Thursday, May 7, 2009

GMVW # 70: "Moms the Word"

Gem Music Video of the Week # 70:  Moms the Word
Song:  Your Mother Should Know by The Beatles
(Songwriter: John Lennon and Paul McCartney)
May 7, 2009

Remember those old Dean Martin roasts?  A celebrity would spend a night on the receiving (butt) end of an endless barrage of jokes from fellow entertainers.  The abuse was piled on at an almost Ruth-less pace.  Eventually Ruth (Buzzi) herself would come out to bash the poor sap over the head with her pocketbook.  The humiliation was complete.  Mission accomplished. 

When a retirement party was held in Mom’s honor several years ago, I knew there was going to be plenty of well deserved praise from others, so when I prepared my speech, I figured I would try to follow in the footsteps of Dean Martin and his merry pranksters by sprinkling in a bit of roast material at Mom’s expense.  Part of this was self preservation, not wanting to get too emotional by simply focusing on Mom’s countless positive attributes.  I pondered and pondered some more about what to say and came up with nothing, nada, zip.  I ended up breaking up parts of my praise-centric speech of Mom by roasting myself.  It worked.  I got through it.

Roasting Mom?  How could I even contemplate this as possible?  I mean, shouldn’t I have assumed that mothers are virtually impossible to roast?  You may pull it off for just about anyone else in your life, but not you’re mother:  Too many memories of self-sacrifice and caring; staying with you when you were sick; attending all your big events; being there for EVERYTHING.  In short, too much love to give you any chance of coming up with roast-able material.

So, here it is, Mother’s Day weekend.  Time once again to recognize our mothers and all they’ve done (and continue to do) for us.  This year the big event falls on May 10, hopefully a good omen for Boston fans, particularly those who remember May 10, 1970 (“Happy Mother’s Day, Mrs. Orr!”).

Since this is a music-driven forum, I must include a few thoughts on Mom’s musical influences on my life. There was Mom singing “Rise and Shine (and ring out the glory, glory)”, which woke us up more often than I care to remember.  These and other memories of Mom singing in the house were a reflection of the spirit by which she raised her family, allowing us to pass that spirit on to our children.  There was Mom’s purchase of the Beatles ‘Red Album’, when I would play ‘Michelle’ (my belle) and ‘Paperback Writer’ over and over and in the process get early doses of my future rock-music sensibilities.  Mom (and  Dad) putting up with the repetitive playing of John Lennon’s ‘Shaved Fish’ album on one of our many vacations traveling in the VW Bus (included on ‘Shaved Fish’ was the song ‘Cold Turkey’ on which Lennon imitates heroin withdrawal through a long series of groans and moans toward the end of the song > the fact that tape did not disappear is a testament to tolerance and open-mindedness).  

I could go on, but this week, I’m getting help, with reflections of Mom and her musical influence from Jen, Pat, Fred, Amy and Joe (in that order).  Joe brings up the rear, because his input includes links to a number of memorable songs.  I had planned on including a few add-on links myself (as I often do), but Joe covers this (and then some).  Joe’s links follow this week’s Gem, which is none other than the Beatles performing “Your Mother Should Know” from ‘The Magical Mystery Tour’ movie.  The song itself is borderline Gem material, but the title and subject matter put it over the top, particularly this week. 

Before passing the baton to Jen, a Happy Mothers Day wish to Becca, Ruth, Kip, Madeline, Amy, Jen, Monica, Jean, Kate, Michelle, Trese, Sharon, and mother-to-be Valerie.  Also, any generational maternal associations with surnames Smith, Steeves, Tedesco, Gilligan, Toran, Hedtler, Roche, McDermott, Citarell, Strause, Vance, Mainguy, Martin, Cronin, Shea, Choi, Bremner, Kelley, Geary, Hayes… and, oh yes, Chara. 

Nancy is already covered.

And of course, Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

- Pete


In my mind, music and domestic, family-life go hand in had. Dale grew up similarly, so it's no surprise that our household together now, more often than not, has somebody's music playing, especially during our down/leisure time.

In the early years, I recall the music of the crooners and swooners that young couples of Mum and Dad's generation enjoyed: Andy Williams, Perry Como, Tony Bennett. I associate their timeless songs with a fun, comfortable and secure childhood. And there was the music of so many Broadway shows and musicals that I now have such a fondness of, and even have on my playlist. Songs from Camelot, Sound of Music and JCSuperstar, to name a few.

As Queen of our household while we were growing up, Mum kindled a sort of "freedom of choice" with our music preferences and tastes. And among the six of us, we each developed and cultivated a unique foundation of faves and interests. As a teen, I discovered the magical power of idols that were David Cassidy, Bobby Sherman and Olivia Newton John. And interestingly enough, I played them without complaint from anyone! My tastes evolved through the pop and rock hits from my adolescent and teen years, and spread into mostly 70's rock.

Mum sang along to songs on the car radio, often making up entertaining lyrics as she went, if she didn't know the words. Or even if she did. And remember her car-exercises to "The Entertainer"?

