Mother’s Day is the one day out of the year where you can take the time to really show your mami how much she means to you and how she has positively impacted your life (although you should be doing this way more often than just on the second Sunday of May). How many times has your mom had your back, made you feel better about life, and dried your tears? You probably lost count of the amount of times she’s made you feel like the best person in the world, capable of taking on the world. Moms do so much for us, in what is essentially a thankless job.
On days like this, like you’ve heard all your life, it’s the thought that counts. So, whether you are taking mom (or that person who holds that special role in your life) to a fancy dinner, having a pampering spa day together, or cooking something yourself at home for Mother’s Day, why not play her some of these songs when you have the chance? This playlist is made up of sentimental, make you misty-eyed songs that really put into words and song what it means to be a mother, and how it feels to be loved by yours.
“I’ll Always Love My Mama” by The Intruders
“I’ll Always Love My Mama” is a 1973 classic by The Intruders that often pops into your head first when thinking of amazing songs that pay homage to mom.
“A mother’s love is so special
It’s something that you can’t describe
It’s the kind of love that stays with you
Until the day you die”
“Mama Used to Say” by Junior
We never seem to listen to it (or want to) at the moment, but a mother’s advice is usually gold. Junior’s “Mama Used to Say” highlights these golden nuggets of wisdom that we look back on and acknowledge.
“And mama used to say:
“Take your time young man”
And mama used to say:
“Don’t you rush to get old”
And mama used to say:
“Take it in your stride”
And mama used to say:
“Live your life”
“Mama Said” by The Shirelles
Continuing on the theme of mom’s always knowing best, we have the classic song by The Shirelles, “Mama Said.”
“And then she said someone would look at me
Like I’m looking at you someday
Then I might find
I don’t want it any old way, so I don’t worry ’cause
Mama said there’ll be days like this”
“Amor de Madre” by Victor Manuelle
Oftentimes, we don’t stop to think about how self-sacrificing it is to be a mother. The entire life role is usually about putting your children and their needs first. Victor Manuelle captured the loving sentiment in his 2009 song, “Amor de madre.”
“Con espera y paciencia cuidaba mis brazos,
y dejó de ser ella para ser para mí,
mi dolor se calmaba si estaba en sus brazos”
“Dear Mama” by Tupac
Tupac lived that thug life, but he didn’t hesitate to show his softer side and pay homage to his mother, Afeni Shakur. “Dear Mama” is a classic hit about telling your mom how much you appreciate her.
“I can always depend on my mama
And when it seems that I’m hopeless
You say the words that can get me back in focus
When I was sick as a little kid
To keep me happy there’s no limit to the things you did
And all my childhood memories
Are full of all the sweet things you did for me”
“Por Siempre Tu” by Christina Aguilera
You can always count on Christina Aguilera to belt out an emotional song with substance. Just take for example “Por Siempre Tu.” The Spanish version of “I Turn to You” will make you feel all proud of your mom (or that mom-like figure in your life) and all she means to you.
“No importa donde esté
Tu amor me encontrará
Iluminando mi ser mi oscuridad
Eres mi (eres mi)
Protección (protección), mi sostén”
“A Song for Mama” by Boyz 2 Men
Boyz 2 Men also had a ’90s song that pulls at the heart strings. Their “A Song for Mama” is so tender, and when you add those amazing Boyz 2 Men vocals and harmonies, well, you have a great song.
“Mama, Mama you know I love you
(You know I love you)
Mama, Mama you’re the queen of my heart
Your love is like tears from the stars, yes it is
Mama, I just want you to know lovin’ you is like food to my soul”
“Mi Cariñito” by Pedro Infante
You know we had to include some old school, Latinx throwback jams in this Mother’s Day mix. Pedro Infante is a Mexican and Latinx legend, and his “Mi Cariñito” is such a classic mom song.
