There’s no other love like that of a mother and her children. Through the good times and bad times, she’s the one who’ll never stop loving and caring about you. Mother’s Day is coming this weekend and I thought about a way to celebrate the occasion: doing a list for some of the best songs dedicated to the most special person in any man or woman’s life. There’s a whole bunch of songs out there, but I narrowed it down to 10 of what I consider to be the best. So let’s get started.
THE PERFECT FAN-BACKSTREET BOYS
The Backstreet Boys, like pretty much every boy band, are known for songs aimed primarily at a young female audience. So you’d expect a song called The Perfect Fan would be no different. Well, considering its placement on this list, you’d be wrong. The Perfect Fan is actually dedicated to the moms of BSB (except for Nick Carter, who didn’t have a good relationship with his mom, which is why he’s not singing here) and how much they appreciate them in their lives. It’s a really sweet song even if it kinda cheesy in its production, which sounds like a gospel ballad. Regardless, this is one song perfect for Mother’s Day playlists.
OH MOTHER-CHRISTINA AGUILERA
From that, we move on to Oh Mother, a single from Christina Aguilera’s Back To Basics album. This song deals with the topic of domestic abuse and a mother going through it. Christina has been open about growing up in an broken household, where her father would physically and mentally abuse her mother. It reached a point where when he turned his anger to the kids, she’s had enough and they divorced. Abusive relationships don’t always happen overnight, it always stems from relationships that start off happy, but then shit hits the fan and you got a disaster. And don’t even get me started on the kids who witness this or see their mom with bruises afterwards. This isn’t the first time she’s made a song about this subject, but Oh Mother is still pretty effective speaking to mothers who have to deal with shitty partners.
HEADLIGHTS-EMINEM FT NATE RUESS
Eminem has a very… rocky relationship with his mom.
My Name Is-Eminem
Ninety-nine percent of my life I was lied to
I just found out my mom does more dope than I do
Mother are you there, I love you
I never meant to hit you over the head wit that shovel
My fuckin' bitch mom's suin' for 10 million
She must want a dollar for every pill I've been stealin'
Shit, where the fuck you think I picked up the habit?
All I had to do was go in her room and lift up her mattress
Which is it, bitch: Mrs. Briggs or Ms. Mathers?
My mom loved Valium and lots of drugs
That's why I am like I am 'cause I'm like her
Flash forward to 2013 and we have Headlights from the Marshall Mathers LP 2, featuring Nate Ruess of fun. In this track, Em is making amends with his mother, apologizing for all of the nasty things he said about her on-record. He has his regrets like not letting his kids spend time with their grandmother and making Cleaning Out My Closet, a song that he no longer performs. Eminem had to make this song to make up for all of the previous records because he’s getting older and it’s kinda pointless to keep holding a grudge against the person who brought you into the world. At some point, you have to forgive them (unless they did something truly horrific) because they won’t be around for long.
I HOPE YOU DANCE-LEE ANN WOMACK
Whew, those last two songs were pretty heavy. Let’s talk about something that’s much lighter in tone. It’s been a while since I last talked about this one. I Hope You Dance is the signature hit for Lee Ann Womack. Here, a mother wishes the best for her children and their future. This is something every parent could relate to, they want their kids to chase their dreams and aspirations, whatever they may be. What makes this song work is the vibe, which is similar to that of a cup of coffee in the morning; calming and down-to-earth. Good song overall.
Next up is the Beatles with Julia. This was written and performed by John Lennon and it’s named after his own mother who had passed away when he was 17. She was immensely supportive of him pursuing a music career, but they didn’t spend a lot of time together as he was living with his aunt by the time he was 5. This is John wanting to spend more time with her when she was still alive. It’s something he regrets, but was unable to control. This gives us one of the more personal songs from the Fab Four’s discography.
ALL THAT I GOT IS YOU-GHOSTFACE KILLAH
From the Beatles to Ghostface Killah. Perfect transitioning, am I right? All That I Got Is You is the solo debut from Tony Starks’ debut album Ironman and it’s a portrait of his childhood, growing up poor and with a single mother. It can’t be easy for her to raise him with those circumstances against them, but his mom does all she can to ensure a better life for him, something that a lot of poor single parents can relate to. That, plus the Jackson 5 sample and Mary J. Blige, is bound to make you shed some thug tears.
MAMA’S SONG-CARRIE UNDERWOOD
Next up is a Grammy-nominated hit from Carrie Underwood, Mama’s Song. It’s in the perspective of a daughter letting her mom not to worry about her as she lives her life. Parents will never stop being concerned for their kids, even when they grow up and leave the nest. Carrie never forgot the things that her mom taught as she decides to start a family of her own. What can I say? It’s a good song. Check it out if you haven’t.
A SONG FOR MAMA-BOYZ II MEN
I’ll be talking about this song again in a future Hot R&B Singles Review, but let’s talk about it now. Straight out of the soundtrack of Soul Food is Boyz II Men with A Song For Mama. The title tells you everything you need to know about the song itself as it’s dedicated to mothers everywhere, including Boyz II Men themselves, who sound great here. It would also be the group’s last Top 10 hit and for an end of a really good run, this ain’t bad. Good stuff.
Okay, really. There was no way I wasn’t going to mention this one. There’d be riots if I left it out. I mean, what could be said about Dear Mama? It’s one of Tupac’s best-known songs and one of his more touching ones. It’s dedicated to his mom Afeni Shakur, who was part of the Black Panther Party and struggled with drug addiction. Despite her shortcomings, Tupac still loves his mom and is appreciative of everything she’s done for him as a single mother. I’ve pretty much said everything that needed to be said about this song. It almost topped my list, but it got beat out by one song.
And finally, the best song made about a mom IS……..
HEY MAMA-KANYE WEST
It feels awkward talking about Kanye in recent times, but there’s no denying his talent, talent that he wouldn’t have been able to craft without the support of his mom Donda West. One of the earliest songs he wrote was a tribute to Donda called Hey Mama, which would wind up on his sophomore album Late Registration. Kanye is just pouring his heart out as he expresses how much he loves her and how he wouldn’t be who he is without her. Also, the production is classic early Kanye in being soulful and also knocking. It’s kinda sad to revisit after Donda’s passing in 2007. He was not the same afterwards and, well, I don’t think I need to say more about that. Losing a parent is one of those inevitable things that no one wants to experience. In the ten-year anniversary of her death, Kanye fans decided to stream this song over 700,000 times as a way to pay tribute. And also give a big middle finger to Taylor Swift, who released an album that same day. Hey Mama, the best song about a mom.
And those were, in my opinion, the best songs made about moms. Hope you all have a Happy Mother’s Day this weekend.
SONG OF THE WEEK
Mama Used To Say-Junior