The English word “mother” comes from the Middle English “moder,” which comes from the Old English “modor,” which comes from the Proto-Indo-European “mater,” which ultimately comes from the baby-talk form “ma.” So really you could argue that our formal term for “person who changed our diapers, kept us fed, offered unsolicited but invaluable advice, and focused all their energy on keeping us alive” has the oldest roots of all time. Kind of fitting, seeing as moms are generally responsible for making us the people we are today right from the beginning. And yet, they often don’t get the props they deserve for all the hard work they put in. It’s almost Mother’s Day, so if you’re looking for a little card-writing inspiration (if you’ve already popped that in the mail, A) good for you, and B) you can just tune in for fun), turn on these jams and join us in celebrating moms everywhere!
2Pac with “Dear Mama”
Even the most talented rapper of all time was compelled to pen a heartfelt ode to his mother. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter to your mom who you are or what you’ve accomplished—you always be her little bundle of joy.
Who knew it was just a forewarning for what was to come.
Scissor Sisters with “Take Your Mama”
There comes a time when your mom doesn’t have to look after you the way she did in your early years (that’s not to say she doesn’t still worry from time to time, but that’s beside the point). As an adult, showing your mom a good time is one of the coolest things you can do. Now, that sentence may not scream “rad, awesome, super fun time!,” but trust us, cutting loose with someone who has become your friend after ushering you through adolescence is a blast (and probably something she has looked forward to for years). And you never know, your mom might just teach you a few tricks during a night on the town!
Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings with “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to Be Cowboys”
Come on ma, a life of smokey old pool rooms and clear mountain mornings really doesn’t sound that bad...
ABBA with “Does Your Mother Know”
The passing of Mother’s Day means summer is right around the corner, and just because your mom is a little older than you are doesn’t mean she isn’t equally stoked to spend time catching prime time rays.
What better way to get excited for sunshine together than sitting down (or chatting over the phone) and checking out a new pair of Knockarounds! If she’s not sure what frame style works for her, a little help from her kid is just the gift she needs (some call it “bonding,” which is apparently popular with every parent ever).
The Judds with “Mama He’s Crazy”
Other phrases your siblings may have yelled as you chased them around the house include:
- “I’m telling!”
- “You’re so going to get grounded when they find out!”
- “Na-na na-na boo-boo” (though no one knows where this really came from)
- and all-time classic, “STAAAHHHPP-UHHHH!”
Fountains of Wayne with “Stacy’s Mom”
Ahhh, the early aughts. Angsty pop music, disregard for lyrical excellence, undeniably catchy tunes. When you can turn the word “on” into a five syllable utterance and still have people jam to your music to this day, you know you were in the sweet spot.
Three Dog Night with “Mama Told Me (Not To Come)”
Like it or not, moms tend to have a sixth sense about what’s good, what’s bad, and what’s going to get ugly—and it’s usually spot on. Whether you’re 15 or 50, the next time your ma hands down her opinion, the least you could do is consider the advice. After all, she’s got a heck of a lot more experience under her belt than you do.
LL Cool J with “Mama Said Knock You Out”
The mother of your mother is your grandmother (or, mother2 for you math folks out there), and if you think about it, she may have had just as much to do with your existence as your actual mother1 did. For many, grandmas are a special source of strength and wisdom. For chart-topping LL Cool J, this came when he was struggling with staying on top of the rap game. His grandmother simply told him to “knock out” his critics, and suffice it to say, it worked. This song went on to win the Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance in 1991.
Bob Dylan with “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”
If you had an ounce of fun in your childhood, odds are you came home a little scraped up from time to time. But no matter how adamantly you insisted “I’M FINE,” mom was there to patch your wounds in the ER (read: bathroom equipped with cotton swabs and an industrial-sized bottle of hydrogen peroxide), make you feel better, and likely advise you to be a little more careful next time.
Kanye West with "“Hey Mama”
No matter how often you think you thank your mom, it’s probably not enough. Give her a ring soon, will ya?
Bonus: Eagles with “Take It Easy”
If you’re out of the house for Mother’s Day, serving up breakfast in bed to give her a bit of a break on her special day probably won’t work. Nevertheless, there are plenty of ways to lighten your mom’s load while spending some quality time together:
- Order her favorite take-out to be delivered and do a FaceTime dinner with the family
- Take a walk at the same time and catch up over the phone
- Send her a massage gift card for some well-needed relaxation time
- Put together a gift basket of sunshine essentials like snacks; a pair of sunglasses; a feel-good playlist; and her favorite beer, wine, or seltzer water
Get creative this year, she deserves to be treated!