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Mother’s Day Songs That Will Make You Laugh, Cry and Dance

All over the world mothers are celebrated in stories, legends, poetry and song. The language used may vary, the days to celebrate may be different, however, every culture takes the time to show how kids

All over the world mothers are celebrated in stories, legends, poetry and song. The language used may vary, the days to celebrate may be different, however, every culture takes the time to show how kids delight in their mothers and how mothers live on forever through their beloved family and children.


In Africa children pamper their mothers on this particular day where the child becomes the caretaker of the mother and gives her a treat. Mothers are exempted from the daily chores. This is the day mothers sit back, relax and watch their favorite movies while children take over the kitchen, from morning tea in bed to dessert at night, children do everything for their mother. She is definitely a person we owe our lives to, obviously because she has given birth to us and because she is always there for us.


So in the spirit of Mother’s Day, here are our picks for the 10 best mom-inspired songs of all time.


1. Asa- So beautiful
‘So Beautiful’, is apparently written for Asa’s mother. The song extols the virtue of her mother and praises her for being beautiful. According to one Amazon.com reviewer, Nse Ette, –

“…the ode to her mother “So beautiful” … [is] outstandingly sung in English and Yoruba, it is a tempo shifting acoustic ballad/highlife tune sprinkled ever so lightly with talking drums…is so heartfelt…”

In this very soulful song,  Asa prays for all mothers ; mothers who put up with so much only because of the love they have for their children. Quite an emotional song.  It was an incredible song then, and it is an incredible song now. Asa is absolutely talented and the raving reviews from her fans and music critics alike all point in one direction – greatness. I hope that someday, Asa, and other highly talented Nigerian musicians will become regular fodder for airwaves everywhere.


2. Prince Nico Mbarga – Sweet Mother
‘Sweet Mother’ is one of the most popular songs on the African continent, ahead of Miriam Makeba‘s ‘Malaika’, Franco‘s ‘Mario’, and Fela Kuti‘s ‘Lady’. What is so special about this song, is that it is an ode to all our precious mothers, it is often called Africa’s anthem sung by a child to his mother. It is a highlife song sung by Cameroonian-Nigerian artist Prince Nico Mbarga and his group Rocafil Jazz International. The song has rocked many on the continent. Sung in Pidgin English, ‘Sweet Mother’ became one of the top sellers in the history of Nigerian music.  It was voted as Africa’s favorite song by BBC in 2004.

Afropolitan pop, reggae, soul, funkadocious group Soulfege also took the African Diaspora by storm with their remix of Prince Nico Mbarga’s famous African tune, ‘Sweet Mother.’ Soulfege had Ghana’s Derrick Nii Ashong, Kelley Nicole, Jonathan Gramling, and James Shelton at the time. They had three remixes including the ‘Sweet Mother’ radio jam and then the ‘Sweet Mother’ remix. They even launched a whole Sweet Mother Tour!

3. Boyz II Men – A Song for Mama

Boyz II Men recognize that it’s their mothers who have always been the best women in their lives in ‘A Song for Mama.’ The boys sing a heartfelt tribute to their moms recognizing how they were always the driving force of support and love. Standout lyric: “You were there for me to love and care for me. When skies were grey. Whenever I was down. You were always there to comfort me.”

The song was part of the soundtrack to the acclaimed 1997 film “Soul Food.”


4. Tupac –  Dear Mama
“There’s no way I can pay you back but my plan is to show you that I understand…you are appreciated.” Isn’t that how so many of us feel about our mothers and motherly figures as we become adults?  Tupac opened up about his relationship with his mom which included how much he put her through whenever he’d get into some serious trouble.  It certainly tells how we never realize what we may put our parents through until we’re much older.

Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur, died on May 2nd. She was a former member of the Black Panther party, an activist and community leader.


5. Brenda Fassie – Mama
‘Mama’ was sung by Brenda Fassie in the early 90’s. The song pays homage to Fassie’s mother who passed away. She asks her to rest in peace and that she will always be in her heart and asks God to bless her soul.  Fassie is not just a South African singer, but a pan-African “griot” (storyteller). Over a career spanning two decades, Brenda Fassie enjoyed a string of hits and multi-platinum selling releases. Some of her best-known protest songs include “Black President” and “Good Black Woman”. She recorded for EMI South Africa division CCP Records over her entire career.  Fassie passed away in 2004. She left a void in the music world that will be hard to replace. I loved her and forever miss her. May her soul rest eternal in peace.


To all the women out there who nurture children daily, to mothers and soon-to-be mothers, these songs are dedicated to you. Happy Mother’s Day.

Debo Folorunsho
Debo Folorunsho serves as CEO of Applause Africa Communications and Executive Producer of the African Diaspora Awards. He has worked in Visual Design at Music Creative Group, Warner Music Communications and Design Group, and Permission Data.
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