Contact Us

Natalie Maines, ‘Mother’ (Pink Floyd Cover) – Song Review

West of Memphis
Sony Legacy

Natalie Maines is supporting the West Memphis Three with a cover of Pink Floyd‘s ‘Mother’ for ‘West of Memphis: Voices For Justice,’ a benefit album for Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr. and Jason Baldwin, whose story is told in the 2012 ‘West of Memphis‘ documentary. The longtime Dixie Chicks singer’s performance only hints at her country pedigree, and leaves behind much of the bravado she’s known for. It’s a humble, passionate cover.

Roger Waters left a lot of room between lyrics in his original 1979 track from ‘The Wall.’ That’s dangerous for someone approaching the song anew. There’s space to improvise, which would generally not be a good idea. Maines respects the original arrangement, allowing only her natural vocal style to alter the song from the one classic rock fans know and love.

Ooooh Babe Ooooh Babe Ooooh Babe/ Of course Mama’s gonna help build the wall,” she sings. It’s a personal performance and one could theorize that the fact that she’s an actual mother figures into her attachment to the story. There’s not an inch of familial pathos however as she sings:

Baby don’t you cry / Mama’s gonna check out all your girlfriends for you / Mama won’t let anyone dirty get through / Mama’s gonna wait up till you get in / Mama will always find out where you’ve been.”

There are points in the song for the controversial singer to politicize, but she avoids bringing unnecessary attention to these moments. At about three minutes, one feels the presence of a country guitar and organ, but it’s only an accent or a garnish to a rendition that stays remarkably true to the Pink Floyd original. Yet in the context of this film and the real-life events that inspired it her vocals carry new weight. Maines’ ‘Mother’ is much more bittersweet in this package.

Listen to Natalie Maines’ recording of ‘Mother’ at NPR.org.

Next: The Top 10 Pink Floyd Songs of the '70s

More from US 103

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://us103.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on US 103.1 Classic Rock Radio quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Sign up for an account to comment, share your thoughts, and earn points to get great prizes.

Register on US 103.1 Classic Rock Radio quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!