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Jennifer Grassman

Recording Artist + Author + Mommy

Month

June 2014

Father’s Day & Sad Memories of Child Abuse

As someone whose memories of child abuse, domestic violence, hurtful words, and emotional abuse overwhelm the happy memories of childhood, holidays are usually tinged with sadness and anger. I should be able to celebrate Christmas with my dad, but I can’t feel happy, safe, or calm around him. I want to be able to have my dad over for Thanksgiving, but I can’t rest easy while he’s around his grandchildren. How could I? I fear he might say or do something weird, disturbing, or inappropriate. After all, he was always a bully to me. Can I risk exposing my own children to that?

Tomorrow is Father’s Day. All my friends are honoring their dads with loving cards, phone calls, visits, and even Happy Father’s Day cakes. They’re posting photos of their dads on Facebook, Tweeting nice little notes about how their father went to all their baseball games, took them camping, taught them to drive a car when they were sixteen … yadda, yadda, yadda …

Why can’t I have those memories? Why can’t I enjoy the sentimental bliss so many seem to enjoy when remembering their dads or reminiscing on their childhoods? I should be able to. It’s really not asking for very much. I was a good daughter. I tried so hard to make my dad happy and proud of me. Sadly, that just wasn’t possible, because he didn’t love me in the way a normal, healthy parent should.

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My dear sweet husband, Jason, and our beautiful daughter. She and I are so blessed to have such an amazing Daddy in our lives! Photo courtesy of http://www.LaughlinPhoto.com
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Happy Birthday Judy Garland (June 10, 1922 – June 22, 1969)

She would have been 92 years old today. The theatrical songbird’s fairytale princess voice and classic beauty made her an icon for many an aspiring singer and actress. Yet Garland’s legacy – like that of so many child film stars – is bittersweet.

Her biographers have written, “Despite her professional triumphs, Garland struggled immensely in her personal life, starting when she was a child. Her self-image was strongly influenced by film executives, who said she was unattractive and constantly manipulated her onscreen physical appearance.”

Judy was divorced four times, battled drug and alcohol addiction, and she died of an accidental overdose when she was only 47.

With a desire to recognize the sadness, and also pay tribute to Judy, I have arranged Somewhere Over The Rainbow in a minor key. If you read the lyrics, the sorrow in them almost makes the original major melody seem ironic. “Birds fly over the rainbow; why, oh why, can’t I?”

So here it is – Somewhere Over The Rainbow – in memory of Judy Garland, in recognition of the depression and sexism she suffered, and in celebration of her incredible talent.

Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
There’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow, Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream, really do come true

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops, that’s where you’ll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow, blue birds fly
Birds fly over the rainbow, why then, oh why can’t I?

If happy little blue birds fly beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can’t I?

Blog Highlight: Artist Melody Pilotte {AKA Le Bas-fond} Features Jennifer’s Music

The following is a blog by artist, painter, illustrator, and recording artist Melody Pilotte (AKA Le Bas-Fond) recently published this lovely blog on her website highlighting my music. Enjoy! And don’t forget to visit her site, leave comments, and like her page on Facebook.

Avoiding finishing my record, to highlight another one of my favourite artists and friend, Jennifer Grassman. Jennifer is one of the most wonderful people I have ever known: incredible artist, loving mother, amazing writer. I truly admire her and her craft. She knows what she wants and goes for it. She’s genius. I have nothing but profound respect her on a professional and personal level. My favourite album of hers is Serpent Tails and Nightingales.  Not to say that I didn’t like her first album, because I am obsessed with it. Obsessed. The title track is a George MacDonald reference. She had me at hello. Dusty,Haunted, Victorian Southern Gothic. Perfection. Continue reading “Blog Highlight: Artist Melody Pilotte {AKA Le Bas-fond} Features Jennifer’s Music”

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