Story Behind the Song: Carrie Underwood, ‘Mama’s Song’

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By The Boot Staff    theboot.com

Kara DioGuardi, Marty Frederiksen, Luke Laird and Carrie Underwood wrote “Mama’s Song” together, on the same day that they wrote Underwood’s 2010 hit “Undo It.” The singer released the song in November of 2010 as the final single from her Play On album.

The song reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart; earned a Grammy Awards nomination for Best Country Solo Performance; and won two American Country Awards, for Female Single of the Year and Female Music Video of the Year, and a BMI Award, for Songwriter of the Year. Below, Laird tells The Boot about writing the tune.

We wrote this song on the same day as “Undo It.” We were in Los Angeles at Sunset Marquis Hotel … I got this call from Carrie’s management, and they were like, “Hey, do you want to go out LA and write with Carrie?” I was like, “Well, yeah. I’d write with Carrie in Dothan, Ala., if I have to!” [Laughs] She was already booked to write with Kara and Marty; I don’t know why I got invited, maybe just because Carrie and I had written together before and she felt comfortable with it or something.

We got out there, and Kara came in the first day with the idea of “Undo It.” We wrote it, and everybody was like, “We’ve got time, let’s do another one.” We figured that we wrote this cool, rockin’, uptempo thing, let’s shift gears. So Marty and I started playing that slow musical thing. Kara and Carrie seemed to be into it. Carrie just came out with that first line, “Mama, you taught me to do the right things.” And this was before she was engaged, obviously, but she was in a relationship. We knew where this was coming from. Nobody was like, “Oh, are you and Mike [Fisher] going to get married?” We just went with it and thought it was something cool to write.

It was real special for Kara, too, because she had lost her mom; you could tell they were really close. You could see Kara and Carrie bonding, talking about their moms. For me, I was coming from the place where I wasn’t engaged to [my wife] Beth yet, but I was thinking, “I hope she feels this way about me!” [Laughs]

It was just a really good co-write. It didn’t feel forced or anything. I love that we wrote a song like “Undo It,” and then went right into something like “Mama’s Song.” That’s the thing about writing songs: You just do whatever you want to do and whatever you feel.

Beth’s mom thinks that’s the best song I’ve ever written because she’s a mom and her daughter married me. I played it for Beth’s mom in the car, and she was all teary-eyed. It was cool.

This story was originally written by Alanna Conaway, and revised by Angela Stefano.