Music has been a part of my existence from my very earliest recollections. Both mom and dad liked to dance, not always with each other, not to the same tune, but dance they did. My mom was up to her eyebrows in Motown hits. She had probably four trillion 45's. The Temptations, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Supremes, Four Tops, and Martha and the Vandellas, the more up-tempo of their offerings, being among her favorites.
She loved ballads as well. These she didn’t play as much, (except for Smokey’s.) I got the impression that these were for private moments. By the time I was old enough to notice, mom and dad were pretty much done with these kind of private moments. They fought in private, or at least tried to fight in private.
One ballad kicked Smokey and the others off the spindle. Someday Baby came out and life as we knew it changed. "Someday baby, you’re going to want to hold me." is the only lyric I remember. I don’t remember who recorded it, my search, fruitless, given the limited information I have. I only think the title was Someday Baby, I could be wrong. The two facts I know about this song; it wasn’t on the Motown label and my mom loved it with a passion she didn’t feel for much of anything else during this time.
She played this record until it warped. She bought another and she warped it as well. She bought a third.
She and dad had separated, her favorite brother, R was dying and she was fighting to hold it all together for her kids. As it happens, this song was one Uncle R’s favorites as well. She tried to see him every day when he was in the hospital. She would return from the hospital and play the record long into the night.
"Someday baby, you’re going to want to hold me."
After Uncle R died and mom stopped playing records for a time. Several days after his funeral, she went to the player and there it was, "Someday baby, you’re going to want to hold me." She couldn’t stand to look at it, let along play, she threw it away.
A few days later, she went back to the record player and there it was, "Someday baby, you’re going to want to hold me." She screamed at us, "WHO! Put this record back here!" We all denied touching the record. She screamed some more, while throwing the record away, this time breaking it in half and taking it directly to the can in the alley.
Some days later mom went to put on some records and there it was, "Someday baby, you’re going to want to hold me." After whipping us pretty soundly, she took the record outside and melted it down.
Mom didn’t go near the record player for several weeks. She and dad were fighting by proxy through their respective sisters. Talk was we were going to have to move from our apartment. She was growing more and more despondent and weak. Mom got pneumonia, got fired from her job and we did indeed prepare to move. While packing up the records, there it was, "Someday baby, you’re going to want to hold me." She cried for a very long time.
The record was left in the apartment we vacated and it hasn’t been seen or heard, since.
Whenever I think of this series of incidents, I’m reminded of Dorothy’s Lion.