Songwriters have written about love and lust, good times, breakups and unhappy endings.
But there's also an important person who is often immortalized in song: Mom.
Mom is one of the one of the more popular themes in music, whether it's about Mom's good looks, thanking Mama or appreciating how she raised us.
We asked readers to nominate their favorite songs about Mom and we also picked some of our own favorites.
“Mama Tried” by Merle Haggard
“Working hours without rest/Wanted me to have the best/She tried to raise me right but I refused.”
This is one of Merle Haggard's most famous songs. He wrote it about the agony he caused his mother by being in San Quentin prison, which is probably worse than what most of us have put our mothers through. Thanks to Rebecca Johnson of Blue Hill, Neb., and Carmen Steele of Omaha for nominating “Mama Tried.”
“Stacy's Mom” by Fountains of Wayne
“Stacy's mom has got it goin' on/She's all I want and I've waited for so long.”
This wasn't exactly what we were thinking when we started the list, but thanks to Colleen Trogdon and Joel Henriksen of Omaha for suggesting it. “Stacy's Mom” is about a teenager who harbors a crush on his friend's attractive mother. We think Stacy might like the song's narrator, but “Stacy can't you see, you're just not the girl for me.”
“Mom” by Lucero
“Mama, you know we might make some mistakes/If we should falter, it's us should be blamed.”
A personal favorite of this reporter, “Mom” is an extremely heartfelt tune. Taking a similar stance to “Mama Tried,” the song has Lucero's Ben Nichols singing about how he may not be a model child, but he knows wrong and right because his mom told him so.
“Take Your Mama Out” by the Scissor Sisters
“Gonna take your mama out all night/Yeah we'll show her what it's all about/We'll get her jacked up on some cheap champagne/We'll let the good times all roll out.”
There's “nothing finer than an Elton John-style Saturday night dance anthem,” said Laura Burhenn of the Mynabirds. She suggested we include this song, which is about bringing your mom out with you and your friends. We should all take some advice from the Scissor Sisters and treat mom from time to time.
“Momma I'm Comin' Home” by Ozzy Osbourne
“I've seen your face a thousand times/Everyday we've been apart.”
A lot of readers suggested this track, which was written by Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy Kilmister from Motörhead. We figured this song would be nominated since it's Osbourne's only top 40 hit. Ever. Osbourne has said this song is not about his own mother, but his wife and mother of his three children, Sharon Osbourne.
“The Only Hell (My Mama Ever Raised)” by Johnny Paycheck
“She tried to turn me on to Jesus, but I turned on to the devil's ways/And I turned out to be the only hell my moma ever raised.”
Outlaw singer Johnny Paycheck certainly lived the life he sang about, including the hell he raised. He had legal difficulties and drug and alcohol problems throughout his life. We wonder what his mother thought. Thank you to Carmen Steele for suggesting this song, as well.
“Mama's Eyes” by Justin Townes Earle
“I still see wrong from right/cuz I've got my mama's eyes.”
Thanks to Drew Wiener of Omaha for suggesting this song. When we're brought up, we get a little something from each of our parents. In this song, Earle sings about how he talks a lot because of his father and smokes cigarettes like his dad. But knowing right and wrong? He got that from mom.
“Hey Mama” by Mat Kearney
“Hey lover, don't want no other/finger for my ring.”
Erin Siebler of Omaha suggested this song, which Mat Kearney wrote about meeting his wife in an Anthropologie store. “I started stomping and clapping these rhythms into my laptop,” he told The World-Herald about writing the song.
“You Never Even Called Me By My Name” by David Allan Coe
“I was drunk the day my mom got out of prison.”
David Allan Coe's first top 10 hit was written by Steve Goodman and John Prine. Omahan Dave Wise specifically suggested the last verse of this song. As the story goes, Goodman added the last verse (and mentions of mama, trains, trucks, prison and getting drunk) to make it the “perfect country and western song.” Unfortunately, nothing good befalls his mother in the song.
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