13 Mother’s Day Songs That Will Make Mom Cry
Crank up the volume, grab some tissues, and let the bawl-fest begin.
“I Hope You Dance” — Lee Ann Womack
With lyrics like, “I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean / Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,” its easy to see why Lee Ann Womack’s sweeping inspirational ballad makes mothers everywhere teary-eyed. The track, released in 2000, touches upon nearly every wish a parent has for their child’s future. Womack’s heartfelt lyrics paid off in more ways than simply being one of the most beloved Mother’s Day songs, they earned her a Best Female Country Vocal Performance nomination at the 43rd Grammy Awards. These 11 quotes about moms will make you want to call yours ASAP.
“A Song For Mama” — Boyz II Men
Written and produced by Babyface and performed by ’90s music icons Boyz II Men, there’s really no better way to tell mama you love her than with smooth four-part harmony. “A Song For Mama” peaked at number seven on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart on Valentine’s Day in 1998, making it one of the ten tracks the group has sent to the Top 10 over the course of their career. The song was featured on the soundtrack of the 1997 feature film Soul Food, fitting as the movie’s message is all about family.
“Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)” — Dixie Chicks
For the mom who wants to remember the days when her babies were actually babies, songwriter Radney M. Foster encapsulates the cherished moments of tucking in a young child in the lyrics to “Godspeed (Sweet Dreams).” “The rocket racer’s all tuckered out / Superman’s in pajamas on the couch / Goodnight moon, will find the mouse / And I love you,” croons lead singer Natalie Maines in this track featured on the band’s 2003 album Home. Don’t miss these lullabies with a modern twist.
“Mom” — Garth Brooks
Garth Brooks has a lot of hits, but he holds “Mom,” written by Wynn Varble and Don Sampson, near and dear. “It’s a conversation between God and this unborn child, [who is] about ready to go down to earth,” Brooks said during a Good Morning America appearance. “And when God describes what a mom is… whew, it kills me. It’s a beautiful song; I wish I’d written it… You know I’m a mama’s boy.”
“Hey Mama” — Kanye West
Not one to shy away from speaking his mind, Kanye West has a knack for opening up a can of controversy, whether it’s through his music, fashion line, or endless stream of outspoken thoughts. “Hey Mama,” written for West’s mother Donda, appeared on his album Late Registration, and will tug at the heartstrings of any hip-hop enthusiast, particularly since her untimely passing in 2007. West has since been known to choke back tears before performing the song live. These Mother Day quotes will show mom how much you really care.
“Mama’s Song” — Carrie Underwood
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The American Idol alum co-wrote this ode to moms everywhere with Kara DioGuardi, Marti Frederiksen, and Luke Laird, even offering her own mother a cameo in the accompanying music video. The song touches on a daughter’s praise for the way her mama raised her, offering confidence that her future looks bright as a confident, happily married woman. Check out some other ways children have paid homage to their parents in tear-inducing ways.
“Baby Mine” — Alison Krauss
The title here says it all. “Baby Mine” is a tender message from a mother to her little one, with a sentiment that never leaves a parent no matter how old her child becomes. Alison Krauss’s rendition of the Betty Noyes tune is bound to make one a little reminiscent and, yes, a bit weepy, too. But, hey, there’s a scientific reason why the mother-child bond is so powerful, so don’t try to hide those tears. They’re natural.
“The Wish” — Bruce Springsteen
The Boss has never shied away from writing songs that essentially sing like musical poetry, telling descriptive stories about his childhood and life. He wrote “The Wish” with his own mother, Adele Springsteen, in mind. This Mother’s Day song may not bring on the tears, though, and that’s the way Bruce would want it. Just take a look at the track’s final lyrics: “This one’s for you, ma, let me come right out and say it / It’s overdue, but baby, if you’re looking for a sad song, well I ain’t gonna play it.”
“In My Daughter’s Eyes” — Martina McBride
Even on a day that might feel like a giant parenting fail, children often look to their mothers and fathers as if they are superhuman, capable of accomplishing anything. Martina McBride’s ballad “In My Daughter’s Eyes” reminds us of that, but also notes that children make parents want to be better people. It was the second single off of McBride’s 2003 album Martina, and while beloved by mamas everywhere, only peaked at number 39 on the Billboard Hot 100. Don’t miss other parents who are equally as open about the milestones of parenthood.
“Dear Mama” — Tupac Shakur
As a tribute to his mom Afeni, Tupac Shakur penned “Dear Mama,” which details the late rapper’s rough upbringing and Afeni’s addiction to crack cocaine. Despite the harsh truths described on the track, ultimately Shakur is trying to express the unconditional love he had for his mother despite their impoverished and difficult situation. The single, featured on his album Me Against the World, was certified platinum in 1995.
“The Perfect Fan” — The Backstreet Boys
The Backstreet Boys may be best known for creating boy band pandemonium in the late nineties, but not all of their songs were directed at making their legions of female fans swoon. “The Perfect Fan,” in fact, is a shout-out to their own mothers, the women who raised them and supported them through the chaos and craziness of fame. The song appeared on 1999’s Millennium and it’s probably safe to say that as BSB’s fan base has grown up and started families of their own, “The Perfect Fan” has much greater meaning.
“The Best Day” — Taylor Swift
Try as a mom might to do the best for her children, it’s rare she’s treated with acknowledgment. Taylor Swift penned “The Best Day” to make sure her other mother knew how much she appreciates her love and support. “I had this idea that I wanted to play it for her for Christmas,” Swift said in a Big Machine Records press release. “So, when I got the track I synced up all of these home videos from when I was a little kid to go along with the song like a music video, and played it for her on Christmas Eve and she was crying her eyes out.”
“Like My Mother Does” — Lauren Alaina
“Like My Mother Does” has actually been recorded by three different artists, but Lauren Alaina’s take is likely the most high-profile as it was the track she would have performed had she taken home the grand prize on her season of American Idol (she was voted runner-up). The song is a true love letter to mothers who lead their families with unconditional love and unending support. Yes, this one will make you cry. Read on to find out all the superhuman talents that moms possess.