"Wouldn't Mama Be Proud?" as written by and Steven P. Smith....
The question is wouldn't mama be proud?
There's a silver lining in the corporate cloud
And the pretty post that you're taking as
As an NCO of the great pretender
I should sure think so

Wouldn't mama be proud?

"Can I take your order?"
Asks the heavenly host
Ticket to the jet-stream
Blowing coast to coast

The long stem glasses, a movie
And a pleasant dream in mid air
"You gotta tell me quickly
'Cause we're almost there"

Wouldn't mama be proud?

Pointed out of the window
At the sky gone black
"Kid you're on the right track"

If I send you postcards
From the side of the road
Photographs of moving
Parts about to implode

If I crawl to keep it together
Like you say you know I can do
To transmit a moment
From me to you

Wouldn't mama be proud?
Wouldn't mama be proud?
Wouldn't mama be proud?
Wouldn't mama be proud?


Lyrics submitted by EnjOy IncUbus

"Wouldn't Mama Be Proud" as written by Steven Paul Smith Steven P. Smith

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Wouldn't Mama Be Proud? song meanings
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23 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThis may be the most literal, straight-up pop song Elliott Smith ever made -- and that's not a bad thing considering the source. I think it's fairly obvious that the narrator is more or less weighing his position in life -- assumedly that of a semi-famous rock star -- against what he feels inside and the expectations of those around him. Elliott said at least once about his Oscar nomination that he was happy that his mother would be proud of his accomplishment, hence the title of this song. The line about `a silver lining in the corporate cloud' can be seen as a near-direct reference to his Dreamworks contract in that he was always something of a "prestige artist," or one who would lend legitimacy to a record label through his talent but probably wouldn't move many discs. The "heavenly host" is almost certainly a stewardess, and the airplane setting -- up in the clouds, probably on tour or some sort of press junket -- comes in sharp contrast to the note of desperation the narrator hits in the third verse. "If I call (I've seen this as `crawl'; either way, it works) to keep it together/like you say I can do" means just what it says -- this is a fragile guy who maybe wasn't meant to carry the mantle he's been given by the press or the fans or whomever. Like I said, this is possibly Elliott's most obvious song, but it's a great, great pop song -- definitely one of my favorites.
    mfluder2676on October 21, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI always interpreted this song as Elliott criticising anyone who is selling their soul for money. Corporatism vs humanism, that kind of thing.
    There are loads of references to this in the lyrics.
    upallnighton December 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is wonderful, i love it because when noone seems to even notice the things that i am proud of .. i think what i am doing would make my momma proud if she were here :) i miss u mom
    alliecreechon August 17, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmy dad says this has the same chord sequence as house of the rising sun :)

    (not in the same key or timing obviously)
    raton September 17, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentjust to correct a lyric - its :
    part about to IMplode (not EXplode)
    i think it makes a difference in how one would interpret the song.
    lisalynnon January 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentalso
    pretty POST that you're taking
    magdalena5on February 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment's NCO...not emcee, oh
    doesntevenmatteron March 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti was just about to make all the above corrections.....but you all got here before me...............damn................RIP
    badgeon May 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentExcellent song. Elliott, you are still the master of brilliant music.
    Ant292on September 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always interpreted this song as Elliott criticising anyone who is selling their soul for money. Corporatism vs humanism, that kind of thing.
    There are loads of references to this in the lyrics.
    upallnighton December 05, 2005   Link

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