I first wrote and recorded Mother Mary way back in 2012. I vaguely remember that I got the idea for the song while watching an episode of the TV show Kitchen Nightmares. No, really. REALLY. I think one of the people that had a NIGHTMARE
KITCHEN was named Mary, but she was also an
older lady, so the host of the show, in all his frenetic glory kept calling her Mother Mary. Anyway, that just stuck in my head and the original version popped out. Have a listen to that here. Then listen to the new version:
So why do a rewrite?
Well, it’s how I practice. How I teach myself to write completely new things. How I keep myself interested. I have a need I think to tear things down and rebuild them. Even if I really like or love the first creation. And I do really like the first version of this song.
And that made it hard to rework. Because I didn’t know how to even start to change it. Maybe that has something to do with letting my practice of songwriting slip into the trash heap the past couple years, but maybe also because Mother Mary is a song I still occasionally remember and play around the house to entertain myself.
Usually if I get stuck at rewriting a tune I’ll change the tempo and time signature. And that usually means the song becomes a waltz, but that didn’t really work for this one. All the words and names I had in the original lyrics fit too well with the original guitar part and melody and I couldn’t get that out of my head. So, I did the easy thing…edit out all the names.
But then can you still call this Mother Mary?
I think without any of the references to the Christian religious figures it’s still basically the same song. You can look at it two ways:
- Without the names the song just becomes a little more broad in asking for help from someone unnamed.
- The song becomes even more about Mother Mary since the title is the only reference to who it might be that the lyrics are talking about.
Now, that sure is a lot of explaining for a song that originally took me about 14 minutes to write and that I didn’t ever think about the meaning of. I still don’t ever think about the meaning of the first version. It doesn’t really mean anything to me. I just like how it sounds.