Mama Tried
Written by Merle Haggard




The first thing I remember knowing,
Was a lonesome whistle blowing,
And a young-un's dream of growing up to ride,
On a freight train leaving town,
Not knowing where I'm bound,
No-one could change my mind but Mama tried.


One and only rebel child,
From a family meek and mild,
My Mama seemed to know what lay in store,
Despite my Sunday learning,
Towards the bad, I kept on turning,
'Til Mama couldn't hold me anymore.


And I turned twenty-one in prison doing 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,
That leaves only me to blame 'cause Mama tried.


Dear old Daddy, rest his soul,
Left my Mom a heavy load,
She tried so very hard to fill his shoes,
Working hours without rest,
Wanting me to have the best,
She tried to raise me right but I refused.

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