Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful super-women out there! I have compiled a list of songs that are all things mother related. In no particular order…
Janis Joplin – Tell Mama
The Jop had to make an appearance in this blog somewhere, and of course had to be the very first mention on my very first playlist. She is my queen. This is her cover of Etta James’ Tell Mama. Etta’s version is also incredible, but there is something about a Janis cover that just can’t be beaten. That energy! She is fire.
Pink Floyd – Mother
I found this song quite difficult the first time I heard it. Such honest, vulnerable lyrics sung so sombrely – my heart nearly broke. But that’s amazing music for you and it’s what makes this song so relatable. I don’t think a song could better encapsulate everything a mother is.
Johnny Cash – Free From The Chain Gang Now
This was originally a tribute to the film Cool Hand Luke, the voice of a freed prisoner reflecting on his time in jail. Johnny Cash could sing about anything and make it sound profound. ‘There were tears on the mail mother wrote me in jail.’ It’s a song I wanted to include as it shows the unconditional love and dedication of a mother to her child child.
Kanye West – Hey Mama
So today I realised I’ve been a Kanye fan for twelve years. Twelve years since the College Dropout?! Moving on from feeling like an oap, this had to be on the list. He has a beautiful a way with words and brings out such emotion in his music that really can touch people. Perfect Mother’s Day tribute from this guy.
Joni Mitchell – Little Green
How heartbreaking. And how only Joni can portray it so poignantly. Another one of my all time favourites from the great classic album Blue.
Metallica – Mama Said
Despite this being a power ballad on record, the only live versions are of James Hetfield playing it acoustically. A lovely, bitter sweet tribute to his mother who died when he was sixteen, and a fine example of Hetfield’s impressive poetry. Very moving.
2pac – Dear Mama
‘Ain’t a woman a live who can take my mama’s place.’ When rap music could make you cry. 2pac was in a league of his own.
Luke Kelly – Gartan Mothers Lullaby
I’m not sure who this song was originally written by, but the Luke Kelly version is my favourite. He captures the whole of Ireland in his voice. This lullaby is one that’s been passed down through generations of mothers, singing their babies to sleep.
Wanda Jackson – Hard Headed Woman
Not particularly mum related, but this track has for some reason always reminded me of mothers. Maybe it’s just Wanda herself. Strong, tough. Everything you have to be when you’re trying to raise a little brat.