40 Mother’s Day Songs That Will Tug at Her Heartstrings
Sometimes the greatest Mother's Day gift is the gift of song. Crank up the volume and celebrate your mom with these heartfelt tunes.
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Sweet songs about moms your mother will adore
Music has so much power over our emotions. It can evoke happy memories as easily as sad ones, or simply offer nostalgia for another time and place. And Mother’s Day (which falls on Sunday, May 14, this year) can have the same effect on our feelings and sentiments. Just as a song might get us through a particularly difficult time, so can Mom. In fact, there could be an entire category of music dedicated to songs about moms. You know the ones—similar to a sweet Mother’s Day story, mom quote or Mother’s Day poem, they tug at her heartstrings just as strongly as (if not more than) amazingly thoughtful Mother’s Day gifts. And hey, they likely bring a tear to your eye too (just like some Mother’s Day movies do).
What is a good song to dedicate to your mom?
A good song to dedicate to your mom is one that perfectly sums up how you feel about your special bond. It can be sentimental, fun, even humorous—just like your unique relationship. Need some inspiration? Check out these Mother’s Day songs to share with your mom or any of your favorite mamas this year. It’s a sentimental Mother’s Day idea they won’t forget!
“A Song for Mama” by Boyz II Men
Written and produced by Babyface and performed by ’90s music icons Boyz II Men, this mom song will let you tell your mama you love her with smooth four-part harmony. “A Song for Mama” peaked at No. 7 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart on Valentine’s Day in 1998, making it one of the 10 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 film Soul Food, which is fitting, as the movie’s message is all about family.
“The Mother” by Brandi Carlile
This mom song is a direct musical hit to the heart. Singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile included “The Mother” on her 2017 album By the Way, I Forgive You, beautifully and melodically paying homage to everything a mother does for her child from the moment they’re brought into the world. Carlile, who herself became a mother in 2014, pens lyrics that are oh-so-relatable, especially for the new mom who’s experiencing a lot of sleepless nights with a newborn.
“I Hope You Dance” by 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,” Lee Ann Womack’s sweeping inspirational ballad makes mothers everywhere teary-eyed. The track, released in 2000, touches on 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 songs about moms: They earned her a Best Female Country Vocal Performance nomination at the 43rd Grammy Awards. If you’re looking for a last-minute Mother’s Day gift, dedicating this song to her can totally be part of the package.
“Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)” by The 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. Singer and TV host Nick Lachey also sings his own version of this sweet song. Don’t forget to check out the best Mother’s Day celebration, based on your mom’s zodiac sign.
“Don’t Forget to Remember Me” by Carrie Underwood
Empty nesters will experience all the feels courtesy of Carrie Underwood’s “Don’t Forget to Remember Me.” The tune is all about striking out on your own but still needing a mom’s support, wisdom and reassurance. Just because you leave home doesn’t mean your mother stops worrying about you. Send Mom some beautiful flowers on Mother’s Day to show just how much you appreciate her.
“Mom” by Garth Brooks
Garth Brooks has had a lot of hits, but he holds “Mom” near and dear. When you hear him describe this beautiful mom song, written by Wynn Varble and Don Sampson, you’ll understand why. “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.” Thinking of grandma on Mother’s Day too? Check out these great gifts for grandma that she’ll love.
“Oh Mother” by Christina Aguilera
Let’s face it, with her extraordinary singing voice, Christina Aguilera can bring life and emotion to any song. But the track “Oh Mother” from her 2008 Back to Basics album is particularly raw and heartfelt. Aguilera penned the tune for her own mother, Shelly Lorraine, who experienced the struggles of single motherhood while raising three children. The song incorporates some great lyrics that make beautiful mother-daughter quotes too.
“Hey Mama” by Kanye West
“Hey Mama,” written for Kayne West’s mother Donda, appeared on his album Late Registration and will tug at the heartstrings of any hip-hop enthusiast, particularly given Donda’s untimely passing in 2007. West has since been known to choke back tears before performing the song live. Bookmark these mother-son quotes to share with Mom on Mother’s Day.
“Mother” by Kacey Musgraves
In 2018, country singer Kacey Musgraves released her album “Golden Hour,” featuring a musical ode to her own mom called, quite simply, “Mother.” In an interview with A Taste of Country, the singer admitted she really had to go deep to pen the emotional tune, which instantly became one of the most perfect Mother’s Day songs. “I just started thinking about all this crazy hurt that’s going on in the world, it was really heavy, and I was missing my mom at the same time,” she told the website. “I started thinking about the cycle of mothers and the fact that I was sitting there in Tennessee missing my mom who was sitting there in Texas missing her mom. It just goes on and on.” Make sure you bookmark these Mother’s Day baskets that will surely make her day.
