Song of the Moment: Mother’s Cross

Happy Mothers Day to all the moms out there!

When I was trying to figure out if Russell Crowe could sing, I discovered that he’s done more music than I’d realized. In particular, he’s collaborated quite a bit with Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea. Their most recent collaboration was released on iTunes last year, and there are actually a lot of great songs on it. There’s one in particular that I found surprisingly moving—“Mother’s Cross,” which they wrote for a member of the band whose mother had died. I still don’t know how his singing will be as Inspector Javert, but I hope he’s at least as good at that as he is at songwriting!

Two runners-up. One is “Mama,” by Beth Hart, a song that I’m annoyed that more people don’t know. Beth Hart’s voice is just haunting and powerful and amazing, and it’s displayed perfectly in this song, where the only accompaniment is a piano.

The other, to show the darker side of motherhood, is “Farmer’s Daughter” from Crystal Bowersox, the runner-up from the last season of American Idol that I watched (and pretty much the only good thing that season). She wrote this song before she was on the show, and it was the title track on her debut album. She has said that, although their relationship is better now, her mother was an abusive alcoholic while she was growing up, and that’s what this song is about. The lyrics are really chilling in some places: “You’d come home with bourbon breath, Jack in the air/And when you broke my bones I told the school I fell down the stairs.”

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