"Papa Was A Rollin' Stone" as written by Norman J. Whitfield and Barrett Strong....
It was the third of September; that day I'll always remember,
'Cause that was the day that my daddy died.
I never got a chance to see him; never heard nothin' but bad things about him.
Mama I'm depending on you to tell me the truth.

Mama just looked at him and said, "Son,
Papa was a rollin' stone.
Wherever he laid his head was his home.
And when he died, all he left us was alone."

Papa was a rollin' stone.
Wherever he laid his head was his home.
And when he died, all he left us was alone."

Hey, Mama, is it true what the say, that Papa never worked a day in his life?
And Mama, they talk all around town say that
Papa had three outside children and another wife
And that ain't right.
Heard them talkin' about Papa doing some storefront preachin'
Talkin' about saving your souls and all the time weak, dealin' in death
And stealin' in the name of the Lord
Mama just hung her head and said,

Papa was a rollin' stone.
Wherever he laid his head was his home.
And when he died, all he left us was alone."

Papa was a rollin' stone.
Wherever he laid his head was his home.
And when he died, all he left us was alone."

Hey, Mama, I heard Papa call himself a jack of all trades.
Tell me, is that what sent Papa to an early grave?
Folks say Papa would beg; borrow or steal to pay his bills.
Hey, Mama, folks say Papa was never much on thinkin';
Spend most of his time chasin' women and drinkin'!
Mama, I'm depending on you to tell me the truth.

Mama just hung her head and said, "Son,
Papa was a rollin' stone.
Wherever he laid his head was his home.
And when he died, all he left us was alone."

Papa was a rollin' stone.
Wherever he laid his head was his home.
And when he died, all he left us was alone."

Papa was a rollin' stone.
Wherever he laid his head was his home.
And when he died, all he left us was alone."

Papa was a rollin' stone.
Wherever he laid his head was his home.
And when he died, all he left us was alone."



Lyrics submitted by x_nikole_x

"Papa Was a Rollin Stone" as written by Norman Whitfield Barrett Strong

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Papa Was A Rollin' Stone song meanings
Add your thoughts

13 Comments

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song. I can listen to it all day and never get sick. It reminds me of my Dad, sad as it may seem.
    Emoqueakon October 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is so freakin great> motown rocks my world.
    chesirecaton April 19, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBest of the Motown songs (which is extremely high praise)
    Comrade_Liaron March 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI was teaching in a very rough New Orleans high school when "Papa"came out and for most of the kids this song resonated very painfully.Pops was rarely around even back then.Its much worse now and I really don't think this song would get airplay today if it was released as a new song.Its way too devastating to the black psyche.
    Riverman94610on May 24, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentoh God.. we play this song in marching band and its getting us to state competition!! i love papa! but.. if papa was a rollin stone.. why was he poor????!
    tanner555on October 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song about a deadbeat father
    kfe2on April 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song about a deadbeat father
    kfe2on April 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenttanner555, you got a good point there....all the members of The Rolling Stones must be loaded with money ;)
    svengurkon April 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song...my band is going to cover it.
    Atticanon January 02, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYes, this papa is my inspiration (he-he).
    deadbeateron January 19, 2008   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain