Motorcycles and Mamas

Some quality time last summer around a bike.

Some quality time last summer around a bike.

“Mama,” TotRock Girl said, “tomollow [sic] can we wash your motorcycle?” Spring might be coming along slowly, but motorcycling season is just around the corner. And a girl that wants to get her hands dirty and spend some quality time with her Mama by washing a motorcycle? It’s most assuredly the most beautiful thing I’ve heard all day. To commemorate the sacred occasion, let’s have a motorcycle themed Tot Rocker.

 Mr. Young’s more popular song about ladies riding motorcycles, Unknown Legend, came 14 years after Motorcycle Mama on the album Comes a Time (1978). I can’t think of another musician that has two songs about lady riders, so way to go, Neil. I particularly appreciate that both of these songs depict women driving motorcycles. I could go on and on about the importance of women with their own hands on the throttle, but let’s just listen to the song, shall we?

Tot Rocker: Motorcycle Mama by Neil Young:

Kind: Awake Baby

Reasons it’s a Tot Rocker: Motorcycle Mama is about subject matter kids know: mamas and motorcycles. It has a few  “ooo’s”, “oh yeah’s” sprinkled about for fun, it’s a great song, and even reinforces Mama as the preferred title for this mother (remember Don’t call me Mommy?)

A thing a beauty.

A thing of beauty.

Other Tot Rockers by Neil Young: Helpless (sleepy baby), Teach your Children (sleepy baby), Hey hey (sleepy baby)

Other Tot Rockers about motorcycles: Motobike by The Olympic Hopefuls (awake baby), Leader of the Pack by The Shangri-Las (awake baby)

If you still have a toothache from the my girl’s sweet evocation, don’t worry. Less than 5 minutes later she was crying because I hurt her feelings. By her report, I hurt them by singing along with the radio. Aaaand we’re back.

Get to know Neil Young.

Vroom. Vroom.


Maybe in West Fargo I’ll find my JOY.

A long time ago, as a little girl I received a baby doll as a gift on Christmas Eve. “What are you going to call it?” the family asked. My response, “Joy. Joy to the World.”  Now, my little girl sleeps with Joy, Joy to the World (she’s usually referred to by her full name) when she visits Grandma’s house. Because of Joy, I assumed my daughter would be interested in this song, but she hasn’t seemed to make the connection. However, my son has been known to ask for the song 5 or 6 times in a row.

Tot Rocker, Joy by Lucinda Williams:

Of course, Ms. Williams is not referring her Joy to a person or a baby doll. So far in their tot world however, we haven’t gotten to the nuances of feeling states. Right now there’s just sad, mad, happy, scared, excited and sleeping. Sleeping is not anything you can do when you’re listening to  Joy, it’s much better for working out or driving fast.

Not Joy, Joy to the World.

Not Joy, Joy to the World.

Kind: awake baby

Why it’s a Tot Rocker: Like The Wheels on the Bus (my kids love right now), the lyrics are repetitive and easy to sing. Joy is a Tot Rocker also because you can adjust the lyrics to better suit your location: “I’m going to go to Moorhead and look for my JOY. Maybe in West Fargo I’ll find my JOY.” You get the idea.

Other Tot Rockers by Lucinda Williams: Greenville (sleepy baby), Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (awake baby),

Similar Tot Rockers: Wanted Man (Johnny Cash)

Get to know Lucinda Williams. Maybe in Dickinson I’ll find my JOY. Play good music for your kids- you can thank me later.