One Track Mind: Aloe Blacc, "Mama Hold My Hand" (2010)

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Just as Mike and the Mechanics’ “The Living Years” reminds me of my father, there’s now a song that brings fond thoughts of my dear mother, to whom I dedicate this song.

During this time of year, a lot of us reflect a lot on what our mother means to us. A mother doesn’t nurture her child by breast milk alone, she nourishes by the heart with compassion and caring, and through the mind with wisdom and other mental tools we need to function on our own in this world. My aunt once told me that the greatest thing she admired about her mother — my grandmother — was her unconditional love. It was my own mom’s unconditional love that carried me throughout life during times I felt I may have had little else going for me. Luckily, I now have my wife’s unconditional love too, but Mom’s was there from the start and thankfully is still there today.

New R&B singing sensation Aloe Blacc gets all this. Near the end of his breakthrough album from last year Good Things is a simple, gospel-styled number he co-wrote called “Mama Hold My Hand.” It’s a perfectly written and rendered paean for this very day, the “Grandma’s Hands” for moms. This is a song that reminds us of the security she brings us throughout our lives by putting it in the context through a circle-of-life narrative in the first person. From the first time I heard it, I felt like Blacc was personally singing about me and my own mother. I could print some lyrics here, but Blacc’s soulful, convincing delivery brings a real weight to these words you can’t get simply by looking at some words printed on a screen. Just listen to it for yourself in the video above.

And then call your momma and offer her your hand.

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S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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