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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Everyone has a theme song.

Dub was a big Ally McBeal fan, me notsomuch, but I loved the idea of everyone having their own theme song as I myself have frequently found songs that don't just speak to me, but define me.

I'm pretty lucky that my mom had some great musical taste when I was growing up, Gordon Lightfoot not withstanding, and I am stunned to see how much of it has crept into my daily life. I hope Max gets the good stuff too. A little from Grandma and a little from me and Daddy before he starts listing to whoever the Kellis and Justin Beiber of his day will be. (How often are Kellis and Beiber mentioned in the same sentance ya think?)
Right now, as I type this, we are cruising iTunes buying James Taylor, Simon & Garfunkel, Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell...no need for the Beatles because we already own everything and have it set up that the second anything is released it is automatically purchased. 

Max loves him some Beatles.
(good boy.)

I asked Zach to see if they had Bread and Roses by Judy Collins. I remember dreaming of getting all the women in my choir in high school to sing it, but ya know I never did. Boo on me.
Zach quickly purchased it and it is still as moving to me now as it was then. More so, because now I am a mother.
I feel motherhood on a cellular level and every child is mine. The thought 'that could be Max' floats through my brain almost daily on hearing of any tragedy befalling a child.

That could be Max.

The melody was written by Mimi Farina and the words were written by a John Oppenheim in the  1920s to support the suffrage movement but it is a song about womanhood, about motherhood.

As we go marching, marching
In the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens,
A thousand mill lofts gray,
Are touched by all the radiance
That a sudden sun discloses,
For the people hear us singing:

"Bread and Roses! Bread and Roses!"

As we go marching, marching,
We battle too, for men,
For they are women's children,
And we mother them again.
Our lives shall not be sweated
From birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies:

Give us bread, but give us roses!

As we go marching, marching,
Unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing,
Their ancient cry for bread.
Small art and love and beauty
Their drudging spirits knew.
Yes, it is bread we fight for,

But we fight for roses too!

As we go marching, marching,
We bring the greater days.
For the rising of the women
Means the rising of the race.
No more the drudge and idleness
That toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life's glories:

Bread and Roses! Bread and Roses!

Our lives shall not be sweated
From birth until life closes,
Hearts starve as well as bodies;
Bread and Roses! Bread and Roses!

You can listen to it here.

It starts with just her, singing. Lightly and delicately. Then voices join her. The voices of women for a common cause. It's incredibly powerful.

I think honestly blogging can be a bit like that. How powerful are we when we band together rather than tearing another down? I do believe it takes a village. In all things. The power of one is great, but the power of many can move mountains.


Salt said...

I was never an Ally McBeal fan either, but I have many mix CDs that contain songs that I have felt defined my life over the years. My parents taught me well and my favorite stuff is still classic rock. And disco. Oh boy do I love my disco and I plan on passing that down to my child whether they like it or not.

I'm still trying to figure out who Justin Beiber is and how he became famous. Another Mickey Mouse Clubber?

Allyson & Jere said...

I have one word for you and this post: AWESOME!

Seriously, thank you for this post, I loved it!

I'm a horrible, musical theatre degreed mother that never listens to any music. What is wrong with me? I don't know. But, I sing lots of other songs with my kids, silly, church, etc. Does that count?

And lastly, how could you not love Ally McBeal? I was hooked from episode one.

Janice said...

Wow! What powerful words. Thank you for posting this.

Amo said...

This is a great post! Certain musicians do remind me of certain times in my life. Elvis reminds me of highschool, Al Green reminds me of college, U2 reminds me of my twenties. Sometimes songs can bring back painful emotions and sometimes that can be so freeing!

jodifur said...

How funny, I posted something so similar at jodifur today!

The Grasshoppa:Triplets Plus Two Momma said...

Girl---you just totally rocked this post...both figuratively and literally.


Karryl said...

Thanks so much for posting the words. There was one line I always messed up. Sing away!

Snuggly Monkey mama said...

What a fantastic post. I never watched Ally McBeal but I love the idea of everyone having a theme song. I put together a playlist awhile back of songs for my daughter that I think teach her some of life's greatest lessons. I have never heard Bread & Roses, so I am off to listen to it next (so thanks for sharing).

Happy Saturday Sharefest :) SITS brought me over & I'm glad I posted after you so that I came over to your site.