The annals of rock & roll folklore are full of tough mothers, evil mothers, motorcycle mamas, mothers of invention. Although stars love to get sentimental over their mamas, there's something special about the fearsome, badass maternal figures of rock & roll – whether it's LL Cool J's mama telling him to knock you out, or Rosalita's mama chasing Bruce Springsteen off the porch with a broom. So here's a few of our favorite mom songs.
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Queen, "Tie Your Mother Down" (1976)
Don't do that!
Mr. T, "Treat Your Mother Right" (1984)
Bruce Springsteen, "Rosalita" (1974)
"I know your mama, she don't like me/'Cause I play in a rock & roll band." To this day, Rosie's ma probably yells at her about how she disgraced the family name with that skinny creep from the swamps of Jersey, with his scraggly beard and daringly tilted beret.
Funkadelic, "Cosmic Slop" (1973)
A young man moans over grimy Hendrix-gone-uptown guitars about being haunted by his mama's deal with the forces of evil: To feed her kids, she sold herself as a dancer to the devil. (Take that, Ozzy!) He hears her voice in his drugged-out head – "Would you like to dance with me?/I'm doing the cosmic slop" – as the guitars voice her soul.
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Neil Young, "Cinnamon Girl" (1969)
"Mom, send me money now": How many footloose hippies have sent a letter like that back home in 1969? But only Neil Young was honest enough to admit it in a song. Did his mom write back, "Get a job, or at least hire a semi-competent rhythm section"? Nope – she probably just wired the dough. Neil had it made.
Lynyrd Skynyrd, "Simple Man" (1973)
Can you imagine how tough Ronnie Van Zandt's mama must have been? Now there's a hard-ass Southern matriarch for you – she probably shot down a lot of free birds in her day.