Buzz around children’s music for any period of time, and you’ll see pretty much every topic covered with the nth degree of sincerity. Whether or not that’s in your wheelhouse is one thing. Whether or not you want to share those sentiments with your child is another thing. Lissa Schneckenburger‘s wheelhouse is foster parenting and adoption. Take a deep breath and we’ll continue.
Adoption and foster parenting is an important factor in our lives. Even blockbuster movies such as Shazam! face foster parenting head on. When times get hard and people can’t cope for various reasons, the most innocent among us are the most vulnerable. Schneckenburger (say that three times fast) is intimately involved in that community and her new song cycle, Thunder In My Arms, addresses its issues head-on, in collision mode, with violins and piano. It’s a precocious cacophony and meticulously mimics the aspects of the process, from the viewpoint of the disillusioned youth who feels thrown away in “Look Away” (I know/you cannot fool me/nobody wants me) and “On My Own” (I used to have a father once/He doesn’t live like me), to the accepting adult who offers inconceivable, unconditional love on “Since the Day We Met”:
Everybody makes mistakes and
We get up and try again
But make no mistake, you were no mistake and
I’ve loved you since the day we met
Simple, stark arrangements surround the songs “They Sent Me a Picture,” “Feel Better,” and “I Need Us Together.” As for the deep breaths, you need to be prepared when “I’ll Stick Around” opens with the line “When my mother left me it was for my own good” and “Blow Out the Candles” begins “You flew in on a plane from Korea, to Anchorage, to me.”
Thunder In My Arms is a tribute and testimony to the adventure of foster parenting and the special people who undertake its responsibilities. Schneckenburger has the tenure and tone in the movement and enlisted friends and extended family to chronicle her experiences. It’s rare that a bold statement can bring me to tears in my car. THUNDER IN MY ARMS is that exciting exception.
Here is a video of Lissa performing “I’ll Stick Around”: