A Mother’s Day Playlist to Warm the Heart
OnRecord Staff · May 12, 2018 · 2 Minute Read
We’re celebrating Mother’s Day this year with a playlist featuring some of our favorite artists’ tributes to their mothers. These heartwarming, moving, and thoughtful songs curated across decades and genres beautifully express the special relationship we share with our moms.
The sensitive, honest, and conciliatory “Dear Mama” represents one of Tupac Shakur’s greatest achievements. The song tells the story of Shakur’s relationship with his mother, Afeni Shakur – the former activist and member of the Black Panther party who later found herself incarcerated as she battled addiction. It’s a complicated relationship, but 2pac‘s “plan is to show you that I understand… you are appreciated”. A poet in a gangsta rapper’s body, “Dear Mama” shows Shakur at his emotional best, paying tribute to the “black queen” who raised him against a backdrop of smooth West Coast beats.
This tribute to single mothers everywhere was a 2016 top hit. Clean Bandit’s knack for infectious, radio-friendly compositions was compounded by Sean Paul‘s instantly-recognizable voice, while Anne-Marie – the UK singer also known for her work with Rudimental – tells the mother’s story with grace and power.
The lyrics were written by Norwegian songwriter Ina Wroldsen, who drew upon her own experience raising her son. The contrast between frank, uncompromising lyrics and an upbeat arrangement help create a hopeful energy in “Rockabye,” which is perhaps why it won fans the world over!
In 1979, Pink Floyd ruled the world – if only we had a time machine to take us back! “Mother” is the sixth track from The Wall, which nearly 40 years later is still recognized as one of the greatest albums ever. In an album full of classics (seriously, just have another look at the track listing), “Mother” still manages to resonate for its complexity and storytelling. Written by Roger Waters, and sung by Waters and David Gilmour, “Mother” showcases Pink Floyd at their lyrical, creative best – two characters, a mother and a son, struggling with their imperfections, loneliness, and fears about the world. Genius.
Today, Justin Bieber is arguably the world’s biggest pop star – one of the most recognizable faces in the world, and a constant presence in headlines, across social media, and atop the charts. Bieber’s story is well known, but the story of his mother, Pattie Mallette, may not be as known to some fans.
Mallette gave birth to Bieber in 1998, when she was only 18, and raised him with the help of her parents. According to the song’s lyrics, she “worked two jobs” to “keep a roof” over the family’s heads. Mallette was also responsible for supporting Bieber’s musical interest throughout his childhood. Arguably her best decision was to post a video of 13-year-old Bieber covering Ne-Yo’s “So Sick”…which led to his discovery!
In the song, Bieber encourages his mother to let his “love take you higher” when she’s “lost” – to remind her that she can rely on him, always. It’s an insight worth remembering for all of us.
The track’s simplicity belies the power of its songwriting. It’s instantly understandable to children, yet full of wisdom for adults. A reflection on the cyclical nature of life, and the uncertainty of the future, it nonetheless fills the listener with a lighthearted confidence – “what will be, will be”.
We’re celebrating our moms with this Mother’s Day Special playlist. Join us in listening to it, or create one of your own!