It was the third of September
That day I'll always remember, yes I will
'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
Momma I'm depending on you to tell me the truth
Momma just hung her head and said, son

Papa was a rolling stone
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died, all he left us was alone
Papa was a rolling stone (my son, yeah)
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died, all he left us was alone

Hey Momma!
Is it true what they say that Papa never worked a day in his life
And Momma, some bad talk goin' round town sayin' that
Papa had three outside children
And another wife, and that ain't right
Heard some talk Papa doing some storefront preachin'
Talking about saving souls and all the time leechin'
Dealing in dirt, and stealing in the name of the Lord
Momma just hung her head and said

Papa was a rolling stone (my son)
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died, all he left us was alone
Hey Papa was a rolling stone (dad gumma it)
Where ever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died, all he left us was alone

Hey Momma
I heard Papa called himself a jack-of-all-trades
Tell me is that what sent Papa to an early grave
Folks say Papa would beg, borrow, steal
To pay his bills
Hey Momma
Folks say Papa never was much on thinking
Spent most of his time chasing women and drinking
Momma I'm depending on you to tell me the truth
Momma looked up with a tear in her eye and said, son

Papa was a rolling stone (well, well, well, well)
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died, all he left us was alone (lone, lone, lone, alone)
Papa was a rolling stone
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died, all he left us was alone

(I said) Papa was a rolling stone (yes he was, my son)
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died, all he left us was alone
My daddy was
Papa was a rolling stone (yes he was, yeah)
Wherever he laid his hat was his home


Lyrics submitted by x_nikole_x

Papa Was A Rollin' Stone Lyrics as written by Norman Whitfield Barrett Strong

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Papa Was A Rollin' Stone song meanings
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15 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment

    I 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 Comment

    I 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 Comment

    this song is so freakin great> motown rocks my world.

    chesirecaton April 19, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Best of the Motown songs (which is extremely high praise)

    Comrade_Liaron March 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Great song about a deadbeat father

    kfe2on April 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Great song about a deadbeat father

    kfe2on April 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    tanner555, 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 Comment

    I love this song...my band is going to cover it.

    Atticanon January 02, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Yes, this papa is my inspiration (he-he).

    deadbeateron January 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    They don't mean rolling stone like as in the band. They mean rolling stone like he was always moving around. Never there. He wasn't home

    sexystrubleon March 29, 2009   Link

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