Andy Grammer's new song for his mom and daughter is so sweet—as is the story behind it

Tissue warning.

Andy Grammer, the pop singer and songwriter behind feel-good tunes like "Keep Your Head Up," "Back Home," and "Don't Give Up on Me," has a new album out—and it is seriously fabulous. Titled simply "Naive," Grammer says it's "all about how seeing the good in todays world can feel like a rebellious act."

"I wrote this album for the light bringers," Grammer shared on Facebook. "The people who choose to see the good even in the overwhelming chaos of the bad. The smilers who fight brick by brick to build an authentic smile everyday, even when it seems like an impossible thing to do. For those who have been marginalized as 'sweet' or 'cute' or 'less powerful' for being overly positive. To me optimism is a war to be fought, possibly the most important one. If I am speaking to you and you are relating to it then know I made this album for you. You are my tribe. I love you and I hope it serves you. Don't let the world turn down your shine, we all so badly need it."

Reading that, it's easy to think maybe he really is naive, but Grammer's positivity isn't due to nothing difficult ever happening in his life. His mom, Kathy, died of breast cancer when Grammer was 25. He and his mother were very close, and her life and death had a huge impact on him.


Grammer has written about his mom in his music before. But a new song that he wrote for his mom and his 2-year-old daughter, Louie, called "She'd Say," comes with an incredible story. The song is all about what Grammer's mom would say to his daughter if she were alive, and OH MY HEART. First, check out some of the lyrics:

You never got to meet your grandma, did ya?
Every night, I got you kissing on her picture
Cuts me up that you will never listen
To the sweet, sweet sound of her voice
I could tell you she was quite the mixture
Of a mama and a shaman and a fiery pistol
Truth is, she's right there in you
She's a part of you, you don't have a choice

My dear, you will feel her
In your mind, you will hear her
And if she could use words, use words

She'd say "You're beautiful, but don't you overplay that card"
She'd say "You're spiritual, so don't ever forget that part"
She'd say "You are so much stronger than you even think you are
Let your heart, let your heart lead the way"
That's what she'd say

Then grab a tissue, watch the video, and read what Andy wrote about how the song came about.


"I know I might lose some people with this story but sometimes life is unexplainable. This song is by far the strangest most mystical artistic experience I have EVER had. My wife got me a phone call with a medium as a gift. Quickly into the call he said "your mother is coming through and she wants you to write a song to your daughter, she wants it to be from her about everything she'd say but can't be there to say." Honestly whether I'm fully in on this or not that's just a great idea. Also my mom was a huge Paul Simon fan, especially the Graceland album he did with the South African male choir LadySmith Black Mambazo. So when I heard they just happened to be performing in Los Angeles the week I wrote the song it started to get downright eerie. I chased them down, blew up her photo, put it up in the studio, and tearfully explained myself to the choir. They huddled together and just started singing "I miss my mom" in ZULU, it was otherworldly. For the rest of my daughters life she will have this love letter from her grandma that she never got to meet. If my mom were here, this is definitely what She'd Say."


Related: A ridiculous dad transformed Billie Eilish's 'Bad Guy' into a 3-minute long musical dad joke

Chills, right?

If you loved that (I mean, how could you not?) you'll also love this poem Grammer wrote for his dad called "My Father Does Not Care." He performed the spoken word piece onstage between songs on his last tour, and decided to make it into a video as well.

Clearly, Andy Grammer was raised by wonderful parents. In a world of people chasing all the wrong things, it's wonderful to see someone using their talents to spread light and goodness.

Culture

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

Culture
via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

WE Teachers
True
Walgreens
via KGW-TV / YouTube

One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture