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Songs That Remind Us of Our Mothers

Almost a month ago, I thought about songs that reminded me of my mother, and it struck the idea for a Mother’s Day group article. So, we created a playlist for our mothers.


Andy Mackk:

A song that reminds me of my mother is “Hey Mama” by Kanye West. In this song, Kanye is basically letting the world know about his mother, the late Donda West. I think of my mother as a “cool mom.” For one, my mom is a music lover. In a way she’s a Hip-Hop Mom too. She doesn’t have a favorite rap album but she has a top five. She recognizes and appreciates well-thought out rhymes. Most recently, she heard Kanye’s “Gold Digger” again, since way back when it was released, and shared with me how she liked the second verse. The verse tells how a woman can possibly trap a man into paying child support. I think the particular parts of the verse that really got her was this:

“She was supposed to buy your shorty TYCO with your money / She went to the doctor got lypo with your money / She walking around looking like Michael with your money / Should’ve got that insured got GEICO for your money!”

It’s simple, funny and clever. Over the years, my mother has been supportive of me and has done a lot. “Hey Mama” is a song I wish I made for my mom but it’s no big deal because I can always write my own.


King FOE:

Saturday morning, cartoons, Cap’n Crunch cereal, the scent of Pine-Sol, the stereo blasting, off-key singing, telling me to move my legs so she can vacuum, not missing one word of the song but barely getting one word right: My mom. There are many songs that remind me of my mom. If I were to pick one song from my childhood, it would have to be Luther Vandross’ “A House Is Not A Home.” His album stayed in constant rotation. My mom always taught me that family was everything. She would say, “Hi to you have to always look out for family. Even if they make you mad, they are still your family!” No matter what, she has always given the most encouragement, been the biggest supporter, and has always made my smothered burritos mild because I’m a super wimp with hot shit! I could name songs for days that remind me of my mom.

“What’s seal a missing?” “Seal a missing?” “Yeah, you know with the guy that has two chains, he says it. He rides around with a seal a missing.”

Yeah, she said that. My mom.


Natty Rocberry

Natty Rocberry:

One song that reminds me of my mom is “Maggie May” by Rod Stewart. Anyone close to me will tell you how boy-crazed I am. Well, I get it from my momma. Yup, when it comes to my choice in music and men, my mom, ironically, has played a very important role. As a little girl, I played with barbies and watched videos on VH1 while my mom cleaned up and cooked dinner for my dad and I. Once George Michael’s “Faith” came on, I’ll never forget my mom’s words:

“Natty look at his butt!”

That was the month, I got kicked out of preschool for trying to kiss Lil Louie. It was my mom who introduced me to Prince and Tina Turner, telling me that pretty girls are nice and always invited back to the party.

One morning as my mom was getting dressed for work, I overheard “Wake up, Maggie I think I got something to say to you.” I went downstairs and saw my mom, singing in the mirror while putting on her makeup. When people (or guys) ask the generic “What’s your type?” question, my response is simple: I like guys who rock.

Thanks mom.


Tania Espat

Tania Espat:

When I think of my mother nothing but joy fills my heart. She is the definition of unconditional love: A woman who has provided nothing but love and strength throughout my life. This short-lady whom I call my mother is my ultimate favorite person in the world. Many times, I think about how my life would be? — If I did not have a mother like her that can hold me down, at all times. This power woman blessed me with so much love that it molded me to love unconditionally. She might have not been the biggest hugger in the world but she showered me with love. I find myself having similar morals, intuition, love, and gratefulness as my mother. She is the biggest and most precious gift the universe gave me and vice versa. Listening to the song, ‘Because You Loved Me’ by Celine Dion reminds me so much of her. As a youngster, she would play that song over and over again, that it left a long-lasting imprint.

My favorite line: “You gave me faith ’cause you believed / I’m everything I am / Because you loved me”

It was a dedication that she was giving me, and that one day I will understand. This entire song represents what my mother is for me. As I would listen to this song, a knot in my throat starts to build up as I internally cry. Believe me, I tried crying but I was only able to shed a thug-tear. Have you ever had someone show you the way of life? — Have you ever felt so secure that nothing can phase you? — Well that’s exactly how I feel. The beauty of it all is that she was my strength and I’m her strength. We balance each other as mother and daughter. My mother has always told me to give and receive love. As I’ve gotten older now I understand why she loved this song. Now I comprehend that because she loved me and I love her, that everything will be fine. If I ever decide to have a child, I will make sure to pass on this song to them because it’s a description of who I am as a person.


Richardine Bartee

Richardine Bartee:

I’m not entirely sure here, but I’ve heard that as a child, your first crush is usually one of your parents — If there’s any truth to that idea, I’ve been a lesbian my whole life. My single Liberian mom of five, newly living in America with an unruly affinity for any genre of music that she could understand the words to, and a huge, healthy afro, used to play the most iconic, danceable records in the world. If I didn’t know better, I would say she was a selector, and the playback on “Simply Irresistible” (CDQ and music video) by Robert Palmer was despicable.

My mom is simply irresistible, anything but typical, and a powerful force.


