Quietly Gardening My Dreams

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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.”

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

P.S. — “Mother” was released as part of a compilation album benefiting Every Mother Counts, an organization dedicated to combatting the problem of maternal mortality around the globe.

© 2012 Samuel Michael Bell, all rights reserved

5 thoughts on “Quietly Gardening My Dreams

    1. You’re very welcome, Paul. However, I believe the transcription is accurate, true to the metaphors and plays on words that Alex Ebert used: “feat” for a struggle, not the part of his body, though this comes immediately after his reference to standing. Regarding the use of “granite” and “granted,” that is even clearer, it seems. As Ebert said himself during an interview (as noted in the article):

      “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.”

  1. I’m afraid I jumped to conclusions to fast. I think you’re right! Thnx for your kind response. Still I’m not sure about the feat or feet question. Feet seems so much more logical in the context of the poem.

    1. Of course! No worries. Regarding “feat,” I agree that it’s certainly debatable. I interpreted it as more logical to read “feat” because it seems strange to write about loving his feet (“my feet to love”) as opposed to seeing love as a struggle (“my feat to love”). Thanks for the comments … and for finding my blog! Check some of the other articles; you might find them interesting too.

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