“Cariño que Dios me ha dado para quererlo,
cariño que a mi me quiere sin interés,
el cielo me dió un cariño sin merecerlo,
mirando ¡ay! esos ojitos sabrán quien es,
con ella no existe pena que desespere
cariño que a mi me quiere con dulce amor
para ella no existe pena que no consuele
mirandole sus carita yo miro a Dios”
“Madrecita Querid” by Vicente Fernandez
Another big mom hit from a Mexican/Latinx icon is “Madrecita Querida,” by Vicente Fernandez. Not only do a ton of Latinx moms love Chente in general, but the song itself speaks on how a mother’s love never wanes.
“Junto a ti todo tengo,
amor puro y sincero”
“Mama” by The Spice Girls
Someone made a comment on YouTube about how ’90s songs are better than today’s music because they are more emotional and close to the heart, and they definitely have a point! 1990s songs didn’t care to be tender. Just take the Spice Girls’ “Mama.” It’s a sweet thank you to mom, who we often rebel against.
“She used to be my only enemy and never let me be free
Catching me in places that I knew I shouldn’t be
Every other day I crossed the line I didn’t mean to be so bad
I never thought you would become the friend I never had
Back then I didn’t know why
Why you were misunderstood mama
So now I see through your eyes
All that you did was love”
“Mother” by Sugarland
You can count on country music to share those deep, moving lyrics about moms. Sugarland has a song called “Mother” that speaks facts about all the things a mother does and is.
“She’ll take you in, feed your friends
Her open arms are welcoming
She’ll rub your back all night when you’re crying
She’ll listen to you tell your story
Hold your fear and all your worries
Help you find the truth when they’re all lying
Even when it’s hopeless, she keeps trying”
“Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion
A Celine Dion song that is powerful and emotive? There are so many to choose from! “Because You Loved Me” is perfect for Mother’s Day. It shows mamis what love and dedication to their child(ren) can create.
“You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ’cause you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me”
“Hey Mama” by Kanye West
Regardless of what you think about Kanye, everyone knows he loved his mom and has always expressed it. His song “Hey Mama” is a celebration of Donda West and what she still means to him.
“My mama told me go to school, get your doctorate
Somethin to fall back on, you could profit with
But still supported me when I did the opposite
Now I feel like it’s things I gotta get
Things I gotta do, just to prove to you
You was getting through, can the choir please
Give me a verse of “You Are So Beautiful To Me”
Can’t you see, you’re like a book of poetry
Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, turn one page and there’s my mommy”
“Amor y Control” by Ruben Blades
Ruben Blades’ “Amor y control” talks about the balance of love and control that is needed to be loving, effective parents, because a parent’s work is never done.
“aunque tu seas un ladrón
y aunque no tienes razón
yo tengo la obligación de socorrerte
y por mas drogas que uses
y por mas que nos abuses
la familia y yo tenemos que atenderte
oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Solo quien tiene hijos entiende
que el deber de un padre no acaba jamas
que el amor de padre y madre
no se cansa de entregar
que deseamos para ustedes lo que nunca
hemos tenido, que a pesar de los problemas
familia es familia y cariño es cariño”
“Es mi madre” by Isabel Pantoja
Spanish singer Isabel Pantoja’s “Es mi madre” is a song all about how amazing moms are.
“Ella no hace nada mas ni nada menos
que quererme exactamente como soy
y acompañarme desde lejos y darme valor
eso no es amor eso es mucho mas que amor
Es mi madre
la mujer que dio por mi su propia sangre
y me parió sin miedo es mi madre
la mujer que me acepto sin conocerme
y solo verme me adoro
eso es mucho mas que todo
eso es mucho mas que amor”
“Señora, Señora” by Denise de Kalafe
Your mami is la gran señora de tu vida. The song “Señora Señora” by Brazilian-born, Mexican singer Denise (a.k.a. Denisse) de Kalafe lets mom know just how special she really is.
