I Called Mama

Album: Here on Earth (2020)
Charted: 53
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Tim McGraw dropped this single on May 8, 2020, just two days before Mother's Day. Penned by Lance Miller, Marc Green and Jimmy Yeary, and produced by McGraw and Byron Gallimore, the song focuses on the importance of human connection.
  • Released amid the coronavirus pandemic, the song's message of calling up the nearest and dearest was especially poignant at a time when many moms were isolated in their homes away from their families.

    McGraw explained that "I Called Mama" serves as a reminder that hearing a loved one's voice is great healing in difficult times. "On the one hand this song is literally, 'hey, call your mom,'" he said. "On the other hand, you look at a time like this, there are real hardships for everyone, and it's a great reminder that hearing someone's voice who knows you and loves you can help you get through anything."

    "I think it's at these very difficult times that music can help and the power of a song can give someone a moment of clarity or comfort, or just a smile," McGraw added. "Especially now, when we seem to need it more than ever."
  • "I Called Mama" is McGraw's first release since re-joining Big Machine Records, where he enjoyed huge success from 2011 to 2017.
  • McGraw debuted the song during a May 8, 2020 performance on Amazon's livestream platform, Amazon Live.
  • When McGraw recorded the song, he wasn't anticipating it would be anything more than an album cut. But after they mixed the track, the coronavirus lockdown happened and it suddenly seemed right for the time. He explained to The Boot: "For us, during all this stuff that's going on and being at home together and hanging out, there's been a lot of, sort of, nostalgia that's come along with that ... so those are the kinds of things that this song reminds me of. And then, in a bigger view, it reminds me of our humanity in a lot of ways, and how we're all connected and how we all should reach out more and connect with each other."
  • The single's cover art is a picture of McGraw's mom, Betty Trimble, showing her just before she found out she was pregnant with her singer son. It's the same picture McGraw shared on an Instagram post in March 2020 on her 72nd birthday. The caption read:

    "This beautiful, inspiring, remarkable woman has inspired more dreams in my life than I could possibly count. She has nurtured me, lit my ass up when needed (a ton) and given me love, strength and encouragement when I had no more of my own. She is a light and we love her so, so much! Happy birthday Mama!"

Comments: 1

  • Carol Jean from Hurricane Mills TnDear Tim, I heard your song on the radio as I was coming home from visiting my sisters in TX. It absolutely blew me away. I can't call my mama but I talk to her quite frequently. Please keep writing and singing these great songs.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Colbie Caillat

Colbie CaillatSongwriter Interviews

Since emerging from MySpace with her hit "Bubbly," Colbie has become a top songwriter, even crafting a hit with Taylor Swift.

Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & PalmerSongwriter Interviews

Greg talks about writing songs of "universal truth" for King Crimson and ELP, and tells us about his most memorable stage moment (it involves fireworks).

Charlie Daniels

Charlie DanielsSongwriter Interviews

Charlie discusses the songs that made him a Southern Rock icon, and settles the Devil vs. Johnny argument once and for all.

Chris Tomlin

Chris TomlinSongwriter Interviews

The king of Christian worship music explains talks about writing songs for troubled times.

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the Song

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the SongSong Writing

How a goofy detective movie, a disenchanted director and an unlikely songwriter led to one of the biggest hits in pop history.

Marc Campbell - "88 Lines About 44 Women"

Marc Campbell - "88 Lines About 44 Women"They're Playing My Song

The Nails lead singer Marc Campbell talks about those 44 women he sings about over a stock Casio keyboard track. He's married to one of them now - you might be surprised which.