The relationship between a mother and her child is perhaps the most powerful bond on Earth. Musicians often write about their relationships with their mothers in their music, and when they become parents, they gain more insight into what it means to care for someone.
This cross-genre list features tons of emotionally stirring and inspirational songs about moms to show your appreciation.
Table of Contents
- Julia – The Beatles
- A Song for Mama – Boyz II Men
- The Mother – Brandi Carlile
- Two of Us – Louis Tomlinson
- Mama Said – The Shirelles
- The Best Day – Taylor Swift
- The Wish – Bruce Springsteen
- Mother Like Mine – The Band Perry
- Somebody’s Hero – Jamie O’Neal
- Mother – Kacey Musgraves
- Ring Off – Beyoncé
- Thank You Mom – Good Charlotte
- Mama’s Song – Carrie Underwood
- Dear Mama – Tupac Shakur
- The Hand That Rocks the Cradle – Glen Campbell
- Hey Mama – Ye
- The Baby – Blake Shelton
- Music for My Mother – Funkadelic
- Mom – Meghan Trainor
- Mama Liked the Roses – Elvis Presley
- Like My Mother Does – Lauren Alaina
- You Can’t Lose Me – Faith Hill
- Mama – Spice Girls
- Coat of Many Colors – Dolly Parton
- Mother – Sugarland
- Sadie – The Spinners
- Mama Tried – Merle Haggard
- In My Daughter’s Eyes – Martina McBride
- Turn to You (Mother’s Day Dedication) – Justin Bieber
- Mom – Earth, Wind & Fire
- Oh Mother – Christina Aguilera
- I’ll Be There – Mac Miller
- Promise to Try – Madonna
- The Perfect Fan – Backstreet Boys
- Mama Knows – Shenandoah
- I’ll Always Love My Mama – The Intruders
- Mother – Ray Charles
- Mama’s Hand – Queen Naija
- Flowers for Mama – George Jones
- Mother – Ashanti
- Dance – Nas
Julia – The Beatles
John Lennon recorded this intimate Beatles number alone in a live setting with nothing but an acoustic guitar and his voice. John wrote ‘Julia’ about his mom, who was killed in a tragic car crash in 1958. Though John spent most of his youth being raised by Mimi, Julia’s sister, just before her sudden death, he was reconciling his relationship with her, and the two were getting closer.
A Song for Mama – Boyz II Men
A deeply soulful Boyz II Men track dedicated to a mother’s love, ‘A Song For Mama’ was one of their biggest number-one hits. Soul artist and producer Babyface not only wrote the song but produced the single for the R&B group as well. It was featured in the hit ’90s film Soul Food.
The Mother – Brandi Carlile
When indie-folk singer Brandi Carlile welcomed her first child into the world with her wife Catherine, she was inspired more than ever to write. ‘The Mother’ came from that inspiration, which explores the way becoming a parent takes over your entire life and transforms one’s purpose for the better.
Related: Celebrate a new addition with these songs about birth.
Two of Us – Louis Tomlinson
Former One Direction band member Louis Tomlinson released a heartbreaking single with his ballad ‘Two of Us.’ He penned it in honor of his mother, who passed away from leukemia in 2016. He has said in interviews his mom was a lover of ballads, and her excellent musical taste had always inspired him.
Related: See our playlist of the best ballads.
Mama Said – The Shirelles
One of The Shirelles’ biggest hit singles, ‘Mama Said’ speaks to the wisdom mothers bestow to their daughters regarding tough days. Amy Winehouse covered a popular version of this tune in collaboration with soul artist Dionne Bromfield in 2009.
The Best Day – Taylor Swift
Pop idol Taylor Swift saw early success with the steadfast help of her mother. Swift wrote ‘The Best Day’ as a thank you to her mom and includes lyrics focusing on all the little and big ways her mom helped her from when she was small to when she reached stardom.
Related: You don’t have to thank us for our playlist of songs about gratefulness.
The Wish – Bruce Springsteen
When future rock and roll hall of famer Bruce Springsteen was just a young boy, despite his family being short on cash, his mother bought him his first guitar so he could pursue his dreams. In ‘The Wish,’ he brings this touching story full circle into the present tense with the lines, “Well, tonight I’m taking requests here in the kitchen. This one’s for you, Ma. Let me come right out and say it.”
Mother Like Mine – The Band Perry
“We’d walk on grass that’s greener. And our cares would all be freer if the world had a mother like mine.” The Perry siblings show just how saint-worthy their devoted mother is with ‘Mother Like Mine.’ As they list all the ways their mother loves and cares for them, they use the hook to signify they wish she could be the whole world’s mother because we’d all be better off.
Somebody’s Hero – Jamie O’Neal
Australian country music artist Jamie O’Neal helped write ‘Somebody’s Hero,’ a poignant song that shows her reminiscing about her own mother being her hero growing up and wanting to emulate that for her daughter. After its release, it rocketed up the charts, giving her a third hit in the top ten.
Related: Who’s your hero? Listen to the best hero songs.
Mother – Kacey Musgraves
The highly emotional tune ‘Mother’ was written while Musgraves was under the influence of some powerful substances. The song, which finds the country singer recognizing parts of herself in her mother, was penned in only about fifteen minutes.
Ring Off – Beyoncé
Former Destiny’s Child frontwoman Beyoncé Knowles sings passionately with ‘Ring Off’ as she offers her mother support after her painful divorce from Beyonce’s father. Though her mother and father were together for over thirty years, his cheating caused them to end their marriage. Beyoncé helped write this tune as a token of encouragement for her mom to move on and put herself first in her next relationship.
Related: Listen to these songs about marriage ending when you need some encouragement.
Thank You Mom – Good Charlotte
When brothers Joel and Benji Madden were young boys, their father suddenly left their family. This put their dedicated mother in the position of playing both parental roles in the household. In their song ‘Thank You Mom,’ performed by their band Good Charlotte, they show gratitude to their mother for stepping up after their father abandoned the family.
Related: Here’s our playlist of songs about neglect.
Mama’s Song – Carrie Underwood
American Idol winner Carrie Underwood helped co-write her deeply personal song ‘Mama’s Song,’ featured on her Play On album. The lyrics highlight the important lessons her mother taught her and how well she prepared her for adulthood and a family of her own.
Dear Mama – Tupac Shakur
Rap legend Tupac started a new trend after his ’95 release of one of his beloved tracks, ‘Dear Mama.’ Featuring him letting his mom know how much he appreciates her sacrifice for him, other rappers followed suit and penned songs about their mothers, including Nas and Kanye West.
The Hand That Rocks the Cradle – Glen Campbell
Penned by Ted Harris and released in 1987, country star Glen Campbell sang about the timeless importance of a mother’s job with ‘The Hand That Rocks the Cradle.’ The title references an old saying highlighting a mother’s ability to influence the future direction of society due to the important role she plays in shaping generations.
Related: Check out these songs about looking forward to the future.
Hey Mama – Ye
Though Kanye West wrote ‘Hey Mama’ when his mother was still alive, when she suddenly passed away years later, many radio outlets played this emotional track in her memory. West was very close with his mom, who helped run his business and manage his charity efforts.
The Baby – Blake Shelton
“I don’t care if you’re 80. You’ll always be my baby.” This classic country song was an early Blake Shelton fan favorite. The song’s story features that special mother-son bond with her love guiding him throughout his life. The end of the song finds him racing home so she can see her baby one more time before she passes away.
Related: Here are the best songs about sons.
Music for My Mother – Funkadelic
Bandmate George Clinton had his mom on his mind when he and his fellow Funkadelic mates wrote ‘Music for My Mother.’ It is included on their self-titled album, representing a new sound direction for them, incorporating blues and R&B stylings to form a new funky rhythm.
Mom – Meghan Trainor
While co-writing with producer Johan Carlsson, he came up with the idea of including a phone conversation between Trainor and her mother on her track ‘Mom.’ The sweet recording scored Trainor’s mom a writing credit, and the tune is dedicated to her and Meghan’s close bond.
Related: Our playlist of phone call songs called. It’s for you!
Mama Liked the Roses – Elvis Presley
Originally written by Johnny Christopher, Elvis Presley recorded several of his songs, including ‘You’re Always on My Mind’ and ‘Mama Liked the Roses.’ Presley’s voice beams with hints of gospel roots as he sings about sweet memories involving his mother, who had since passed away.
Related: Stop and sniff the best songs about roses.
Like My Mother Does – Lauren Alaina
Getting her start by competing on American Idol, Lauren Alaina chose to cover ‘Like My Mother Does,’ though a contestant before her first sang the tune. Her version was the first to make it onto the Billboard charts. Her mom was beside her the entire time she competed in the talent show, and she wanted to honor her dedication.
You Can’t Lose Me – Faith Hill
Faith Hill’s ‘You Can’t Lose Me,’ a song championing femininity, which appears on her widely successful It Matters to Me album, celebrates moms worldwide. One of Hill’s personal favorites, it reached #6 on the US charts and went all the way to #1 in Canada.
Related: This song features on our list of songs from mom to daughter.
Mama – Spice Girls
International pop sensation Spice Girls started the ’90s “Girl Power” movement. Naturally, they included a song honoring women raising women with ‘Mama.’ Reflective in nature, the tune finds the girls realizing in adulthood that the things their mothers did for them were to protect them, not to keep them from reaching their destiny.
Related: These powerful women songs will lift you up.
Coat of Many Colors – Dolly Parton
Now known as the Queen of Country Music, Dolly Parton started with humble beginnings in Tennessee as one of twelve children. Her mother didn’t have money to buy her a winter coat, so she sewed a “patchwork” one. The coat inspired ‘Coat of Many Colors’ and is now displayed at a popular tourist spot, the Dollywood Museum.
Related: Does your playlist have as many colors as the coat? Here are the best colorful songs.
Mother – Sugarland
“First thing she taught you was love is love.” Country duo Sugarland get philosophical with their track ‘Mother.’ The song lists how mothers are there for their children, but they expand on these lyrics by highlighting the universal importance of maternal figures. The sensitive tune is a shining example of the age-old saying, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.”
