Mama Tried

Song composer(s)

Haggard, Merle

Grateful Dead Recordings

Grateful Dead (Skull and Roses) (1971)
Dick's Picks Vol. 6 (1996)
Dick's Picks Vol. 10 (1998)

Dead Related Recordings

No Dead related recordings entered

Other Recordings

Single : Merle Haggard (1967)
Branded Man/I Threw Away The Rose : Merle Haggard & The Strangers (1967)
Show : The Everly Brothers (1970)
Reba Live : Reba McEntire (1989)
Black Claw & Country Fever : Albert Lee (1991)
Rare, Live & Classic (Box set) : Joan Baez (1993)
Acoustic Celebration : Reno Brothers (1994)
Mama's Hungry Eyes - Tribute To Merle Haggard : Various Artists (1994)
The Music Never Stopped - Roots of the Grateful Dead : Merle Haggard (1995)
Untamed Hawk (Box set) : Merle Haggard (1995)
Undiscovered - The Early Years : Albert Lee (1997)

Performance History

Played in New Riders Of The Purple Sage sets in 1970/71 Dead shows which were structured as follows; Acoustic Dead set, NRPS set, Electric Dead set.


Lead vocals - Weir.

A song based on Haggard's own experiences and the effect of his time in prison on his mother who for a long time had been his family's sole provider. Haggard has said;

"She had a boy who was more than wild. I don't know what I'd have done with me if I had been the parent. I was a child that needed two parents and there was a period that came up that my mother just couldn't handle. My dad wasn't there and my older brother tried to step in and of course I resented that. It just got all confused and messed up. Mama certainly did try."

Number one in the country charts in August 1968.