Tavia Hartley:

“Wind Beneath My Wings” — Bette Midler: I was so blessed to have not only been raised by an amazing, strong, and dedicated mother… I had my two grandmothers and host of aunts who were strong women and role models to me. I can barely listen to this song without a tiny little tear because I remember when I was 6 years old (the same age as my daughter) and my mom always blasted Life FM in the mornings while preparing me for school, this song played every morning, without fail, when Bette wailed “Did you ever know that you’re my hero, and everything I would like to be” my mom held my face and smiled. It makes me think of the unyielding faith that my mom has always had in me, even when I couldn’t see it myself, through hell and high water. My mom is truly my best friend, and all the times she saw me as a beacon of strength, she was the one who taught me to soar. Love you mom.


Toya Haynes

Toya Haynes:

I remember right before I was to speak at a women’s conference, I found out that my mother, my personal favorite gospel singer (one trait that I did not get from her unfortunately) was scheduled to sing “Encourage Yourself” by the Tri-City Singers right before I was to speak. I freaked out. I thought that there was no way that I was going to be able to hold it together to speak after she was done. I was already nervous. Looking back, I can see how that was so divinely appointed. No one else could have sung that song at that moment but her. It kept my nerves together for sure.

I’ve always said that if you’ve met my mother, then you’ve pretty much met me. We are that similar in personality. We love people. We are textbook extroverts of a sanguine nature but with a streak of melancholy. Another thing we share in common is that we both take the time to encourage others when at the time, we are probably the ones who need encouragement the most. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that women, especially mothers, give out so much of what they too often deny themselves: Encouragement, affirmation, and love. This song reminds me of how important it is to encourage yourself so that you have enough to give to others. My mom preparing the way for me to be brave enough to speak that day was truly an example of that. I don’t think I will ever be able to hear that song without thinking of that moment.


Zuri Ward

Zuri Ward:

Growing up, my mother had a ridiculous amount of CDs stacked inside her entertainment center. She had everything from DJ Quik to Maxi Priest. I remember sneaking in the living room at night, and she’d be sitting there, vibing with her headphones plugged into the stereo. I remember getting fussed out every time I used her CDs as blocks, and didn’t put them back neatly. I even remember the way the incense smoke seemed to float perfectly when she played Boney James, or Maze and Frankie Beverly on Saturday mornings.

More than anything, I remember every single word to Tony Terry’s “When I’m With You.” I was two years old when the song released, and I guess that first-time mother syndrome was real. She turned a love song into a beautiful lullaby that she sang to me all the time. Over the years, it’s gone from a lullaby to just “our song.”

When I hear “When I’m With You,” I hear a quiet, nearly stoic woman describing her love for her child. When I sing it at the top of my lungs, it’s a reminder of just how much I mean to someone else. It’s the next best thing to one of her hugs, and as art is infinite, it lets me know that I’ll never really be alone.


India Brown

India Brown:

I want to start by saying how much I love my mother and what she means to me. Without my mom, my life would be completely different. Although I have a loving father as well, we all have different relationships and different ways of reacting to one another. One thing I really cherish about the relationship I have with my mother is when I do something she does not approve of, she won’t always tell my dad. Besides keeping some matters between us, my mom comforts me when I need to be held and she also gives me words of encouragement.

A song that mostly reminds me of my mom is “A Song for Mama” by Boyz II Men. I remember being a child, going on trips with my mom and hearing this song on the radio. Any time this particular song would play, I would sing it with my mom; the words spoke to my heart so much.

I find it funny because I try to tell myself don’t be completely like your mom but in certain situations, I get into my Angela Brown mode. The more I get older, is the more I will turn into my mom.


Sicarah Fields:

“I’ll Always Love My Mama” by The Intruders is the first song that comes to mind when I think about my mom. I know you’re probably wondering how I even know this song. Truthfully speaking, this song precedes my birth by 20 years but that’s the irony. I remember listening to this song while in the car with my mom because she always listened to 98.7 FM radio. She would sing along to this song frequently and after a while, I began associating this song to my mom.

The lyrics express exactly how I feel about my mom because she is my world. “I’ll always love my mama she’s my favorite girl,” is the very first line and sums my feelings up in a nutshell. My mom is my best friend I know I can depend on her no matter what. I love how the song talks about sleepless nights representing the hard working moms of the world. My mom is always running errands for the family and works two jobs. I don’t know how she does it and “The Intruders” perfectly express my sentiments.

I am an only child and relied on my mom for everything growing up therefore, our bond is very strong. It’s interesting how her birthday always falls on Mother’s Day weekend — maybe God knew from the start she would make an incredible mom.

I don’t have children and I feel like I am very different from my mom. She is sweet and caring but firm when needed. I am one or the other. I never have a middle ground. She is a lot stronger than I am and knows how to react to high-pressure situations. I don’t want children but if it happens, I hope I can become half of the mom she is to me.


Written by Richardine Bartee

It’s her unprejudiced love for people that’s taken her this far. Join Richardine on her journey as she writes history into existence, one article at a time. Richardine is a member of the Recording Academy/GRAMMYs.

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