Sadie – The Spinners
A song dedicated to all mothers who their children cherish, ‘Sadie’ by The Spinners was one of their popular mid-’70s releases, and it charted in the top ten in America. Rapper Tupac would go on to sample this tune for his own tribute to mothers, ‘Dear Mama.’
Mama Tried – Merle Haggard
Country crooner Merle Haggard was a notorious “outlaw” of country music, and his wayward style started early. He wrote ‘Mama Tried’ while doing a stint in the slammer, and he focused on all the ways his mother tried to help him stay on the straight and narrow, though he would always end up straying.
Related: Keep it classic with our old country music playlist.
In My Daughter’s Eyes – Martina McBride
“I see who I want to be in my daughter’s eyes.” Country singer Martina McBride recorded this gentle song after becoming a mother to a baby girl. Normally known for her dynamic vocal performances, she took a softer approach with ‘In My Daughter’s Eyes,’ as she works towards living up to the potential her young daughter sees in her.
Related: Every kid grows up. Here are some growing songs.
Turn to You (Mother’s Day Dedication) – Justin Bieber
Child star Justin Bieber debuted ‘Turn to You (Mother’s Day Dedication)’ over mother’s day weekend in 2012 and dedicated it to his mother. She raised him as a young single parent at just eighteen years old, and he wanted to recognize the strength and bravery it took for her to do that.
Related: Feel encouraged by the best songs about staying strong.
Mom – Earth, Wind & Fire
A critic favorite on Earth, Wind & Fire’s album Last Days and Time, ‘Mom’ is a swinging blues ballad with a lot of soul. The lyrics focus on the special way only a mother can love her children.
Oh Mother – Christina Aguilera
When Christina was a young child, her mother left her father because of his abusive behavior. Through her songs like ‘Oh Mother’ and ‘I’m OK,’ the pop singer has used music as therapy to work through her trauma. With this particular song, she references the strength it took for her mother to leave her father.
I’ll Be There – Mac Miller
“Dear momma, please don’t start to cry. You the reason I’m alive.” Mac Miller drew on Tupac’s beloved ‘Dear Mama’ track as he penned these honest, raw lyrics about his mother for his song ‘I’ll Be There.’ The tune chronicles his rocky road to stardom and how his mother never doubted his abilities. Now, he wants to return the favor and take care of her as she ages.
Promise to Try – Madonna
Pop star Madonna finds herself contemplating her mother’s early death due to cancer with her expressive song ‘Promise To Try.’ She also has a track titled ‘Oh, Father,’ which explores her relationship with her dad. Both appear on her breakout 1989 album, Like a Prayer.
Related: Head over to our list of songs about dads.
The Perfect Fan – Backstreet Boys
90s pop band Backstreet Boys sing about the support they’ve always received from their mothers with ‘The Perfect Fan.’ While touring in Europe, bandmate Brian Littrell started writing the tune about their adoring fan base. But ultimately, it morphed into a touching track about a supportive mother’s love.
Mama Knows – Shenandoah
The leading single off their 1988 album The Road Not Taken, country group Shenandoah sings about mothers’ near-prophetic abilities regarding their kids. As they reminisce about young love and finding trouble as teens, they realize how their mother was always there to protect them even though they didn’t realize it.
I’ll Always Love My Mama – The Intruders
Inspired by bandmate Kenny Gamble’s mother, who had recently passed away, soul group The Intruders recorded ‘I’ll Always Love My Mama’ for their album Save the Children. This touching tribute is a common song to hear playing on the radio on Mother’s Day.
Mother – Ray Charles
R&B legend Ray Charles delivers another emotionally stirring performance with his lesser-known song, ‘Mother.’ He and his mother were close, and when she passed away, it hit him hard. In this tribute to her, he honors her legacy by remembering what she taught him and confesses, “God has taken her. But no one could ever take Mother’s love away.”
Mama’s Hand – Queen Naija
Songwriter Queen Naija focuses on the joys of motherhood with her song ‘Mama’s Hand.’ She used her son as inspiration during the creation of the track. Its focus deals with unconditional love and the importance of family.
Flowers for Mama – George Jones
A touching tribute to his mother, who had to work hard to keep him in line when he was growing up, George Jones sings about his mother passing away in ‘Flowers for Mama.’ A beautiful funeral is the setting, with Jones telling listeners his mother’s beauty outshines all the flowers in heaven.
Related: Stroll through our garden of songs that mention flowers.
Mother – Ashanti
“I appreciate your love and all your sacrifice. Without you by my side, I never could survive.” Featured on her album, The Declaration, R&B artist Ashanti sings her mother’s praises in her song ‘Mother’ while focusing on their special bond.
Dance – Nas
Hip Hop artist Nas’ mother passed away from cancer in 2002. A pioneer of the east coast rap movement in the early ’90s, he shifted focus for his album God’s Son, released shortly after his mother’s death. Much of the album focuses on his mother, including his song ‘Dance,’ in which he imagines one last dance with her before she goes.