So this really pretty, interesting-looking woman comes into the car rental office, which is tiny so there’s no way I can avoid overhearing her phone conversation. And then she identifies herself to the less-than-helpful service rep on the other end.  “Jonatha Brooke.”

Jim and I turned around to face her. “THE Jonatha Brooke? we gush. (She asked who I was and gushed back. We were mutually adoring and probably adorable, too.)

If you don’t know Jonatha’s work, allow me to introduce you to this singer-songwriter of enormous wit and talent. My family’s connection to her is long and deep. She’s a Newton native for one thing, so the local-hero thing is strong. We own four or five of her albums (and will be ordering the other three in the next few hours.)

And she wrote one of my top ten songs of all time: one of those epochal, era-defining, life-changing songs that still grabs me by the heart. “So Much Mine.” I wore out the CD listening to that track. Seriously, I had to replace the album.

The lyric is about being a mother and watching your girl grow up into a woman you don’t know anymore — at least not the way you did when she was “so much mine.” I wept to that thing when Emilia was a baby! A BABY. Because I knew what was coming even then, when she was so totally mine. When she was seven or eight, ans we spun around the living room to that song. She sang along, too.

“Where’d you get that dress? Where’d you learn to walk like that?”

And it’s not at all sentimental/goopy. Not at all. It’s got a lovely melody, a beautiful arrangement, a great hook, and it makes you want to dance. It is, in other words, a Jonatha Brooke song.

I have listened, memorized, wept to, and danced to many other songs by JB. But every time I hear that one, it knocks me out. Still. Always.

And I can’t wait to get the new album and hear the latest.


  1. I Am Gluten Free on September 4, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Anita – I, too, am a HUGE fan of JB’s. And that song had me weeping, and still does, at first listen. Though my daughters are both in their 20’s, (mid and late), when I hear that song, they are both standing in front of me, teens and already emotionally beginning their journey from the nest. Though I feel somewhat embarrassed to admit it, I think I am still and will always mourn their trek to adulthood and the creating of their own lives. So….that’s one of the reasons that I am a musician…because of the way music so intimately crawls into my soul and renders me unable to separate from it.

  2. Steven on September 6, 2010 at 1:14 am

    So happy you posted about this. Jonatha is truly a “songwriter’s songwriter” whose tunes burst with intelligence & wit as well as having some of the most stunning melodies and harmonies in the world.

    How fun that you got to meet her and that you will be able to fall in love with some of her newer albums now as well.

    Congrats! And thanks again for sharing. Hope your fans also discover this great talent (and her fans discover/rediscover you… she also posted on her website how much she adored your work.)

  3. thea on September 6, 2010 at 4:40 am

    Oh that is an awesome song. Jonatha rocks!

  4. Ketra on September 6, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Hi Anita,

    I’ve got to join in the JB lovefest. For me, “So Much Mine” is about my relationship with my mother. That CD was released right about the time my mother died and I also wore it out. I’ve been a huge fan ever since.

    This summer I had the great good fortune to spend some time with Jonatha at a 3-day arts retreat. I was over the moon when I met her! Well, I still am. She’s funny, generous, brilliant, and you can *feel* her navigating with her heart.

  5. emilia on September 6, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    love that song, love JB because of you, ma mere!

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