While one day is not enough, Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate our moms and all the special things they do for us. Though some may treat their mom to dinner and a movie, or a long overdue shopping spree, there are those who pay the ultimate tribute to mom by writing them their very own song. What better way to show your love than to immortalize Mom in song?
Videos by American Songwriter
As we make plans to spend time with dear ole Mom, here are a few songs that may make it easier for us to tell her how we truly feel. We love you, moms! Happy Mother’s Day.
Check out these 10 songs to play for mom this Mother’s Day.
1. “Mama’s Song” – Carrie Underwood
Written by Underwood, Kara Dioguardi, Marty Frederiksen, and Luke Laird, “Mama’s Song” was released in September 2010 as the final single from Underwood’s third studio album, Play On. Underwood’s mother, Carole, stars in the video for the song.
Lyrics: Mama, you taught me to do the right things / So now you have to let your baby fly / You’ve given me everything that I will need / To make it through this crazy thing called life / And I know you watched me grow up / And only want what’s best for me / And I think I found the answer to your prayers…
Mama, there’s no way you’ll ever lose me / Giving me away is not goodbye / As you watch me walk down to my future / I hope tears of joy are in your eyes.
2. “Dear Mama” – 2pac
Written by Tupac, the tribute song was released on February 21, 1995, and featured as the lead single on his third studio album, Me Against the World.
The video kicks off with Tupac’s mom, Afeni Shakur, telling her story. “When I was pregnant in jail I thought I was gonna have a baby and the baby would never be with me but I was acquitted a month and three days before Tupac was born,” Afeni says. “I was real happy because I had a son.”
Lyrics: You always was committed / A poor single mother on welfare, tell me how you did it / There’s no way I can pay you back / But the plan is to show you that I understand / You are appreciated, Tupac raps. Lady, don’t you know we love you? (Dear Mama) / Sweet lady, place no one above you (you are appreciated) / Sweet lady, don’t you know we love you?
3. “Mama” – Spice Girls
Released in 1996, “Mama” was written by the Spice Girls, Matt Rowe, and Richard Stannard, and featured on the group’s debut album, Spice.
“We wrote ‘Mama’ when I was going through a bad phase with my mum,” said Mel B for the book Real Life: Real Spice The Official Story. “The sentiments are really that your mum’s probably the best friend that you’ve got. Whether she’s an over-protective mother or a bit of a landmine, she probably knows you better than yourself in some ways.”
Lyrics: She used to be my only enemy and never let to me be free / Catching me in places that I knew I shouldn’t be / Every other day, I crossed the line, I didn’t mean to be so bad / I never thought you would become the friend I never had / Back then, I didn’t know why / Why you were misunderstood / So now, I see through your eyes / All that you did was love, the Spice Girls sing.
4. “A Song for Mama” – Boyz II Men
Topping the R&B charts in 1997, “A Song for Mama,” an ode to mothers, was written by Kenneth “Babyface” Edmunds and featured on the group’s fourth album, Evolution as well as on the soundtrack for the film Soul Food.
Lyrics: You taught me everything / And everything you’ve given me / I’ll always keep it inside / You’re the driving force in my life, yeah / There isn’t anything / Or anyone that I could be / And it just wouldn’t feel right / If I didn’t have you by my side, sing Boys II Men.
5. “Mom” – Meghan Trainor
The song Mom was written by Trainor, Ross Golan, Johan Carlsson, and Justin Trainor and featured on the deluxe edition of Trainor’s second album, Thank You.
In the middle of the song, Meghan plays a phone call with her mom, Kelli, where they share their love for each other. For the call, Kelli received vocal credit on the song.
“With that session, I wrote and produced the song with my little brother at home. I then took it to this big producer called Johan Carlsson who I love, and I asked him to beef it up,” Trainor told OfficialCharts.com. “We re-wrote the verses and beefed up the production with real horns, because it’s a doo-wop-y song, but we didn’t have a bridge for it. He suggested we call her up and record her on a big microphone, so I called her and said, ‘I really love you mum… tell me how much you love me!’ and we recorded her response and cut it up. I’ve played it to a few people and they just break.”
