With so many moms, grandmas, aunts and other matronly figures descending on CU this weekend, the music staff at buzz decided we needed to honor and welcome all the moms to campus the best way we know how: through the timeless power of music.
Most times, our moms are the first people to introduce us to the world of music. I can still remember driving around town with my mom as a child, and singing along to Shania Twain’s “Man, I Feel Like A Woman” or The Dixie Chicks’ “Goodbye Earl.” When my mom bought me my first CD, N’SYNC’s Celebrity, I came to know and love every word, singing along as if I were a part of the group. Although I later decided I was too cool to listen to any of these songs, whenever I hear them by chance on the radio or wherever, I can’t help but think of my mom.
Moms are our first mentors, and as we get older, they can become some of our closest friends. My mom also happens to have an interesting sense of humor. When I called her up to ask her to write about a song for this playlist, she spent the first ten minutes of our conversation trying to convince me her favorite song was Sisqó’s 1999 hit “The Thong Song.” After uncomfortably listening to her explain how she thought it was a light-hearted, catchy masterpiece of modern pop, she started laughing and admitted she was pulling my leg. So yes, my mom did prank me, but that goofiness is just another thing to love about her. Check out our playlist below for more stories of awesome moms, and which song my mom finally did choose as her favorite.
1.) “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” by Ricky Martin
As a child, I could never really place my mother’s music taste into one main genre. She’s taken me through my share of musicals. I knew the entire Les Miserables soundtrack before seeing the movie, and I’m not even going to get started on Aida. I’ve listened to enough Josh Groban and Il Divo to last my more rock n’ roll-inclined self a lifetime. But the one song that really stands out for always being stuck in my head as a kid was “Livin’ La Vida Loca” by Ricky Martin. I remember consistently asking my mom to put that song on and loving every minute of it. I knew all the words. I would sing it to myself often, and I still think that surf guitar riff and solo are among the catchiest I’ve heard. Today, I can listen to the song and I’ll have a big smile on my face, knowing one of the first times I heard it was in the front seat of the car next to my mama.
2.) “Hey There Delilah,” by the Plain White T’s
My mother’s choice of favorite song is “Hey There Delilah” by the Plain White T’s. She said she loves it because the lead singer of the band is, according to the 60-year-old, “berry hot.” I use the term “berry” in place of “very,” to give you a better visual for this woman who has the world’s thickest Filipino accent. The song also reminds her of a time that she went to a concert in ‘07 to see the band with her strikingly beautiful daughter (yes, it is me). An interesting fact of this song in relation to my mother is her constant remake in the lyrics: “Oh, look what you did to me” is apparently what Tom was really saying.
3.) “Eight Days a Week,” by The Beatles
There are so many songs that I love or have loved over the years. When I was a little girl, probably around 8 years old or so, I spent a lot of time at my grandma’s house. My aunt and uncles had left a bunch of 45s there when they moved out. I used to listen to them on the record player, and one day she gave them to me to keep. “Eight Days a Week” was one of the songs on the 45 records. I loved that song and used to sing along with it all the time. There were some really famous songs in that case, including “Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones and “Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis. These were all original releases by the most famous people in rock and roll. An amazing thing about “Satisfaction” is that it had a crack all the way through one side of the record and it played perfectly. It never skipped once! Whenever I hear “Eight Days a Week,” I think about spending time with my grandma, dancing around the house to the oldies with my Mom and listening to all of those 45s for hours on my record player.
—Mary Ann Neumann (Sean’s mom)
4.) “Take On Me,” by A-ha
My son asked my what my favorite song was. How am I to pick? It’s like asking me who my favorite child is. It depends on my mood at the time. One of the first songs that came to mind was “Take on Me” by A-Ha. The song came out in 1985, when I was just 15 years old. The cute Norwegian band was singing about a plea for love, and the video was awesome — a mix between live action and animation. I remember seeing the video while I was babysitting, and I sat transfixed, rooting for the hero to win the girl. It won several MTV awards, but alas, this was to be their first and only big hit.
—Sandy Wulf (Tyler Durgan’s mom)
5.) “Stacy’s Mom,” by Fountains of Wayne
My mom (Malora from Aurora) and I have an interesting relationship. When it comes down to it, we’re more alike than either of us is willing to admit, which is why I think we butt heads so much. We are both very stubborn, competitive and enjoy a good argument a little too much. She always says I have to be the one to get the last word in, and I counter that she’s usually the one who started it. But despite our many fights and frustrated tears, our love is very mutual and genuine.
Choosing a song that reminds me of her is no small task. At first, my mind went straight to U2 since that is our favorite band and we have been to three of their concerts together, but then I really thought about it, and there is one song in particular that I will never be able to listen to without thinking of my mom: Fountains of Wayne’s “Stacy’s Mom.” Yes, my mom does have it going on, but that’s not why this song reminds me of her.
