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Views and opinions:Many country songs are dedicated to great moms


As Mother’s Day approaches, I’m reminded of my sweet mama and all the love she gave our family throughout her life. She has long since passed, but her memory stays with me and is especially strong this time of year.

Country music performers have been paying tribute to moms for as long as there has been country music. After all, it is a requirement to mention your mama in any perfect country song. I decided to share with you some of my favorite country mom songs to honor mine and all the mothers out there.

The first one that comes to mind is the great Merle Haggard hit “Mama Tried,” which tells the story of a young man in prison despite how hard his mother tried to raise him right:

Mama tried to raise me better

But her pleading I denied

That leaves only me to blame

’Cause Mama tried.

That line is likely being sung by a lot of folks, unfortunately. Hey, I didn’t say these would all be happy songs!

Glen Campbell’s and Steve Wariner’s “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” is another tribute to moms and tells the story of a mother’s comforting love. “There ought to be a Hall of Fame for mamas,” as one line states – and oh, how that is true.

Next for me is “Coat of Many Colors” by Dolly Parton, who is such a gifted writer and this song is one of her best. Although we had no money/I was rich as I could be/In my coat of many colors/My mama made for me, sings Dolly, describing a coat of rags sewn together with love by her mother.

Now, any list of mom songs wouldn’t be complete without the immortal country hit “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys” by Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings – a story letting moms know they should make their children become something other than cowboys (although I always thought cowboys to be pretty darn cool).

I could go on and on with this list, but I will wrap it up with “Mama’s Song” by Carrie Underwood. Mama, you taught me to do the right things/So now you’ll have to let your baby fly speaks of the lessons taught by a mom in hopes her child’s life will turn out well.

Isn’t that the way all moms feel? I know my mom did. I keep the last photo taken of me and her on the mantel and look at it every day, wishing I could hug her one more time.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mama. Love you.


Bluegrass Johnson comes from a long line of country music performers and enjoys a passion for the rhythm and melody. From the hills of Kentucky, he will offer his opinions on a variety of music. Readers with questions or comments may write to Johnson in care of this publication.