"Mama Said" as written by and Patrick/garrett Sugg....
Mama she has taught me well
Told me when I was young
"Son your life's an open book
Don't close it 'fore its done"

"The brightest flame burns quickest"
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
Yeah, still

Rebel, my new last name
Wild blood in my veins
Apron strings around my neck

The mark that still remains
Left home at an early age
Of what I heard was wrong
I never asked forgiveness
But what is said is done

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

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

Mama, now I'm coming home
I'm not all you wished of me
A mother's love for her son
Unspoken, and maybe
Yeah, 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

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

You never let my heart go
So let this heart be still

Never I ask of you
But never I gave
But you gave me your emptiness that I'll take to my grave
Never I ask of you
But never I gave
But you gave me your emptiness that I'll take to my grave

So let this heart be still


Lyrics submitted by elmoz

"Mama Said" as written by Patrick/garrett Sugg

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Mama Said song meanings
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  • +3
    General Comment"Never I ask of you
    But never I gave
    But you gave me your emptiness
    I now take to my grave"

    Read that and imagine the mother saying those lines. I think it would fit. The son left his home. After he returns its too late. Shes dead and tooks the emptiness HE gave her in her grave.
    DavyJones92on August 14, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentHe wrote this song for his mother, who passed away.
    King Nothingon May 03, 2002   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationIt sounds like a son who after loses his mother acts like its no big deal, and then later in life he realizes just how important she was to him. He tells the story out of order for dramatic effect so timeline-wise the story really starts with these lines:

    ‘Rebel, my new last name
    Wild blood in my veins
    Apron strings around my neck
    The mark that still remains’

    ‘Cutting the apron strings’ is a saying which means going off and being physically and emotionally independent from your mum, so he may have initially perceived her as a limiting force when he says things like ‘apron strings around my neck’. With this verse he communicates his need to rebel at that point in life and to reject domestic life which was the domain of his mother. He has ‘wild blood’ in his veins and he wanted to get out and be independent. When he says ‘the mark that still remains’ it could mean a few things, either that up until this point he always remembered his mother in the negative light of someone he wanted to escape or alternatively it could mean that this negative relationship that he had with mother when she was dying has scarred him for life.

    He then goes on to say that he left home young and that might be wrong but he knows that leaving home after she died isn’t the problem here, it was his relationship with her. I think he puts this line in there about leaving home to say that he was always going to leave and go do big things anyway, he’s not just leaving her specifically.

    I’ll come to the chorus later, now we go back to the first verse where he is an adult looking back and he viewing his mother more fondly:

    ‘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 quickest"
    That's what I heard her say
    A son's heart sowed to mother
    But I must find my way’

    Here it looks like he’s realized that she was wise in her own way and it’s only as an adult can he understand that wisdom. The ‘brightest flame’ line is interesting because it shows that he sees that she really did understand him and his extreme creation/destruction tendencies. For those who were wondering there is a line in Blade Runner where they say that ‘a star that burns twice as bright burns twice as fast’ so the ‘brightest flame burns quickest’ is a similar concept, ie being spent up by your lifestyle. I’m not surprised to hear James use fire metaphors after his pyrotechnics accident!

    Now the next verse:

    ‘Mama, now I'm coming home
    I'm not all you wished of me
    A mother's love for her son
    Unspoken, help me be

    Yeah, I took your love for granted
    Not a thing you said to me
    I need your arms to welcome me
    But a cold stone's all I see’

    So now he’s ready to come back to that relationship with his mum after all the growing that he has done away from her. He’s a successful musician and he wants her to be proud but it sounds like he might not think that he was the best person. He wants her to help him and comfort him, he’s ready for that guidance and love again. However, the sorrow at the heart of the song is that she died. He wants her to hold him in her arms but all he has got to embrace is her tombstone.

    Personally I see the verses as being there to tell the story and I see the chorus and bridge as direct expressions of this sorrow:

    ‘Let my heart go
    Let your son grow
    Mama, let my heart go
    Oh, let this heart be still

    Let my heart go
    Mama, let my heart go
    You never let my heart go
    So, let this heart be still’

    These chorus lines are far more ambiguous than the verses, so they could mean a lot of things. The pain he feels is pretty clear, in light of the story in the verses I think he’s never been able to escape the pain of losing her, he’s never been able to move on from that pain or be free of that pain. His mother’s got his heart, ie he still feels extraordinary love for her and it pains him. So he seems to be asking to be free of that pain or at least to ‘let this heart be still’, which might mean he wants peace from this emotional turmoil. You could interpret it literally that he wanted her to let him go when he was a teenager but it doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the emotion. And the bridge part:

    ‘Never I ask of you
    But never I gave
    But you gave me your emptiness
    I now take to my grave’

    ‘Emptiness’ is another ambiguous word, he could be saying a lot of things here. I think not having her has left an emptiness in his life, and that can’t be filled.

    It’s a pretty revealing song, we never really saw this side of James before Nothing Else Matters so its great that he started to become comfortable in expressing his deeper emotional stuff! Anyway this was my interpretation, it’s alarmingly long but it think the song has got a lot in it!
    Gleipneron November 20, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti just lost my mother and so this song has a lot of meaning for me.basically it expresses how we all try to get distance from our mothers but its only when they die when we realise how much we they meant to us and how we took their love for granted.its one of those songs that you can only truly understand if you have been through the same experience.its hard for our hearts to let go of the memory and love for our mothers and it will only truly happen when our hearts are still, that is, when we are dead ,but if we dont try and let go of the pain and move on we may as well just die right now(closing an open book before its done)its easy for the pain of losing her to keep us in one place(let your son go/grow).in the end we all wish to do our mothers proud(i'm not all you wished of me)and we wish we could just see her one more time but know we cant(need your arms...cold stone is all i see).no matter what we will always remember what she gave us(apron strings...the mark still remains)and we will forever miss her(gave me your emptiness and i take to my grave)
    mamasaidon January 21, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is a song about james' regrets in never being what he shouldve been and what he shouldve done to be closer and to make his mother proud. she gave him everything she had even that which was bad and he can't except the fact that his mother is gone and he can't make up and appologize for everything him and his mom never had. so he wants peace but has none because of what he never did.
    spoongod5kon July 02, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentits about james' regrets of what he didnt do for/with his mom. he wants a way of putting himself at ease, and hes asking his mom for this.
    METALLICE ARE THOUASANDS OF TIMES BETTER THAN NIRVANA.
    smitty83on January 29, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it talks about how his mother tried to bring him up as best she could with what she had, she tried to teach him wrong from right but he needs to find his own way and live life his own way, he makes mistakes but doesn't ask for forgivness and when he realises that he took her love for granted thinking it would always be there it was too late because she had passed away. The chorus is about asking his mother to let go and let him live.
    Danny_Boy17on November 06, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentdamn, i love this song. its simply he ran away from home, n the years passed and when he finally returned 'a cold stones all he sees' its reli depressing but i love it so much
    KingXNothingon July 07, 2007   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningTo me, personally, this song respresents a meaningful interpretation of a son who is trying to leave home because his mother is just not giving him the kind of love and understanding he needs and he is torn, because he loves his mother even though he never showed it to her but neither did she to him. She is trying to cause him guilt for leaving and is trying to use her so-called love (apron strings around his neck), which she was empty of in the first place, to keep him home. And now that he has finally decided to leave, he is heartbroken because, even though he knows its for his own good, his mother wouldnt let him go for her own selfish need of trying to fulfill her emotional emptyness through him, which she was never satisfied with in the first place even when he showed his love to her.

    Whoa, I took this to a whole new level didnt I, lol.
    kozmajon February 08, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentits doubtful that James was smothered with love - just look at some other lyrics relating to his family. Seems like he had a strict but inconsistent upbringing. If his dad was mean then he'd want his mum to confort him but maybe she was too scared to protect him. He would leave home at an early age with a head full of hate & rebellion then later on in life would see that his mother did her best under the circumstances. Too late to make amends as the words suggest "a cold stone's all I see"
    searchingfordoughnutson July 02, 2010   Link

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