There's nothing like a mother's love and moms own a special place in country music lore. From Waylon and Willie's classic version of "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys" and Merle Haggard's iconic "Mama Tried" to modern tunes from Carrie Underwood, country songs about moms hit home.
And in most cases, it's a good thing -- though there are plenty of tragic tales (like Garth Brooks' "Papa Loved Mama). But since Mother's Day is coming up, one of the best days of the year devoted to our hard-working mothers, we wanted to take a look at some of our favorite songs about moms, from classic artists to modern stars.
Here is our list of the best country songs about moms. Happy Mother's Day!
12. Taylor Swift, "The Best Day"
There's nothing like spending a day with your mom. Taylor Swift celebrates those perfect days on her sweet tribute to her mom, "The Best Day."
11. Kacey Musgraves, "Mother"
Kacey Musgraves' stunning "Mother," from her 2018 album Golden Hour, considers generations of mothers and the pain of missing your mom.
10. Sugarland, "Mother"
Sugarland released this song, from their album Bigger, in 2018. It's a beautiful ode to the love of a mother and also includes a nod to a few progressive causes. "As long as they are good to you, that's enough," Jennifer Nettles sings. "First thing she taught you was love is love." Nettles is a new mom herself, so you know this one carries a lot of weight.
9. The Band Perry, "Mother Like Mine"
The Band Perry's 2013 album Pioneer featured plenty of hits, but the deep cut "Mother Like Mine" might be one of the sweetest songs on the record, particularly because the trio wrote it for their mom. Sometimes it just means more when you know it comes from the person singing it.
8. Carrie Underwood, "Mama's Song"
From her 2009 album Play On, "Mama's Song" is a beautiful tribute song co-written by Carrie Underwood meant to let her mother know she's in good hands with her new love. It also came about during an important time in her life -- when she got married to husband Mike Fisher. She earned a Grammy nomination for the song.
7. Jimmy Dean, "I.O.U."
This one is a little out of left-field as far as songs go, but it's a real tear-jerker and one worth listening through with your mom around. Dean recorded the song in the 1970s, but really he just recited all of the things he owes his mom for with a musical accompaniment. It's really adorable and truly captures the relationship between a mom and son.
6. Michael Tyler, "Hey Mama"
Michael Tyler's song is another great example of a song between mom and son that feels genuine. It's about finding that right person and wanting to tell your mother, who has always been there for you through all the, well, not-so-good relationships.
5. C.W. McCall, "Roses For Mama"
Known for his trucker songs and talk-singing (eat your heart out, Sam Hunt), C.W. McCall delivered a guilt trip song for the ages with "Roses For Mama." It's about a little boy who buys flowers for his mom's grave, reminding the narrator to not take his own mom for granted. It's an expertly delivered tune, even if it's totally emotional blackmail. It might be one of the saddest country songs about moms, but it's definitely effective.
4. Shenandoah, "Mama Knows"
Ah yes, that 1980s country gold sound wrapped around a nostalgic tune about how moms know everything about their kids, from their misdeeds to the heartaches to their hopes and dreams. "Even when I think it doesn't show, mama knows." Now that's a line every mom can get behind.
3. Jamie O'Neal, "Somebody's Hero"
Jamie O'Neal's "Somebody's Hero" praises moms for doing the everyday things they need to in order to protect their family, giving them the heroic label so many deserve.
2. Garth Brooks, "Mom"
As Garth Brooks' explains, his ode to mom is a conversation between God and an unborn baby. And it's really something special. Just watch this performance.
1. Dolly Parton, "Coat Of Many Colors"
Most folks know this tune -- it inspired movies, books and plenty other things. But how often do we think of Dolly Parton's classic as one of the best country songs about moms? Because while it might not be as heavy handed as others (like C.W. McCall's), this song about making something out of nothing and inspiring your kids to be more than just the sum of their parts is really special.
This article was originally published in 2018. It was updated on May 7, 2021.