Childhood Memories

DEEP THOUGHTS, ENTERTAINMENT, FEAUTURED, KID, YOU

bwl-image-FI-no_words-parenting-kid-you-Childhood_Memories

In 1978, long before my birth, Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson sang a duet, “Mamma’s Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys.” My father, a cowboy, loved the song. My earliest thoughts of him are almost solely listening to this song. Most of my recollections of my father include driving to one of many horse shows; I would always sit in the passenger seat with my dog. My father singing along, “Mamma’s Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys.” As he sang, he’d chew on a cigar and drink a cup of coffee. Every once and a while, he’d go to grab the coffee and accidentally take a swig of the wrong coffee cup… the cup he’d spit the tobacco debris in. As he was digesting the swill, I’d laugh and say, “Serves you right. You’re going to get cancer. Doesn’t that make you want to stop?” He’d usually ignore me and take a sip of Mylanta.

The song is a pretty accurate description of his life. Some of the lyrics are hard to hear, if I think about the words being sung instead of the song as a whole; “’Cos they’ll never stay home and they’re always alone. Even with someone they love.” Yet, when I hear the song, a fondness and rush of overwhelming emotion overtake me. I am hardly able to keep my composure even now as I’m writing this article and revisiting the lyrics. These are happy tears, I think of my strong love and devotion to him. This song is a wonderful connection I have to my father.

I don’t listen to Waylon Jennings or Willie Nelson, but I have been hearing the song a lot lately. The new VW Passat commercial uses the song. Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson have got me wondering: what smell, taste, song or place will hit a nerve with my children? What will their memory of me be. I can only hope for the both of us that the memory is as emotionally stirring as mine is for my father.

Here’s the song:

Cowboys ain’t easy to love and they’re harder to hold.
They’d rather give you a song than diamonds or gold.
Lone star belt buckles and old faded Levis,
And each night begins a new day.
If you don’t understand him, an’ he don’t die young,
He’ll prob’ly just ride away.

Mama’s, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.
Don’t let ’em pick guitars or drive them old trucks.
Let ’em be doctors and lawyers and such.
Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.
‘Cos they’ll never stay home and they’re always alone.
Even with someone they love.

Cowboys like smokey old pool rooms and clear mountain mornings,
Little warm puppies and children and girls of the night.
Them that don’t know him won’t like him and them that do,
Sometimes won’t know how to take him.
He ain’t wrong, he’s just different but his pride won’t let him,
Do things to make you think he’s right.

Mama’s, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.
Don’t let ’em pick guitars or drive them old trucks.
Let ’em be doctors and lawyers and such.
Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.
‘Cos they’ll never stay home and they’re always alone.
Even with someone they love.

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