"Mama" as written by Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford....
I can't see you mama
But I know you're always there
Ooh to touch and to feel you mama
Oh I just can't keep away
It's the heat and the steam of the city
Oh its got me running and I just can't brake
So say you'll help me mama
Cause its getting so hard

Now I can't keep you mama
But I know you're always there
You listen, you teach me mama
And I know inside you care
So get down, down here beside me
Oh you ain't going nowhere
No I won't hurt you mama
But its getting so hard

Can't you see me mama
Mama mama mama please
Can't you feel my heart
Can't you feel my heart
Can't you feel my heart ooh
Listen to me mama
Mama mama
You're taking away any last chances
Don't take it away
Can't you feel my heart?..

It's hot, too hot for me mama
But I can't hardly wait
My eyes they're burning mama
Make the pain, make it go away
No I won't hurt you mama
But its getting so hard

Now I can't see you mama
But I know you're always there
You taunt, you tease me mama
But I never, never can keep away
It's the heat and the steam of the city



Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

"Mama" as written by Michael Rutherford Gwendolyn Collins

Lyrics © IMAGEM U.S. LLC

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Mama song meanings
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27 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentFrom an interview in 1983 called "Three into One":

    "Our manager, when he first heard it, thought it was about abortion, the kind of feeling of the, you know, the fetus, if you like, saying to the Mother 'Please give me a chance, can't you feel my heart, don't take away my last chance', all those lyrics are in the song but in fact what it is, is just about a young teenager that's got a mother fixation with a prostitute that he's just happened to have met in passing and he has such a strong feeling for her and doesn't understand why she isn't interested in him. It's a bit like Niven in 'The Moon's A Balloon', I don't know if you've read that book, he's very young, just come out of cadet college or whatever, and he meets this quite, you know, 45 year old prostitute who he has a fantastic time with. He's special to her but it definitely can't go any further than what it is and that's really what the song is about, with sinister overtones." - Phil Collins.
    cmh2943on January 25, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI wouldn't take the various members explanations at 'Face Value' , pun intended. Inspiration may come from various sources all at the same time. This song may be inspired by a prostitute, or maybe God or maybe its a song about abortion. But I doubt the songwriters are going to say, "yeah, thats our secret". Probably a simple explanation like , yeah this is about a prostitute, makes it easier to talk to the media or whomever, but don't let that discourage your search for meaning in the art.
    sandman71on December 21, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"some old rap song"... good grief. Grandmaster Flash did the weird laugh in 1982's "The Message", and it inspired Phil Collins to try it out on this song.
    mimicryon December 21, 2005   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI buy the prostitute as subject matter. I don't buy the whole termination of pregnancy, nor do I think that it has anything to do with a literal mother. I envision Robert De Niro in "Taxi Driver" when I hear this song. It's a little like the guy is barely holding together his sanity and he needs this woman to help him feel better. However, she's just not that into him as he's just a customer, and that makes him angry. So he freaks out on her, but tries to reassure her that he "won't hurt" her, but "it's getting so hard" to control himself. Scary guy.
    themis2121on April 04, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentClearly, it's a prostitute. But wouldn't it be creepy if it WAS about mother? Or am I thinking about The Police?
    pshow99on April 07, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI have read all the previous comments and if the one that refers to Phil Collins speaking to the fact on the Genesis Songbook DVD, referencing prostitution, well then that blows my speculative theory of "Mama" symbolic of "Morphine" Opium, Heroin etc...
    Wouldn't it be great to sit with Mr. Collins, have a few drinks and pick that mans brain. There are so many of his lyrics in songs that are so deeply emotional, yet ambiguous to us mere mortals on the other-side of the song-page. Now I'll have to purchase the DVD before I can sleep again...
    Help Me Mama!!!
    caseyponson November 19, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningDefinitely about a man who is obsessed with a prostitute. That's been confirmed by the band over and over again through the years. The subject is supposed to be a teenager who has fallen in love with a much older prostitute (which is probably why he also sees her as a mother-type figure to him as well as his lover) and he's pleading with her to give him a chance to prove that he is worthy of her love.
    dee73on December 26, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSee my posting on anything she does.

    This is nice British rock band writing a song about a relationship with a prostitute.... and people think Genesis are boring and staightlaced?
    timbo.hon January 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI couldn't decide what it was about, that was one option of many, thank you for enlightening me
    treeimagiroon January 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI thought it was about a guy worrying bout his mom being a prostiute. i know you can call a gal mama, too. but the song's even called mama and it's said a 100 times, would be weird to me if she was his girlfriend. moreover, if she was, he wouldn't be this desparate.
    Tschiggnon March 14, 2005   Link

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