The song is another that addresses Eminem's relationship with his daughter Hailie Jade, his adopted daughter Alaina and his relationship with his wife Kim. The single cover features a still from the video with Eminem sitting on the couch.
The lyrics are a personal, undisguised account of his early relationship with his wife and daughters. Critics praised the song for its lyrics. This song mixes an original rap dialogue about Kim Mathers's drug and alcohol use, infidelities, and trouble with the law, as he apologizes to his daughters with a straight melodic version of the traditional "Mockingbird" lullaby called "Hush, Little Baby".
Entertainment Weekly's David Browne was angered: "Again he addresses a song to his daughter (Mockingbird) and explains how he's working hard at being a good father." J-23 of HipHopDX praised the song: "Things get a bit better at the end, 'Mockingbird' is another song for Hailie that is most notable for flawless delivery." Steve Jones of USA Today was positive: "The affectionate Mockingbird talks directly to his 9-year-old daughter, Hailie Jade, and 8-year-old niece, Alaina, trying to explain Kim's troubles with the law and his constant travel." James Corne of RapReviews was also satisfied, saying, "Predictably, Eminem lays down one for Hailie with "Mockingbird," but what is not foreseeable is that it actually works"; and he noted that it imitates Em himself.The New York Times was mixed: "the I-love-my-daughter ode 'Mockingbird'" isn't the most exciting thing according to Kelefa Sanneh.Stylus Magazine was negative: "Encore dutifully deploys the obligatory Hailie ode ("Mockingbird")."
The A.V. Club was a bit positive: "On 'Mockingbird,' Eminem lets his hatred of his ex-wife lie dormant just long enough to provide his daughter with a haunting account of how parents sometimes just can't make it work, no matter how much both parties want to."Los Angeles Times also agreed: "In the tender 'Mockingbird,' the Detroit-based rapper outlines his devotion to his daughter, Hailie. Against a restrained, almost hypnotic musical backdrop, Eminem tries to help the child make sense of a world in which her father is always on the run because of his career, and her mother, Kim, makes headlines with legal troubles, including a drug arrest last year. Normally, much of Eminem's lure as a rapper is in the speed and authority of his rapid-fire delivery, but he raps here with the gentleness of a man with his arms around his daughter: 'I know it's confusing to you/ Daddy's always on the move/ Mama's always on the news.'"The Austin Chronicle is a bit negative, saying that in the song "he still hates his ... ex-wife as much as he loves his daughter. Yawn."The Boston Phoenix called it "the address-to-his-daughter" song that is "more consistently remarkable than 'Mosh'".
The video premiered on MTV TRL on February 21, 2005 and features Eminem sitting in a living room all alone watching home movies about his daughters. Directorial video for John "QUIG" Quigley. This is the second video to feature Eminem with his glasses, the first being "Stan".