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Mother’s Music: A Tribute

Like it or not, your mom is a big influence on the music you like today (Dad too, but because it’s Mother’s Day, I’m focusing on Mom!). It doesn’t matter if you listened to Mozart, the Mamas and the Papas, or ‘NSync. She was connecting with you, sharing a love of music, sharing an equalizing experience that can’t be matched by any other, except maybe a good night hug.

Today, I’d like to recognize and thank my Mom for playing lots of music in our home. When I hear this music, I have nothing but great memories. And I realize, now, that these are actually my very best memories of all! Thanks Mom! Happy Mother’s Day!

My Best Music Memories:

My Mom tells the story that when I was a baby, she would play Handel’s Messiah, and especially the Hallelujah Chorus, over and over while she was house cleaning. She claims that my first word was “lu-jah, lu-jah!” I was singing along! And it is still one of my favorite classical pieces.

My grandparents lived in Oklahoma on a farm, and almost every summer we drove out to visit them for a few weeks vacation. I loved visiting my grandparent’s farm. For a suburban kid with all of the latest appliances and conveniences, it was an adventure to go “back in time.” On wash day, my grandmother used an old electric washing tub and then ran the clothes through an ancient “ringer” that moved the clothes between two rubber rollers to  squeeze out the excess water. The next step was to take the clothes out back and hang them on endless clothes lines with prehistoric wooden clothes pins. My music memory of this Herman’s Hermits song is mixed in with this laundry experience. I was helping to hang clothes on a hot day, and my Mom was inside washing dishes at the open window that looked out back. She was singing this song loud and clearalong with the radio. Even though I didn’t know the tragedy of Henry VIII and his wives, I was thoroughly happy to be where I was, listening to my mom sing this happy tune!

Fast forward to the early ’70s and to the family bonding we engaged in over the original sound recording of “Hair!” the musical. My parents saw the show in Columbus, Ohio, where we were living at the time and enjoyed it so much, they brought home the double album. There were many nights after dinner that my brother and sister and I ran into the family room and begged our parents to crank up the song: “Hair!” We would run around the room, throwing our bodies around, shaking and swaying our long hair around just like the dancers in this video!

In 1976, my Mom bought me my first “stereo” (it was made of a cool, modern white plastic!) and several albums. One of these original albums was Cat Stevens’ “Tea for the Tillerman.” Cat Stevens’ gorgeous voice eased many of my teenage transitions and still gives me pause whenever I hear it.

From this point on, my Mom had less influence on my taste in music, but she succeeded in instilling in me a basic love of music – and the idea that music is a fun way to share with your kids. Thanks again, Mom.

14 Responses to “Mother’s Music: A Tribute”

  1. Shari Lynn Alligood

    I've often find myself singing the songs I'd hear my parents sing in church. These have always been my favorite songs they remind me of so many great memories of my childhood. I sang to my daughter as she was growing up & now I hear her humming those same songs everything comes around in full circle it seems. I hope one day to hear my grandchildren (not any time soon mind you) singing /humming those same songs & remebering all the wonderful songs their mother will teach them! (Thanks for this post!! I am now listening to an old gospel song that I had to pull up on youtube)

  2. Betty Baez

    Me and my mom always listened to music we where big on 70s 80s and 90s music but our favorite which was our song while we cleaned and danced was Whitney Houston "I want to dance with somebody" brings back some good memories of holding our brushes singing the lyrics

  3. aric

    every christmas my mother gets out all her holiday cds and puts them on the shelf for us to select and listen to. it's kind of like a personal radio station in the living room 😀

  4. miriama

    My mom was limited in her least for the most part. Barbra Streisand. Barbra, Barbra, Barbra. And yes, I am a fan. Even when it wasn't "cool" with my friends I have always liked her.

    I got my love of most everything else musical from Dad: Janis to CCR, Brenda Lee to Peggy Lee…he loved music and I definitely got that from him.

    • CelticsDraftee

      I was the same way. I never cared for my mother's music, but now I appreciate and enjoy it.

  5. Ashley

    Music was always playing in our house, but dad was always the one turning it up, and momma was always the one turning it down!

  6. Brita

    so true. I think you become a lot like your parents in a lot of other ways as well. Whether you like it or not.

  7. Devona Fryer

    I love the Mormon Tabernacle Choir! We play nothing but beautiful uplifting songs about God in our home and our car. We don't allow any of that newer music in. It's getting ridiculous with all the sex lyrics.

  8. Kritin Watson

    I will say this Happy Mother’s Day to the entire Mom. I am grateful because I have a Mom who is really caring and share me in good times when I was young. best pmp boot camp

  9. @dailyblessings

    Thank you for sharing about the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, One of my favorite groups of all time. Morning Has Broken by Cat Stevens was the song my spouse and I choose to have played while I walked down the aisle for our Wedding. My youngest daughter, Stacie who is now 30 prefers to listen to the groups of the 70's nowadays while this mom has moved on to Lady GaGa and Bruno Mars. I just love music…from all times and genres.

  10. Abby B.

    I remember my mom playing the piano and signing in our living room while we were falling asleep in our beds. It is still to this day one of my favorite mom memories, and to this day the piano is the only instrument I have ever had any kind of desire to learn how to play.

  11. Julia Reffner

    My mother always loved classical music. I hated it as a child, but now listen to it to fall asleep every night.

  12. Seth

    Both my parents inspired me in music. They both played instruments growing up, and I've learned a few myself. Nothing was ever forced upon me, and I grew to love music. I think it's a great thing for everyone to be exposed to.


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