OK, if we're going to let Amy Winehouse complain about her father-in-law, in fairness, we have to find songs to complain about mother. Now, as I've pointed out in this column before, when Fred Flintstone decided to become a songwriter he researched his market and discovered that people liked love songs and songs about mother. So that's what he did. These people took a different tact.
Tex And The Horseheads--"Oh Mother": I get so many requests from readers asking for more Tex And The Horseheads that I feel as if it's my duty to mention them here. They were a struggling cowpunk band back 25 years ago and to think they're still going at it makes you wonder how many times a man can hit his thumb with a hammer and ignore the pain and bleeding. But that's what true rockers do! They don't sit around and whine about how bad they had it. They make their present day a living hell of long nights and endless tours! What--and quit showbiz?
Three Dog Night--"Mama Told Me Not To Come": Randy Newman wrote it, but Three Dog Night sang it louder. Louder is always better. This tune is about a party that the singer was advised not to attend by his mother. But being the rebellious sort, he goes anyway and discovers that mother was right. These are bad people doing bad things. He will sit in hell for a very long time, where it is very, very hot, for disobeying his mother. A precautionary tale for everyone. If a party sounds like it might not be to your liking, you don't have to go. And if it looks like rain, bring your slicker.
John Lennon--"Mother": John Lennon liked to complain. He needed Help! He likened himself to a "Nowhere Man" who didn't do anything. He sang tunes in praise of sleeping. When he was a boy everything was right and then everything went to crap. By the time the English government dissolved the Beatles he was recording songs about how if his parents hadn't left him to be raised by his aunt Mimi he might've done something productive in the Steamfitters Union. But instead, he had to go out and become a world-famous rockstar and, well, the rest just sucks eggs.
Pink Floyd--"Mother": Another one where mom just can't get it right. This mother isn't neglectful but too protective, makes everyone wash their hands so no one dirty gets through. But to this advanced-placement student, the over-protectiveness builds a wall between the child and the world and as anyone who's listened to the entirety of Pink Floyd's The Wall can tell you, to this guy every issue is a stupid wall that must be knocked down. How this guy keeps a roof over his head is beyond me.
Misfits--"Mommy Can I Go Out And Kill Tonight": File this under If you have to ask....