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Hey Ma! Here’s Your Mother’s Day Playlist!

George Marks/Hulton Archive, Getty Images

We love our mamas.

They fixed our boo-boos when we wiped out on our skateboards and sneaked us cash when our dads weren’t looking. There’s nothing our mothers won’t do for us, and how do we repay them? Once a year we buy them sparkly cards, make them macaroni necklaces and treat them to all you can eat nacho fountains at the local buffet.

Well, not all of us. The musicians among us leave towering monuments to their mothers, or at least to motherhood. Sure, some of them aren’t very sweet, but it’s the thought that counts.

Except with macaroni necklaces. Come on — you can do better than that. Celebrate your mom with our Mother’s Day Playlist below:


“Mother”

The Police

 

 

Sure we love them, but sometimes moms can make us a little nutty with their constant attention. This deep cut from the Police was released long before cell phones were ubiquitous. Can you imagine how this song’s protagonist would feel nowadays?

 

“Mother Stands for Comfort”

Kate Bush

 

 

Kate Bush is one of alternative music’s godmothers, and 1985’s Hounds of Love is her best known album. If you’re into collectible albums, look for a copy on marbelized vinyl.

 

“Mother Mary”

Eels

 

 

Eels’ 2005 release Blinking Lights and Other Revelations features guest spots from some of our favorites, Tom Waits and Peter Buck among them. Neither of them appear on “Mother Mary,” but it’s still a tasty cut.

 

“Mother”

John Lennon

 

 

John Lennon had a rough childhood. Raised by his aunt Mimi, Lennon didn’t have your typical relationship with this mother, and then to make matters worse she was killed when he was only seventeen. “Mother” is a bit of primal scream therapy, the same psychological trend that fueled Tears For Fears’ “Shout” a decade later.

As great as this cut is, it isn’t even Lennon’s best song about his mother. That would be “Julia” from the BeatlesWhite Album.

 

“Send a Picture of Mother”

Johnny Cash

 

 

Johnny Cash was an amazing interpreter of songs — just listen to his cover of “Hurt” — but he was also a great songwriter. “Send A Picture of Mother” captures the sad truth of seven years behind bars — we may miss a lot of things, but none more than our mamas.

 

“Mommy Where’s Daddy”

Red Hot Chili Peppers

 

 

One from the Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ self-titled 1984 debut. It took a few years for the band to really lock in their signature sound, but the funk was strong right out of the gate.

As for this track’s lyrics: Let’s just accept that “Mommy” is in the title and not dig too much deeper than that.

 

“Mama, You Been on My Mind”

Jeff Buckley

 

 

A Bob Dylan classic made even better by the great Jeff Buckley. We have Buckley’s mother, Mary Guibert, to thank for this bonus track on the Legacy Edition of Grace. She has been an excellent caretaker of his estate since the singer’s untimely death in 1997.

 

“Fujiyama Mama”

Wanda Jackson

 

 

She is the Queen of Rockabilly, a favorite of Jack White’s, and she even dated Elvis. Wanda Jackson had only been recording for three years when “Fujiyama Mama” became her 13th single. She hasn’t dropped an album since 2012. Come back, Wanda!

 

“Mama’s Boy”

The Ramones

 

 

You knew Da Brudders had to have a song about mama’s boys. Okay, it isn’t exactly a flattering portrait of boys who love their mothers, but would you expect any less from the Ramones? Gabba gabba hey!

 

“Shaft”

Isaac Hayes

 

 

No list of this nature would be complete without a nod to the baddest mother of all. You know who I’m talking about.

I’m talking about Shaft.

 

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