Song For My Sisters

by | Nov 7, 2013 | Memoir, Relationships | 12 comments

I’ve been working on a sequel to my childhood memoir, Reversible Skirt; I’ve also started to collect short works for Sisters Born, Sisters Found, an anthology of writings on sisterhood that I’ll be editing and publishing in 2014.

When thinking about the anthology, a song I wrote for my sisters many years ago came to mind. I am considering including it at the end of the anthology and wonder how it comes across without the music. I’ll type in the lyrics below. I’d appreciate it if you’d share your impressions with me.

Song For My Sisters
By Laura McHale Holland

Three little beds made in a row, sun streaming in through our open window
Days of our youth began with me racin’ with you to the kitchen
Where we’d argue over who would get the Wheaties, who would eat the Rice Chex,
who would get the Corn Flakes

Did I tell you then how much I love you, sisters?
You’ve been always in my heart

Three ragged coats hung in the hall, three pairs of boots stood
right underneath them
I walked to school right beside you, children were cruel, called you names, now
All our clothes were second hand, I didn’t understand why it should
make a difference to the others

Did I tell you then how much I love you, sisters?
You’ve been always in my heart

Three teenagers, babysitters, waitresses and ice cream dippers
We bought new clothes, lipstick that glowed, cologne in scents for our earlobes
Rubbing elbows in the hall, each waiting for a call from someone who we hoped
would see our beauty

Did I tell you then how much I love you, sisters?
You’ve been always in my heart

One scholarship, one wedding ring, one Greyhound east, three new
and different lives
Life on my own, sometimes alone, I’d want a home with my sisters
Graduation came so fast, our childhood was past, we’d grown up and we had to
say goodbye now

Did I tell you then how much I love you, sisters?
You’ve been always in my heart

Three woman now stand tall and proud, voicing aloud plans for a saner world
Times have been worse, I’ve bled and hurt, cried in despair, Who will care?
And you’ve come flyin’ to my side, wherever I did hide, and you knew I would do
the same for you

So I’m sayin’ now how much I love you, sisters
You’ll be always in my heart
Yes, I’m sayin’ now how much I love you, sisters
You’ll be always in my heart

Thanks for reading this. For details on the anthology, please visit http://wordforest.com/news-events

This post: Copyright  ©  2013 by Laura McHale Holland
Song was copyrighted in 1978

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12 Comments

  1. sunny lockwood

    Very touching, Laura!
    Thank God you girls had each other! And that you were close enough to offer strength and understanding to each other.

    This is a very personal poem. I suspect that there will be a lot of people who do not identify with it, but who (like me) will appreciate the story you’ve told in it.

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to read your tender poem and comment on it.

  2. Word wrangling woman

    hi Laura, as with so much of your writing, you seamlessly touch the heart of the issue and bring the reader along in joy and sorrow. I found my own sister heart in your poem. Lovely. P

  3. admin

    Thank you, Patrice. I’m gratified that these lyrics touched your heart. The song arose when I was noodling on the piano one day and came up with several notes and a rhythm that brought to mind my sisters and me chasing after a ball when we were young.

  4. admin

    Thank you, Sunny! I hope you’re right that a lot of people who don’t identify with this will be able to appreciate the story it tells. Based on your comment, it appears these lyrics without their music can stand alone. This gladdens me. I think working in the very personal realm is where I am strongest, though it’s supremely difficult to dwell there and reveal what I find.

  5. jerry

    This is great. With a few rearranging of a few words in some rows,
    I SAY THAT THIS IS A GO.
    But what do I know lol

  6. admin

    Thanks, Jerry. The comment about possibly rearranging a few words is useful, because the words were phrased to fit the structure of the melody, and without the music, the phrasing might seen awkward or unnatural in spots. That’s something I’ll need to think about if I print it in the anthology. Another option is to include the written score. I did create sheet music for this once, but I don’t have a clue where it is, and it’s been so long since I’ve transcribed a tune, I’d have to ask someone else to do it now. Having a little bit of sheet music at the end could be fun.

  7. Barbara Toboni

    Very sweet, and heartfelt. Sisters are the greatest gift. Thanks for reminding me how important they are to each other.

  8. mary knnight

    Say hi to them for me. I hope you are always together. It makes me want to phone my sisters today, we are so far away from each other. Your memory is really sharp!

  9. admin

    Thanks, Barbara! I look forward to having your work in the anthology, you beautiful writer, you!

  10. admin

    Thank you, Mary. I’m spending the weekend with Kathy and Mary Ruth, so I’ll say hi to them right after I post this. I think phoning your sisters is a great idea. If you like to write, you please consider writing about them for the anthology I’m pulling together on sisterhood.

  11. Tanya

    Laura, this is so lovely. It would be wonderful to hear the music some day!

  12. admin

    Thank you Tanya. I’m trying to talk Kathy and Mary Ruth into singing it with me and then putting it up on Youtube with some visuals, not the three of us just sittin’ there singing. We’ll see. I think Kathy’s the only one who has any inkling of how to pull something like that together.

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