Mother Mother (song)

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"Mother Mother"
Mother mother.jpg
Single by Tracy Bonham
from the album The Burdens of Being Upright
Released 1996
Format CD single
Recorded 1996
Genre Post-grunge
Length 3:00
Label Polygram
Writer(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.[1] 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.[2]


The song's lyrics resemble a letter or 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..."

The 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.

Notable Covers[edit]

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


Chart (1996)[3] Peak
Australian Singles Chart 5
Dutch Singles Chart 32
New Zealand Singles Chart 13
Norwegian Singles Chart 6
US Radio Songs (Billboard)[4] 32
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[5] 1
US Mainstream Rock Tracks (Billboard) 18


  1. ^ Artist Chart History
  2. ^ "Lorde First Woman in 17 Years to Top Alternative with 'Royals'". Billboard. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "Mother Mother", various Singles Chart (Retrieved February 14, 2008)
  4. ^ "Tracy Bonham – Chart history" Billboard Radio Songs for Tracy Bonham. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  5. ^ "Tracy Bonham – Chart history" Billboard Alternative Songs for Tracy Bonham. Retrieved October 2, 2012.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Salvation" by The Cranberries
Billboard Modern Rock Tracks number-one single
June 8, 1996 - June 22, 1996
Succeeded by
"Counting Blue Cars" by Dishwalla