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taylor swift, the best day
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Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s “The Best Day” and Other Musical Tributes to Mom

May 16, 2009
by Lindsey Chapman
A fresh song from Taylor Swift emphasizes just how meaningful and powerful the bond between a mother and her child can be. Many other artists have also used music to celebrate the relationship they have (or sadly, had) with their moms.

“The Best Day”

Taylor Swift has said her song “The Best Day” is “probably the most personal song that I’ve ever written.”

A special Christmas gift for her mom, the young country music standout wrote and recorded the song secretly, and even added videos from her childhood to make the memento special as a music video.

Although it was a personal gesture for her own mom, Swift’s sentiments have struck a chord with many.

E! Online says, “While we can sometimes get pretty cynical around here at the first sign of anything even remotely bordering on supersappy, we have to admit the songbird's new video for her tune ‘The Best Day’ kinda got to us.”

On writing “The Best Day,” Swift says, “It was really cool to go back to that place and reflect. I wrote some of the lyrics in the song, sort of in a childlike kind of language, which was really fun for me as a writer to stretch that way.” She frequently writes songs based on her own experiences.

Swift also noted that she “absolutely can't stop writing songs,” estimating that she’s done “about 500” altogether. “I go through situations and I go through experiences and I go through life and I need to write it. I need to write it down. It's like breathing.”

Tribute to a Fallen Leader

In another heartfelt tribute to a mother, the daughter of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has written and performed a rap song to commemorate her life.

Serving twice as Pakistani prime minister, Benazir was ousted from office both times. She spent five years in prison and left the country in 1999 dogged by charges of corruption. Bhutto was campaigning to be elected a third time when she was shot dead by a sniper on Dec. 27, 2007.

In “I Would Take the Pain Away,” her daughter, Bakhtawar, laments, “My mother was murdered, I don't even comprehend.” Her poignant feelings for her mother haven’t been lost on listeners, but unfortunately, the reviews of her song haven’t been stellar.

“Her heart is absolutely in the right place, and we love that Pakistani television is airing the clip, but Bhutto would’ve been better off getting an all-star group to record a tribute single,” wrote the National Post in January 2009.

More than anything, Bhutto says the song is “a tribute of a grieving daughter to her iconic and loving mother,” honoring Benazir Bhutto as “the epitome of benevolence” and a person with “crazy courage.”

Sons Show Sentiment, Too

But the love of a son for his mother has been depicted through music, too. Kanye West has frequently acknowledged the important role his mother played in his life. His song, “Hey Mama,” is a tribute to his mother, Dr. Donda West.

Dr. West cried when she first heard the number, Kanye told MTV in 2005. “Even me sitting back thinking about all the stuff now, thinking about all the stuff my mother has done for me, it makes me wanna call her.” She died in 2007 of complications from a surgical procedure.

The Mysterious Bond Between Mothers and Their Children

To many, the bond between a mother and child may feel intensely personal—and perhaps even indescribable—but that doesn’t mean people haven’t tried to comprehend what makes that relationship so very powerful.

“To understand a mother’s love, it helps to see her with the babies she cares for,” writes Mark Hare of Rochester’s Democrat and Chronicle. “All those hours when the baby is cradled in her arms, nestled at her neck.”

Such a connection is born over time, Hare states, and it is a “silent and deeper bond that leaves us speechless when we think about Mom.”

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