My mother used to sing us to sleep. Her lullabies weren’t choruses of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” repeated just until she could tell we were out. No, she brought her guitar into the room my sister and I shared, sat close in the dark, and as far as we knew, had nowhere else to go and nothing more important to do. In those moments, she was all ours.
Our favorite songs were the sad ones. Like “Summertime,” that great ode to longing for what never was. We also loved “All the Pretty Horses,” and others I’ve struggled to remember. Even a nonsense song like “B-A-Bay” could sound melancholy in her lovely alto, sung at a volume meant to lull.
Her lullabies were a gift, one way that she could comfort us during a time when our father’s drinking and all that came with it caused so many things in our life to go wrong. [Read more...]