We here at Thalia Capos recognize the hard work that our mothers do day in and day out. They were likely the ones who got you your first guitar, drove you to lessons, came to every gig and are probably still your biggest fan.
To make this Mother’s Day a special one, we’ve prepared a 10-song playlist for you to share with your mother. Time to turn it up!
1 “Your Mother Should Know” - The Beatles
Magical Mystery Tour, the film, may have been a bust. The album, however, is a great collection of gems in the Beatle’s catalogue. Playing off of the vibe of songs such as “When I’m 64”, McCartney sings a cheery number about cross-generational songs. Go ahead and ask your mother what song was a hit before she was born, cue it up and don’t forget to dance.
2 “Coat of Many Colors” - Dolly Parton
From the 1971 album of the same name, this song is probably a great example of love and appreciation between a mother and her child. Dolly sings how her mother stitched her a coat using many colourful rags (including “the love that Momma sewed in every stitch”). The child recognizes the love put into it, appreciates the gift and is quick to defend her coat from the ridicule of the other kids. Try not to shed a tear at the beautiful tale that Dolly sings.
3 “Mama Said” - Metallica
The 1996 album Load was a pretty divisive one. Even if it wasn’t, this song was a definite departure from the band’s thrashy roots, blending country and rock. The protagonist in the song sings of the advice that his mother gave him, the rebellious life he led and needing her love after she’s gone. A song about seeking redemption and not taking love for granted. Though a musical departure, the song still holds up well after all these years for what it is.
4 “Philomena” - Thin Lizzy
Phil Lynott is widely considered one of rock’s greatest songwriters. This song, from the 1974 album Nightlife, is named after Lynott’s mother, who did not raise him (Phil was mostly raised by his grandparents with his mother visiting regularly) though they were close until he died in 1986. The song tells the story of a boy, grown up and nomadic, who tells others that if they see his mother, tell her that he’s doing fine and to give her his love.
5 “Mama Tried” - Merle Haggard
One of the great voices and writers in country music, Merle dominated the charts with this song, from the 1968 album of the same name. The song is partially autobiographical, considering Haggard’s stint in Folsom Prison for armed robbery in 1957 (not life without parole, as the protagonist in the song sings). He recognizes the hurt and hardship he put his mother through, acknowledging that she only wanted the best for him. We all give our moms a hard time now and then; just remember that she’s trying her best.
6 “Simple Man” - Lynyrd Skynyrd
One of the band’s most powerful ballads, this song was included on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s 1973 debut album(Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd). The protagonist sings about all the advice his mother gave him, from finding love to avoiding “rich man’s gold”, living well and living right. All of this is surrounded by loud guitars, catchy riffs and a great solo by the late Gary Rossington. Always listen to what your mother says.
7 “Mother and Child Reunion” - Paul Simon
A fun, reggae-tinged song from Simon’s 1972 self-titled album. The song does have strange origins (the title coming from a Chinese restaurant’s menu, and the lyrics being inspired by the death of Simon’s dog), but the lyrics do ponder the concept of reunion after one has left this world, which can easily apply to a mother and their child.
8 “Always On The Run” - Lenny Kravitz
It’s time to get funky with this banger from 1991’s Mama Said. Much like “Simple Man”, the protagonist shares with the listener the advice that his mother passed down to him. Whether he takes it or not seems to be another story. Also, having Slash co-write and appear on your song ain’t a bad thing either.
9 Iris (Hold Me Close) - U2
From 2014’s Songs of Innocence (also known as the album Apple dropped in everyone’s iTunes library - remember that one?), Bono wrote this song as a love letter to his late mother, Iris Hewson. There’s no mistaking that this is a U2 song, with Bono’s soaring voice and The Edge’s trademark guitar tones. The lyrics are as poetic as any of their song, asking his mother to hold him close and not let go.
10 “Mama Let Him Play” - Jerry Doucette
We close our playlist with this great rocker from Jerry Doucette, from his 1977 album of the same name. The protagonist in the song urges a mother to let her child follow his ambitions to play rock and roll (because “jazz is much too crazy”, and “he’s too young for the blues”). This was probably Doucette’s best-known hit and is a barn burner with several peaks and valleys. Turn it up loud!
Please enjoy this playlist on Spotify!
By Kevin Daoust - instagram.com/kevindaoust.gtr
Kevin Daoust is a guitarist, guitar educator and writer based in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada. When not tracking guitars for artists around the world, or writing music-related articles around the internet, he can be seen on stage with Accordion-Funk legends Hey, Wow, the acoustic duo Chanté et Kev, as well as a hired gun guitarist around Quebec and Ontario. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Guitar Performance from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.