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The Temptations Songs - Papa Was A Rollin' Stone Lyrics

Papa Was A Rollin' Stone Lyrics By The Temptations Songs Album: All Directions Year: 1972 It was the third of September; that day I'll always remember, '

The Temptations - Papa Was A Rollin' Ston
The Temptations - Papa Was A Rollin' Stone


The Temptations - Papa Was A Rollin' Stone Youtube Music Videos and Lyrics

Album: All Directions
Released: 1972

Papa Was A Rollin' Stone Lyrics


It was the third of September; that day I'll always remember,
'Cause that was the day that my daddy died.
I never got a chance to see him; never heard nothin' but bad things about him.
Mama I'm depending on you to tell me the truth.

Mama just looked at him and said, "Son,
Papa Was A Rollin' Stone.
Wherever he laid his head was his home.
And when he died, all he left us was alone."

Papa was a rollin' stone.
Wherever he laid his head was his home.
And when he died, all he left us was alone."

Hey, Mama, is it true what the say, that Papa never worked a day in his life?
And Mama, they talk all around town say that
Papa had three outside children and another wife
And that ain't right.
Heard them talkin' about Papa doing some storefront preachin'
Talkin' about saving your souls and all the time weak, dealin' in death
And stealin' in the name of the Lord
Mama just hung her head and said,

Papa was a rollin' stone.
Wherever he laid his head was his home.
And when he died, all he left us was alone."

Papa was a rollin' stone.
Wherever he laid his head was his home.
And when he died, all he left us was alone."

Hey, Mama, I heard Papa call himself a jack of all trades.
Tell me, is that what sent Papa to an early grave?
Folks say Papa would beg; borrow or steal to pay his bills.
Hey, Mama, folks say Papa was never much on thinkin';
Spend most of his time chasin' women and drinkin'!
Mama, I'm depending on you to tell me the truth.

Mama just hung her head and said, "Son,
Papa was a rollin' stone.
Wherever he laid his head was his home.
And when he died, all he left us was alone."

Papa was a rollin' stone.
Wherever he laid his head was his home.
And when he died, all he left us was alone."

Papa was a rollin' stone.
Wherever he laid his head was his home.
And when he died, all he left us was alone."

Papa was a rollin' stone.
Wherever he laid his head was his home.
And when he died, all he left us was alone."
Writer/s: WHITFIELD, NORMAN / STRONG, BARRETT
Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Papa Was A Rollin' Stone Song Chart
  • This was written by the Motown songwriters Barrett Strong and Norman Whitfield, and produced by Whitfield. It was first recorded by The Undisputed Truth, but Whitfield also had The Temptations record it, with much greater success.
  • A story that is often circulated and is recounted in the 2001 miniseries The Temptations deals with the lines of this song: "It was the 3rd of September, that day I'll always remember, 'cause that was the day that my daddy died."

    The story goes that lead singer Dennis Edwards hated the song and was incensed when he heard this line, since his father died on that date and he thought Norman Whitfield put that in to goad him. This tale made for good drama, but was considerably overblown. Edwards' father actually died on October third, and he was anything but a rolling stone. The elder Edwards was a minister, and gave his son a good upbringing. Whitfield chose the date simply because it fit well in the song; he had no idea when Edwards' father had died.
  • The album version of this song runs 11:46. The single was released with the song split into two parts: the A-side was the "vocal" version and runs 6:58; the B-side is the "instrumental" and goes 4:49.

    Even truncated for single release, the A-side was exceptionally long and remains one of the longest chart-toppers in Hot 100 history. It was not, however, the longest #1 of 1972 - that was Don McLean's "American Pie," which clocked in at 8:33.
  • Both sides of the single was Grammy awards. The A-side won for Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo, Group Or Chorus, and the B-side took the award for Best R&B Instrumental Performance.
  • Speaking about this song's writer/producer Norman Whitfield in a 1995 interview with Goldmine, Motown head Berry Gordy said: "He could take one chord, like on 'Papa Was A Rolling Stone,' and play the same chord and do all these different beautiful melodies and stuff that many people could not really imagine this guy doin'. And I would watch him and he did it all by himself as a producer. He would work with five guys in the Temps and he would change leads on each one. He would pick the right lead for the right song, ya know, and he'd utilize all five of those leads in a song that was just incredible. When I listen to 'em today, now that I have time to listen to 'em, I'm saying, "Wow! This guy was probably the most underrated producer we had."
  • This was the last big hit recorded in Motown's famous Studio A, located in a two-story house in Detroit. Most of Motown's studio work had moved to Los Angeles by then, but The Temptations still recorded in Detroit.

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