Spitball Army

Fire all of your guns at once and explode into space.

Spitball Army random header image

Fred FM playlist: 8 May 2011 “Mother’s Day”

May 8th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Songs about mothers, moms, mamas, mommies, what mothers say, what mothers do, how we think of our mothers, how we remember our mothers, and how mothers affect our lives.

Portrait of Mom

Approximate playing time: 79 minutes.

  1. The Beach Boys  “Mama Says”  (1967)
  2. The Louvin Brothers  “God Bless Her (‘Cause She’s My Mother)”  (1954)
  3. Lucinda Williams  “Mama You Sweet”  (2007)
  4. The Sons of the Pioneers  “Gold Star Mother with Silvery Hair”  (1946)
  5. Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris  “This Is to Mother You”  (1999)
  6. Iris Dement  “Letter to Mom”  (1996)
  7. The Intruders  “I’ll Always Love My Mama”  (1973)
  8. Steve Martin  “Mad at My Mother”  (1977)
  9. Jo Ann Campbell  “Mother Please!”  (1963)
  10. Fats Waller  “My Mommie Sent Me to the Store”  (1940)
  11. Paul Simon  “Mother and Child Reunion”  (1972)
  12. Warren Zevon  “Mama Couldn’t Be Persuaded”  (1976)
  13. Three Dog Night  “Mama Told Me (Not to Come)”  (1970)
  14. The Shirelles  “Mama Said”  (1961)
  15. Jimmy Boyd  “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”  (1952)
  16. Allen Foster  “Dear Mom”  (circa WWII)
  17. Johnny Cash  “There’s a Mother Always Waiting”  (1961)
  18. Emmylou Harris with Rodney Crowell  “Mama’s Hungry Eyes”  (1994)
  19. Merle Haggard  “Mama Tried”  (1968)
  20. Pearly Brown  “Please Mommy Stay Home with Me”  (1975)
  21. Merle Haggard  “Momma’s Prayers”  (2007)
  22. Alison Krauss & Union Station (Dan Tyminski, vocal)  “Momma Cried”  (2001)
  23. Justin Townes Earle  “Mama’s Eyes”  (2009)
  24. Hank Williams  “I Dreamed About Mama Last Night”  (1951)
  25. Archie Roach  “Mother’s Heartbeat”  (1997)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

As I combed my song archive for “Mom songs” with which to create today’s playlist (finding four to five times the number listed above), I discovered a few things about songs referencing mothers and motherhood.  The first, and not surprising, thing is that there is a healthy abundance of Mom songs among country music recordings.  The old adage, that a song is a country song if it mentions “mother” and “a truck,” was proven to be true in this search (there are three songs written by Merle Haggard, for instance).  Second, there are many Mom songs that extoll the ideal charactistics of motherhood: love, patience, sacrifice, selflessness; but I was amazed at the sad number of these songs that mentioned mothers in the context of a mother that has passed away.  You will hear a few of them here, though their ratio seems to be greater overall than what I’ve represented in this playlist.  The third thing I noticed when searching key words (especially “mama”) was the non-maternal side of the coin.  My favorite case in point: “She’s a Bad Mama Jama.”  You know what that means.

A few of my Twitter friends (@JHammons, @inthemilk*, @devakali, @rgibson103) have weighed in with songs that remind them of mothers or create personal memories of their mothers.*  Here they are:

  • Emmylou Harris  “To Daddy”
  • *Kip Addotta  “Chantilly Lace”
  • Edie Brickell  “Mama Help Me”
  • The Rolling Stones  “Mother’s Little Helper”
  • Elizabeth Mitchell  “You Are My Sunshine”
  • Moby  “Sleep So Very Long”
  • “Everything’s Alright” from Jesus Christ Superstar
  • Dougie McLean  “Let Her Go”
  • Modest Mouse  “Third Planet”
  • REM  “Belong”
  • The Flaming Lips  “Do You Realize”
  • Talking Heads  “Stay Up Late”
  • Tarkio  “My Mother Was a Trapeze Artist”
  • Eminem  “Cleaning Out My Closet”

And, my own mother (pictured in the portrait above) sent me a list of her own favorite songs.  She’s got a lovely sentimental streak (one of her nicest characteristics, among many).  Only two of these choices surprised me:

  • Simon & Garfunkel  “Bridge Over Troubled Water”
  • Stevie Wonder  “I Just Called to Say I Love You”
  • Nat King Cole  “Mona Lisa”
  • “Amazing Grace”
  • “Deep Purple”
  • “Stardust”
  • “In the Garden”
  • Neil Diamond  “Hello Again”
  • The Righteous Brothers  “Unchained Melody”
  • Roy Orbison  “Pretty Woman”
  • The Carpenters  “Close to You”
  • “It Had to Be You”

Tags: family · Fred FM · music

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kristina O'Quinn // May 8, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    Thanks for the song recommendations. Great idea for Mother’s Day. My favorite is “Dancing With My Mother” by Rachel Bissex. Have you heard it. Complex and haunting. Thanks again!

  • 2 David Pinto // May 8, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    Fred, your mom hasn’t changed much! Thanks for including the Steve Martin, that’s one of my favorite bits of his.

Leave a Comment