Mama Tried – Merle Haggard

“Mama Tried” Lyrics

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
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 my Sunday learning
Towards the bad, I kept on turning
‘Til Mama couldn’t hold me anymore
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
Wanted me to have the best
She tried to raise me right but I refused
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