One of the unspoken perks of being a new pop star mom is sharing your joy by penning an homage to your little bundle of joy. It’s a time-honored tradition that got a 2021 revamp on Adele‘s just-released 30 album, on which the singer engages in a spoken word back-and-forth with her eight-year-old son Angelo on the affecting “My Little Love.”
The track includes voice notes on which the singer explains her divorce from Angelo’s dad, Adele’s ex, Simon Konecki, after what she said were a flood of “really good questions” her son asked about the divorce that she struggled to answer. So she wrote a song about it from the perspective of a mom speaking to her young son asking for forgiveness and understanding.
“I don’t recognize myself in the coldness of the daylight/ So I ain’t surprised you can read through all of my lies/ I feel so bad to be here when I’m so guilty/ I’m so far gone and you’re the only one who can save mе,” Adele sings in the second verse. In the conversation, Angelo says, “I feel like you don’t love me,” to which Adele responds, “Why do you feel like that?” When he asks, “Do you like me?” his mom responds, “You know mummy doesn’t like anyone else like I like you.”
Adele, of course, isn’t the first mom to dedicate a song to her child. Check out “My Little Love” and six other classic mom-thems from the past 20 years from Beyoncé, Halsey, Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry and Alicia Keys.
Adele, “My Little Love”
The song: Bey dedicated the final track on her 2013 self-titled album to her newborn daughter with Jay-Z, Blue, offering a subtle piano ballad that pays tribute to their bond.
The lyrics: “Each day I feel so blessed to be looking at you/ ‘Cause when you open your eyes, I feel alive/ My heart beats so damn quick when you say my name/ When I’m holding you tight, I’m so alive.”
Kelly Clarkson, “River Rose’s Magical Lullaby”
The song: The singer’s homage to her daughter River Rose was recorded in tandem with her 2016 children’s picture book, River Rose and the Magical Lullaby.
The lyrics: “Every night you lie with me/ When I wake you’re still here/ I don’t know if I ever could find/ Someone as kind and dear/ No one gets me like you do/ You can tell by my smile/ I’m gonna miss you so much while you sleep/ But know that I’m by your side.”
Katy Perry, “Daisies”
The song: Though this track from Perry’s 2020 Smile album is ostensibly about overcoming adversity, it’s no coincidence that it was released just days after Perry and fiancé Orlando Bloom welcomed their daughter, Daisy Dove Bloom. How many other kids in Daisy’s homeroom have a song named after them? Probably none.
Halsey, If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power (album)
Rather than dedicate just one song to their newborn baby, Ender Ridley Aydin, Halsey created an entire concept album about pregnancy and childbirth, accompanied by a short film in which Halsey appears pregnant and explores those ideas further. It’s pretty intense, and maybe not the gentlest lullaby — thanks to producers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross of Nine Inch Nails — but what a flex it’ll be in high school!
Alicia Keys, “Speechless”
The song: Keys co-wrote this 2010 holiday freestyle with husband Swizz Beatz after the birth of their son, Egypt.
The lyrics: “When I wake up in the mornin’ babe/ Can’t believe my eyes/ Sweetest little part of destiny/ Oh yeah, ’cause you are now in my life/ There ain’t no man or prize/ Can compare to you/ Ain’t no words to describe the way that I’m feelin’/ When I look at you.”
Britney Spears, “My Baby”
The song: On this gentle 2008 ballad dedicated to Spears’ two sons, Sean Preston and Jayden James, the singer wonders how she even lived before the birth of her two little guys.
The lyrics: “Tiny hands/ Yes, that’s you/ And all you show/ It’s simply true/ I smell your breath/ It makes me cry/ I wonder how I’ve lived my life/ ‘Cause without you/ How did I get through all of my days without you?/ Now living with you, see everything’s true/ My baby, it’s you/ My baby, my baby, my baby.”