I have written only 4 songs about or inspired by actual people in my life. As a young child, I spent many hours writing on the house piano. Though I was creating original works, they weren’t fully in my own artist voice. I was still being greatly influenced by the artists before me. Influence is not a bad thing, but it comes to being any type of creative there’s not a more liberating feeling than when you find your own voice. The very first song I wrote in my own voice is a precious, soft guitar driven melody about my Mom, called “Mother Soul”. It’s an abstract nod to how deep and kindred our connection was from my childhood through my 20s. From about 12 years old, my Mother and I realized that we had the privleage to be able to speak like spiritual peers. It wasn’t that I was an old soul, or she was a young soul. Its more that we recognized the inner journey in each other. This is what inspired the title of the song, “Mother Soul”.
It was right after I left the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. I decided I wanted to dive into life as an artist in New York. I had a small apartment in Washington Heights. My only possessions (besides clothing) were a journal, a guitar, and a motorcycle. Lets have a moment of silence for the sweet, simple days………………. I had just returned to New York after visiting Mom. This visit was a milestone in our already special relationship. It was more enlightened then the ones before. My Mother and I knew how to laugh a lot. It was an emotional survival tactic of which we had plenty of practice. This visit however, was the first time we spent the entire weekend in a completely joyful state from beginning to end. She was peaceful and truly happy. I attribute some of that to the presence of Earl in her life. I introduce Earl in an earlier entry: https://actordavidraine.com/2017/07/22/lord-of-this-ring-2 Earl had a way of inviting the “best of you” to the conversation. It always heightened the energy in a room. Mom was talking about methods of using crystals, medicinal foods, and how you should never kill a spider in the house. She said, “Spiders eat roaches. Which would you rather have…a spider that minds its business in a corner, or a roach crawling around in your personal space?” This made so much sense that I actually had to stop and reconsider Spider Branding. We needed to get some PR on this stat! Granted, we were part taking in smokable plant life, but this is still one of my all time favorite conversations I’ve had in my life.
So I’m sitting in my NY apartment with a guitar in my lap…still glowing from the weekend. I was so proud that I had such an evolved, and special Mother. A soft, simple plucking melody began to form itself in my head. It was both sweet and slightly dark. Imagine the Beatles and Black Sabbath meshed into a melody. I quieted everything in my world except that melody, then patiently transferred it to the guitar. The lyrics streamed in shortly after. The intention swung from abstract to literal line to line. I was overcome by so much warmth and love that I had to continually pause and breathe as I worked through the song. The first time I played it for my Mom, we laughed to tears at the reference to smoking and spiders. Then for her, there were just tears. She was deeply touched. I was going to revise at least the first verse, but she loved it so much as is that I never messed with it. The first part was “Mother Soul visits with her herbal gadgets. Smart People choose spiders over roaches…..” I recorded it and gave her the only mixed copy. It stayed our private, loving joke until now.
July 24th, 2017 marked the first year anniversary of Mom’s passing. I was initially going to write an entry solely about her life through my perspective from knowing her all my years. Instead I followed my instincts. Starting last week, the song Mother Soul has been running in my mind every morning when I open my eyes. It’s been like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day when then alarm would go off at the same time with the same song every morning. It drove me to pull out my guitar and relearn it. As I said, my Mother had the only mixed copy of it, so I have no way of listening to it. I had to go by memory. This also caused me to have sense memories of that time. Again I got to experience the laughter, the food we ate, the talks, my youth in NY, the crystals, the art, the excitement of starting my adult life, her guidance, her love, spiders and roaches, her happy time, my spiritual peer….my Mother Soul.
Holding on to the feeling of that time, I began revising and rewriting the song. I’ve attached what we call, a preproduction version. This is when you record only the skeleton, or frame of a song with all the parts that have come to mind. This way, you have a spring board of solid ideas to flesh the full song out in the studio. This is by no means “ready for the release”, but I feel like sharing the love I have for my Mother this way now. It has been a rejuvenating experience to reintroduce this side of my creative expression into my life. Its also been a healing process to update the lyrics to Mother Soul. I am so blessed to have had the Mother that I did. I was raised while watching her grow, make mistakes, win, teach, love, hurt, inspire, and forgive. She was a complete original. Self designed. I am proudly part of her legacy.
The new “Mother Soul” lyrics:
Mother Soul visits with her herbal gadgets. She’s got love for you too, if you don’t have it. She likes to walk through the stars with me, and she knows how to skydive. That’s what makes my Mother, Mother Soul. My Mother Soul.
From the day that I was born we knew so much about each other. It didn’t take too long to figure out what we were doing here for each other. That’s what makes my Mother, Mother Soul. My Mother Soul.
I grew up in her subconscious. That’s where she hid her childhood.
Looking back I see your mind, a kaleidoscope of many colors. I take lessons from your life and try my best to never suffer. That’s what makes my Mother, Mother Soul. My Mother Soul.