Martha Wainwright wrote Come Home To Mama after two significant events in her life; the birth of her son Arcangelo in November 2009, and the death of her mother, folk singer Kate McGarrigle, from cancer two and a half months later. This song finds Wainwright reporting to her late mom that, "the baby's doing fine" and asking her for guidance as she clears the clothes out of McGarrigle's closet. "That was the first song I wrote after she died," she told Spinner. "It took me a few months to pick up the guitar and start writing songs, and obviously, I wasn't going to sit down and write a song about my dog. I just needed to find a way to approach this thing without being maudlin, or depressive. This was how I was talking to her after she died; I was looking for guidance, trying to find some connection, and just trying to hear anything back."