Music

Flashback: Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings Perform 'Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys"

Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings perform on stage together, New York, April 1978. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)

Cowboys may not be easy to love, but this song definitely is. In 1978, "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" rose to number one on the country charts thanks to Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings's cover of the track on their duet album, Waylon & Willie.

The song was originally recorded two years prior in 1976 by Ed Bruce who penned the lyrics with his wife, Patsy Bruce. He made it to No. 15 on the country charts, but Willie and Waylon took it up the rest of the way, and even earned a Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Read More: Miranda Lambert Rules the Wild West on New Single 'If I Was a Cowboy'

In the video above, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings of The Highwaymen perform their version of the song on stage at Farm Aid 1986. Farm Aid was co-founded by Nelson who also served as its president alongside Neil Young and John Mellencamp to help family farmers.

This performance took place in the hot summer on July 4th in Austin, Texas, hence the stylish shorts Nelson is sporting.

If you want to sing along (and you know you do), give a glance to the song's lyrics below.

This article was previously published in 2018.

"Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" Lyrics

Cowboys ain't easy to love and they're harder to hold.
They'd rather give you a song than diamonds or gold
Lonestar 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.

Mamas, 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

Mamas, 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

 

Related Videos

recommended for you

Flashback: Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings Perform 'Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys"