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.”