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Hey Mama: The Best Songs About Moms

(Getty Images) Sometimes you just need a stilted rap from Mr. T to express your feelings for one of the most important people in your world: Your mom. This mother's day, celebrate her with a diverse assortment of songs inspired by matriarchs, from the touching ("Hey Mama") to the mildly terrible ("Treat Your Mother Right").

It doesn't matter which song you play your mom come Sunday — all these songs are about an enduring love, in the end.

1. "Treat Your Mother Right," Mr. T
This track off of Mr. T's motivational video Be Somebody... Or Be Somebody's Fool! is not actually good. It's GREAT. Mr. T preaches the truth in acrostic lyrics written by a pre-SVU Ice-T: "M is for the moan, and the miserable groan / from the pain that She felt when I was born!"

2. "A Song for Mama," Boyz II Men
This track was actually Boyz II Men's last top 10 pop hit — and one of their sweetest recordings, ever. If your mom is anything like mine, she'll pretend to know the lyrics and attempt to sing along when you play it for her. As in, she'll love it.

3. "Hey Mama," Kanye West
Kanye West's ode to his mother was a heartbreaker when he first released it in 2005, but it became even more powerful after her sudden death in 2007. It's a gorgeous gesture of appreciation that should give anyone with a heart chills. Check out West's live performance of the song at Coachella in 2011.

4. "Mama's Song," Carrie Underwood
For literal moms, there's country music. Underwood's mother and husband co-star in the music video for "Mama's Song," in which a daughter assures her mother that her husband-to-be is a good man and she'll be okay. Aww.

5. "Mama," Spice Girls
Easily the deepest song on the Spice Girls' debut album Spice, "Mama" is a musical apology to moms on behalf of bad girls. So if you were that kid who had to be picked up from the police station because you were holding "some guy's" beer at a concert, then maybe this is the song for you and your poor, poor mom.

6. "Dear Mama," Tupac
Tupac wasn't available to star in the video for his tribute to mom Afeni Shakur, as he was incarcerated at the time. Funny, considering the song includes the line, "I was a fool with the big boys, breakin' all the rules."

7. "The Best Day," Taylor Swift
The video for Swift's 2009 hit "The Best Day" is a 4:36 trip through the Swift family archive, so naturally it's adorable and occasionally awkward and just so, so sweet. Unfortunately, my mom can't stand Taylor Swift (she still hasn't forgiven her for that Grammy duet with Stevie Nicks), but I think even she would be moved by this song.

8. "Mother Mother," Tracy Bonham
Okay, so this is most definitely not the song your mom wants to hear this Mother's Day. It's noisy and uncomfortable and maybe hits a little too close to home for anyone who has trouble paying their bills but doesn't want the parents to know ("I'm hungry, I'm dirty, I'm losing my mind, everything's fine!"). But: Rock violin! And it ends with "I miss you, I love you," so there.

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