You know the saying “every woman is someone’s daughter”? I’ll take some liberties and say that “every daughter eventually becomes someone’s mother”. I say this because it’s Mother’s Day (in Latin America) and I can’t help but think of two things my mom and this great track “Mama You’ve Been on My Mind” by Rod Stewart. This track is actually a Bob Dylan cover. Dylan himself wrote it for his then wife Suze Rotolo. Its a truly melancholy love song, probably one of the best he ever wrote. In many ways the thoughts can be universal though.
Who but our mamas guide us through how we interact with the people we will grow to love in a different way? There are certain sentiments and conversations you can only have with your mama before they give way to your significant other. I know with mine, a lot of them revolved around hopes and dreams, or dealing with personal crises. Something about maternal love feels so unique that whomever we want to stick around with has to at times dive into these affections to keep part of us happy.
Unfortunately, my mom is no longer around, so fleeting memories are all that remind me of that physical, human aspect of it which I can’t experience from her again. However, I find solace, that the living world can still offer much of the more important spiritual love. Its not a surprise that first verses from Dylan point out how a beautiful sunlit road or maybe a beautiful day bring thoughts of his “mama”. On good days, I can’t help but empathize. There are situations I have experienced that remind me of her even if she would never know why.
Dylan goes further, he goes on to detail how remembering her doesn’t mean he wants to worry her, ask her to come back, or demand anything from her, at the end of the day he just hopes she’s thinking of herself as highly as he has her in his thoughts…even though he isn’t with her. The final four verses, which cement this track for me, are just so interesting because it expands the meaning of Dylan’s memory in so many ways: he’s not there, she’s not here, but the love he received from his mama was so special that he hopes this memory triggers her to remember that greatness she had. Its a very selfless way to end a song that started so personal.
Rod Stewart, obviously, was bagging every woman here and there, so his eloquent delivery and musical accompaniment wisely tweaks it enough to make this song truly honest about his own feelings. For all who have their mamas around, it wouldn’t hurt you to take some time and remind them of their greatness today. Myself, well, I’m thinking of her on a great day like today and that’s a great start.
Before you listen to the track, check out Rod Stewart “performing” a great original “You Wear it Well” off the same album Never a Dull Moment on Top of the Pops. Best moment(s) of the video, Rod’s blazer and Ron Wood checking his watch at the end of the song: