In the spirit of Mother’s Day, I thought I’d share some classic Mother songs – consider it the Mother of all Mother song lists or the best Mother F-in’ Mother songs. Mother songs you’d like to MILF. You get the idea.
9. Mother’s Little Helper – Rolling Stones
What a drag it is getting old/”Kids are different today,” I hear ev’ry mother say/Mother needs something today to calm her down And though she’s not really ill/There’s a little yellow pill She goes running for the shelter of a mother’s lit / Via lyricsfreak.com
What a drag it is getting old… Amen. Classic song about women adjusting to the other side of the drug culture of the 60’s – prescription drugs. “She goes running for the Shelter of her Mother’s Little Helper…” Was Mother’s Little Helper Quaaludes, Valium, Percocet? Didn’t matter as long as it took the edge of screaming kids and an inattentive husband. I could use a little helper sometimes – actually right about now.
8. Mother Father – Dave Matthews Band
That’s me and my wife with Dave! I never used to be able to understand what Dave Matthews was singing. Just sounded like a lot of great music with a guy singing loud, elongated syllables and making odd facial contortions. And then he would scream “yeah” and the crowd went nuts. Anyway, as I’ve gotten to know his music, his lyrics are actually meaningful! And this song is a great way of getting at some of the existential questions of life, by asking his mother & father to explain the contradictions of our lives – why are we cutting down forests and letting icecaps melt; how can someone rock his baby to sleep and the next night murder someone (this happened on the show Sons of Anarchy a lot). Dave also asked similar life questions on another great song of his, “Funny the Way it is.” I guess, he too is trying to figure out life and why we’re here. I asked my mother these same questions and she said, “don’t talk with food in your mouth.”
7. Mother – John Lennon
John Lennon had a rough childhood. At age 5, he was given away by his parents to his Aunt (Mimi). Ten years later he was reunited with his mother, they built a special bond, she bought him his first guitar and within a year she was hit by a bus and killed. His dad was never around. So one time, I’m sure with the courage of acid, he decided to write a song in which he screamed the lyrics, “Momma don’t go/Daddy come home/Momma don’t go/Daddy come home” over and over again until I’m sure he wanted to vomit, as did anyone listening. It’s one of the most painfully raw and vulnerable songs ever written, but it is mostly unlistenable. I hope it was cathartic for him.
6. Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to be Cowboys – Waylon Jennings
I know it’s a bit of a stretch because it’s about Mamas, not Mother’s, but close enough. I like this song , but know nothing about it. But I agree with the premise. Especially as an (Philadelphia) Eagles fan, the fewer Cowboys the better.
5. Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby – Counting Crowes
Well I woke up in mid afternoon cause that’s when it all hurts the most/I dream I never know anyone at the party and I’m always the host/If dreams are like movies then memories are films about ghosts/You can never escape, you can only move south d / Via azlyrics.com
Ok, this is even more of a stretch, but Mrs. can sometimes stand for “Mother.” And this song is so good. I believe it’s about Adam Duritz’s failed relationships, but done with such creativity and wordplay: “And the lovesick rejections that accompany the company I keep.” If I wrote a song about my failed relationships it would be more like Beck’s “I’m a Loser Baby” (so why don’t’ you kill me). Anyway, listen to it again, it’s mind-bogglingly clever. What’s weird though, is the great lines in the song are often oddly followed by a random line that doesn’t make sense or preceded by a line that doesn’t make sense. See lyrics above:
4. I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – Jimmy Boyd
The first time you heard this you already knew there wasn’t a Santa, but you started to think, hmmm Christmas Carols can be fun and a little devious; You’ve also heard this song overplayed in every romantic comedy that took place during the holidays – and on Ally McBeal every season. Remember Alli McBeal? Funny, innovative, show that always ended at the happy hour bar with one of the cast onstage singing a song. Just like my job.
3. Mother & Child Reunion – Paul Simon
This Paul Simon song was actually written about one of his favorite dishes that was on the menu at a Chinese restaurant in New York (according to the website Snopes.com). It was a chicken & egg dish referred to as Mother & Child Reunion. Clever. If I wrote a song about my favorite Chinese food it would be called “Pork Fried Rice” or “Have you seen the little piggies hiding in the rice…”
2. Your Mama Don’t Dance – Loggins & Messina
Your Mama Don’t Dance (and your Daddy Don’t Rock and Roll) seems like the theme of a lot of teenage rebellion songs. And wasn’t that also the plot of Footloose? “Loose, Footloose/Kick off your daddy’s shoes.” I’ll save that for Father’s Day. Your Mama don’t dance is a song we all know the words to but don’t really care about. “Where do you go/To rock & roll.” Probably to my iTunes, Pandora or my local church square-dance.
1. Mother – Pink Floyd
Interpreting Pink Floyd lyrics is not something I’m qualified to do. Even after a visit with the vaporizer. I do like the line: “Mother do you think they’ll try to break my balls/Ooooh aah, Mother should I build a wall?” The whole song seems to be about fear. So maybe I am qualified to interpret it?