Irish alt-folk artist Sive paints a powerful apology in her aching new song “Oh Mother,” an ethereal earthen lament.
Stream: “Oh Mother” – Sive[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/676338485?secret_token=s-P68uL” params=”color=%238cbcdc&auto_play=true&visual=true&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”300″ iframe=”true” /]
I wanted the song to act as a sort of celebration of our beautiful world, which was why I chose to use lots of imagery that invokes some of the reasons why this home is worth protecting.
Are we doing enough: For the planet? For the ones we love the most? For ourselves? Guilt lurks in our rearview, following us through each day from sunup to sundown as we try to be our best selves, and make that positive impact so many people long to have on this world. Try as we might, there will be moments when we fall; where we lose sight of our goals, and fail to do the “right” thing. Dublin-based alt-folk artist Sive paints a powerful apology in her aching new song “Oh Mother,” an ethereal earthen lament.
I have a question for you mother
Will you ever forgive us our sins?
Do you even believe me
when I say I’m sorry?
What difference does it make?
Fools enough to think
you were made for us
No other life could be so arrogant
You might need to destroy us
before we destroy you
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Oh Mother,” the latest single from Irish singer/songwriter Sive (out October 18, 2019 via Veta Records. The artistic project for music facilitator Sadhbh O’Sullivan, Sive introduced her wondrous left-of-center folk sound with 2016’s debut “Ladrainnin,” followed by 2017’s album The Roaring Girl. May 2019’s self-titled Sive EP found the artist combining acoustic, electronic, and orchestral elements into a dazzling spectacle rich with harmony and invigorating lyrics – setting the scene for the moody atmospheres and intimate outpouring in “Oh Mother.”
You’ve pulled me awake
I’ll never shut my eyes again
To the mountain that stands,
breathing all I ever need to know
To the rocks and the sand,
teach my feet more than any man could hold
To the heron that waits,
in stillness poised to catch its life
To the branches that break,
in howling winds that shock the night
To the ocean that lives,
for all the shit we fill you with
For the take and no give
I’m sorry, I’m sorry
“‘Oh Mother’ is a lament; a personal response to a universal issue,” Sive tells Atwood Magazine. “It reflects the helplessness I feel in the face of what’s happening to the planet we call home, and the guilt that arises from this. With this song, I wanted to give voice to those feelings that so many of us are experiencing – I talk almost every day to people like me who wrestle with the same guilt and helplessness that I do, and anger all at the same time. Ordinary people seem to be the ones who are feeling this remorse, yet those who are profiting the most and who hold the most power give the impression that they are enjoying what they reap guilt-free, and I think that’s what spawned the anger that is palpable on this track.”
She continues, “But I also get angry at myself for the ways in which I contribute to the problem, despite the fact that there may be some things I am powerless to change unless huge shifts happen from the top down. At the same time, I wanted the song to act as a sort of celebration of our beautiful world, which was why I chose to use lots of imagery that invokes some of the reasons why this home is worth protecting.”
You’ve pulled me awake
I’ll never shut my eyes again
Oh mother, will you keep us safe
Even though you know we won’t do the same for you?
I’m sorry, I’m so sorry
For all its despair and sorrow, “Oh Mother” strikes a careful balance between Sive’s sadness and her deep appreciation and love: She truly finds that happy medium to showcase the beauty in our world, while being neither preachy nor excessive. Instead, “Oh Mother” comes off as a stirring call to action full of urgency and stress. Like Hayley Reardon’s recently-released “haunting, raw reflection” “Forgiveness,” Sive’s music acts as an apology to the Earth herself: An open letter for all to read, and bear witness.
At the same time, the song also finds Sive continuing to dive into an exciting intersection of musical genres – blending sounds and styles to stand out as an increasingly special folk-adjacent creator full of promise and, more than anything, a message. Fans of Daughter and Broods will find a safe space to dwell in Sive’s latest work.
Yet “Oh Mother” is a song for all of us. It’s a reminder to be good to the Earth, and leave this world better than how you left it. This isn’t something we should strive to do in our 70s or 80s; it’s something we can work toward every day, in small and big ways. Do better, and be better to our world – backed by Sive’s intimate soundtrack.
Stream “Oh Mother” exclusively on Atwood Magazine!
Stream: “Oh Mother” – Sive[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/676338485?secret_token=s-P68uL” params=”color=%238cbcdc&auto_play=false&visual=true&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”300″ iframe=”true” /]
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