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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Saturday's Songs for the Soul: Psychology & Music: Mimi Farina, Tom Jans, Pete Seeger & The Mavericks

Thought for the Day: This was the 2nd post in my Saturday's Songs for the Soul Series. I'm reposting it today since many of you were not following me when I posted it on 3/2/2013. I love the songs & the stories about how I used these songs to help clients in therapy. I hope you find them inspiring, too.
Here's the original post: 
Thought for the Day: This week I thought about songs I have shared with clients or that have inspired me over the years. In the process of considering music to share in this segment which I dedicated to my brother, Larry Bogdanow, last week, I remembered an album he sent to me in the early 70's when I lived in Israel. The album, Take Heart, by Mimi Farina (Joan Baez's sister) & Tom Jans with the angelic voices & amazing guitar work, will touch any listener's heart.  I originally planned to post just one song a week, but chose 2 songs from that album: Great White Horse & Charlotte. While listening to them on YouTube, I also found an old recording of Pack Up Your Sorrows performed by Mimi Farina & her husband, Richard Farina accompanied by Pete Seeger. Perhaps playing & thinking about these songs made them come up in sessions with clients this week. Without giving away any confidential information about my clients, I will share how I used them to help overcome life's challenges. I hope you enjoy listening to these songs & that they will uplift your spirits as they have for me over the years. Finally, on a lighter note, this week I went to a CD release party for the Mavericks at City Winery in NYC. I believe their new CD, In Time, has Grammy nomination potential & want to share one song from the event, Back in Your Arms Again. Last night they were on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno with a full band & the sound is even more amazing on the album. It has the uplifting, Tex-Mex feel that will make you feel like hearing it over & over again. Enjoy!

Great White Horse performed by Mimi Farina & Tom Jans
      I have always loved this song. I used it with a client who is struggling with relationships. Together we examined why my client tends to get attached very quickly, wants to spend every waking moment with their new  love interest & then is devastated when relationships end after a month or two of dating. I mentioned this song in reference to the tendency to imagine an idyllic romanticized notion of loving someone we barely know during the early stages of romance. Many people mistake this infatuation for real love. In this song, the singers discover that a more mature love is better than the childhood fantasies they once imagined.

Charlotte performed by Mimi Farina & Tom Jans
      The hauntingly beautiful melody & lyrics in the song, Charlotte, capture the essence of a child's feelings of sibling rivalry. This week the lyrics helped a client get in touch with the raw powerful feelings she has always felt of being invisible in her family. Even as an adult, she still finds herself craving any attention she can get from her parents, but if she gets any, she feels disappointed & then wonders if her perception of the situation is distorted. She felt as if the song's lyrics were written about her experiences. It helped her begin to see that her feelings were not right or wrong, just powerful feelings which needed to be expressed & accepted as her perception of reality. It also helped her begin to see that not only were her perceptions accurate, but that she is not the only one who has felt neglected by her parents who appear to have always had limited ability to show their caring to all their children.

Pack Up Your Sorrows 
Mimi & Richard Farina assisted by Pete Seeger

The third song was recorded February 26, 1966. I chose it because it is rare footage of the song, Pack Up Your Sorrows. I have known & sung the song since the 60's but did not know that it was written by Richard Farina & Pauline Baez Marden, the third sister from the talented Baez family. Sadly & ironically,  just 2 months after this recording about packing up sorrows aired, Richard died in a motorcycle accident on Mimi's 21st birthday. This week while working with a client who is struggling with grief, I shared the lyrics. Since her father fell, hit his head & subsequently died when my client left him in her sibling's care for a week, she felt responsible for the accident.  It helped her realize that she has been holding on to her grief punishing herself & unable to move on. In therapy people often pack up their sorrows, share them with their therapist & gain insight into what is keeping them from accepting the realities of life which are more often than not out of their control. 

Back in Your Arms Again performed by The Mavericks


I'd love to hear your reactions to these songs &/or suggestions of songs that you would like for me to post here on Saturday's Songs for the Soul. Tomorrow I will start another new segment for the blog: Sunday Comics from my collection of cartoons related to psychology & psychotherapy. Have a great weekend. I hope you will come back for my Motivational Monday's post on Monday morning.

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