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40 Songs About Mom That Will Tug at Her Heartstrings

Updated: Apr. 22, 2024

Crank up the volume and celebrate your mother with these heartfelt songs about moms

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40 Mothers Day Songs Ft
RD.com, via amazon.com (16)

Sweet songs for your Mother’s Day playlist

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. Mother’s Day (which falls on Sunday, May 12, this year) can have the same effect on our feelings and sentiments. Luckily, there’s an entire category of music dedicated to songs about moms. You know the ones—similar to a sweet Mother’s Day poem, they tug at her heartstrings just as much as a thoughtful Mother’s Day gift. And hey, they likely bring a tear to your eye too. So read on for some of the best songs about moms to play on Mother’s Day and beyond!

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!

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"Mother" by Kacey Musgraves
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“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 best songs about moms (full of loving quotes for your Mother’s Day card too).

“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.”

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"Mama's Song" by Carrie Underwood
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“Mama’s Song” by Carrie Underwood

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. Mama’s Song highlights a daughter’s praise for the way her mama raised her, offering assurance that her future looks bright as a confident, happily married woman.

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"Baby Mine" by Alison Krauss
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“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 their 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.

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"The Best Day" by Taylor Swift
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“The Best Day” by Taylor Swift

Try as a mom might to do the best for her children, that effort isn’t always 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.”

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"Mom" by Meghan Trainor
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“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 anyone looking out for their little ones, even those who are grown.

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"Like My Mother Does" by Lauren Alaina
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“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). This is one of those songs about moms that acts as a true love letter to mothers who lead their families with unconditional love and unending support. And yes, this one will make you cry.

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"Coat of Many Colors" by Dolly Parton
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“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.

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"Blue" by Beyoncé
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“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.

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"A Song for Mama" by Boyz II Men
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“A Song for Mama” by Boyz II Men

Written and produced by Babyface and performed by ’90s music icons Boyz II Men, this song about moms will let you tell your mama you love her with a 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.

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"The Mother" by Brandi Carlile
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“The Mother” by Brandi Carlile

This song about moms 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.

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"I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack
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“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 Mother’s Day songs: They earned her a Best Female Country Vocal Performance nomination at the 43rd Grammy Awards.

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"Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)" by The Chicks
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“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 song about moms.

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"Don't Forget to Remember Me" by Carrie Underwood
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“Don’t Forget to Remember Me” by Carrie Underwood

Yep, we’re hearing from Carrie Underwood again on this list, which we imagine would make her own mom very proud. Empty nesters will experience all the feels courtesy of Carrie Underwood’s “Don’t Forget to Remember Me.” This is one of those songs about moms that’s 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.

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"Mom" by Garth Brooks
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“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 song about moms, 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.”

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"Oh Mother" by Christina Aguilera
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“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 for beautiful mother-daughter quotes too.

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"Hey Mama" by Kanye West
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“Hey Mama” by Kanye West

Hey Mama,” written for Kayne West’s mother Donda, is a great song about moms, especially if you’re looking for a few mother-son quotes to share on Mother’s Day. The song 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.

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"The Baby" by Blake Shelton
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“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.

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"The Wish" by Bruce Springsteen
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“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 isn’t one of those songs about moms that will 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.”

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"In My Daughter's Eyes" by Martina McBride
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“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 it’s beloved by mamas everywhere, it only peaked at No. 39 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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"Dear Mama" by Tupac Shakur
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“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 drugs. 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.

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"Mother" by Sugarland
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“Mother” by Sugarland

From their 2018 album Bigger, Sugarland’s quintessential song about moms, 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. Like many songs about moms, it covers all the ways a mother is there for you throughout your life.

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"The Perfect Fan" by The Backstreet Boys
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“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 of their songs were directed at making legions of female fans swoon. In fact, “The Perfect Fan,” 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 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.

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"Two of Us" by Louis Tomlinson
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“Two of Us” by Louis Tomlinson

One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson used music 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 that is quite relatable to anyone who has lost their mother.

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"Slipping Through My Fingers" by ABBA
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“Slipping Through My Fingers” by ABBA

ABBA has given us timeless pop hits like “Dancing Queen” and “Mamma Mia,” but they’ve also graced us with some sentimental songs for moms, 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.

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"Where You Lead, I Will Follow" by Carole King
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“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.

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"Mama" by The Spice Girls
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“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!

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"Mother Like Mine" by The Band Perry
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“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 about moms that perfectly captures how much your mom means to you.

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"Mom" by Earth, Wind & Fire
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“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 has always been there for you and loved you unconditionally. Don’t be surprised if you and Mom get up and dance to this tune.

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"You Raise Me Up" by Josh Groban
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“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. Like love quotes, it’s sure to pull at her heartstrings in the most beautiful way.

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"In My Life" by The Beatles
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“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 this song about moms 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?

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"Superwoman" by Alicia Keys
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“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.

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"You Are the Sunshine of My Life" by Stevie Wonder
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“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 sings about that special light in your life.

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"Turn to You (Mother's Day Dedication)" by Justin Bieber
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“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 to show Mom how much you really care.

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"Mama, I'm Coming Home" by Ozzy Osbourne
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“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, it makes a great song about moms too. 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.

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"My Girl" by The Temptations
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“My Girl” by The Temptations

Play this song if your mom is the epitome of sunshine on a cloudy day. The Temptations’s 1965 “My Girl” was a smash success that 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.

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"Julia" by The Beatles
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“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.

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"I Called Mama" by Tim McGraw
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“I Called Mama” by Tim McGraw

Country fans, this song about moms is 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 your mom, who will definitely appreciate the message at the center of this tender and twangy tune.

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"I've Been Waiting for You" by Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski and Julie Walters
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“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.

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"Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac
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“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.

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"For Martha" by Smashing Pumpkins
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“For Martha” by Smashing Pumpkins

If your mom is a rock fan, play her “For Martha” by Smashing Pumpkins. This 8-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.

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Additional reporting by Kelly Kuehn.

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