I distinctly remember when this song was first released. I was still in gymnastics, and my mom and I spent a good 45-minute commute to my gym together everyday. It never failed that this song would come on the radio at least twice during our daily trip. One evening after a horrible practice had left me sore and defeated, the song came on in our living room and my mom started bouncing around, dancing and screaming the lyrics like a 12-year-old girl. She looked ridiculous, so I couldn’t help but get up and join her. By the time the song had finished, I was so distracted by our uncontrollable giggles that I had completely forgotten why I was upset in the first place.
I know now, having been away from home for three years, that even though there were times where she pushed me a little too far or got on my case about swimming or school or my music, that she was only doing it out of her desire to provide me with the most opportunities to be successful. When I thought she was being hard on me for getting an A- instead of A, or when she’d tell me to get my head right when I would sulk after a bad swim, or when she would literally have to drag me to my viola lessons, it was all because she saw the talent and potential that I had, when I couldn’t see it in myself. My mom is the perfect definition of tough love.
But then there are the memories like the one of us being goofy to “Stacy’s Mom,” that reminds me how much she really cares about me, and how blessed I am to share so many of her traits. Our obsession with peanut butter, jokes about farts, love for Bono and innate desire to look after and care for others are just a few of the things that make me so glad to be her daughter.
You know when you’re young and you always say, “I’m never going to be like my parents!” well there is literally no escaping it. Because everyday, there is something I do or say that makes me think, “Oh boy, I am becoming my mom.” Three years ago I would never confess this, but if I can grow up to be even a quarter of the kind, generous and encouraging person that my mom is, then maybe I’ll turn out okay.
So thank you, mom, for showing me that you are never too old to be goofy, that your aspirations are always worth fighting for and that no matter how many times you screw up, God is always going to give you another chance. I love you so much — even when you think I’m purposely trying to drive you crazy.
6.) “The Lemon Song,” by Led Zeppelin
Amid all of the music reports my mother wrote in high school, “The Lemon Song” stands out the most to her. There was John Lennon’s “Imagine” and probably every single Beatles song in existence to choose from as well, of course, but something tells me my mom wanted to distance herself just a little bit from the rest of the girls in her class. While I’m sure “Imagine” would have been pretty straightforward to report on, I feel like she probably had some difficulty explaining Robert Plant swooning, “The way you squeeze my lemon,” lyric in class.
7.) “Lullaby,” by The Cure
I chose “Lullaby” by The Cure as my mom song because it works on quite a few layers. First, my mother loves The Cure. Second, 93 XRT, my mother’s favorite radio station, plays “Lullaby” about once a day (that’s a rough estimate). The song is also pretty groovy, quite like my momma.
But content-wise, the song details a man paralyzed by fear that he will be eaten alive. In the song, Robert Smith fears a “spider-man,” but in my case, I have always been crippled by the fear that my mother will discover that I am not perfect. She loves me, hard. She’s a tough, bossy chick, and when I do something wrong, she knows exactly how to make me feel like shit. She’s surgical with her put-downs. Once, at 4 p.m. on a Monday, she yelled at me for not doing my homework and playing video games. Then when I turned off the game, she yelled at me for, “Running away from my problems.”
Even if she’s not trying to, she can still find exactly how to make me feel bad, to the point where I mistake her compliments for insults. There’s the always painful, “You’re acting like your brother!” and the classic, “Why don’t you have a girlfriend?!?!?”
She also had a habit of snooping around my room at, say, 8 a.m. on a Saturday, just because it was “dusty,” or whatever. I had all these dreamlike conversations with her (I call them conversations, but they were really more like her reprimanding me as I lay powerless with my head in the pillow), as she told me, “Your room smells; open a window,” and, “Why are you so lazy? It’s a beautiful day outside.” This became a regular thing, to the point where I don’t even remember how many of these instances actually occurred and how many occurred only in my dreams, quite akin to the ethereal, paranoid nature of “Lullaby.” The song reflects our complicated relationship.
8.) “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” by Rod Stewart
My mom has always been a massive fan of Rod Stewart. She played him in the car against my will on countless rides to softball practice. My dad has gifted her tickets to his concerts at least three times (she always comes back with a positive review). I’ve never really understood the draw, though. Even though “Maggie May” is a classic, and Rod was (is?) a true rocker, or at least he was in The Faces, I’ve never much listened to him. When I asked what the superfan’s favorite song by him was, though, she told me “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” Of course, she immediately regretted this. But really, how could anyone resist Rod in that music video? I don’t blame you, mom. I know you think he’s sexy. And hell, I do too.