Papa Was A Rolling Stone
Norman Whitfield/Barrett Strong
it was the third of september
that day I'll always remember, yes I will
'cause that was the day that my daddy died

never had a chance to see him, no
never heard nothing but bad things about him
mama, I'm depending on you to tell me the truth
mama just hung her head and said

chorus
"papa was a rollin' stone
wherever he laid his hat was his home
and when he died
all he left us was alone"
(repeat)

hey, mama, is it true what they say
that papa never worked aday in his life
some bad talk going around sayin'
papa had three outside children
and another wife
that ain't right

heard some talk about papa and his storefront
preachin'
talkin' about saving souls and all the time
leachin'
and dealing in dirt
stealin' in the name of the Lord

but mama she just said

chorus

say I heard my papa was a jack of all trades
is that what papa sent to an early grave?
folks say papa would beg, borrow or steal just
to pay his bills
hey, mama, folks say papa was never much in thinkin'
spent most of his time chasin' women and drinkin'
but mother, I'm depending on you
to tell me the truth

but my mama she just said

chorus (2x)

Performed by