Meaning of Mama Said by Metallica

Call your parents. And only then you will read this short article on the history of the creation of the sad ballad Mama Said (“Mother said”) by the metal band Metallica. And never put off calling your mom, dad, or other older relatives until later.

Otherwise, someday you will be overwhelmed by the feelings that pushed James Hetfield to write this composition.

The history of creation and the meaning of Mama Said

The Metallica leader dedicated it to his mother, who died of cancer in 1979 when he was only sixteen. Their relationship could not be called ideal, and the author regrets that nothing can be fixed.

In an interview with Mojo, he clarified the main idea behind Mama Said:

It’s like the song of the prodigal son who leaves, then comes back, and it’s too late, because you can no longer talk to her … It was the realization that so many questions remained unanswered: “I want to say this. I want to ask that.” And there is no longer a possibility. But with the help of psychotherapy, I was able to experience the grief of both parents.

Mojo, 2008

The song was the eleventh track on the album Load, the sixth in Metallica’s discography. It was also released as a single.

Videoclip Mama Said

The music video for the song was directed by Anton Corbijn. Filming took place in November 1996 in London.

Watch the video clip of Mama Said – Metallica.

Interesting Facts

  • Metallica almost never plays Mama Said live. If the song is still included in the set list, James Hetfield performs it himself with an acoustic guitar.
  • The music video for Mama Said has never been officially aired on TV in the US.

Mama Said Lyrics

Mama, she has taught me well
Told me when I was young
Son, your life’s an open book
Don’t close it ‘fore it’s done
The brightest flame burns
That’s what I heard her say
A son’s heart’s owed to mother
But I must find my way

Let my heart go
let your son grow
Mama let my heart go
Or let this heart be still

“Rebel,” my new last name
wild blood in my veins
Apron strings around my neck
The mark that still remains
I left home at an early age
Of what I heard was wrong
I never asked forgiveness
But what is said is done

Never I ask of you
But I never gave
But you gave me your emptiness
I now take to my grave
Never I ask of you
But I never gave
But you gave me your emptiness
I now take to my grave
So let this heart be still

Mama, now I’m coming home
I’m not all you wanted of me
A mother’s love for her son
Unspoken, help me be
I took your love for granted
And all the things you said to me
I need your arms to welcome me
But a cold stone’s all I see

Mama Said Lyrics

Mom – she taught me well
When I was young, she told me:
“Son, your life is an open book.
Don’t close it until the very end.
The brightest flame burns the fastest.”
Here’s what I heard from her
The heart of a son is indebted to his mother,
But I must find my way

Let go of my heart
let your son grow
Mom, let go of my heart
Or let this heart rest

Rebel is my new name
In my veins violent blood
I’m suffocated by mother’s love
Her imprint is still visible
I left home early
What I’ve been told is wrong
I never asked for forgiveness
But he always kept his word

Didn’t ask you for anything
But he didn’t give me anything.
And you gave me your emptiness
I’ll take with me to my grave
Didn’t ask you for anything
But he didn’t give me anything.
And you gave me your emptiness
So let this heart rest

Mom, now I’m coming home
I didn’t become what you wanted
The unspoken love of a mother for her son
Help me live
I took your love for granted
And everything you said to me
Now I need your hugs when we meet
But cold stone is all I see

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