Everyone knows that the best way to bond with Mom over the holidays is by letting her know that after all these years, you’ve finally listened to Tapestry. Here are just a few classic Carole King tunes to get the most “Before your father” stories out of Mom this Thanksgiving:
“Will You Love Me Tomorrow”
This single first reached platinum with a version by The Shirelles in 1960, which was the same year Mom first kissed Todd from down the block. With timeless lyrics like, “Tonight you’re mine completely/You give your love so sweetly,” this classic ballad is sure to bring a tear to your mother’s eye after a long day of cooking. Remember: Todd was just a moment’s pleasure; your father is a lasting treasure.
“So Far Away”
A heart-wrenching ballad full of feelings that are often too hard to articulate, “So Far Away” captures the agony of being on the road when all your loved ones are back home (and you should visit more often!). Mom will tell you that it features Carole King’s ex-flame James Taylor on acoustic guitar, which really adds a whole other layer to the song. That reminds her–didn’t Paul Whatsisname from New York play the guitar? No? Your father doesn’t think he did, but she remembers the calluses on his fingers…
“It’s Too Late”
Sometimes a relationship just isn’t going to work out, and it’s nobody’s fault. It’s just a fact of life, like the fact Mike was the only other person your mother has ever loved so deeply it hurt—besides your father, of course. “There’s something wrong here, there can be no denyin’/One of us is changin’/Or maybe we’ve just stopped tryin’,” Carole crooned with a wisdom well beyond her years. This song helped Mom finally realize that Mike was never going to be the marrying type. That doesn’t mean she wishes she and Mike had ended up together; Mike lives in New Mexico with that nice woman Laura who made the ceramic bowl that sits on its own shelf in the china closet. But still, it’s a nice song.
“One Fine Day”
Carole King and Gerry Goffin scored their second big hit when The Chiffons sang this song in 1963. Your mother danced to it alone at her first big boy-girl party, when her girlfriend Hannah Vanderhoop betrayed her by slow-dancing with the popular boy whose name she can’t remember right now, now for the third time would you please set the table before your cousins get here. Where the hell’s the aspirin?
“(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”
Although this King/Goffin song was made famous by Aretha Franklin in 1967, Carole’s version came out when your mother was in college, which coincided with what she’ll describe as “a first sexual awakening.” It’s such a lovely coincidence that you’re here for Thanksgiving right when you’re going through basically the same thing with Josh from your freshman seminar. Isn’t that kind of cool? Now whose soul is in the lost-and-found? Not yours, because you and Mom share these beautiful memories together.
Now pour yourself another glass of red, throw in an ice cube, and get tanked with your mom as you put on this classic record.This season, you’ll have plenty of over-shares to be thankful for!