March 11, 1962

Album: The Foundling (2010)

Songfacts®:

  • This spoken-word piece is about Gauthier's telephone conversation with her birth mother, who put her up for adoption when she was born on March 11, 1962. Gauthier explained: "I hired someone to help me find my birth mother. She was located in three days, but it took me six months to muster up the courage to call her. There were moments when I did not know if I had the courage to continue what I had started. My fear had me frozen, too scared to go forward, unable to go backwards. When I finally did call her it did not go well. What I found when I located my mother was a woman who was filled with shame for having gotten pregnant without a husband in 1961. She was filled with remorse for having given her baby away and terrified of the stigma involved in what she'd done. She later married a man, adopted his two kids and was with him for 24 years before he passed away, but never told him or anyone else about me. Almost fifty years later, I was still her shameful secret. She had no desire to meet me. It was too much for her."
  • In our 2010 interview with Mary Gauthier, she said that the conversation she describes in this song is the only contact she's had with her birth mother. Said Gauthier: "That's it. Unless I choose to go knock on her door, which I might one day. But I might not. I don't know. I feel like I should respect her desires. Although a part of me feels as though I should know where I came from. I feel as though she should tell me who my father is, but she doesn't want to. So I just don't know what to do with that, so every day that goes by, I know one day she's not going to be with us anymore, but I just don't know what to do. So that one's kind of dangling there in limbo. But interestingly, telling the story has brought me closer to my adoptive mother."

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