Mama Said

I can’t believe we’re already 10 days into January. Did I mention that I had a birthday? I did. I turned 24. I’m 24 years, 10 days and 25 minutes old(at the time of writing this.) But that’s not the purpose of the post. No, brothers and sisters we are here tonight to fight the devil! Not really, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sing some Patti LuPone. I’m really here today to share some of the music Etta, Emmylou and Pearl( can’t forget Pearl) are tappin’ their toes to.

Remember when I told you guys at first I wrote down a list of my favorite doo wop songs and planned to craft a story around it? Well it didn’t work out that way. The more I wrote the more I realized not all the songs work that well. Plus, the girl’s story takes place in 1962. For the sake of semi accuracy I didn’t want to have a song that didn’t come out until 1964, 1966 and so on. I also didn’t want to mention people who didn’t “exist” yet. So I had the added challenge of finding songs that fit the mood of the chapter and the appropriate time. As it’s summer and I don’t mention what month it is, I gave myself leeway with the months the songs first aired. I had thoughts to change the year the story is set to allow me to use more of my favorite songs, but If I pushed it back to let in more songs then I’d be approaching the Civil Rights movement at it’s peak. And with the girls location… well I don’t really want to get too into it. Perhaps I’ll get the chance to use those songs in another story.

The first song I used is “Mama Said” by the Shirelles. It’s the first chapter, Etta and Emmylou somehow end up in two strangers car and when the radio clicks on and those opening harmonies fill the red and white ford… Etta can’t stifle her headliner vocals!


What I like most about this song, besides the fact that it’s impossible to sing along with, is that it really sets the tone for the rest of the story. Meeting boys and chapel bells. That’s Emmylou’s head in a nutshell. If you were a conjoined twin, having a rough and happened to be African American in 1962 Georgia, wouldn’t your mama tell you you’d have days like that also?

I love the music I’ve incorporated into my WIP. I love how the lyrics blend in with dialog and prose. What I don’t like is the hives I break out in knowing I most likely won’t be able to quote lyrics like I have been. Not unless I want to fork over the serious bucks. But that’s another post for another day.

‘Til we meet again! *In my  Daveed Diggs as Lafayette in Hamilton voice.*


4 thoughts on “Mama Said

  1. Isn’t it such a pain about copyright? I don’t see how posting some lyrics is a big deal at all, especially if you’re giving credit to the original artist, you know? It’s not like readers are getting a song for free.
    I love getting behind the scenes of your WIP!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Maybe the way around it is to just reference the song and singer (which I don’t *think* is a copyright issue) and have something in the front of your book to direct readers here with links to the songs and lyrics?

    Although the best song by far is that chicken scratch song Etta wrote! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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