The first thing I remember knowin' was a lonesome whistle blowin'
And the youngest dream of growin' up to ride
On a freight train leavin' town not knowin' where I'm bound
No one could change my mind but mama tried
One and only rebel child for my family meek and mild
My mama seemed to know what lay in store
Spite of all my Sunday learnin' toward the bad I kept on turnin'
Till 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 pleadings I denied
That leaves only me to blame cause mama tried

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Dear old daddy rest his soul left my mama 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...
That leaves only me to blame cause mama tried