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17 songs for your Mother's Day playlist
In this April 10, 2011, file photo, performer Dolly Parton speaks at the 22nd Annual Glaad Media Awards in Los Angeles, Calif. One of Partons greatest hits, "Coat of Many Colors," turns out to also be one of her more autobiographical songs. - photo by Lottie Peterson Johnson
In honor of Mothers Day on Sunday, May 13, heres a list of songs that touch on the value and importance of mothers, including sweet tributes singers have written for their moms and songs filled with a mothers sound advice.

Please note that this is not an all-inclusive list, as it seems its a country singers rite of passage to write a song about his or her mother. Wed love to hear from our readers about their own favorite Mothers Day songs, so feel free to leave a comment.

Tribute to mothers

Dolly Parton, Coat of Many Colors

One of Dolly Partons greatest hits turns out to also be one of her more autobiographical songs. Coat of Many Colors is a sweet song based on Partons mother, who sewed a colorful patchwork coat out of a box of rags for Parton to wear as a child, all while telling her daughter the Old Testament story of Joseph and his own coat of many colors. Parton sings: Momma sewed the rags together / Sewin every piece with love / She made my coat of many colors / That I was so proud of.

The song concludes: Now I know we had no money / But I was rich as I could be / In my coat of many colors / My momma made for me / Just for me.

Jeff Buckley, Mama, Youve Been on My Mind

Jeff Buckley transforms Bob Dylans more upbeat song into a stirring reflection of his mother: Perhaps it is the color of the sun cut flat and coverin' the crossroads I'm standing at / Or maybe it's the weather or something like that / But mama, youve been on my mind.

Leon Bridges, Lisa Sawyer

Gospel and soul singer Leon Bridges wrote a tribute to his mom, Lisa Sawyer, that appeared on the singers 2015 debut album. Bridges walks listeners through his mothers life born in New Orleans, circa 1963, the youngest of seven children. Although her family never had much money, they were filthy rich with the wealth you couldnt get from a dark casino or a lottery ticket / They had love, love, love, rich in love.

Bridges sings about Lisa Sawyers heart, warm like Louisiana sun, and near the end of the song, he tells of his mothers conversion at 16, when she found Christ at an altar / All along he was calling her name.

The Band Perry, Mother Like Mine

The Band Perry, consisting of lead singer Kimberly Perry and her two brothers, Reid and Neil, sing a touching tribute to their mother, singing in the opening verse, She's the sky that holds the clouds / She's the lady of the house / A blind believer in all I dare to be / There's no safer place I've found / Than the shoulder of her white nightgown.

The chorus then goes on to sing of what the world would look like if it were raised by the Perrys mother: "So the wars would all be over / 'Cause she'd raise us all as friends / And no one would ever wonder if somebody wanted them / We'd walk on grass that's greener / And our cares would all be freer / If the world had a mother like mine.

Elvis Presley, Mama Liked the Roses

The king of rock 'n' roll sings Mama Liked the Roses, a tribute to his mother, Gladys Presley, who although she loved growing roses in her garden and decorating the home with the flowers, cared most of all about the way (her children) learned to live and if (they) said (their) prayers. Near the songs end, Elvis Presley sings, Oh, mama liked the roses in such a special way / We bring them every mother's day and put them on her grave.

Garth Brooks, Mom

Lets just get this out now: This song will make you cry so you might want tissues on hand. Garth Brooks Mom begins with the perspective of a child who has yet to be born. Scared to come to Earth, the child asks God, Why cant I just stay here with you?

God replies: Theres somebody special waiting for you.

A person whose only goal in life / Is makin sure youre always gonna be alright / A loving angel, tender, tough and strong / Its almost time to go and meet your mom.

Glen Campbell and Steve Wariner, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle

"The Hand That Rocks the Cradle" details the sacrifices mothers make for their children, including losing sleep and spending much of their own time passing on important life lessons. The touching chorus expresses the invaluable role of mothers: There ought to be a hall of fame for mamas / Creation's most unique and precious pearls / And heaven help us always to remember / That the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

Carrie Underwood, Mamas Song

You just dont think when your child is small that in just a few years its gonna be completely different. And you look back and say, Where did that time go? It goes by fast.

Carrie Underwoods mother, Carole Underwood, says this at the start of the music video for Mamas Song, which shows the country singer in a wedding dress ready to marry the man she tells her mom is the answer to your prayers. According to country music news website The Boot, the video was shot in August 2010, a month after Underwoods wedding.

As her mother looks at pictures of her daughter growing up, Underwood sings, 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.

The Beatles, Julia

The song doesnt specifically mention mothers, but John Lennon wrote Julia about his own mother, Julia Lennon, who died in 1958 when Lennon was 17 years old. Although a Beatles song, Julia just features Lennon singing and playing the guitar, making the song even more poignant. He sings, Half of what I say is meaningless / But I say it just to reach you, Julia.

Beth Hart, Mama This Ones For You

Singer-songwriter Beth Hart has a raspy voice and edge akin to Janis Joplin, but she can also deliver incredibly sweet songs, including one titled Mama This Ones For You from her 2015 album Better Than Home. In 2016, Hart released a video for the song which features her mother sitting next to her on the piano bench as she plays the song.

Hart sings, For all the things I never said / Im sorry that I never did / I thank you for your precious time / For teaching me how to climb. Every step I took you held my hand / And watched me grow / Youll never know / How much I love you.

Wayward children who appreciate their moms

Merle Haggard, "Mama Tried"

Songwriters often draw from a mixed bag of life experiences both good and bad to create their music, as is the case of the Merle Haggard classic Mama Tried. The country singers father died when he was 9 years old, leaving his mother to become the familys sole provider. He told NPRs Fresh Air radio program in 1995, I was, to say the least, probably the most incorrigible child you could think of. I was already on the way to prison before I realized it, actually.

Haggard sings: One and only rebel child / From a family, meek and mild/ My Mama seemed to know what lay in store / Despite my Sunday learning / Towards the bad, I kept turning / 'Til Mama couldn't hold me anymore.

In his Fresh Air radio interview, Haggard recalled having a moment of self-realization while in prison: I saw the light. I realized what a mess Id made out of my life, and I got out of there and stayed out of there never did go back. Went and apologized to all of the people Id wronged I think when I was 31 years old, I paid everybody back that I'd ever taken anything from, including my mother.

Tupac Shakur, Dear Mama

Hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur released Dear Mama in 1995 about a year and a half before his tragic death at 25. A tribute to his mother, Afeni Shakur, Tupac Shakurs song mentions the singers childhood poverty and that while he and his mother had their disagreements and more than their fair share of struggles, his love and appreciation for her transcends all of those challenges.

Things my mama said

The Shirelles, Mama Said

FYI: This classic song by the doo-wop group The Shirelles has nothing to do with the Metallica song of the same name. Stemming from the R&B sound of the 1960s, The Shirelles sing a catchy, upbeat song that reminds listeners of a mothers admonition that not everything in life is going to go as planned. So when things arent going your way, just remember, Mama said therell be days like this / Therell be days like this / My mama said.

Lynyrd Skynyrd, Simple Man

The entirety of the classic Lynyrd Skynyrd song Simple Man is a mothers advice to her only son. Some of the wisdom the mother imparts to her son is to take your time, dont live too fast/ Troubles will come and they will pass / You'll find a woman and you'll find love / And don't forget, son, there is someone up above.

The heart of her message is found in the songs chorus: "And be a simple kind of man / Oh, be something you love and understand / Baby be a simple kind of man / Oh, won't you do this for me, son, if you can.

Three Dog Night, Mama Told Me Not to Come

The phrase mother knows best is an apt description for this Three Dog Night song. The singer opens up telling us hes at the craziest party that there could ever be / Oh, dont turn on the light cause I dont want to see. The uptempo chorus then kicks in: Mama told me not to come / Mama told me not to come/ (She said) that aint the way to have fun, son.

The Miracles, Shop Around

Mothers also seem to have an idea or two when it comes to their childrens love lives. Released by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles in the early 1960s, "Shop Around" tells of one mothers advice to shop around before asking some girl for her hand now.

The mother says: Before you take a girl and say I do, now / Make sure shes in love with you now / Make sure that her love is true now / I hate to see you feelin sad and blue now.

The Supremes, You Cant Hurry Love

It appears that the Motown groups of the 1960s really loved singing about their mothers advice particularly when it came to love. In this song from the Supremes, the group sings of one moms response to her childs heartache: You can't hurry love / No, you'll just have to wait / She said, Love don't come easy, it's a game of give and take / You cant hurry love / No, youll just have to wait / You gotta trust, give it time / No matter how long it takes.
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