When you think about music related to mothers, you might think of a lullaby, such as one by Brahms. Or, you might think of the Mother Goose Suite, piano music by Ravel. But many people, when asked about classical music for Mother’s Day, will pick Songs My Mother Taught Me—either the well-known selection by Czech Antonin Dvořák or the more recent composition by American composer Charles Ives.
Dvořák’s piece is actually the fourth of seven songs in his Gypsy Songs collection, Opus 55. It dates from 1880, whereas Ives’ song is a stand-alone piece that came along 15 years later. Both pieces are set to a poem by the German Adolf Heyduk, translated as follows:
Songs my mother taught me, in the days long vanished;
Seldom from her eyelids were the teardrops banished.
Now I teach my children, each melodious measure.
Oft the tears are flowing, oft they flow from my memory’s treasure.
If this sounds a little too sad or “blue” for your particular Mother’s Day celebration, don’t fret: many classical collections have been recorded over the years with more cheerful themes as “gifts for Mom.” Minnesota Public Radio, in one noted example, has a playlist they’re calling a Mother’s Day “bouquet”—including such pieces as the “Floral Duet” from Lakme. And, if you’re thinking “florally,” Waltz of the Flowers can round out the bouquet in grand style!
Whatever your mood for Mother’s Day—whether it’s a poignant one on which you miss a mother who’s gone, or a happier one on which you get together with your mom or someone who’s been like a mom to you—there’s probably a piece of classical music to suit it. Search in your favorite “musical places” and you just might find a piece that becomes a new tradition for your mom’s special day.
Here is the piano music I composed for moms.
You can print out this Mother's Day sheet music.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Some perfect gifts for mom or wife -