Nothing says “I appreciate you, Mom” like a sad country song that absolves her of blame for how screwed up you are.
If you’re that kid who Mama is always worried about, or if you have one of those kids, this list is for you. Listen in, tune out, and enjoy a double Código 1530 margarita, Mom.
Because I love you… and I’m sorry.
“Mamma Song” – Cody Jinks
The most badass dad in country music wrote a song in the form of a letter to his mom. It’s sweet and real, and I could imagine me writing a letter just like this to my mom, if I was ever as cool as Cody Jinks.
“She Loved A Lot In Her Time” – George Jones
Sad country songs are the best, and there’s no one who makes them sadder than George Jones. Even late in his career with this 1991 release, Possum makes you feel the pain of this mama with every tortured line.
“Don’t Tell Mama” – Gary Allan
In case you didn’t think we could get sadder than George Jones, here’s a heartbreaker from Gary Allan (originally recorded by Ty Herndon) showing that the ’90s were just as depressing as any other decade of country music. Don’t drink and drive.
“Don’t Take Your Guns To Town” – Johnny Cash
A classic story from The Man in Black, it’s also a classic lesson in what happens if you don’t listen to Mama. Don’t talk with your mouth open, don’t make that face, and don’t take your guns to town. She warned you….
“She’s In Love With The Boy” – Trisha Yearwood
It’s tough to find that special someone. And it’s even tougher to find that special someone who will get along with the in-laws.
Daddy plays a big role in this song, but Mama is there waiting in the final verse to tell Daddy the hard truth he needs to hear. Isn’t that what Mamas are for?
“I’m The Only Hell (Mama Ever Raised)” – Johnny Paycheck
Even the most degenerate Johnny on this list was still thinking about his Mama when he was shooting at people and going to prison.
“When Mama Prayed” – Randy Travis
A heartfelt tribute to the moms that are praying for their kids every day, regardless of what they’re doing with their lives. Like writing for country music websites, for example.
“Thought You Should Know” – Morgan Wallen
Sometimes you just gotta ease mama’s mind… you know, just give a call and let her know that, no, you’re not a drug dealing college dropout on the verge of prison or death. Hey mom, just thought you should know…
“Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” – Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson
The classic warning to mamas everywhere worried about the future careers of their young children. If they’re doctors and lawyers and such, they’ll be alright. Right? But the best line in this song is that
“He ain’t wrong, he’s just different But his pride won’t let him Do things to make you think he’s right.”
We’re just “different,” Mom. Quit worrying!
“Mama Tried” – Merle Haggard
The ultimate, rebel ode to Mama’s best efforts from one of country music’s greats. The protagonist was the one rebel child that Mama didn’t know what to do with. And despite her best efforts, she couldn’t change him.
A message like that is real and strangely comforting to a parent like me. These kids are who they are, regardless of how we raise them. We hope we can try our best and keep them from turning 21 in prison. But they’re unique humans, just like us.
And not even the goddess-like Mama ideal can change the trajectory of a kid who needs to be a degenerate for a little while.
Raise a glass for our Mamas this weekend and play one of these songs. Because she tried, and that’s what matters most.