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Songs to Sing for Mother’s Day

We’re celebrating Mother’s Day at Molly’s Music with songs from a gamut of different genres. Their mediums might be different, but the message is the same: moms are momentous forces in our lives. Sing one of these songs to your mother, or just listen through them and take a little time to reflect. Feel free to suggest other songs in the comment section!

‘Julia’ by the Beatles (Classic Rock)

One of the rawest tracks to ever come out of The Beatles, ‘Julia’ features a solo John Lennon singing and Travis picking an acoustic guitar. It was the first of a handful of deeply personal songs addressing his mother, Julia, who died when Lennon was only 17. Lennon commented that the dreamlike subject of the song “was sort of a combination of Yoko [Ono] and [his] mother blended into one.”


‘Mother and Child Reunion’ by Paul Simon (Rock/Reggae)

This song could certainly be a poignant tribute to Paul Simon’s mother, and, judging by the comments on YouTube, other people seem to think so too. The strange reality? The song is named after a Chinese food dish, which comes prepared with chicken and egg. The lyrics were inspired by the death of a family pet. I’m pretty sure you could still manage to sing this and bring forth tears from a sizable audience without fear of being found out.


‘Drops of Jupiter’ by Train (Pop)

Train’s Grammy-winning hit, which topped the charts for 29 weeks, is about lead singer Patrick Monahan’s late mother. The opening lines allegedly came to Monahan in a dream, and the cosmic, runaway lyrics followed.


‘The Best Day’ by Taylor Swift (Pop)

If you’re looking for a warm and straightforward song to sing this Mother’s Day, consider Taylor Swift’s tribute to her mother, ‘The Best Day.’ The song, rife with imagery about autumn and the turnings of the seasons, recounts a number of fond childhood and coming-of-age memories. These memories are her ‘best days,’ and she attributes them all to her dear mom, who is, thank goodness, still alive.


‘Heart of the House’ by Alanis Morissette (Folk Rock)

Alanis Morissette’s lilting mantra reflects on her own relationship with her mother. Depending on the context in which you read it, the lyrics could be interpreted as unconditionally praiseful or endeared with a touch of irony. Either way, the song honors a mom’s position in the household as the under-appreciated goddess, the ‘heart of the house,’ and remembers those moments when a daughter realizes her idiosyncrasies are her mother’s.


‘Mama’s Song’ by Carrie Underwood (Country Pop)

Mama’s song is about the bittersweet transition from a parent’s realm to a significant other’s. Luckily for Carrie Underwood, the transition is a smooth one—from a mom who’s taught Underwood ‘to do the right things’ to a guy who is ‘good, so good’ and who ‘makes promises he keeps.’ The song would be perfect for a bride to sing on her wedding day, or, ya know, on Mother’s Day.


‘Hey Mama’ by Kanye West (Hip Hop)

Kanye’s song to his beloved mother talks about how she put him above everything else in the face of poverty, cold winters, and unfaithful partners; how she encouraged him to get an education, and supported him when he didn’t; how she is ‘unbreakable, unmistakeable, and highly capable.’ It’s a truly inspiring song to give back to the woman who put you first.


‘I’ll Always Love My Mama’ by The Intruders (Soul)

Philly’s soul music group, The Intruders, sings of a similarly strong woman who ‘never got a good night’s sleep,’ and ‘cleaned houses,’ but still managed to buy her son ‘brand new shoes.’ The song’s message is simple but meaningful: ‘a mother’s love is so special/ It’s something that you can’t describe./ It’s the kind of love that stays with you/ Until the day you die.’


‘Mama, A Rainbow’ by Jim Nabors

‘Mama, A Rainbow’ comes from 70’s musical Minnie’s Boys about the origins of the Marx Brothers. This song is sung by Harpo about his determined and loving mother, who pushed the brothers to pursue show business. Harpo can’t possibly reciprocate all his mother has done for him, singing, ‘what do you give to the lady who has given all her life and love to you?’


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