Singled Out: Ellen Starski's Ode to Nanny and Cookie

Ellen Starski

Singer songwriter Ellen Starski released her new album "The Days When Peonies Prayed for the Ants" today and to celebrate we asked her to tell us about the song "Ode to Nanny and Cookie". Here is the story:

I've found that love is one of the most beautiful and inspiring things in life, and when I was losing the two most important ladies in my life... love shifted. I wish I could relive so many moments with both of my grandmothers.

The beginning of "Ode to Nanny and Cookie" was created within a beam of light while driving through the West Virginia hills. I had to pull over, crying, to write down that first verse. It was as if the gods parted the clouds, if only for me knowing the present would be my future. So I walked around with these words in my pockets for years...

The song continued to grow and I set this particular love aside for years until the first loss took place. I can remember taking my Nanny from one chemo treatment to another, searching for a way to give her the emotional support she needed. Sadly, cancer left her weak and her mind slipped into Alzheimer's. I remember telling her, "If you're tired, you don't have to do this anymore." I wish I would have said it sooner.

Unbelievably, I watched my next Gram -- we called her Cookie, as she was always bringing us lovely treats -- go through the same mental loss. I remember sitting with her, when I was 30-something and six months pregnant -- and her viewing me as a pregnant teenager, asking me questions like, "Does your mother know?!" She's the reason I sing.

Losing these beautiful, inspirational ladies brought me to this song. "Ode to Nanny and Cookie" takes place inside a snow globe. It's about how the disease controls loss and remembrance. Imagine living inside a snow globe: there you are, calm within your little home, when all of a sudden everything you knew is turned upside down. Your mind knows things are familiar, but you can't put the pieces back together. This song is for my amazing grandmothers, and for all the people affected by this disease. It's also for all those who selflessly provide care to the people in need.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!

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Singled Out: Ellen Starski's Ode to Nanny and Cookie