"The stars have a lot to say about babies born in the month of May," Lucy Dacus sighs in "My Mother and I," the latest single from her ongoing 2019 holiday song series.
Dacus was born under the astrological sign Taurus; so was her mother. (So, for the record, was I.) Taureans are said to be stubborn and loyal; we crave stability and chase comfort. "We are down to earth / We see eye to eye / We dig our feet in / My mother and I," she sings.
In the song, Dacus gently tugs at the threads of that commonality and circles around dualities: nature and nurture, body and soul, youth and age. "Being adopted has encouraged me to consider what mothers pass on through blood and body," Dacus shares in a press release, "and what they impart in the way of socialization and context. We — daughters, and all children — easily inherit the shame and fear of our mothers, but also the pride, self-assurance, and lessons of love."
In the song's opening verse, Dacus takes an unflinching look at the cognitive dissonance of body image, the way so many young women absorb hatred of their bodies from their mothers like a birthright. But Dacus shows no malice; like in so many of her best songs – and like any good Taurus – she is grounded, radiating tender empathy.