Every Beyoncé Lyric That Mentions Motherhood
Following on from my piece on every time Jay Z mentioned fatherhood in song, here are all of the times Beyoncé has mentioned motherhood on wax during her career. In stark contrast to her husband, Bey never openly rejected parenthood, and never mocked it. She's also penned some beautiful and heartfelt lyrics about her daughter Blue, and the tragic miscarriage she experienced.
1999 - 2003
- She fell in love with a man who was so fine (so fine) / He made her promises yeah / She didn't to think if he was serious no no no / Until she had his baby - Destiny's Child "Sweet Sixteen" (1999)
- You available? / So sensual / Lullaby love unbreakable / So special, baby makeable - Destiny's Child "Apple Pie A La Mode" (2001)
- See, I have dreams, and with a man, what will become of them? / There's not a kid out here who can make me believe / I should postpone my goals, he got tricks up his sleeve? - "If Looks Could Kill (You Would Be Dead)" (2001)
- Baby boy let's conceive an angel - "Baby Boy" (2003)
- I want my unborn son to be like my daddy - "Daddy" (2003)
- Later on in my destiny / I see myself having your child / I see myself being your wife / And I see my whole future in your eyes - "Dangerously In Love 2" (2003)
- I can't believe I believed / Everything we had would last / So young and naive for me / To think she was from your past / Silly of me to dream / Of one day having your kids / Love is so blind / It feels right when it's wrong - "Me, Myself and I" (2003)
- Your family told me / One day I would see it on my own / Next thing I know, I'm dealing / With your three kids in my home - "Me, Myself and I" (2003)
- Now it's been a year and we're closer / Fall in love again when I hold ya / I know that God set you aside / For me and now you are my prize / Wanna grow old with ya / Fill a house with ya pictures / Have a son for you, a little girl for me / Together we'll raise a family - "Summertime" (2003)
Much of Beyoncé's early songs dealt with the initial phases of a relationship: meeting someone, mutual attraction, and falling in love. On "Sweet Sixteen", she shares a slightly harrowing tale of a girl who falls head over heels in love, only for life to get incredibly real when she finds out she's carrying his baby. On "Apple Pie A La Mode", a man is so desirable he's future father material, but on "If Looks Could Kill", she's hesitant and rational, stopping a possible suitor in his tracks by telling him she needs a serious relationship, not a fling.
During 2003 she held the position of the father of her child in the absolute highest regard. On "Daddy" she honors her father by seeking a man similar to him, and elsewhere on the album Dangerously In Love she subscribes to the traditional dream of raising a happy family with the man she loves.
- There's so much darkness in the world / But I see beauty left in you girl / And what you give me makes me know / That I'll be alright - "Until The End Of Time" (2006)
- Cause I'm a suga ma-ma-mama / I'm your suga mama, suga mama - "Suga Mama" (2006)
- Maybe we can start all over / Give another life - "Start Over" (2011)
- How we're smart enough to make these millions / Strong enough to bear the children (children) / Then get back to business - "Run The World (Girls)" (2011)
- I'm trying to make us three / From that two - "Countdown" (2011)
The first three lyrics quoted may not even be about motherhood. That just leaves 2011's smash single "Run The World (Girls)", and "Countdown". Jay and Bey were married in 2008, and much of her lyrics during this period reflected the stage of the relationship she was in at the time. In 2006 there were numerous songs about cheating and the trials that an established relationship goes through. It's safe to assume in 2011 they had begun trying to conceive a child, hence the two blatant references to motherhood on two of the biggest singles.
- But it's tough love / I know you feel it in the air / Even the babies know it's there: tough love - "Superpower" (2013)
- Been having conversations about breakups and separations / I'm not feeling like myself since the baby / Are we gonna even make it? - "Mine" (2013)
- You wish I was your pound cake / Boy, you know I look good as fuck / Wish I was your baby momma - "Flawless Remix" (2013)
- I fought for you / The hardest, it made me the strongest - "Heaven" (2013)
- Heaven couldn't wait for you / No heaven couldn't wait for you / So go on, go home - "Heaven" (2013)
- We laughed at the darkness / So scared that we lost it / We stood on the ceilings / You showed me love was all you needed - "Heaven" (2013)
- When I look in your eyes, I feel alive / Some days we say words that don't mean a thing / But when you holding me tight, I feel alive - "Blue" (2013)
- Come on baby won't you hold on to me, hold on to me / You and I together / Come on baby won't you hold on to me, hold on to me Blue - "Blue" (2013)
- 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 - "Blue" (2013)
- When you were born the angels sighed in delight / They never thought they'd see such a beautiful sight / You took the breath and the world was right again / Tears were shed, how we had been blessed - "God Made You Beautiful" (2013)
- And your love, it shines so bright / You bring me back to life, back to life / You make everything right - "God Made You Beautiful" (2013)
- You got a light inside, light inside - "God Made You Beautiful" (2013)
- God made you beautiful - "God Made You Beautiful" (2013)
- Well look at me, you were brought into my life / I kiss those little feet and watch for your perfect smile / And when it comes, the world stops in your eyes / I found love, I found peace of the purest kind - "God Made You Beautiful" (2013)
- I like my baby heir with baby hair and afros - "Formation" (2016)
- Me and my baby, we gon' be alright / We gon' life a good life / Big homie better grow up - "Sorry" (2016)
It's interesting to watch the way Beyoncé lyrically evolved over the span of her career thus far in regards to relationships. From the outset, on "Dangerously In Love 2" and "Me, Myself and I", she sought out a loving family. She never sought riches, fame, or the wild success she has since attained, and her motherhood references post-2012 reflect a sincerity of character and behaviour. The tragic miscarriage of her first child was handled with grace and heart-wrenching emotion on "Heaven", before the euphoria of tracks like "Blue" and "God Made You Beautiful" that celebrated the arrival of their daughter Blue Ivy. Rather than litter her songs with references to children, as Jay Z has done since the birth of Blue, she dedicates entire songs to her. 2016's LEMONADE features just two overt mentions of Blue, and one of those is to make "Big Homie" aware of just what he's missing by messing around with Becky's. Jay and Bey are notoriously private people, but the LEMONADE visual album had a wealth of stunning shots of the family frolicking together.
Lyrically, it feels like the two are diverging, which makes sense. Beyoncé is still only 35 years old, around the same age as when Jay was heavily focused on his career, dropping The Black Album, retiring to focus on being the president of Def Jam, then returning with the introspective Kingdom Come, the retrospective American Gangster, and the forward-thinking Blueprint 3. Magna Carta, Holy Grail was an embrace of that family life he has begun to crave so badly, but he's got a solid 12 years on Beyoncé. It's her time to influence a generation of people, to become an indispensable icon. By all accounts, with her last two albums, she's cemented a legacy that will be just as iron-clad as her husbands.