Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys Lyrics


In the world of country music, certain songs have the power to transcend generations, touching the hearts of listeners and offering timeless wisdom. One such song is “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” written by Ed Bruce and Patsy Bruce. Originally recorded by Ed Bruce in 1976 and later made famous by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson in their 1978 rendition, this song has become an iconic classic. Its lyrics resonate with themes of sacrifice, choices, and the passage of time. In this article, we will explore the profound lyrics of this song and the valuable life lessons they convey.

Verse 1: “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”

The song opens with a powerful and straightforward message to mothers. It addresses the universal desire of parents to protect and guide their children towards a secure and fulfilling future. The line “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys” is a declaration that goes beyond the literal sense. While the term “cowboys” may refer to a profession, it symbolizes a lifestyle characterized by hardship, instability, and risk.

Verse 2: “Don’t Let ‘Em Pick Guitars and Drive Them Old Trucks”

The second verse continues the advice to mothers, urging them not to allow their children to pursue a life that may lead to uncertainty. The mention of “pickin’ guitars” and “drivin’ old trucks” alludes to artistic and rugged pursuits that may be financially and emotionally demanding. These lines convey the idea that parents often want their children to follow paths that offer stability and security.

Chorus: “Make ‘Em Be Doctors and Lawyers and Such”

The chorus reinforces the theme of guiding children toward conventional and respected professions like doctors and lawyers. These occupations are seen as safe choices that promise financial security and social prestige. The repetition of “and such” broadens the list of professions, emphasizing the desire for children to have a prosperous and stable future.

Verse 3: “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”

The song returns to the central message, reiterating the plea to mothers to protect their children from a life that can be unpredictable and challenging. The repetition of the title line serves as a heartfelt reminder of the song’s core message.

Verse 4: “They’ll Never Stay Home, and They’re Always Alone”

This verse delves deeper into the life of a cowboy, describing it as one marked by constant travel and solitude. The notion of “never stayin’ home” reflects a lifestyle that can be emotionally taxing and isolating. It suggests that the sacrifices required by such a life can take a toll on personal relationships and connections.

Chorus: “Make ‘Em Be Doctors and Lawyers and Such”

The chorus is repeated, emphasizing the desire for children to pursue stable and respected careers that offer financial security and social acceptance.

Verse 5: “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”

The final verse returns to the plea, encapsulating the song’s message of caution and guidance. It underscores the importance of a mother’s role in shaping the future of her child and her desire to protect them from hardships.

Bridge: “Cowboys Ain’t Easy to Love”

The bridge introduces a reflection on the complexities of cowboys. While cowboys may embody independence and resilience, they can also be challenging to love due to their lifestyle choices and the sacrifices they make. This line suggests that the allure of the cowboy life comes with its own set of difficulties.

Verse 6: “And They’re Harder to Hold”

The final verse further emphasizes the challenges of forming lasting bonds with cowboys. Their constant movement and independent nature can make them elusive and difficult to hold onto emotionally.

Chorus: “Make ‘Em Be Doctors and Lawyers and Such”

The chorus is repeated once more, reiterating the desire for children to pursue careers that offer stability and prosperity.


The enduring appeal of “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” lies in its universal message of parental concern and guidance. The song captures the timeless desire of parents to protect their children from hardship and uncertainty, steering them toward paths that promise stability and success.

While the song’s lyrics convey caution and reflection, they also acknowledge the complexities and allure of the cowboy life. The song doesn’t condemn the cowboy lifestyle but rather serves as a reminder of the sacrifices and challenges it entails.

Ultimately, this iconic country song serves as a poignant reflection on the choices we make in life and the guidance and wisdom imparted by parents. Its enduring popularity reminds us of the power of music to convey profound messages and evoke deep emotions, making it a cherished classic in the world of country music. So, the next time you hear the lyrics “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” take a moment to appreciate the timeless wisdom they offer and the enduring legacy of this beloved song.

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