Finally, my favorite memory of Mum-and-Music is a recollection I have of a hospital visit to Boston with her one day, when I was sick with my kidney problems. We had many day-trips into town together, to Floating Hospital. I recall being on a sidewalk with her that was along the wall of a building which had show stuff painted on it, and in big letters, "There's No Business like Show Business". Mum took my hand, and danced/strutted up the sidewalk with me, singing the quote to tune. I wish I had a video of it.

Happy Mother's Day, Mum! Love you!
xo JEN


Memories of Mom and music put a smile on my face.  My first Mom music memory is heading out to the grocery shop with Mom in the VW wagon before I was going to school.  Some of the tunes on the waves those early '70's days were:  Neil Diamond, lingering Beatles, and random hits like "Brand New Key", K'tel hits and too many more to recall. 

Other memories are snickering with Amy/Jen when Mom would sing the lyrics to some songs with her own rendition - habits which carried over to me as my friends would return the favor of abuse.  Also, when Mom disagreed with a certain Marvin Gay song titled  "xxxual healing".

As with many things for which to thank Mom, I thank her for adapting my love of music! 


Watching Mom sing in the St Mary’s choir (I can’t say I heard her, but assumed she was the best voice) gave me the notion that maybe I, too, had some lyrical talent.  It wasn’t until I saw the Gilligan’s perform ‘Guantanamera’ that I abandoned hope of pursuing that hobby.  But she did provide frequent encouragement to listen to music in our living room on the very large music system we had.  I think it was made by Phillips; with a turntable and receiver, and two built in speakers which I thought was the coolest piece of furniture any home could have.  The ‘Bossa Nova’ was a Mom-favorite, but the two early albums that she loved to listen to, and that I most align with Mom were Neil Diamond and Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. 
When I hear “Sweet Caroline” played at Red Sox games, Mom comes to mind, and to think she was first in all of Boston to like that tune.  As for SPLHCB, I think Dad bought that album for Mom for the main purpose of listening to “When I’m 64”.  I never thought they (we) would ever get there…….

Where to begin?  I can't say that I have a memory from my childhood that isn't in some way attached to a song. When it came to listening to Mum sing in the car or in the kitchen, I became a sponge, learning every lyric and tune.  I loved when Dad would chime in to a classic too, and together they'd try to remember all the words.  They still do this. Mom introduced me to the magic of the Musical at a very young age.  Camelot, The Sound of Music, Jesus Christ Superstar, West Side Story, South Pacific, Annie   Her favorite music became my own.  I was swept up with the fantasy world of Musical Theatre, so much so, that it became my major in College. Without the carefree confidence that Mum instilled in me, I would never have been able to share my voice with anyone but myself.  The two go hand in hand.  Music has always been a natural part of my life.  I can't cook, paint or exercise without music.  I just downloaded "Charlie on the MTA" on my ipod.  That's you Mum.

I remember one night very clearly.  Mum encouraged me to go tryout for the part of Liesl in the St. Mary's Production of The Sound of Music.  I was apprehensive, as it was the second night of auditions; I had already missed the first night.  I got the part.  The experience stays with me, to this day. 

I'll end with this (which you also taught me)
M are for the million things she gave me
O means only that she's growing old
T are for the tears she shed to save me
H is for her heart as pure as gold
E are for her eyes of love light shining
R means right, and right she'll always be
Put them altogether they spell Mother. 
The world that means the world to me.


Gem Music Video of the Week: ‘Your Mother Should Know’


Some great memories of M&M (Mom & Music) growing up....below are only a few of the many memories that play back in my head when I hear the song.....

Hanging out in the kitchen on Park Road with Mom and Emmet eating breakfast before we headed out to chip away at the mountain, hit home runs at Dean into the tennis courts, throw rocks at Thompson Press, head to Friendly's for double fribbles, or play monopoly 1000 times, we sat at the counter eating eggs on toast and this song would be playing -

Forever in Blue Jeans - Neil Diamond

I played this song so many times that Jen couldn't take it any more...or maybe it was eating the popcorn too loud.  Either way, Mom always encouraged us to be ourselves and we had a childhood that most kids would be envious of.  This song reminds me of those great childhood days

Only the Good Die Young - Billy Joel

As the day came to a close and the early evening started up in Lee, NH, at the campground overlooking the lake, we would be getting ready to head into the woods to find some wood for the camp fire that night.  It didn't matter how big the tree was, it was coming down.  As Mom got the camp site ready for the evening, this would be playing on the radio -

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Fortunate Son

When Ginger passed away, this is the song that carried her thru it all. I think about Mom every time I hear it.

Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler (from Movie -Beaches)

Heading down the cape in the volts wagon bus early in the morning on our way to Falmouth, Mom would be sitting in the front seat turning up the music because it was "all day Beatles music" on the radio.  As we hit the entrance to 495 heading south early in the AM, this would be on the radio -

The Beatles - Here Comes the Sun

Happy Mothers Day Momzo.


About the Video: From the Magical Mystery Tour Movie

Video Rating: 1

Best Feedback: Mom

This is the most amazing and wonderful Mother's Day gift ever..... it brings me back to some beautiful days........Thanks so much!!!!!!!   XOXO


And: Becca


What a great idea!!!

Happy Mother's Day to Nance!!

Dot, Happy Mother's Day!!...let's see....hmmmm....when I think of you and music, I think of you and Pete dancing to Blue, Red and Gray at his wedding.

love Becca

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