Thursday, May 5, 2022

One-Mind Tracks: Mother's Day

This week, One-Mind Tracks celebrates Mother's Day with a playlist for the moms out there. 

"You Can't Hurry Love" by The Supremes
First thing, we're going to get some advice from Mom. Written and produced by the powerhouse that was Holland/Dozier/Holland, "You Can't Hurry Love" was partially inspired by the hymn "You Can't Hurry God (He's Right on Time)." Some of the lyrics are almost exactly the same as the song by Dorothy Loves Coates. It's nice to get advice like this. I think I got basically this advice from my mom, she just didn't phrase it this catchily.

"Mama Said" by The Shirelles
The next piece of advice came from five years prior to "You Can't Hurry Love," back in 1961. It's a similar kind of advice but sounds very different. Many have covered this track over the years, but there's something that can't be beat about the original.

"The Best Day" by Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift wrote this moving song about her mother for her 2008 album Fearless (but of course, listen to Fearless (Taylor's Version)). The rerecorded song featured a music video consisting of old home movies. 

"Julia" by The Beatles
John Lennon had a complicated relationship with his mother. She often entered and exited his life, passing away in 1958 when John was seventeen. During the time The Beatles spent in India, Lennon decided to write a song for her. He learned "Travis Picking" from Donovan, who also claims to have helped him with the line "seashell eyes//windy smile." With the help from Donovan on the concept, "Julia" became the only Beatles song Lennon played alone on. 

"Single Mothers" by Young Beautiful in a Hurry
I interviewed lead singer/songwriter Brendan McCreary (now going by Bear McCreary) back in 2015 when the band was promoting this single. McCreary said it was a tribute to his own mom who raised him as a single woman. McCreary told me "it was about three years in the making, nearly. The inspiration simply just came from having a single mom that I loved very much and love very much. [...] There's not a whole lot of content out there for these women. For me, I was just really passionate about single moms and I think that came from working with so many of them."

"Veronica" by Elvis Costello
Mother's day is also for Grandmothers. Costello wrote this one with Paul McCartney, inspired by his grandmother, as he watched her suffer from Alzheimer's. Costello started the lyrics using his paternal granmother's first name, Mabel (or the more casual 'Molly"). Through his collaboration with McCartney, they decided upon using her Catholic confirmation name: Veronica.

The One-Mind Tracks Single of the Week: "Coat of Many Colors" and "Mama Say a Prayer" by Dolly Parton
One-Mind Tracks on the air does a weekly "single," where we play two related songs grouped together. It's not a real single, but pretend with us. This week, our single comes to us from Dolly Parton. "Coat of Many Colors" is an autobiographical track she wrote on one of Porter Wagner's dry-cleaning receipts. Parton appreciates her mother in the song for all of the love she passed on to Parton through her caring and through the coat. "Mama Say a Prayer" represents an older version of Parton, asking her mother to keep her safe and pure of heart though she went away to the big city.

"Mama You've Been on My Mind" by George Harrison
Though this song was written for Dylan's ex-girlfriend, the wistful tone could also apply to someone missing their mother. Dylan has performed his song live over 200 times, but it has never made it onto a studio album, instead appearing four times on Dylan bootleg releases. Likewise, another popular version of the song is by Jeff Buckley, who also didn't put it on an album, but it was released as a studio outtake. Some versions have made it onto albums, such as one by Linda Ronstadt (retitled "Baby, You've Been on My Mind"), one by Johnny Cash (who altered some of the lyrics), and a version by Rod Stewart. George Harrison played it as a jam with the other Beatles during the "Get Back" sessions before recording it himself. His version remained unreleased until 2012, when it was released on Early Takes: Volume 1.

"Loves Me Like a Rock" by Paul Simon
Paul Simon recorded this song in Muscle Shoals with backing vocals from gospel group The Dixie Hummingbirds. Though not outwardly a gospel song, The Dixie Hummingbirds were proud to be on the song and even released their own version of it. The song is about a mother's love transcending all kinds of things, including being the president when congress calls his name. This has been interpreted to be a reference to Nixon during the Watergate trials. Simon also states "she loves me like a rock of ages," which pushes the song closer to a gospel track. "The rock" is often used to describe God's strength and dependability in The Book of Psalms. God is also referred to as the "rock of our salvation." Jesus is the subject of a hymn called "Rock of Ages." Simon, however, was Jewish, so he may have been inspired by the title of the song or by a Hebrew poem "Ma'oz Tzur," which refers to God as "my refuge, my rock of salvation." Either way, Simon is comparing a mother's love to that of God.

"My Mother & I" by Lucy Dacus
Lucy Dacus wrote this both beautiful and heartbreaking song about her love for her mother and her struggles with body image because of her mother. She released the song for Mother's Day 2019, and has since performed it live with her mother multiple times. Their tender harmonies represent both love and acceptance of each other and of themselves. 

"Mother Stands for Comfort" by Kate Bush
Kate Bush sings of a mother's unconditional love. The character in this song is a son who has committed a murder, yet his mother shields him from the law because she loves him and will protect him from anything. Bush has also said of the song "in a way it's also suggesting that the son is using the mother, as much as the mother is protecting him."

That's our playlist for mothers! Catch these songs on the One-Mind Tracks radio show this week! The show starts at 7PM EST on Thursday. You can catch it streaming over at Or you can listen in for an episode of One-Mind Tracks any Thursday at 7pm!

Feel free to let me know in the comments if you have a song that fits the theme!

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