by Pippa Best
Music has a way of getting to parts of you that words can’t reach.
At story of mum, one of our activities asks mums to share a ‘mix tape’ with their son or daughter. Like a mums’ Desert Island Discs , choose three songs that you would like to share with your child, and ask them to choose three songs for you. Your songs might hold a memory or a message you’d like to pass on. They might simply be the world’s best booty-shaking tunes. Whatever they mean to you, share why you chose them.
My mum and I shared our song-stories for the first time today. The music made us laugh, and it made us cry. Music showed me my mum as a young woman. Music gave us both a chance to say things we don’t say enough. Like I love you.
For my mum, I chose Nina Simone’s version of “Here Comes the Sun”, because this is how she makes me feel. Then “Our House” by 1980s British band Madness. I remember jumping around with my brothers to this tune, in the safe warm joyful home my parents made. Last of all, Leonard Cohen’s “Dance Me to the End of Love”. A dancer, my mum has passed her love of dancing on to me. This song says I’m scared of losing her, but I’ll be with her to the very end, still dancing.
For me, my mum chose “You Are My Sunshine” by Elizabeth Mitchell, a song she sang to me in the womb. I can remember entire car journeys fuelled by this song, sunshine or rain. With Joan Baez’s version of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young”, my mum reminded me that I am still that young girl she mothered – full of wonderment, creativity, and trust in the universe. Her final choice was “Reach Out, I’ll Be There” by the Four Tops. She shared a memory of driving along the highway aged eighteen, broken-hearted, rejected by her first love, shouting along to this song, trying to be brave. And now this song tells me she will always be there for me.
As I listened to this last song, feeling my mum’s love, and her pain, I got an urge to dance. Alone in my front room, surrounded by kiddy chaos and chores, I got up and danced my tears through. My mum inspires me to be brave, and when the going gets tough, to reach out, and dance. My mum is the music running through my life.
You can visit our Mums’ Mix Tape here. If you’d like to listen to more Mums’ Mix Tapes, or even better, share your own, come and visit us at story of mum. (If your kids are too small, you can just choose your three songs for them…)
I live in Cornwall, UK with my surfing film-making husband, boisterous 4 year old boy and 1 year old daughter. Life is a constant plate-spin of work as a script editor and project manager alongside mothering pre-schoolers. My out-of-hours passion is www.storyofmum.com, set up by me and my mum. An online interactive community for mums of all ages to connect, create and celebrate, www.storyofmum.com shares inspiring, uplifting and downright ridiculous activities for mums of every generation. We want to make mums happier through sharing our stories, good and bad. To find out more, go ahead and like us on Facebook, and follow @storyofmum on twitter to join our regular #somum get-togethers.
Pleasantville Note: First off, you should know that I totally read this post in a British accent and now I can’t stop talking to myself. Secondly, Pippa is a wonderful person and you really should get to know her on Twitter and Facebook. Finally, I LOVE this idea. It actually makes me a little weepy, because it’s why I do the song of the day here in Pleasantville. Music connects us, it can lighten your mood, or remind you of love, or take you away to another place. It can also, as Pippa has shown us here give us a better understanding of our mothers and daughters. What songs would you share with yours?