Motherless Children

Lyrics: Traditional
Music: Traditional

Played by Jerry Garcia with David Crosby, Phil Lesh and Mickey Hart in December 1970 in shows billed as "Jerry Garcia and Friends." These are the lyrics as Crosby sings them:

Motherless children got a hard time when their mama ...
Motherless children got a hard time when their mama ...
Motherless children got a hard time cryin'
They got a hard time livin', hard time dyin'

Now your papa said he's gonna to do for you when your mama ...
Papa said he's gonna do you when your mama ...
Papa said he's gonna do for you
You know he means [some one] thing child than you're through

Sister says she do about the best she can when your mama ...
Sister says she do about the best she can when your mama ...
Sister says she do about the best she can
But that poor young girl just don't understand

Motherless children got a hard time when their mama ...
Motherless children got a hard time when their mama ...
Motherless children got a hard time cryin'
They got a hard time livin', hard time dyin'
They got a hard time, when their mama ...

Motherless children got a hard time when their mama ...
Motherless children got a hard time when their mama ...
Motherless children got a hard time cryin'
They got a hard time livin', hard time dyin'
They got a hard time
The more common lyrics, as sung for example by Eric Clapton, are:
Motherless children have a hard time when mother is dead
Motherless children have a hard time when mother is dead
They don't have anywhere to go
Wandering around from door to door
Nobody treats you like a mother will when your mother is dead

Father will do the best he can when your mother is dead
Father will do the best he can when your mother is dead
Father will do the best he can
So many things a father can't understand
Nobody treats you like a mother will when your mother is dead

Sister will do the best she can when your mother is dead
Sister will do the best she can when your mother is dead
Sister will do the best she can
So many things a sister can't understand
Nobody treats you like a mother will when your mother is dead


Futher Information
For more information on recordings see Matt Schofield's Grateful Dead Family Discography

 


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