First thing I remember knowin'
Was a lonesome whistle blowin'
And a youngun's dream of growin' up to ride
On a freight train leavin' town,
Not knowin' where I's bound
No one could change my mind but mama tried

One and only rebel child
In a family meek and mild,
Mama seemed to know what lay in store
In spite of all my Sunday learnin',
For the bad I kept on turnin'
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 pleadin' 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


That leaves only me to blame 'cause mama tried

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC