This Sunday, many of us will honor the ladies who gave us life, fed and clothed us, wiped the gunk from our faces, and turned us into the productive members of society our parole officers tell us we’re finally becoming.
But not everyone’s memories of mom are so warm and fuzzy. In recognition of all the dysfunctional families out there, Hive compiled a list of unconventional Mother’s Day jams — songs about drugs, killing, abandonment and oh yeah, more drugs.
1. Eminem: “My Mom”
Em recorded this Relapse song when he was still in his faux-Jamaican-patois phase, but the silly accent can’t mask the vitriol in this chorus: “My mom loved Valium and lots of drugs/That’s why I am like I am — ‘cuz I’m like her.” “My Mom” is hardly the most entertaining Debbie Mathers dis track in Em’s catalog, but coming at a time when he was still in the grips of prescription-drug addiction, it might be the most real — a Mother’s Day card with a bill for rehab attached.
2. Kate Bush: “Mother Stands for Comfort”
Until Hallmark makes a “Thanks, Mom, For Helping Me Commit Murder” card, this eerie Kate Bush lullaby will have to do. It’s like they say: The family that stashes bodies together, stays together.
3. Misfits: “Mommy, Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight”
Should Kate Bush tire of her murder-enabling mom, she might pass her off to Glenn Danzig — or at least the teenage serial killer he plays in this horror-punk classic. Sure, the character is a deranged psychopath, but at the end of the day, when he’s polishing the teeth he keeps as souvenirs of his kills, he just wants his mother’s approval.
4. John Lennon: “Mother”
As a Beatle, Lennon made no secret of his mommy issues, but it wasn’t until 1970, after experimenting with primal-scream therapy, that he really opened up about his feelings of abandonment. “Mother, you had me/But I never had you,” he sings at the start of his solo debut, setting the template for the kind of raw self-examination that would characterize his songwriting for the remainder of his life.
5. Tupac: “Dear Mama”
“Dear Mama” is one of Pac’s most frequently quoted tracks — a tender-thug anthem and thank-you note to a single woman on welfare who did the best she could. “Even as a crack fiend, mama/You always were a black queen, mama,” he raps in the most famous line, sounding decidedly less judgmental than the rapper who started our list.