Beautiful Memorial Music: “Mama You Sweet” by Lucinda Williams

A beautiful memorial song that encapsulates the physical and emotional severity of a daughter’s grief and love for her mother
Ocean waves crashing against rocks representing grief and loss

Credit: Pinterest

On her 2007 album, West, one of my favorite singer-songwriters, Lucinda Williams, released an intensely beautiful song about her love for her mother and her grief over her death called “Mama You Sweet.” “Mama You Sweet” starts with the repetition of six simple yet powerful words, “I love you Mama you sweet,” and then progresses to describing the severe physical pain of grief she feels for her mother’s death through the metaphor of the ocean.

Backed by a gentle acoustic guitar, mixed with drums and percussion melody, Williams’ sultry and husky voice emulates the raw emotions a daughter close to what her mother might experience when grieving her death. This beautiful memorial song demonstrates how emotionally and physically painful the grieving process can be for anyone who is mourning the loss of someone they deeply loved. Using intense imagery in a metaphor for the ocean as her spirit reminds us of how lasting grief can be no matter how long it has been since someone beloved has died. There are many nuances in the grieving process for each individual. Williams’ metaphor of the ocean as grief commences with how it “becomes heavy and tries/To push its way out/Through these ancient eyes/And the memories in my mouth.”

Lucinda Williams


“Mama You Sweet” flows with detailed descriptions of the pain and tears of Williams’ grief. The beautiful imagery represents how consuming grief can be, even during the burial and final goodbyes. As Williams sings, “…tears hand me a shovel/Saying break beneath the crust/That binds earthly skin/And buries all the trust.” This song would be perfect for a daughter wanting to eulogize the mother she has lost, yet who might be having difficulty expressing her feelings due to the physical and emotional severity of her grief.

I love you Mama you sweet
I love you Mama you sweet
I love you Mama you sweet
I love you Mama you sweet
I love you Mama you sweet

With an ocean in my spirit
And cracks on my lips
And scars in my heart
And this burden on my hips

Ocean becomes heavy and tries
To push its way out
Through these ancient eyes
And the memories in my mouth

Ocean becomes tears
That ebb and flow
Over the lines in my face
And the pain in my soul…

Read the rest of the lyrics here.

Check out more of SevenPonds’ sayings and songs here.

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