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Brandi Carlile's 'The Mother' Gets A Heartwarming Video, Just In Time

If you've spent time with Brandi Carlile's terrific 2018 album By the Way, I Forgive You, you already know "The Mother," a gorgeous and generous ode to the love, triumphs and sacrifices that accompanied the arrival of her daughter Evangeline. Every line of the song contains a simple, unadorned truth:

The first things that she took from me were selfishness and sleep
She broke a thousand heirlooms I was never meant to keep
She filled my life with color, canceled plans, and trashed my car
But none of that was ever who we are

Now, just in time for Mother's Day, "The Mother" has a video that drives home the song's rawest emotions by depicting motherhood's joys and drudgery — the late-night feedings, the baseball games, the thankless toil of lugging a stroller up a flight of steps — with equal affection and care. It's a song for and about mothers, for sure, but it's also about preparing children for the fights and trials that await them: "The world has stood against us, made us mean to fight for you," she sings late in the song. "And when we chose your name, we knew that you'd fight the power, too."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)