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Indie Music Mondays: Monday, June 23rd, 2014 - Free As A Bird Playlist

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The playlist this week is dedicated to my mom. After a lifelong career in speech therapy, she retires tomorrow.

Most people, of course, are biased towards the greatness of their own mothers. But I can say with complete confidence that plenty of others appreciate mi madre for the truly wonderful woman she is. She's a standout teacher who, for decades, has been adored by students and respected by colleagues. During her long and illustrious journey as a speech therapist, she's touched many lives.

In retirement, she'll continue to touch many more.

Congrats, Mom. I'm proud of you.

Eagle Eye Cherry - Save Tonight (EigenARTig Deepest Love Remix)

I remember when Eagle Eye Cherry's original version first came out. It was 1997. I was about to enter a new high school. My mom was driving a couple of my friends and me to the annual summer fair. The song came on the car radio and we all started singing it. We were seizing the night, just as the song instructs, because "tomorrow comes to take me away." Hearing this remix gives me the goosebumps. I can't tell if it's because of the memory it triggers, or because of how bone-chillingly beautiful it is. Either way, it's haunting. (You can get EigenARTig's insanely awesome remix for free with a "Like" on Facebook; follow the "FREE DOWNLOAD" button from SoundCloud.)

Little Comets - Dancing Song

Come September, now that she won't have to commute anywhere, I wonder what my mom will do early in the morning. Will she sleep in? Will she make waffles and pancakes? Will she read up on cross-stitching strategy and join a knitting club? Knowing her, she'll probably dance. You will too if you put on this upbeat indie charmer.

Cave Singers - Beach House

After she's done dancing, I bet my mom will pack her bags and head down to Cape May. It's her absolute favorite place in the world to be. The quaint sea town is laidback yet elegant, just like my mom. And just like this song.

José González - Step Out

Most people count down the days to retirement because they can't wait to do nothing all day. But not my mom. She's already on the board of two organizations and is debating which to join next. For those who aren't quite as self-motivated, expansive life-affirming songs like this one will give ya a good kick on the behind.

Groenland - Superhero

Teachers are superheroes. I smile thinking back to a few of my own elementary school teachers, especially the ones who encouraged me to be creative. I have no doubt others do the same when they think about how my mom helped them overcome their speech challenges. She acted as their guide, helping them (often, quite literally) find their voice. Over the years, my mom has worked with hundreds, if not thousands, of kids. Each of their lives has been made better by discovering the gift of language. If that's not the work of a superhero, then I don't know what is.

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