Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring the mother figure in a family as well as motherhood itself. The modern American holiday had its origins in response to the Civil War, with peace activist and suffragette Julia Ward Howe, the writing of The Battle Hymn of the Republic, urging in 1870 the creation of a “Mother’s Day For Peace.”. Anna Jarvis, another peace activist and suffragette, 1907 organized the first Mother’s Day service of worship and celebration at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, WV. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother's Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers. And by the early 1920s Hallmark Cards among other companies started selling Mother's Day cards.
Mother’s Day is the centerpiece of my blog this week. It begins with songs in celebration of mothers and their significance in our lives. Additionally it includes songs containing the words “Mother” and “Mama,” such as Paul Simon’s “Mother & Child Reunion,” The Rolling Stones’ “Mother’s Little Helper,” John Lennon’s “Mother,” Pink Floyd’s “Mother,” Genesis’ “Mama,” Ozzy Ozbourne’s “Mama, I’m Coming Home,” Elton John’s “Mama Can’t Buy You Love,” Loggins & Messina’s “Your Mama Don’t Dance,” Three Dog Night’s “Mama Told Me Not To Come,” Abba’s “Mamma Mia.”
There are other songs that less pertain to motherhood itself, but reference mothers, such as The Miracles “Shop Around” – “my mama told me you gotta shop around…” or perhaps most famously Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody” – “Mama, oooh, didn’t mean to make you cry…”. Some songs lament a life unfulfilled by all that a mother could be. While they can be so heart-wrenching to listen to, I think they further highlight the importance of a loving, caring, nurturing mother in our lives, and the sadness and emptiness felt in the absence of such a figure.
Reach out to those moms in your life, and let them know how you feel, how much you care, how much you love them. And if your mom, grandmother, or other mother figure has left this world, say a special prayer, while recalling the wonderful memories of times spent together. If you have strained or estranged relationships, try to mend them as able. If they are broken beyond repair, work on forgiveness or at least finding some semblance of peace.
I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew. Rediscover the passion of music in your life. Live in the moment. Enjoy the moment. Love the moment (and your “moms”). Listen to the MUSIC!