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Today, in honor of my mother, who taught me the most important things about how to live my life, I share one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard and one of the most touching music videos I’ve ever seen:

“Mother,” by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

The song is based on a poem that the group’s lead singer, Alex Ebert, wrote for his mother about a year ago. In a recent interview, he told Spinner, AOL’s music website, “I wanted to explain to her that taking her for granted for so much of my life was less a function of my admitted selfishness and more a function of her unwavering love for me. Her unflinching steadiness I took to be immovable fact—I took her for ‘granite,’ as the poem goes, to make my stand upon.”

I couldn’t find the lyrics published anywhere, so the following is my attempt at a transcription, true to the metaphors and plays on words Alex Ebert uses:

“I took you for Granite, as the stone unmoved of mountains, the Ground on which I stood, my daring feat to fight. And fight though I did with Father Sky, all the mere constellation rises, it was you and I, after all, quietly gardening my dreams. Steady, like the ocean waving endlessly hello. Well, hello, I’m doing good, Mother, please, be pleased to know. And know, deep within your endless heart, you give me love. What more could the Son ask, but for the fuel to shine? And know now, that I knew it all along—yes, all along. I was just embarrassed at the infinite imbalance. But here’s a song, for what it’s worth. Mother, I’m sorry I ignored you. I can’t afford to anymore; time has us both in line for dying. Let me take you for Granite, as the stone unmoved of mountains, the Ground on which I stand, my feat to love. And love, yes, I can, from your teachings, quiet teachings, I will show you love.”

“Mother” is part of a compilation album released by the organization Every Mother Counts, which is dedicated to combatting the problem of maternal mortality around the globe. The album is available at Starbucks locations through the end of May.

To my mother and to all mothers everywhere, Happy Mother’s Day.
Know that you are loved.

© 2012 Samuel Michael Bell, all rights reserved

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