“A ti que me diste tu vida, tu amor y tu espacio
A ti que cargaste en tu vientre dolor y cansancio
A ti que peleaste con uñas y dientes
Valiente en tu casa y en cualquier lugar
A ti rosa fresca de abril
A ti mi fiel querubín
A ti te dedico mis versos, mi ser, mis victorias
A ti mis respetos señora, señora, señora
A ti mi guerrera invencible
A ti luchadora incansable
A ti mi amiga constante, de todas las horas”
“Amor Eterno” by Juan Gabriel
Whether it is sung by the late and great Juan Gabriel, or Rocio Durcal, “Amor Eterno” is one of the most beautiful songs ever. Written about a mother who is no longer here in a physical form, it is a classic that puts into words the eternal love of a child for his or her mother.
“Como quisiera ayy que tu vivieras
Que tus ojitos jamas se hubieran cerrado nunca y estar mirandolos
Amor eterno e inolvidable tarde o temprano
Estare contigo para seguir amandonos”
“Mother” by Ashanti
Mother’s Day is all about appreciation. It’s a commercial holiday, sure, but at its core, it’s an opportunity to say thank you, and I love you. Ashanti put all this sentiment into her song “Mother,” which you can play for your mom any day of the year.
“I would never let a tear fall from your eyes,
Cause everything you are to me, I could never let you hurt inside,
You mean so much and I’m so thankful that your in my life,
And I appreciate your love and all sacrifice,
Without you by my side, I never could survive,
I wouldn’t be the woman standing here before your eyes,
You taught me strength and you gave me guidance,
Whenever faith was lost you were there to find it,
And all because a mother’s love is unconditional,
With all my heart and all my soul I want let you know.
That I thank you and I love you and
I will never place anyone above you”
“Mama’s Song”y b Carrie Underwood
A mother hopes and prays that her daughter will find a kind, loving, suitable partner. When she gives her daughter away to be married, she is letting her little girl go start her own life and become a mother herself. Carrie Underwood’s “Mama’s Song” talks about this moment and how a mother/daughter bond can never be broken.
“Mama you taught me to do the right things
So now you have to let your baby fly
You’ve given me everything that I will need
To make it through this crazy thing called life
And I know you watch me grow up
And only want what’s best for me
And I think I found the answer
To your prayers
And he is good, so good
He treats your little girl like a real man should
He is good, so good, he makes promises he keeps
No he’s never gonna leave
So don’t you worry about me
Don’t you worry about me”
“Your Mother Should Know” by The Beatles
The Beatles created a song in 1967 that simply told listeners to give their moms some cool points because she does know some cool stuff. It is called “Your Mother Should Know.”
“Lift up your hearts and sing me a song
That was a hit before your mother was born
Though she was born a long long time ago
Your mother should know (your mother should)
Your mother should know”
“A Mother’s Love” by Aretha Franklin
Anything that icon Aretha Franklin sings will automatically have more feeling, so definitely play “A Mother’s Love” for your mom on Mother’s Day.
“I have seen a rainbow
Circle across the sky
And I have stood on a mountain
And watched an eagle fly
I have seen trees in a meadow
Shelter a morning dove
But I haven’t seen anything
To match the wonder of a mother’s love”
“The Best Day” by Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift recorded “The Best Day” and surprised her mother with it (and a corresponding video made up of old family videos) on Christmas Eve. It’s a song to play if you want to let your mom know you haven’t forgotten all those little, and big, things she did for you growing up.
“And now I know why the all the trees change in the fall
I know you were on my side
Even when I was wrong
And I love you for giving me your eyes
Staying back and watching me shine
And, I didn’t know if you knew
So I’m taking this chance to say
That I had the best day with you today.”
“I’ll Be There” by Mac Miller Ft. Phonte
Before he tragically passed, rapper Mac Miller let his mother know exactly how much he loved her. He captured the words in the song “I’ll Be There.”
