Song of the Week: “I Was a Daughter” by Basia Bulat

I stood at a crossroads: my father’s health was declining, and I was the mother of a sweet, if wakeful, baby girl. As I nursed endlessly, I’d drift back to my childhood, and Basia Bulat’s “I Was a Daughter” accompanied me. Part fairy tale, part anthem, part lament, it created a space where my past and my daughter’s future collide. With its dreamlike imagery and shifting rhythms, the song feels like my daughter breaking out of her swaddle, like my best friend flashing me her first bra, like beautiful teenagers in mini-skirts, unaware of their power. Just after my daughter turned one, I caught a cab to 6th Street on an Austin spring morning and grabbed the first vodka tonic I could find. Basia Bulat was playing a free SXSW show. I felt like she sang just for me.

-Laurie Filipelli

Laurie Filipelli is a poet and educator living in Austin, Texas. She earned an MFA from Indiana University and an MA from the University of Cincinnati, and has taught high school English and trained writers to teach in public schools. Her debut collection of poetry, Elseplace, is published by Brooklyn Arts Press.

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