It was just over a century ago when President Wilson declared the second Sunday of May to be Mother’s Day, a national holiday set aside to honor mothers, motherhood, maternal bonds and the influence of mothers in society.
Mom, after all, is “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world,” said Anna Jarvis, the Suffragette-era activist who spearheaded the move for an official Mother’s Day.
Popular music has not missed out on the opportunity to celebrate mothers — or, at least, to include “Mama” in a song title! From hard rock to country, from Top 40 pop to soul, mothers have served as great subject matter for songs of all kinds. Even that freaky iconoclast, the late Frank Zappa, and his first band, The Mothers of Invention, offered a song called “Motherly Love” on their 1966 debut: “Motherly love is just the thing for you, you know your Mothers gonna love you ’til you don’t know what to do…” So what if it was about the band, not the woman?
I’ve selected 15 tracks that I think make a nice mix of songs for you to play when Mom comes over for dinner this Sunday. (See the Spotify playlist below.) If she’s a little bit open-minded, she might even find most of them enjoyable!