By Radio.com Staff
Aristotle once said, “Mothers are fonder than fathers of their children because they are more certain they are their own.” Whether this is true or not, we’ll never actually know, but it might explain why female singers seem almost predestined to create the most beautiful, heartfelt odes to their little ones. Perhaps, it is actually biological.
In honor of Mother’s Day, we’ve assembled a list of 12 songs written by moms about their kids. Some of the moms try to share words of wisdom with their growing boy or girl (Kelis, Madonna), while others simply choose to celebrate the miracle of life (Alicia Keys, Shakira).
A few even focus on the struggles of being a mom, like Lauryn Hill, who discusses her decision to keep her baby when others thought it was a bad career move or Warpaint, who touch on what it’s like to leave your child behind so you can hit the road.
One song even features a cameo from the bouncing baby the song is written in dedication of. And yes, we are talking about Beyoncé’s daughter Blue Ivy, who in just two short years has already racked up as many songs to her name.
Check out the list below to celebrate these musical moms and make sure to tell the woman who brought you into this world how much you appreciate her. Perhaps, with a song of your own.
1. Beyoncé “Blue (feat. Blue Ivy)”
Maybe most of Beyoncé is about her and Jay-Z’s daughter Blue Ivy: A guidebook to her life, a document of marital bliss, and some tips on living as a not-yet-grown woman in this world. Then let “Blue” be the honest dedication in the afterword. It’s a song so gentle and heartfelt juxtaposed against all the sex and power that comes before it. Beyoncé now contains the singular glow of mom-love — another step toward containing all of the matter in the universe. – Jeremy Larson
2. Björk “Mouth’s Cradle”
While making her 2004 album, Medúlla, Björk was pregnant with her daughter, Ísadóra, and says her maternity played a major role on her sixth record, which is an a cappella masterpiece that makes good use of beatboxing, tongue clicking and throat singing. But it’s the song “Mouth’s Cradle,” written during and just after the birth of her little girl, that focuses on the joys of motherhood. This includes breast feeding. The Icelandic singer manages to poetically detail the pleasure she gets out of the motherly act, singing, “And you can follow these notes I’m singing/Up to the mouth’s cradle, the mouth’s cradle/The simplicity of the ghost-like beast/The purity of what it wants and where it goes.” How very Björk of her. – Shannon Carlin
3. Lauryn Hill “To Zion”
Lauryn Hill’s 1998 solo debut, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, was in part inspired by her first child, Zion, who she had with Rohan Marley, son of reggae legend Bob Marley when she was just 23 years old. But it was “To Zion,” an honest and emotional track sung directly to her young son, that addresses Hill’s decision to keep the baby so many others thought she should give away. Just try not to well up when Hill sings, “Look at your career they said/’Lauryn baby, use your head’/But instead I chose to use my heart/Now the joy of my world is in Zion.” Seriously, just try. – Scott Sterling
4. Kelis “Song For The Baby”
Kelis’ “Song For The Baby” has her dispensing life advice to her first child, Knight, whose father is her ex-husband Nas. But she doesn’t sugarcoat things for the sake of shielding her child at a young age. “No, I can’t promise to have all the answers to all of your questions,” she sings, “but I’ll never lie and I’ll raise you without an obsession.” With her closing, repeated insistence of “You can do it if you try,” it’s hard to imagine her offspring having confidence issues down the line. – Kevin Rutherford
5. Britney Spears “My Baby”
If you want to write a pop song that’s really reflective of your feelings, call Max Martin. The Swedish pop production genius teamed up with Britney on her sixth album, Circus to write a song for her sons, Sean and Jayden, who were born in 2005 and 2006 respectively. It’s an ode to tiny hands and baby’s breath, paying homage to how they changed her life. The track, released in December of 2008, followed a hard year for Spears after she was put under a conservatorship and physical and legal custody of the boys was given to their father, Kevin Federline. But this song would mark a more subdued, reliable and mothering Britney, who would never let her children sit unbuckled on her lap while she was driving. Never. – Courtney E. Smith
6. Minnie Ripperton “Loving You”
Yeah, we know. That line. “Lovin’ you is easy cause you’re beautiful/Makin’ love with you is all I wanna do,” seems, well, inappropriate for a Mother’s Day song list. But here’s the deal: motherhood is all about multitasking and this song follows suit. The lyrics were for dad, but the lilting music was intended to help lull her baby–that would be future Saturday Night Live star Maya Rudolph–to sleep. In fact, you can hear Minnie singing her daughter’s name at the end of the song, right after she throws in some proto-Mariah high octave vocal flutters. –BI