“Mama’s Song” by Carrie Underwood
Yep, we’re hearing from Carrie Underwood again on this list, which we imagine would make her own mom very proud. 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 assurance that her future looks bright as a confident, happily married woman. Looking for a Mother’s Day gift? These Amazon Mother’s Day gifts are great options.
“Baby Mine” by 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. It reminds us of the quote that describes a child’s early years so well: “The days are long, but the years are short.” Alison Krauss’s rendition of the Betty Noyes tune is bound to make one a little reminiscent and, yes, a little weepy too.
“The Baby” by Blake Shelton
If you’ve ever read the children’s book Love You Forever (and, boy, what a tear-jerker that is), Blake Shelton’s ballad “The Baby” is almost like the musical version. In this mom song, Shelton muses about how his mother tells him that even when he turns 80, he’ll always be her baby. The tune takes the listener through the early days all the way to the mother’s passing, hitting all the emotional notes.
“The Wish” by 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 mom 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.” Play this song while your mom opens her DIY Mother’s Day gift this year.
“In My Daughter’s Eyes” by 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 McBride’s 2003 album Martina, and while beloved by mamas everywhere, it only peaked at No. 39 on the Billboard Hot 100. Looking to make Mom laugh after listening to this song? Try cracking one of these hilarious mom jokes.
“Dear Mama” by 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.
“Mother” by Sugarland
From their 2018 album Bigger, Sugarland’s quintessential mom song, aptly titled “Mother,” really delivers. “One of the things about this song is, it’s so personal to everyone who listens, and we wanted to celebrate what we feel is so beautiful about mothers, what we had in our own mothers and what we see as beautiful about that relationship and that unconditional, open-ended kind of love,” said Jennifer Nettles in an interview with The Boot. The song is a deep-dive into all the ways a mother is there for you throughout your life.
“The Perfect Fan” by The Backstreet Boys
The Backstreet Boys may be best known for creating boy-band pandemonium in the late ’90s, but not all 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 even greater meaning.
“Two of Us” by Louis Tomlinson
One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson decided to use music as a way to help him come to terms with the death of his mother, Johannah Deakin, at the age of 43. “It was something I needed to get off my chest,” he said in an interview with Radio 1 Newsbeat. “I used to lean on my mum for a lot of things—anytime I needed advice on something, she would be the first call I made.” The result is an absolutely beautiful ode to Deakin and a song quite relatable to anyone who has lost their mother.
“The Best Day” by Taylor Swift
Try as a mom might to do the best for her children, it’s not every mother who’s acknowledged. Taylor Swift penned “The Best Day” to make sure her own 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 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.”
“Mom” by Meghan Trainor
This is likely the only song on the list that actually features an appearance by the artist’s own mother. Meghan Trainor’s mom, Kelli, can be heard on the song “Mom,” as Trainor incorporated a small portion of a phone conversation shared by the two. That only makes the sweet tune even more special. While the song is a shoutout from one daughter to her mother, its lyrics and message really translate to all the moms out there looking out for their little ones, even those who are grown. If you’re looking for some mom humor, these mom memes are sure to make any mother chuckle.
“Like My Mother Does” by 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. And yes, this one will make you cry. Read on to find out all the superhuman talents moms possess.
“Slipping Through My Fingers” by ABBA
ABBA’s given us timeless pop hits like “Dancing Queen” and “Mamma Mia,” but they’ve also graced us with some sentimental songs, like “Slipping Through My Fingers.” Listen along as the Swedish pop group sings about a child growing up too fast and time passing way too quickly—things mothers are all too familiar with. And don’t forget to bookmark these love songs for when you’re in need of a romantic playlist.
“Where You Lead, I Will Follow” by Carole King
Gilmore Girls fans will recognize this song immediately—it’s the theme to the beloved mother-daughter teen show. “Where You Lead, I Will Follow” by Carole King is a sweet tune all mothers can relate to: wherever your child goes, you will follow and be there for them. It’s a great song that shows Mom just how much your special bond means to you.
“Mama” by The Spice Girls
The Spice Girls deliver a wonderful pop ballad with “Mama,” a song about a child realizing just how special their relationship with their mother is—even if it was hard to see when they were young. Grab the tissues for this one!
“Mother Like Mine” by The Band Perry
This sweet country tune will have your mom smiling in no time. The Band Perry pays tribute to all the strong mamas in the world and everything they do with “Mother Like Mine.” It’s a wonderful song that perfectly captures how much your mom means to you. If you want to honor your mom’s strength, share one of these powerful strength quotes with her.
