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|Single by Metallica|
|from the album Load|
|Released||November 25, 1996|
|Recorded||May 1, 1995 – February 1, 1996|
The Plant Studios
|Metallica singles chronology|
"Mama Said" is a country rock ballad by American heavy metal band Metallica from their sixth album Load, with music and lyrics by James Hetfield (music credited to Hetfield/Ulrich). The lyrics represent a man or boy who is learning to find his own way in life away from his mother. The song is directly written about Hetfield's difficult relationship with his mother, who died of cancer when he was 16 years old.
The song is a departure from Metallica's usual heavy metal sound; its genre-blending style incorporates country, blues, and hard rock. "Mama Said" begins with acoustic guitar and, during the chorus, becomes flush with a country-flavored vocal harmony and steel guitar. Toward the end, the song features power chords on electric guitar.
"Mama Said" has never been featured as a part of Metallica's live setlist. Hetfield has performed this song live, however, using a single steel-stringed acoustic guitar with no drum or bass accompaniment. He also performed it along with country singer Jessi Colter on CMT's Outlaw Concert, along with Hetfield's cover of Waylon Jennings's "Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit's Done Got Out of Hand."
An early demo version is also entitled "Mama Said (The Story So Far)" which was recorded in Lars Ulrich's home musical studio "Dungeon" on April 14, 1995.
Lesser known among Metallica's music video catalog, the "Mama Said" video focuses on James Hetfield sitting in the backseat of a car while playing the song on an acoustic guitar. The vehicle appears to be driving along a Southwestern highway, and at one point the other members of Metallica are seen outside looking into the window. As the song comes to an end, the view pulls back to reveal that Hetfield has been sitting in a stationary backseat inside a studio. He then walks over to a horse, takes its bridle, and walks off screen. Directed by Anton Corbijn.