Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Mama Tried

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The first thing I remember knowin' was a lonesome whistle
blowin',
And a youngun's dream of growin' up to ride,
On a freight train leavin' town, not knowin' where I'm bound.
And no one could change my mind but Mama tried.
One and only rebel child from a fam'ly meek and mild
My mama seemed to to know what lay in store,
'Spite all my Sunday learnin' towards the bad I kept on turnin',

'Til Mama couldn't hold me anymore.

And I turned twenty-one in prison doin' life without parole,
No one could steer me right but Mama tried, Mama tried.
Mama tried to raise me better, but her pleading I denied
And that leaves only me to blame, cause Mama tried

Dear ole' Daddy, rest his soul left my mom a heavy load,
She tried so very hard to feel his shoes,
Workin' hours without rest, wanted me to have the best
She tried to raise me right but I refused.

And I turned twenty-one in prison doin' life without parole,
No one could steer me right but Mama tried, Mama tried
Mama tried to raise me better but her pleading I denied
And that leaves only me to blame, cause Mama tried


Writer/s: Merle Haggard

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