Parenting is fascinating. Parents are primarily responsible for raising their children, ensuring their safety, health, and contentment. It is one of the biggest responsibilities one could take on.
Unfortunately, this piece is not about responsible parents. These are songs about bad parents.
Some of these tracks are about how parents left their children when they were young. Others are a bit more complex. Like not sharing a strong bond or lack of communication with their parents due to childhood traumas.
1. My Mom – Eminem
- Release: 2009
- Album: Relapse
- Genre: Rap, Hip Hop
- YouTube Views: 22M (Lyric Video)
Eminem is one of my all-time favorite rappers. His track My Mom tackles his complicated relationship with his mother head-on.
It is unapologetic. In the song, Eminem raps about how his mother’s bad habits negatively affected him growing up.
2. The Little Girl – John Michael Montgomery
- Release: 2000
- Album: Brand New Me
- Genre: Country
- YouTube Views: 3.6M
This song is the quintessential ‘bad parent’ song. It is a country song, though.
So, it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. The track is powerful. However, it also takes a different narrative approach.
Instead of coming from the child, the artists sing as the father full of regret – the regret of not treating his daughter correctly.
He wishes he could turn back time and right all of his wrongs. Well, I guess that is how regrets work.
You cannot fix the past. The slow melody and the fantastic composition draw you in. It allows you to feel emotions.
3. Father of Mine – Everclear
- Release: 1997
- Album: So Much for the Afterglow
- Genre: Rock, Alternative
- YouTube Views: 12M
There is a fantastic show on Apple TV called Ted Lasso. It is about how an American Football coach is hired to coach Premier League Soccer in the UK. If you have not watched it, you should.
Regardless, the show is not about parent-child relationships. However, there is an episode where they talk about how complicated most father-son relationships are. And they make a lot of songs with similar subject matters.
Father of Mine is one of those songs. It talks about the anger and disappointment a child feels toward their father.
The father left them while he was young. The track itself is fantastic and portrays the raw emotion of a broken (and stranded) child perfectly.
You can also read: Songs that Describe Your Life
4. Mother Knows Best – Richard Thompson
- Release: 1991
- Album: Rumor and Sigh
- Genre: Rock
- YouTube Views: 12K
I will never for the life of me know why this song has so few views. Do not be fooled by the low view count. This is a great song.
It tackles the all too well-known saying, “mother knows best.” However, it talks about a negligible mom.
And frankly, one that did not fulfill her duties towards their child. The lyrics can get quite emotional on this one.
5. Mother – Pink Floyd
- Release: 1979
- Album: The Wall
- Genre: Progressive Rock
- YouTube Views: 17M (Audio Version)
What is there to say about Pink Floyd? They are bonafide legends. This track is not quite like the rest. Mother is a song about how a child is confused and wants to go back to their mother.
It is all about parental love. This song is about a mother’s unconditional love, support, and comfort. A feeling only some people are familiar with.
6. Hurt – Christina Aguilera
- Release: 2006
- Album: Back to Basics
- Genre: Pop, RNB
- YouTube Views: 251M
Christina Aguilera does not hold any punches in this one. But, unfortunately, a bad parent does not only mean someone who abuses their children.
If a parent abuses their spouse, they are equally a bad parent in the child’s eyes.
And that is exactly what Christina Aguilera’s song Hurt is all about. It talks about how Christina Aguilera’s father abused her mother. And how she hated him for that.
But Christina still loved him too. However, her father died before Christina could express her feelings towards him.
For many, songs about bad parents might hit too close to home. The best we can all do is decide to be the best version of ourselves. Live life according to our values.