Sunday, May 4, 2008

Poetry Train Monday - 48 - Mother

I'm working, working, working on a competition submission, so I don't have a new poem for you. Instead I thought I'd post the lyrics to John Lennon's song Mother.

A few weeks ago I got the Lennon Legend CD, and this song really stands out to me. He managed to pour a lifetime of pain into three stanzas and a repeating refrain. And his recording holds such vulnerability, such rawness.

As Mother's Day approaches, I deeply feel this song from someone whose longed-for mother was named Julia.


Mother, you had me but I never had you,
I wanted you but you didn't want me,
So I got to tell you,
Goodbye, goodbye.

Father, you left me but I never left you,
I needed you but you didn't need me,
So I got to tell you,
Goodbye, goodbye.

Children, don't do what I have done,
I couldn't walk and I tried to run,
So I got to tell you,
Goodbye, goodbye.

Mama don't go,
Daddy come home.
Mama don't go,
Daddy come home.

- by John Lennon


Jill said...

The lyrics are really emotinal!
Was it about an adopted child?

Annette Gallant said...

I was wondering the same thing, Jill. Definitely very poignant.

And I'm guessing Julian Lennon is named for her?

Always learn something interesting on your blog, Julia.

Julia Phillips Smith said...

Jill and Annette - John's parents were a tempestuous wartime couple. He was a merchant seaman and she was a high spirited young woman. John lived with his mother until he was five, when his aunt stepped in and took guardianship of him. His father disappeared for several decades. His mother lived nearby and John had an arms' length relationship with her until she was hit by a car when he was 17.

Jennifer McKenzie said...

I'd never heard that song. Very cool. Thanks for posting it.
Good luck on the competition sub.

Unknown said...

Woah! That is sad. I'd never heard that song before and didn't know that about John Lennon. How do you know his mother's name was Julia? This is touching and the story of his growing up years is incredible.

Akelamalu said...

I love John Lennon's songs without exception. Although he loved his aunt Mimi he missed his mother, Julia, very much.

Anonymous said...

I've never been a Lennon fan (I appreciate his songwriting abiilities), but this shows another side of the man. Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Olga said...

That is so very depressing about him. wow. I never knew that about him.

Anonymous said...

Very touching. I like this a lot. I had heard it only once, before this!

clawing crawlies

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Okay, ready for a contradiction? I love that song -- but never listened closely enough to the lyrics to decipher them.

Man, he could have given Hetfield a run for the motherly angst. Wow.

Amy Ruttan said...

Wow I never knew that about John Lennon. But then again I don't know much about him.

I'm not really a fan of his; but I like this song.

Julia Phillips Smith said...

Sniz - I'm a big Beatles fan and the song 'Julia' appears on The White Album, which I had in vinyl form way back when. I knew he'd written that song about his mother, Julia. It's very dreamy and filled with longing.

M. said...

very achy.
doesn't correspond withe the carefree, fun-loving image of the young rocker who took the world by storm

Anonymous said...

i love the song julia--seashell eyes windy smiles calls me--

i'd never put those details together and not sure if i remember hearing this song...and if i had paid attention to it the way it connects with me and the person i am today.

because my life has had so many challenges in the last year, i had to say "goodbye" and walk away from my relationships with my mom and my dad since i couldn't handle any more and them any more. growing up my dad was there full of anger and my mom was there but didn't want to be there...and it's like that today.

don't i remember that mimi was supportive of him and his artistic nature??

now to go back to hearing julia in my head rather than his pained screams...

Julia Phillips Smith said...

artpredator - his Aunt Mimi was worried about John enough to threaten her sister (John's mother) with calling child welfare services if she wasn't allowed to take John to live with herself and her husband. Mimi gave John a true home. His mother lived nearby and seemed to be more of a fun-loving older sister-type.