Lyrics: You might have a mom, she might be the bomb / But ain’t nobody got a mom like mine / Her love’s ’til the end, she’s my best friend / Ain’t nobody got a mom like mine / She my world, she’s my heart and there’s no denying / I’m her girl no matter what even when I’m lying / She loving me, loving me, loving me, loving me, love / She love me like nobody else / I’m telling you, telling you, telling you, telling you all /She taught me how to love myself, sings Trainor.
6. “Mother” – Sugarland
Written by Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush, “Mother” highlights the amazingness and unconditional love given by a mother. The song, released in 2018 is featured on Sugarland’s album, Bigger.
“One of the things about this song is, it’s so personal to everyone who listens, and we wanted to celebrate what we feel is so beautiful about mothers, what we had in our own mothers, and what we see as beautiful about that relationship and that unconditional, open-ended kind of love,” Nettles shared about the song.
“[The song] is about a lot of things, our families, our lives, our country, but mostly, it’s about my mom and what she was like,” Kristian Bush wrote on Instagram at the time of release.
Lyrics: She’ll take you in, feed your friends / Her open arms are welcoming / She’ll rub your back all night when you’re crying / She’ll listen to you tell your story / Hold your fear and all your worries / Help you find the truth when they’re all lying / Even when it’s hopeless, she keeps tryin’ / She’s your mother, you love her / There won’t be another place like her again that you call home / She stands here to help you there’s nothing she won’t do / As long as she’s alive you’re not alone / you’ve got each other / That’s your mother
7. “The Best Day” – Taylor Swift
Dedicated to her mother, Andrea Swift, Taylor released “The Best Day” in 2009 just before Mother’s Day. The song, about her mom’s influence on her and sharing the best day together, is featured on her 2008 album, Fearless. It was re-recorded as “The Best Day (Taylor’s Version),”,for her re-recorded album Fearless (Taylor’s Version), on April 9, 2021.
Lyrics: And now I know why the all the trees change in the fall / I know you were on my side
Even when I was wrong / And I love you for giving me your eyes / Staying back and watching me shine and / I didn’t know if you knew / So I’m taking this chance to say / That I had the best day with you today, Swift sings.
8. “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” – Glen Campbell
“The Hand That Rocks the Cradle,” written by Ted Harris, shares the story of a son’s love for his mom, knowing he could always count on her. The ode to mamas was released in May 1987 as the first single featured on Campbell’s album Still Within the Sound of My Voice.
Lyrics: It didn’t seem to matter what he needed / He could always count on mama to supply / And regardless of the sleep she might be losin’ / He always found a twinkle in her eye / There ought to be a hall of fame for mamas / Creation’s most unique and precious pearls / And heaven help us always to remember / That the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, sings Campbell.
9. “Thank you Mom” – Good Charlotte
“Thank You Mom” may be a hidden track on the Good Charlotte album, but the boys of the band are not hiding their love for their mother. Brothers Joel Madden and lead guitarist Benji Madden’s father left them at a young age so the tribute to mom is a heartfelt thank you for being a dad and mom to the boys.
Lyrics: You were my mom, you were my dad / The only thing I ever had / Was you, it’s true / Even when the times got hard / You were to let us know / That we get through / You showed me how to be a man / You taught me how to understand / The things, people do / You showed me how to love my God / You taught me that not everyone, knows it true / And I thank you, I’ll always thank you / More than you will know / That I could ever show / And I love you, I’ll always love you / There’s nothing I won’t do / To say these words to you.
10. “In My Daughter’s Eyes” – Martina McBride
From the perspective of a mother, “In My Daughter’s Eyes, written by James T. Slater, tells of the power that mothers can get from seeing themselves through their child’s eyes. The ultimate mother/daughter song, “In My Daughter’s Eyes” was recorded by McBride and released in November 2003 as the second single from her 2003 album, Martina.
Lyrics: In my daughter’s eyes / Everyone is equal / Darkness turns to light / And the world is at peace. / This miracle God gave to me / Gives me strength when I am weak / I find reason to believe / In my daughter’s eyes
And when she wraps her hand around my finger / How it puts a smile in my heart / Everything becomes a little clearer / I realize what life is all about / It’s hanging on when your heart is had enough / It’s giving more when you feel like giving up / I’ve seen the light / It’s in my daughter’s eyes, McBride Sings
Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Carrie Underwood