Metallica: Mama Said

Mama Said is the eleventh song from 1996’s album Load. It was written by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, and has a length of 5:23.

Mama Said was released in the self-titled single, which includes an edited version of it (length of 4:42) and the song’s demo version. An unplugged version appears in the unofficial release “The Golden Unplugged Album”.

Metallica released a video for the song, directed by Anton Corbijn and filmed in November 1996, in London, England. The video never aired in the US. You can watch the video here.

This is a song for James Hetfield’s mother, who died of cancer when he was young. The song talks about his regrets of not being able to spend more time with her and how he hopes that she will still love him when he sees her again.

In an interview with Mojo magazine December 2008, Hetfield referred to this song about his mother as, “like a prodigal son song: leaving and then coming back and it’s too late, you can’t talk to her now.” He added: “It was a realization that lots of questions went unanswered. ‘I want to say this. I want to ask you this.’ And you’re unable to. But through therapy I was able to do a lot of grief work, about both parents.”

Lycris

Mama, she has taught me well-
Told me when I was young-
Son, your life’s an open book-
Don’t close it ‘fore it’s done-
The brightest flame burns quickest-
That’s what I heard her say-
A son’s heart’s owed to mother-
But I must find my way-

Let my heart go-
Let your son grow-
Mama, let my heart go-
Or, let this heart be still-

“Rebel,” my new last name-
Wild blood in my veins-
Apron strings around my neck-
The mark that still remains-
I left home at an early age-
Of what I heard was wrong-
I never asked forgiveness-
But what is said is done-

Let my heart go-
Let your son grow-
Mama, let my heart go-
Or let this heart be still-

Never I ask of you-
But never I gave-
But you gave me your emptiness-
I now take to my grave-
Never I ask of you-
But never I gave-
But you gave me your emptiness-
I now take to my grave-
So let this heart be still-

Mama, now I’m coming home-
I’m not all you wished of me-
A mother’s love for her son-
Unspoken, help me be-
I took your love for granted-
And all the things you said to me-
I need your arms to welcome me-
But a cold stone’s all I see-

Let my heart go-
Let your son grow-
Mama, let my heart go-
Or let this heart be still-

Let my heart go-
Mama, let my heart go-
You never let my heart go-
So let this heart be still-

Never I ask of you-
But never I gave-
But you gave me your emptiness-
I now take to my grave-
Never I ask of you-
But never I gave-
But you gave me your emptiness-
I now take to my grave-
So let this heart be still-

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