Mama Tried Lyrics

by Merle Haggard

The first thing I remember knowing was a lonesome whistle blowing
And a young gun'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 the family, meek and mild
My mama seemed to know what lay in store
Despite all 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, wanted me to have the best
She tried to raise me right but I refused

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