous in our house as NKOTB is in ours. And I could even do Neil Diamond and Barbara Streisand’s pitch to accompany this number. Still can’t sing it without doing that! I hadn’t listened to this song since I was a kid and it instantly took me back to sitting on my shag green rug in my bedroom. It’s amazing how music can awaken so much with it’s background sound suggestions. I’m not terribly ashamed to admit that I cried a little. 🙂

I loved this song! Really, I loved anything my Dolly and Kenny. We must have had every album they ever produced. Again, I could sing Dolly and Kenny’s voices and did often. Enough so a friend of mine once asked me to sing it at her wedding. I politely declined.

My mom was a huge Julio Iglesias fan. This was played often in my house, and I often wondered about the greater implication of ‘all the girls’ they’ve ‘loved before, who traveled in and out my door…” Creepers? But still, a sweet song.

Whenever I heard this song playing it was because my dad was trying to patch a rough spot. Usually it was because he let a swear word out in front of the kids that we weren’t supposed to hear. My dad would slyly slip over to the record player and before we knew it our house would be filled with the sultry sounds of Joe Cocker’s buttery voice.
(Irony, people.)

And then there was the summer before my eighth grade year where everyone in my family learned each and every song of Dire Straight’s Money For Nothing album and Whitney Houston’s first album. To be fair, I loved them both and they make me think of a lovely summer in our family boat, cruising Puget Sound, Vancouver Island and Desolation Sound and all the islands around. It was the first summer I ever got hit on by a boy, a trip I will never forget and the accompanying soundtrack is ever in my loop.

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Photo credits go to Hannah Elvrum
I know what my own kids will share when they are 41 and reminiscing about the music from their parental-chosen, childhood soundtrack. The short list will have The Decemberists, Ben Folds, Rufus Wainwright, Death Cab For Cutie, The Vaccines, Monsters and Men and, of course, my latest obsession with New Kids on the Block- all of their songs since they’ve been on repeat in my car for a year or so. But before that we inundated them with the other stuff. Bradley is less defined since he rapidly jumps from band to band, lighting on one or two bands for 2-3 months then moving quickly on.

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We do this to our children and, in a way, it keeps us ever connected to those magical childhood moments as it shows us time and again how it can whisk us away to another time and place. I’m grateful to my own mom and dad for filling our house up with love, laughter and music. Cheers for a Happy Mother’s Day. Here’s hoping the music in your life is filling your family up as well.

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One Comment

  1. Elizabeth

    I knew you had an eclectic taste in music, but so cheesy! Islands in the Stream is possibly my all time favorite song! Thanks for the walk down memory lane! Great songs!

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