No Tango Today, Just Phoebe

Of all the things to make me write . . .

Such terrible news today. Phoebe Snow has died. An amazing voice and such a beautiful soul, gone too soon.

When I was 16, I was sure, as most 16 year olds are, that my mother was from another planet. I was sure she didn't know what I was going through. How bad things were. She couldn't possibly understand what I was feeling.

She, by that point I'm sure, had to be tired of trying to get me to talk about things. She just passed by my room and said, 'you may like this.'

Phoebe Snow
Second Childhood.

The whole album played and I listened, trying not to look like I was listening. Like I didn't care. I think I said something like, 'nice voice' or something. I went back to my room, closed the door, and cried and cried. Not out of sadness, but out of relief. Not only did this mean that my mom, patiently building new paths to me, understood. But this woman, who moved (and still moves) my mom in such profound ways, understood too.

My life at home with mom is colored by our soundtrack. Recollections of conversations, fights, revelations, all seemed to come with songs. We always found, and still find, common ground in music. For the record, I'm still apologizing to her for years 14 through 19. What a pain in the ass I was.


Rest in Peace, Phoebe - you are so loved, and so missed. Thank you for helping me really see my mother.


Either or Both, which speaks to both our lives in different ways, is one of our favorites. I hope you like it too.



EITHER or BOTH
Sometimes these hands get so clumsy
That I drop things and people laugh
Sometimes these hands seem so graceful
I can see them signin' autographs

What I want to know from you
When you hear my plea
Do you like or love
Either or both of me
Do you like or love
Either or both of me

Sometimes this face looks so funny
That I hide it behind a book
But sometimes this face has so much class
That I have to sneak a second look

Sometimes this life gets so empty
That I become afraid
Then I remember you're in it
And I think I might still have it made


2 comments:

Dieudonne said...

This is what I call music!
A twenty years old scotch, in a glas, a worn out bar pushing against us, in a not so reputable part of town somewhere we all know, brown suede shoes, and the knowledge that the sun is waiting for us outside...and this voice, the one that God borrows at moments when he/she is in the room...The Good Times she belted out are forever with us like lost love we never quite seem to loose... Ah! les souvenirs de ma vie!
Just rambling...Thanks for posting this. Save me a dance.

Tango Therapist said...

Very moving, Mari. I cannot say that I shared music with my parents, but they liked hearing the music I played as a musician, and that felt really good too. Once I woke my father, not realizing he was taking a nap before work. He said, "That was really nice music, Mark." I nearly fell over. He usually was pissed if anyone woke him.