“Mom” by Earth, Wind & Fire
If you’re looking for a soulful yet sentimental song to dedicate to Mom, put on “Mom” by Earth, Wind & Fire. It’s a beautiful tribute to a mother who’s always been there for you and loved you unconditionally. Don’t be surprised if you and Mom get up and dance to this tune.
“You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban
The beauty of Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up” is that it can have different meanings for everyone. If your mom is the person who raises you up and makes you believe you can accomplish anything, dedicate this wonderful ballad to her on Mother’s Day. It’s sure to pull at her heartstrings in the most beautiful way. These love quotes will pull at the heartstrings too!
“In My Life” by The Beatles
“In My Life” by The Beatles is another song that can have different meanings to those who listen. Some may dedicate it to their spouse, whereas others may dedicate it to a friend. It’s a simply gorgeous song about loving one person with all your heart—sounds perfect for Mom, right?
“Superwoman” by Alicia Keys
This inspirational track for women everywhere is a great song to dedicate to Mom. Alicia Keys’s “Superwoman” is soulful, powerful and sends a very clear message to Mom: She’s a superwoman, and you’re so proud to have her in your life.
“You Are the Sunshine of My Life” by Stevie Wonder
Playing “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” by Stevie Wonder for your mom sends a clear message: She truly lights up your world. You two can listen in sweet sentiment as Wonder croons about that special light in your life.
“Turn to You (Mother’s Day Dedication)” by Justin Bieber
Poppy and sentimental, Justin Bieber’s 2012 song “Turn to You” (Mother’s Day Dedication)” is a sweet ode to his mom, who, in his words, worked incredibly hard to give him a good life. Play this one after Mother’s Day brunch to show Mom how much you really care.
“Mama, I’m Coming Home” by Ozzy Osbourne
Technically, rocker Ozzy Osbourne dedicated the ballad “Mama, I’m Coming Home” to his wife, Sharon—but hey, you can still share it with Mom. It’s got “Mama” in the title, after all! Osbourne croons lyrics reflecting on growth, support and turning things around for someone you love. Dedicate it to the mom who’s been there through thick and thin.
“Coat of Many Colors” by Dolly Parton
Fair warning: “Coat of Many Colors” will bring tears to your eyes. Dolly Parton used a childhood story, her iconic voice and her unbeatable songwriting skills to bring the 1971 tune to life, singing about her mother making a coat of rags and how much it meant to young Dolly. It tugs at the heartstrings as you reflect on all the loving things your own mother did for you.
“Blue” by Beyoncé
Sweet and soulful, “Blue” by Beyoncé will have you and your mom smiling in no time. The song, named after Beyoncé’s own daughter, is a gorgeous ode to the sacred and oh-so-special mother-child bond. Listen along as Beyoncé dedicates her life to her child in truly spectacular fashion.
“My Girl” by The Temptations
Play this song if your mom is the epitome of sunshine on a cloudy day. The Temptations’s 1965 smash success hits all the right notes, both literally and figuratively, making it a staple tune on any Mother’s Day playlist. Crank it up for Mom and watch her grin from ear to ear.
“Julia” by The Beatles
“Julia,” from 1968’s “The Beatles” (aka The White Album), is a sweet acoustic tune named after John Lennon’s mother. The two didn’t have a close relationship in Lennon’s youth but were getting closer as he grew older—until she was hit by a car and passed away when he was only 17. You can hear the heartache and appreciation for her in this beautiful solo Lennon track.
“I Called Mama” by Tim McGraw
Country fans, this one’s for you. “I Called Mama” by mom-favorite crooner Tim McGraw is a heartfelt reminder to enjoy the small moments of joy in life, like hopping on the phone to call mama. Mom will definitely appreciate the message at the center of this tender and twangy tune.
“I’ve Been Waiting for You” by Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski and Julie Walters
Now this song is one heck of a tearjerker. You’ll find this ABBA-inspired gem on the Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again soundtrack, a beautiful ode to the special love that exists between mother and child. Have the tissues handy when you hit play.
“Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac
“Landslide,” a signature Fleetwood Mac song, reflects on the passage of time and the life that’s been lived so far with heart-tugging lyrics like, “But time makes you bolder / Even children get older / And I’m getting older too.” Play it for the reflective mom you love to pieces.
“For Martha” by Smashing Pumpkins
If your mom’s a rock fan, play her “For Martha” by Smashing Pumpkins. This eight-minute tribute to lead singer Billy Corgan’s mother, who died of cancer in 1996, is hauntingly beautiful and gut-wrenching. Tell Mom to keep an ear out for the epic guitar solo around 4:30.
Additional reporting by Kelly Kuehn.