Joni Mitchell’s ‘The Circle Game’ : Songs Of Remembrance : NPR

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Paula Einbender (first step), her most well-liked grandchildren (second step) and her favourite daughters Megan (left) and Rebecca (proper).

Rebecca Nole


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Rebecca Nole

Paula Einbender (first step), her most well-liked grandchildren (second step) and her favourite daughters Megan (left) and Rebecca (proper).

Rebecca Nole

More than 500,000 folks have died within the U.S. from COVID-19 because the pandemic hit this nation and the world simply over a yr in the past. NPR is remembering a few of those that misplaced their lives by listening to the music they beloved and listening to their tales. We’re calling our tribute Songs Of Remembrance.

My mother, Paula Einbender, beloved musicals and singing folks music. From household gatherings to lengthy automotive rides, singing (regardless of our skills) was part of it.

Although my mom died from problems associated to COVID-19, she had additionally suffered from Parkinson’s for a number of years. I consider the social isolating dimension of the pandemic sped up her dying. She was alone in her room for the final 84 days of her life, and her signs, like hallucinations, turned extra disruptive.

My sister, aunt and I began counting on every day video calls to remain related to her. My youngsters and I’d maintain common sing-a-longs along with her. We went by way of the people songbook Rise Up Singing web page by web page, spending hours taking part in and singing songs that she used to know by coronary heart.

By the time she began falling and was taken to the hospital for remark, she could not handle video name expertise, however the superb nursing workers helped us. We have been in a position to maintain “private concerts” for her from our living room.

The songs she engaged in most have been those that had been significant all through her life. Singing by way of tears and laughter day by day for hours absolutely helped us, but in addition helped my mother — who with out guests and social contact to anchor her slipped additional away every day. I consider the music and seeing her grandchildren study the songs she beloved gave her some consolation and peace.

Joni Mitchell’s “Circle Game” is a music I bear in mind Mom singing to me and my sister once we have been little. Beautiful and haunting, it is at all times been a household favourite. She sang it for me on a cassette tape combine she made for me once I left for summer time camp. I bear in mind feeling it was such a mature and fairly music that exposed a lot about life. I’ve sung the music to my kids since they have been infants, and my sister has executed the identical along with her youngsters. We’ll at all times consider mother once we hear it.

This final yr, the lyrics have stood out in new methods for me. I’ve been in a position to watch and really feel how, “The seasons they go round and round and painted ponies go up and down/ We’re captive on a carousel of time / We can’t return we can only look / Behind from where we’ve been / And go round and round and round on the circle game.”

My mother was an amazing mother, and he or she beloved being a grandma. Her love for music and singing will stay on in her grandchildren, which might give her consolation to know. —Rebecca Nole, daughter

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