“Had my back before I had my own
I know I’m always welcome when I’m back at home
I just want to bring you out on stage to get a standing ovation
All the work you did to make my life feel like a vacation
If you have your moms, you better treat her right
Call her up, say “wassup” before you sleep tonight
Tell her you love her and thank her for what she did
You may be grown now but remember being a kid when she fed you in your bed, shit
You were her baby, so find out what she doing lately, uh”
“Mom” by Meghan Trainor Ft. Kelli Trainor
Sometimes, you just need a fun song to let the world know you have the best mom ever. Meghan Trainor did just that with the fun, cheery “Mom.” It actually features a conversation with her mother Kelli!
“I was just wanted to call you to tell you I love you
(Aww, I love you, too)
I miss you already
(Aww, that’s so sweet, what’s going on?)
Just writing songs to my mom song
(Aww, I love you to the moon and back)
My heart hurts, I love you so much
(I love you more)
You might have a mom, she might be the bomb
But ain’t nobody got a mom like mine
Her love’s ’til the end, she’s my best friend
Ain’t nobody got a mom like mine”
“I Love My Momma” by Snoop Dogg
You can be a G, but you will still become a softie when it comes to your mother. Snoop Dogg wrote the sweetest song for his mom, called “I Love My Momma.”
“She the queen in my life, and I’ma make sure she gon’ shine again
She taught me everything, but she didn’t charge a fee
She taught me everything, except how to see a G
For the nine months you carried, I hope you bury me
instead of the other way around, and I put that on Dogg Pound
I made you cry, you made me smile
I just want to say I love you for life
and that’s the reason why I’m here now
“Thank You Mom” by Good Charlotte
Same goes for rockers. Moms are everything. Good Charlotte released the sweet song “Thank You Mom” in 2000.
“you were my mom, you were my dad
The only thing I ever had was you, it’s true
And even when the times got hard you were there
To let us know that we’d get through
you showed me how to be a man
You taught me how to understand
the things people do
You showed me how to love my God
You taught me that not everyone
knows the truth
And I thank you
I’ll always thank you
More than you would know
Than I could ever show”
“Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler
You can’t think of the song “Wind Beneath My Wings” without thinking about the 1988 film Beaches. It’s hard to know for certain which of the two make people cry more. The song is an absolutely beautiful message to a very special person in your life — like your mom.
“It must have been cold there in my shadow,
to never have sunlight on your face.
You were content to let me shine, that’s your way.
You always walked a step behind.
So I was the one with all the glory,
while you were the one with all the strength.
A beautiful face without a name for so long.
A beautiful smile to hide the pain.
Did you ever know that you’re my hero,
and everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
’cause you are the wind beneath my wings.
It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
but I’ve got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course, I know it.
I would be nothing without you.”
“(God Must Have Spent) A Little More Time On You” by NSYNC
While we are in a throwback state of mind, why not let boy band extraordinaire NSYNC serenade your mom with their timeless hit “(God Must Have Spent) A Little More Time on You?” You know you know all the words!
“In all of creation, all things great and small
You are the one that surpasses them all
More precious than any diamond or pearl
They broke the mold when you came in this world”
“Coat of Many Colors” by Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton honored her mother forever in the timeless and tender classic “Coat of Many Colors.” It talks about how her mother turned a box of donated rags into a priceless coat made for Dolly with a mother’s love.
“As she sewed, she told a story
From the Bible, she had read
About a coat of many colors
Joseph wore and then she said
Perhaps this coat will bring you
Good luck and happiness
And I just couldn’t wait to wear it
And momma blessed it with a kiss
My coat of many colors
That my momma made for me
Made only from rags
But I wore it so proudly
Although we had no money
I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me”
“Madre” by Pimpinela
The final song on our list of Mother’s Day jams is “Madre” by Argentinian brother and sister duo Pimpinela.
“Madre, porque serás mientras yo viva
El amor que no se olvida
Madre, porque a mi lado has sufrido
Cuando me has visto vencido
Madre, es tanto lo que yo te debo
Y nunca te he dicho te quiero
Querida amiga, he tardado tanto tiempo
En decirte lo que siento por pensar sólo en mi vida”