My daughters just do not understand my taste in music but I have been here long enough to know that their kids will probably say the same thing about their music - I listened to my mom's pop in the 70s long enough to know. She loved Miriam Makeba and Tabu Ley Rochereau and to her credit they were Maestros of their time. I have fond memories of listening to their songs played back on Uganda Television (UTV) from concerts that my parents attended. But later they dropped this pop culture and fell in love with 'Songs of Praise,' leaving me and my siblings on our own to discover what pop was 'on the knob.' I have not had conversations with them about their favorite musicians of that time because I know what answer they might give.
But I remember the wide array of tunes that were played in my childhood home from Congolese classics, to Peterson Mutebi, Jimmy Katumba and the Ebonies and the songs in the Sound of Music. My father probably thought the family oriented songs in the 'Sound of Music' were the safest music to counter my late brother's love for Reggae. Emmanuel who lived a very short 22 years had a thing for Bob Marley and introduced him into our home with a vengeance. We hopped to the popular 'No woman, No Cry' with the same veracity that my mom sang her Hymns. Torn between choosing which was more popular we often leaned towards my brother who was younger and more hip.
One day we had a party in the house at Nakasero and thought for once our Dad was the coolest dude on the block. The kids from around Nakasero congregated in our dining room and we jumped away to 'Redemption Song' and other Marley revolutionary songs until we broke my father's patience. He came out of his bedroom in pyjamas and nightgown to ask 'Which of your parents would tolerate this in their house at this time?' It was close to midnight and he had a point but it put a dumper on things and everyone scattered. Darn it! In one minute our Dad transformed from being the coolest Dad on the block for hosting this teenagers party to being the guy who chased our friends out when we were having the time of our life! We pulled apart the music system, put the dining table and chairs back in place and then headed to bed wondering how the neighborhood kids would treat us the next morning.
At 50 I know that balancing the image of 'Cool Mom' and 'Sensible Mom' can be quite challenging!