Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Literary Mama Rewind: Music

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Welcome to Literary Mama Rewind! Every few weeks we'll round up some of our favorite essays, stories, poems, columns, and reviews from the Literary Mama Archives relating to a particular theme. It's a season to sing, so this month we're looking back at some writing about the music that plays into our lives. All you have to do is click and read....

  • Field of Dreams by Carol Zapata-Whelan From the Column Finding Magic Mountain

It was a warm October evening in the Valley, and we were watching our red and blue high school marching band line up on the edge of the field, waiting patiently for the football players to jog away and the cheerleaders to hop off their stands.

  • Our Houseful by Ona Gritz from the Column Doing it Differently

It's a sunny Friday morning and I stretch out in my warm bed. I've taken the day off from work to be with Ethan who is home on winter break. From the living room, I hear him at the electronic keyboard we bought the day before.

  • Songs by Avery Fischer Udagawa from the Column Four Worlds

The session gets me thinking about which songs I have sung with my daughter and when. In her third or fourth day of life I created a short melody I sang at bedtimes, sometimes inserting variations or combining with "Hush, Little Baby," "The Ants Go Marching," or "Put Your Little Foot" (and chin, and cheeks, and toes, till she nodded off).

I am a mother who hates war and violence, and loves movies and music. Shut Up and Sing (Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck, 2006) gives me a lot of what I care about in a film. It's no date-night romance, true, but this documentary, which details the impact of Natalie Maines' remark on the Dixie Chicks' music, their families, and our culture, has me singing its praises.

My son loves listening to every instrument we own -- from the obvious bongos, ukelele, and guitar, to the more obscure zither, melodica, zaphoon and shakuhachi flute. If a bad mood strikes him, my husband or daughter will pick up an instrument to keep Evan entertained.

  • Lullaby by Mary Catherine Jones in Poetry

I have saved this for you-- each morning I heap new-- treasure on its peak-- each night an astral body sheds-- its ill; our sun.

Taking the Eros out of it, I admire your wool shirt, your wallet.

The bough breaks? The baby falls? Why do we sing such things to our infants? It strikes me as downright sadistic to gaze into my baby's eyes and sing a sweet, lilting little tune predicting his demise.


Amanda Jaros is a freelance writer and blogger, focusing on nature and science stories. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and magazines including Terrain.org, Newfound, Life in the Finger Lakes Magazine, Highlights for Children, and Cargo Literary. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Chatham University.


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