This Rockin’ Friday is a special one, as one of the most important days of the year is only two days away. Mothers’ Day is this Sunday and I want to pay tribute to those wonderful women we owe our lives to with a blossoming bouquet of musical treats.
Rather than pick just one song, this week I’m going to highlight a few of my favorite songs about mothers. As I was trying to make my choice, I realized there were so many good options that it would be impossible. So like a good mother would I am recognizing a whole batch.
Without further ado, I present "The Dude’s Top 5 Mother Songs":
1) Mama Tried: This Merle Haggard classic is a tale of a young man who committed a crime despite his mother’s best efforts to keep him on the straight and narrow. He realizes that he should have listened to her, but not until after he “turned 21 in prison, doing life without parole”. Mothers are wise, people, listen to them!
2) Your Mother Should Know: Paul McCartney wrote this tribute to a mother’s wisdom for the Magical Mystery Tour album & movie. Though he basically calls her old (repeatedly), Macca suggests that we honor her by listening to a song that “your mother would know”. Even if you don’t like the song, you can honor her by dancing with her for a few minutes.
3) That Was Your Mother: Paul Simon’s tells the tale to his child about the fun he and the child’s mother had before the child was born. Apparently they spent some wild times in Louisiana dancing to zydeco music and as a result, the kid was born. They must have stopped at Pat O'Briens.
4) Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys: Ed Bruce originally sang it, but Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson made this tale about the hard life of men in the old West famous. It is suggested that Mamas encourage their sons to become “doctors and lawyers and such” to avoid the loneliness of a life chasing cattle and horses around and wearing Levi’s. Not the worst advice I’ve heard.
5) Mama Said Knock You Out: LL Cool J’s Mama told him to “knock out” all the critics who thought his career was over. That’s why he starts the song with “Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years”. His Mama believed in him all the way and he had a career renaissance after this song came out. Though he’s now on that CSI show that doesn’t look very good.
So what’s the message from all these songs? It’s pretty simple: Mothers are inherently wise. Listen to them and you will thrive. Mine suggested I start writing again, so I listened to her and here we are. I will forever be grateful.