Country Clichés Unraveled: ‘Mama Tried’

In our new series Country Cliches Unraveled, takes a look at common subjects that have populated country songs for decades. This week, the subject is mothers.

Whether she’s alive or dead, in country music, mothers are saints. At least, that’s the picture we get when looking at how dear ol’ mom has been treated in songs throughout the past century.


Ne’er Forget

Since country music traffics so often in sentimentalism, it’s little surprise mothers were a favorite subject during the dawn of the commercial country era in the 1920s, which was frequently populated by rural versions of Victorian-era parlor songs.

In 1925, for instance, Vernon Dalhart sang “I Will Ne’er Forget My Mother and My Home,” a sticky-sweet remembrance of an idealized childhood. One of Dalhart’s contemporaries, Carson Robison, also chimed in on the topic, though recordings of his like “Since Mother’s Gone,” “Mother’s Plea” and “You’ll Never Miss Your Mother Till She’s Gone” take on a more cautious tone – as in, don’t take your mama for granted, because she won’t be around forever.


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