The first thing I remember knowin'
Was a lonesome whistle blowin'
And a young un'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 family, meek and mild
My Mama seemed to know what lay in store
Despite 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
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
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
That leaves only me to blame 'cause Mama tried


Lyrics submitted by AlmightyTim

Mama Tried Lyrics as written by Merle Haggard

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Mama Tried song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentNo comments on this one? One of the best songs from one of country's all time greatest legends. I love how the music is rather upbeat but the lyrics are incredibly sad.
    ratanxon April 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMr. Haggard knows a bit about prison, he did time for burglary before becoming a star.
    czolgolzon October 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAn old song, but a great one. Truly one of the best songs of all time in country. It's an ode to all bad boys out there, who just never listened to their moms.
    YankeeCowboy92on April 08, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThis song is my uncles song. Right now he is in prison for stuff he did last year. This song is older than me. This is one of the Altima best songs ever.
    Kfeasel13on April 23, 2017   Link

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