Mama Can’t Rap

{In response to the Daily Prompt: Papa Loves Mambo}

The Point album coverMy early obsession with classic rock and roll, my soft spot for the singer-songwriter, and my appreciation of quirky fun all trace back to my earliest musical memories.

My mom loved Elvis, and I still appreciate the early days of rock and roll. Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, and the King himself all take me back to my parents’ turntable. As my own tastes developed, these influences led me to the Yardbirds, the Animals, the Rolling Stones, and, my teenage favorite, Led Zeppelin.

My dad in particular loved some singer-songwriters. We used to drive down to the shore almost every day one summer, an hour each way, to go fishing off a particular bridge. My dad had a peculiar habit with the audio cassette of the Simon & Garfunkel album Bridge Over Troubled Water. He loved the first three songs so much that he would play them while my little brother and I belted out the lyrics, and then, he would rewind the cassette and play those three again. And again. And again.

I now know “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “El Condor Pasa (if I Could),” and “Cecilia” like the back of my hand, and it’s always summer for a least a moment whenever I hear one of them. It turns out there were some great songs on the other side — “The Boxer” and “The Only Living Boy in New York” — but I never knew it as a kid.

I still love plenty of singer-songwriters. An early favorite was James Taylor, and lately I’ve been into M. Ward, Brett Dennen, and Andrew Bird, to name a few.

Finally, I remember my parents also being into various quirky recordings, and that’s come along with me as well. My parents would play the Nilsson album The Point, a story album about a kid who is ostracized for being the only person in his community without a point on top of his head, until the twist at the end of the album. I have forgotten a lot of the story, but I still remember my dad mimicking the line “You got a point there!” whenever one of the kids would make a good point about something.

I still love songs that strike me as funny or quirky. My latest obsession (a year or two later than everyone else) is “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore. It makes me laugh, and I find it inventive, although at least part of the fun is getting to mortify my teenage boys with my awful attempts at rapping.

Hopefully, I’m passing on a fine tradition of parents influencing their children’s musical tastes.

What music do you remember your parents playing?

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About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days (and beyond), and writing my memoirs. My book: Timid No More.
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5 Responses to Mama Can’t Rap

  1. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Papa Loves Mambo | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

  2. Rae Hilhorst says:

    A favourite of my mothers was Dianna Ross and the Supremes and Dionne Warwick, I still love them today. xx

  3. Katie says:

    I specifically remember this album being played a lot (I think the album cover is why I remember it…)
    Katie recently posted..And the Oscar Goes To…My Profile

    • Marcy says:

      I didn’t recognize the album, but I knew “Lovin’ You” when I looked it up and played it. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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