Hey, Mama



Hey, Mama

You don’t want to see her on her other side

The side she tries to hide

Hey, Mama

You don’t want to know what he’s out doing tonight

‘Cuz you know it ain’t right


You taught your children right

Never cheat and never lie

But there’s things you deny


Hey, Papa

You don’t want your girl out in that dress tonight

‘Cuz it’s just a little tight

Hey, Papa

You don’t care if your boy gets into a fight

‘Cuz it may give him pride


Hey, brother

You don’t want your sister out with him right now

She’s supposed to be yours somehow

Hey, sister

You don’t want your parents breaking up right now

The Fairy Tale’s gone wild


You proved your parents right

You never cheat and you never lie

But there’s things you deny



This is one of the first songs I ever wrote early on in my career, and it actually came to me in a dream, along with the band name “Shut Up Marie.”  Around 1994-95, I had this lucid dream:  In my basement in the house where I grew up, I was listening to a vinyl record owned by my older brother Paul, who used to enjoy listening to local indie bands (like Yipes!) on WMSE.  I heard this song on one of his indie records, and thought to myself, “Hey, this is a good song!  I’m gonna wake up and write it!”  And that’s just what I did.  The chorus is probably different from the original in the dream, because I couldn’t very well remember the chorus after I woke up, but the verse is basically intact.  On the liner notes on the back of the album jacket, I saw that this song “Hey, Mama” was by a band called “Shut Up Maria & the Babes in Bedland”.


The name Shut Up Maria stuck with me for years, and when my L.A. band “Breather” needed to change its name in 2001, due possible confusion with a Chicago band of the same name which had been around longer than us, I threw the name “Shut Up Maria” or “Shut Up Marie” out there, and my band members at the time decided they liked the name “Shut Up Marie.”  They thought “Shut Up Maria” sounded too much like a Latin rock band.  Even though the Breather drummer, Mark Evangelista, was a trained Latin jazz drummer, and I was really into some of those Latin beats (I wanted to bring some Latin beats into our songs), they decided we should stick with more alternative rock and not lean in the direction of adding Latin beats to the songs, so “Shut Up Marie” would be the better choice.


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