This is an example of Eminem's rap storytelling ability, another being "Stan". The lyrics are a personal, undisguised account of his early relationship with his wife and daughters. Critics praised the song for its lyrics. This song mixes an original rap dialogue about Eminem's failed marriage, as he apologizes to his daughters with a straight melodic version of the traditional "Mockingbird" lullaby called "Hush, Little Baby". The second verse is about the difficulties including Kim and Eminem's divorce and the beginning of Eminem's fame.
Entertainment Weekly 's David Browne was angered: "Again he addresses a song to his daughter (Mockingbird) and explains how he's working hard at being a good father. Again he berates various women, including his ex-wife and his mother (although he's a little kinder toward his mom this time). Again he includes phone-call skits with his worried lawyer." J-23 praised the song: "Things get a bit better at the end, 'Mockingbird' is another song for Hailie that is most notable for flawless delivery." Steve Jones was positive: "The affectionate Mockingbird talks directly to his 9-year-old daughter, Hailie Jade, and 8-year-old niece, Alaina, trying to explain Kim's troubles with the law and his constant travel." RapReviews was also satisfied: "Predictably, Em lays down one for Haley with "Mockingbird," but what is not foreseeable is that it actually works" and he noted that it imitates Em himself.The New York Times was mixed: the I-love-my-daughter ode "Mockingbird" isn't the most exciting thing according to critic.Stylus Magazine was negative: "Encore dutifully deploys the obligatory Haley ode (“Mockingbird”)."
The video premiered on MTV TRL on February 21, 2005 and features Eminem sitting in his empty house watching home movies about his daughters. It also features footage with his mentor, Dr. Dre. This is the second video to feature Eminem with his glasses, the first being "Stan".