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,
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 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 ‘cos 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.