Whether it's to a first-time mom in her 20s or 30s, a tired mama of six or a mother who now has an empty nest, Mother's Day is a great time to say "thank you" to all of the moms out there.
Faith Hill, the Band Perry, Jimmy Dean and many other country artists have recorded songs that show just how much moms are loved, needed and cherished. These 10 country tunes say a whole lot of fantastic things about moms -- and, yeah, they make us cry, too.
Released in 1996 as Hill's fourth single from It Matters to Me, "You Can't Lose Me" tugged at the heartstrings of mothers and daughters everywhere, chronicling a mother supporting her tiny daughter from when she finishes last in a race to the day she has to let her daughter fly free and chase her dreams. The chorus, "You can't lose me / Bet your life / I am here, and I will always be / Just a wish away / Wherever you go / No matter how far / My love is where you are," is enough to evoke some tears and require a few tissues.
Released in 2003, McBride's "In My Daughter's Eyes" was a hit both on the charts and within the hearts of moms everywhere. A mama herself, McBride sings of the character she hopes to instill in her daughter, as well as of the lessons she learns by looking at life through her little girl's eyes.
Swift is a lyrics queen, but "The Best Day" is certainly one of her most emotive. In it, she sings about memories from her childhood and tough times in middle school ... and through it all, her mom was there. Now that she's grown, Swift wants to be sure her mom knows that the best days were spent with her: "Now I know why all the trees change in the fall / I know you were on my side / Even when I was wrong / And I love you for giving me your eyes / Staying back and watching me shine." The music video made her mom cry -- and it makes us cry, too.
When mamas let their daughters grow up, follow their hearts and get married, they want one thing: for their little girls to be loved. Underwood's Grammy-nominated "Mama's Song" tells her mother that she found a man that "treats her little girl like a real man should." It's enough to make a mama's eyes fill with tears of joy -- and relief. Plus, it's a real-life story for Underwood, who married Mike Fisher; both he and Underwood's mom are featured in the song's music video.
"Somebody's Hero" is perhaps one of country music's most beautiful odes to moms; it's a song written and recorded by O'Neal and sentimentally looks at the various roles a mother plays. Even if she never walked on the moon, rescued someone from a burning building or hit a game-winning shot, she's a hero -- a hero to her daughter.
Dean takes an I.O.U. list to a sweet and sentimental level, paying tribute to mothers with the song "I.O.U." It's a recitation with instrumental backing and reflects on all the ways his mom was there for him over the years. From cook and cleaner to bodyguard and nurse, his mom gave so much to him, but the clincher happens at the end of the song, when Dean admits his I.O.U.s add up to more than he could ever repay -- but his mom marked the entire bill "paid in full" for just one thing: "For just one kiss and four little words ... Mom, I love you!"
Recorded by Campbell and Steve Wariner, the duet "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle" dropped in May 1987 and is a simple and beautiful tribute to moms, who start loving their babies from the moment they're born. "There ought to be a hall of fame for mamas / Creation's most unique and precious pearls / And heaven help us always to remember / That the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world," they sing.
This song gets us every time. It begins with Travis singing about his friend who isn't sure he believes in angels. Travis immediately retorts in the song, "Well, you missed the most obvious thing / Man, are you blind? / Just look in your mother's eyes." He sings of everything mothers do to ensure that their children are cared for and safe, from the moment they see their child and count his or her fingers and toes, to the long nights spent waiting up for kids, praying for their safety.
Sibling trio the Band Perry, made up of Kimberly, Reid and Neil Perry, are obviously a tight-knit group. And the woman who rules the roost -- their mama, Marie -- is a very important part of their family. They laud her in this gorgeous song, singing about what the world would be like if everyone had mother like theirs. "Oh, the wars would all be over / 'Cause she'd raise us all as friends / And no one would ever wonder if somebody wanted them / Tonight would be easier / And our dreams would all be deeper / If the world had a mother like mine," the trio sings. Indeed, Mama Perry sounds like the real deal. Can we borrow her?
Brooks has paid tribute to his mom before, in an earlier song, "It's Your Song," but his most recent mom-focused song, simply titled "Mom," is a doozy. It's from his record Man Against Machine, and Brooks admits that the song is one of his favorite songs he's ever recorded, second only to "The Dance."
"It's a conversation between God and this unborn child, [who is] about ready to go down to Earth," he explains. "And when God describes what a mom is ... whew, it kills me."