The story behind the Momma
Love and tragedy: New music video by Joseph Felföldi tells wartime story of mother’s first love.
In good time for Mother’s Day, this song provides a touching reminder that mothers – and great-grandmothers – were all once young and carefree, perhaps falling in love for the first time, long before the duties and concerns of mothering occupied their days. The particular love story told here is especially poignant because the young man who captured Joseph’s mother’s heart, would sadly, never return from the war.
“There was always this little shadow of sadness about my mother”, Joseph explains, “and one of the worst feelings in the world is seeing your mom sad. One day, when I was old enough to think about these things a bit more, I plucked up the courage to ask my mother about her sadness and that’s when she showed me a picture of this young, handsome soldier and told me about her young life, which was something I had never known or really thought about before.”
The two lovers said their tender goodbye in 1943, with Joseph’s mother promising to wait for the young soldier. Like so many others, he was lost on the battlefield. The promise would stay with Joseph’s mother however, even after she settled down. She would sometimes stand at the garden gate, gazing into the distance along the road.
“I realised there was this whole other emotional life in my mother below the surface, that time had not dulled in any way. It made me think about my mother in a new way – brought me even closer to her – and, perhaps inevitably, it made me reflect on my role as a son.”
The lyrics allude to this, with the suggestion that, try as he might, Joseph cannot, ultimately, make his mother happy in that one tragic aspect of her life. “Of course, as a son, you want to make your mother proud; you want to make her happy, so this song is kind of about that, too: It’s saying, or trying to say, that when the things you love exist only inside your memory, they cannot be destroyed or taken from you”.