Tell Me Mama

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Robert Hunter

A Robert Hunter sing from his book of lyrics "Box Of Rain." I don't think he ever performed it. Not to be confused with the song of the same title performed by Phil Lesh and Friends, not with the Bob Dylan song "Tell Me, Momma."

Slip out of your shell, you said
Where else you got to go?
You been there and back again
What do you really know?

The saints each had his purpose
But you're not one of them
You are not the worst of fools
Nor yet the best of men

Oh - tell me Mama
Where did I go awry?
You know me best of anyone
You know how hard I try
You know how close I almost came
How far I fell away ... but
I always kept you in my heart
Much more than I could say


Come and sit beside me
You can even tell me lies
It never was your honesty
It must have been your eyes

The way they looked inside me
Long ago and far away
While the snow was falling hard
From clouds of frozen gray

Oh - tell me Mama
Where did I go astray?
I tried as hard as anyone
To walk on feet of clay
You know the miles that lay between
The purpose and the deed ... but
I always held you in my heart
Not just in time of need


Like some gypsy prophesy
The winds howl at my door
With fragments of my future
As I listen through the roar
Makes my blood run chilly
But enflames me to the core
If always meant forever
I can take it one time more

All these broken promises
Assume some tight control ...
There never was no steering gear
And wheels just know to roll

Put the brake on gently
So the rubber will not burn
You been there and back again,
What did you really learn?

Oh - tell me Mama
Where did I go right?
To have you sit and talk to me
On this my needful night?
You know how much it meant to me
I never could repay
I always kept you in my heart
Much more than I could say