2006Released
4:39

Did You Know?

Interesting facts and trivia about Mama. By Songfacts®.

This song starts with the sound of explosions in the background, indicating it is about a soldier at war. He is sending letters and communicating with his mother, who seems ashamed of him: "You ain't no son of mine, for what you've done they're gonna find a place for you, and just you mind your manners when you go. And when you go, don't return to me, my love." The soldier also feels shame, and is worried that he will be sent to hell when he dies.

This features guest vocals from Liza Minnelli. When the band was recording the song, they got the idea to bring in another singer and joking suggested Minnelli, never thinking their producer, Rob Cavallo, could make it happen. A couple weeks later, the legendary singer did her part via satellite. In a 2011 Grammy Museum interview, the band said Liza really got into the role of mom, calling them her babies and spontaneously adding the crying bit at the end of the song. "Everything in there was her," said lead singer Gerard Way. "Nobody told her to do anything, it was really cool."

Gerard told Rolling Stone why the band chose Minnelli for their mama: "We wanted someone who had a lot of strength and a lot of sorrow. Somebody who was a bit of an outsider themselves, faced really hard things - maybe even ridicule - yet somebody so completely talented that their voice shadows all the positive and negative things said about them." The singer certainly fit the bill. Born to famed singer/actress Judy Garland and director Vincente Minnelli, she became a legend in her own right as a Broadway star and movie actress. Like her mother, however, she struggled with various addictions and tumultuous marriages that made her an easy target for the tabloids.

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Song Analysis

Key, BPM (tempo) and time signature of Mama.
EKey
MinorMode
4/4Time Signature
209BPM

Album

The album Mama is released on.

Released By

The record label that has released Mama.
Reprise
© 2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S.
℗ 2006 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S.

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