The most touching words Eminem put into his brand new album are the words dedicated to his little daughter Hailie. When I first listened to the song, I loved the softness of the song and I couldn’t hide my tears, because I was moved deeply inside. When Marshall talks about Hailie, nobody could doubt his true feelings expressed into music.
Some people were chocked because Eminem made his personal issues and his dialogue with Hailie public. To all of you who were shocked by the personal character of Mockinbird, arguing about it and doubting Marshall’s sincerity, let me tell you this:
-Marshall is a public person, his life is exposed by the media every day, people knew about Kim’s whereabouts anyway
- Because Marshall has this particular kind of relationship with his public, he intends to share those precious words addressed to Hailie.
The song is like a beautiful necklace whose pearls the listener will collect one by one.
Marshall first adresses to Hailie to let her know that he is very conscious of her pain. Sometimes, Hailie feels lost between her mom’s absence she is unable to explain and her daddy’s absence for obvious professional reasons:
« I know sometimes things may not always
make since to you right now
but hey what did daddy always tell
straighten up lil soldier
stiffin up that upper lip
what you cryin about?
you got me… »
Marshall can read his daughter’s pain in her eyes. I know by experience how much little kid’s faces can say more than thousand words.
At the beginning of the song, Marshall goes straight to the subject. He talks about Kim’s absence and about how much his daughter misses her mom. He also talks about his own absences that must sometimes be a huge pain into Hailie’s heart. It is a matter of fact Hailie doesn’t see her daddy very often. But Marshall ensures his daughter of his omnipresent love, which is the most important:
« Hailie i know you miss your mom
and i know you miss your dad when I’m gone
but I’m tryin to give you the life that i never had
i can see your sad, even when you smile
even when you laugh i can see it in your eyes
deep inside you wanna cry cause your scared
i aint there, daddy’s with you in your prayers
no more cryin, wipe them tears
daddy’s here, no more nightmares… »
In the first verse, Eminem mentions another little girl, whose nickname is Laney. I’ve been asked by many people who this little girl was. Laney is Alaina, Dawn’s (Kim’s twin sister) daughter. Alaina has been adopted by Marshall, she currently lives with him and goes by the name Alaina Mathers:
« Daddy’s here, no more nightmares
we gonna pull together through it
we gon do it, Laney uncle’s crazy
but he loves you baby and you better know it
we’re all we got in this world when it spins
when it swirls, when it whirls, when it twirls
two little beautiful girls lookin puzzled
in a daze, i know its confusin you
daddys always on the move
momma’s always on the news
i try to keep you sheltered from it
but somehow it seems the harder that i try
to do that the more it backfires on me
all the things growin up as daddy
that he had to see, daddy dont want you to see… »
Eminem has always done his best to keep Hailie sheltered from the scandals surrounding Kim, but sometimes he doesn’t manage to protect her completely from this kind of exposure.
In the second verse, Marshall recalls the time when he was struggling for recognition., the dog years he went through across 8 Mile.
At this time, Marshall and Kim had no money, their appartement was often broken into and robbed. He recalls a dramatic event. Kim wanted to spare some money for Hailie’s college:
« and your mom was savin money for you in a jar
tryin to start a piggy bank for you so you could go to college
almost had a thousand dollars til someone broke in and stole it
and i know it hurt so bad it broke your momma’s heart
and it seemed like everything was just startin to fall apart
mom and dad was arguin a lot… »
There are references to places in Detroit where Eminem and Kim used to live:
« So momma moved back on charmas in a flat one bedroom apartment
and dad moved back to the other side of 8 mile on Novara… »
In fact « Chalmas » refers to Chalmer Street in Detroit that is located in Wayne county:
MC Hush, who was Eminem’s formerly friend and neighbor at this time, has mentioned Novara street several times in an interview.
Marshall looks at some ancient pictures and he remembers his memories with Kim.
Then he addresses again to Hailie and Alaina, giving both girls strength and hope, telling them that Kim’s situation is temporary. He wants them to understand that despite all, he can handle the situation and that he is here for them:
« Laney, im talkin to you too, daddy’s still here
I like the sound of that, yeah
its gotta ring to it dont it, shhh, momma’s only gone for the moment… »
The third verse is touching and funny. Marshall is ready to « give the world » to his daughter. He will make her smile by any means:
« i know mommy’s not here right now
and we don’t know why we feel how we feel inside
it may seem a little crazy pretty baby
but i promise, momma’s gon be alright
and if you ask me to daddys gonna buy you a mockingbird
I’m gon give you the world
im’a buy a diamond ring for you im’a sing for you
i’ll do anything for you to see you smile
and if that mockinbird dont sing and that ring dont shine
im’a break that birdie’s neck
i’ll go back to the jeweler who sold it to ya
and make him eat every karot, dont fuck with dad »
The message of the song is reassuring : Marshall tells his daughter that sometimes we have no control of our destiny, but that Kim is gonna be all right.
Mockinbird, you’d better sing for Hailie or Marshall might break your neck!
Hailie keep your head up: your daddy loves you and remember he will always be there for you.