Mother Mother (song)

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"Mother Mother"
Mother mother.jpg
Single by Tracy Bonham
from the album The Burdens of Being Upright
FormatCD single
Songwriter(s)Tracy Bonham
Producer(s)Paul Q. Kolderie, Sean Slade
Tracy Bonham singles chronology
"Mother Mother"
"Sharks Can't Sleep"

"Mother Mother" is a song by Tracy Bonham from her debut album The Burdens of Being Upright. It reached number one on Billboard magazine's Modern Rock Tracks chart in mid-1996. It was the last song by a female solo artist to top this chart until "Royals" by Lorde in August 2013, by which time the chart had been renamed Billboard Alternative Songs.[1] The song was particularly successful in Australia, where it reached number five on the ARIA Singles Chart, received a Gold certification from ARIA, and became Australia's 46th best-selling single of 1996. The song also reached number three on the Canadian RPM Alternative 30, number six in Norway, and the top 40 in the Netherlands and New Zealand.


The song's lyrics resemble a telephone call by a young woman to her mother. The verses detail her experiences with several mundane aspects of her daily life but then the chorus provides an uglier, darker contrast with Bonham screaming the lyrics, leading up to the climactic lines

"I'm freezing, I'm starving, I'm bleeding to death, everything's fine! I miss you, I love you..."

Music videos[edit]

Two music videos were shot for the song and were used on both MTV and VH-1:

One video, directed by Jake Scott, was shot for MTV featuring an older woman (Bonham's real life mother) turning on the television on which Tracy's image is singing as the woman proceeds to clean the room. The backing band is seen as well playing in an adjoining dining room. The video had a disjointed quality about it and was perfect for the tone of MTV (which was still playing alternative rock at the time).

A second video was shot for more family-friendly VH-1 in which the entire band including Bonham are in a large clothes closet as she sings into a mirror and then quick shots of her are shown playfully trying on different kinds of women's clothes.

Charts and certifications[edit]


In 2005 the song was covered by The Veronicas on their album The Secret Life Of....


  1. ^ "Lorde First Woman in 17 Years to Top Alternative with 'Royals'". Billboard. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  2. ^ " – Tracy Bonham – Mother Mother". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  3. ^ " – Tracy Bonham – Mother Mother" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  4. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 8487." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  5. ^ "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 2974." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  6. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 42, 1996" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  7. ^ " – Tracy Bonham – Mother Mother" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  8. ^ " – Tracy Bonham – Mother Mother". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  9. ^ " – Tracy Bonham – Mother Mother". VG-lista. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  10. ^ "Tracy Bonham Chart History (Radio Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  11. ^ "Tracy Bonham Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  12. ^ "Tracy Bonham Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  13. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 50 Singles 1996". ARIA. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  14. ^ "1996 ARIA Singles Chart". ARIA. Retrieved October 24, 2018.

External links[edit]