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Just What I Needed: A Mother’s Day Gift

Even if no one besides her reads this one, I had to make a song list for my incredible mommy today. As a small token of appreciation for all she has done and continues to do for me. I could just make a list of all the reasons my mom rocks (i.e. she’s funny, she’s loving, she’s supportive, she’s fun, and she’s fiercely proud and protective) but I wanted to give her back a gift she’s given to me. For as long as I can remember I’ve been listening to music with my mom. Our house was always filled with good tunes and we still share music regularly. “Have you heard…” and “You have to listen to…” starts so many of our conversations. Here are a handful of songs that remind me of my beautiful mommy and what we have shared. Happy Mother’s Day! I love you today and always.

YouTube playlist is here, just in case your taste is as good as my mom’s.

Me and Mommy 🙂

1. “Just What I Needed” by The Cars: Not sure when I realized that not everyone’s parents listened to such an assortment of good music. My love of music started with my mom and dad and a constant stream of music in our home. The Cars were one of my mom’s faves so any song by them reminds me of her. This is one of my favorites.

2. “Gangsta” by The tUnE-yArDs: Somehow my mom is more hip to new music than I am. She won tickets to see The tUnE-yArDs a couple of weeks ago at House of Blues and was super into it. I’m not a big fan of the band, but hella (yeah I said it) impressed that my mom continues to discover new music and go to shows. I’m a chip off the ol’ block (or something like that).

3. “What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?” by R.E.M.: My first concert was R.E.M. at the Sports Arena circa ’94. Again being with my parents makes this memory just that much better. And R.E.M. is awesome. This quintessential 90’s alternative tune jams with a solid drum beat and those guitar licks are killer. Bonus: Michael Stipe’s limber dance moves. 

4. “Little Pieces” by Gomez: After being raised by a mom who turned me onto so much good music I eventually got to return the favor. Gomez has become a fave among a lot of my family and for good reason- they are bitchen. This peppy number lifted me up during one of the hardest times in my life. I can clearly remember being at House of Blues in the fall of ’09 and dancing to this with my mama. We’ve seen Gomez together at least a half-dozen times and it’s one thing I look forward to every time these dudes make it to San Diego.

5. “Silver Springs” by Fleetwood Mac: Another band my mom grew up on and passed down to me (so much handier than a crocheted doily). This song is so damn pretty. Stevie Nicks’ voice is incomparable and these heart-wrenching lines of poetry grip your soul. I remember watching “The Dance” over and over with my mom. Stevie is ethereal and magical, like a mother in her own way. *tear*

6. No One’s Gonna Love You by Cee Lo Green (cover): The original of this by Band of Horses is my favorite song of all time. Unfortunately at some point in my sordid romantic past I couldn’t listen to it without crying. Insert my wonderful mother. True story: Mom sends me an instant message “Can you listen to “No One’s Gonna Love You” yet?” She knows that post gnarly break-ups 2008 AND 2009 that the song is a bit rough for me. I reply “Nah, not really.” She says “Well shit, Cee Lo does a cover of it!” and she sends me the link. So I tell my tear ducts they’re on time out, I sack up and listen. I love it. I start listening to it over and over and am able to once again enjoy the song. Cee Lo does the original justice in his flawless delivery while giving the song his own signature style. And my mom gave me the gift of having my favorite song back and understanding what that would mean to me.

7. “In The Sun” by Joseph Arthur: I don’t know if I would have found this tender and beautiful tune on my own. One of those “have you heard?” moments turned into another song we share love for. It reminds me of a modern-day lullaby with hushed lyrics and sweet sentiments.

8. “Deacon Blues” by Steely Dan: Another musical trait I’ve inherited from my mama (for better or worse) is sometimes we gotta belt one out. This is mom’s go-to karaoke song. She’s rad like that.

9. “Always On My Mind” by Willie Nelson: My mom got a crush on my dad after he told her all about a Willie Nelson concert he went to. I guess he showed her this rad bandana he bought at the show or something that sounds lame but apparently was very cool. That’s where the magic began…

10. “Another Nail In My Heart” by Squeeze: Another band my mom introduced to me when I was young. Peppy 80’s pop- I love it so. This is one of my favorite Squeeze songs, amongst many. And also Jules Holland is so goofy in this video, it’s great.

11. “Come Back Down” by Greg Laswell: The other part of my mommy’s day present was tickets to Laswell’s next San Diego show. (I’m cheap but not cheap enough to only give her this list!) So there you have it… and btw, mama, have you heard this new one by Greg Laswell?

For more interviews, song obsessions, and musical musings with Sounds in San Diego follow along on Facebook or get tweety with me on Twitter.


About Jen Van Tieghem

There aren’t many things I love more than music. While life spins away at a rapid beat I’ve realized it’s important to spend it doing what I love – enjoying music in San Diego. I have a handful of favorite venues, a heart full of favorite bands, and decided to write about it.

One comment on “Just What I Needed: A Mother’s Day Gift

  1. […] Just What I Needed: A Mother’s Day Gift – A song list Mother’s Day gift to the woman that gave me life – gag-worthy. […]


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