13 Of The Best Songs About Mothers
Like it or not, you owe everything to your mom. Like all other creatures on this earth, you were carried in your mother’s womb, and she ushered you into this world. If you were lucky, she then went on to pinch your cheeks, terrify any teacher who talked shit about you, and remind you of the fact that you’d be nothing without her for the next eighteen years of your life.
In all seriousness, moms are some of the hardest-working people in the world. Nowhere is that more true than among rock fans, whose tendency to get into ridiculous trouble, show up to formal events stoned, and wake the neighbors with their music doesn’t help their mothers’ headaches and swollen feet. But despite their rebelliousness, metalheads and punks often have an earnest affinity for their moms, who they honestly recognize as the women who supported and loved them when no one else would.
This Mother’s Day, here are thirteen songs about moms, mamas, mommys, and mothers…
Danzig - Mother
The obvious number one for this list. This karaoke classic has singer Glenn Danzig warning mothers to keep their children from living like he does, lest they get corrupted. At least he’s forthright about it, and hey, as a director of erotic horror movies, he would definitely know.
Ozzy Osbourne - Mama, I’m Coming Home
One of the sadder entries on this list, Mama, I’m Coming Home by Ozzy Osbourne is both scathing — with Oz describing how his mother took him in, drove him out, and had him hypnotized — and heartfelt, with forgiveness at the crux of the track. Interestingly enough, though Ozzy sang the song, Lemmy from Motörhead wrote it. Who would’ve thunk that weird family relationships were a trend in metal?
Fountains Of Wayne - Stacy’s Mom
Not every mom can be a quiet, precious old woman — sometimes, they’ve got it going on. Stacy’s Mom is a declaration of MILF-worship for New York’s Fountains Of Wayne, who like Stacy, but really love the woman who made her. The song’s video is easily as famous as the track itself, with New Zealand supermodel playing the titular role. A good soundtrack for a very different kind of Mother’s Day.
Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
MAMAAAA! Queen’s infamous epic Bohemian Rhapsody opens with a no-good kid confessing his bad behavior to his poor mama. Part of what makes this song such a classic is that it echos the sentiments of old country tracks, in which the outlaw protagonist doesn’t care about anyone…except his frustrated mom, who has to put it up with him. Nothing says, “I love you, mom” like a blistering guitar solo.
Cradle Of Filth - Mother Of Abominations
On the one hand, this track from Cradle Of Filth’s ‘04 album Nymphetamine is obviously an unholy Lovecraftian horror story. On the other hand, there are some aspects of the lyrics that everyday metalheads can relate to. When Dani Filth sings about “her roared abortive labor,” one can’t help but remember every time their mom has complained about the twelve hours of painful labor it took to bring you into this world. Remember, birth is body horror!
Mott The Hoople - Mama Told Me Not To Come
On Mott The Hoople’s famous party anthem, the band is at the kind of party that their moms begged them not to attend. The result, it’s implied, is a life of degeneracy that they can never escape, but that’s kind of fun, much to the chagrin of their disappointed mamas. This one’s sort of like Stephen King’s Carrie, but with less murder and religious mania.
My Chemical Romance - Mama
This funky, folkish track by emo-punk kings My Chemical Romance is couched as a letter to Gerard Way’s mom from the front lines of a war. Which, given the lyrics — “Mama, we all go to Hell” and “Mama, we’re all full of lies” — is not going especially well. With overtones of Apocalypse Now and Jacob’s Ladder, the song is an anthem for anyone who wants their mother to know how they actually turned out…depending on how they feel about their mom, of course.
Merle Haggard - Mama Tried
The original outlaw anthem for mothers. Country star Merle Haggard echoes a sentiment here that was prevalent throughout good-ol’-boy prison culture back in the day: we’re all bad, but not because our moms didn’t do their best. In that way, the song is heartbreaking and penitent, illustrating how Mama Haggard couldn’t save her boy from the world, try as she might. The ultimate song for any tattooed miscreant who never forgets to call home.
The Misfits - Mommy, Can I Go Out And Kill Tonight
Leave it to Glenn Danzig to make this list twice! Influenced by mommy-obsessed psychos like real-life murderer Ed Gein and fictional killer Norman Bates (who was based off of Gein, of course), this breakneck Misfits classic is about committing horrible sex murder because “it’s my mommy’s dream.” Hey, at least he asked permission.
The Rolling Stones - Mother’s Little Helper
It’s not about what you think. Mother’s Little Helper is one of the Stones’ more sinister songs, in that it’s not about lending your mom a hand in the kitchen. The helper in question is Diazepam, AKA Valium, which was a favorite among bored, discontent housewives back in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Thank goodness things have changed so much all these years later…right?
Suicidal Tendencies - I Saw Your Mommy…
Wait, what? It’s sort of unclear what’s going on in this track off of Suicidal Tendencies’ 1983 self-titled album. The central theme — that frontman Mike Muir saw your mommy, and she’s fucking dead — is pretty apparent. But then he says, “I wonder how much you had to pay/To get your mom killed in such a bloody way.” Did the listener hire someone to kill their mom? Did their mom get killed in retribution? Did she not get you a Pepsi?
Social Distortion - Mommy’s Little Monster
Though punk rock royalty, Social D will always have the swagger of a country act at the end of the day. On this track, the band echo Merle Haggard’s misfit lament, but add a healthy dose of punk sneer to it. Mike Ness isn’t sad he disappointed his mom, he’s frustrated that his family considers him a disappointment for not conforming. Mama tried, but this time around, mama’s wrong.
Dying Fetus - Kill Your Mother, Rape Your Dog
Let’s go out on a high note. Sure, at the end of the day, Dying Fetus’s most hilariously offensive song is about not wanting to conform or be part of the mainstream music industry. That said, man, it’s hard to get more misanthropic and blasphemous than, well, this. Hopefully, your mother has a dark sense of humor. Leave your dog alone.
Brace yourselves, My Chemical Romance fans: a Danger Days-era Gerard Way POP! vinyl is coming.
Metallica’s Rob Trujillo pays tribute to the late composer Ennio Morricone