From Halsey to Foo Fighters, these tracks tell a parent’s story with raw honesty.
With the recent release of Halsey’s inspirational new album If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power, produced by Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, we have been reflecting on the world of motherhood - which is one thing that remains just as difficult whether or not you are a famous popstar.
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These musicians have written some of the most authentic songs about motherhood and pregnancy you’ll probably ever hear.
Halsey - 1121
And if truth be told, it's scary / ‘Cause my shoulders are heavy already / And, yeah, I know / The parts of myself that I've hated / And I can't tell which ones are mine / And which I created.
Since the birth of her son in July, Halsey has been extremely candid about her pregnancy journey, opening up about how her history of miscarriages made her feel fear and guilt rather than gratitude, not to mention the hostility she felt at the hands of the music industry.
But she proudly displays her baby in the artwork for her latest album If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power which features the track 1121; named for the day she discovered she was pregnant. Needless to say, she talks a lot about her changing body and her fears of another miscarriage in the song.
Brody Dalle - Meet the Foetus / Oh the Joy ft. Emily Kokal & Shirley Manson
You have sailed through the eye of my needle / A perfect parasite, burgeoning Eden / You and I, DNA / You’ll never get away.
For her solo return in 2014, former Distillers front woman Brody Dalle released a visceral single entitled Meet the Foetus / Oh the Joy featuring Emily Kokal of Warpaint and Shirley Manson of Garbage.
The track is the lead single from her solo debut Diploid Love; “diploid” meaning a cell with paired chromosomes, one from each parent.
Foo Fighters - Miracle
Begging for sweet relief / A blessing in disguise / Dying behind these tired eyes / I’ve been losing sleep.
It’s not just mothers who face a harsh reality check upon the birth of their child, fathers also find themselves disorientated by their lives turning upside down, and the desperation that comes with sleep deprivation. Foo Fighters express such a feeling in Miracle, taken from their 2006 fifth album In Your Honor.
Ed Sheeran - Small Bump
'Cause you were just a small bump unborn / For four months then torn from life / Maybe you were needed up there / But we're still unaware as why.
This heart-wrenching track describes the hopes and dreams a person has in early pregnancy, only for those to be snatched away in an instant after a miscarriage. Such a common occurrence, and there’s a different kind of grief attached to such a tragedy.
Whilst he doesn’t speak from personal experience here, Ed Sheeran’s track from his debut album + (Plus) was influenced by a friend of his who went through it.
Sandi Thom - Tightrope
So scared / Don’t know where to begin / This fear has settled in / Tell me / Couple of weeks and it will finally fade / So why am I still so afraid?
Best known for her 2006 number one debut single I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair), Sandi Thom later wrote a poignant single about her experiences with the hell that is post-natal depression.
Tightrope was a self-released single from 2017, released in conjunction with Mother’s Day and it’s one of the most authentic tracks we’ve ever heard that deals directly with post-natal depression: the fear, the crushing responsibility and the worry that you’ll never be good enough.
Brandi Carlile - The Mother
The first things that she took from me were selfishness and sleep / She broke a thousand heirlooms I was never meant to keep / She filled my life with color, cancelled plans and trashed my car / But none of that is ever who we are.
A lot of this track is your usual blissful parenthood spiel, but there are certain lyrics that do make you nod your head in exasperated agreement. Brandi Carlile wrote The Mother as part of her Grammy-winning 2018 album By the Way, I Forgive You.