Papa Was a Rolling Stone Lyrics - The Temptations

Review The Song (37)

It was the third of September
The day I'll always remember, yes I will
'Cause that was the day that my daddy died
I never got a chance to see him
Never heard nothing but bad things about him
Mama, I'm depending on you, to tell me the


And mama just hung her head and said,
Son, papa was a rollin son 'now
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died, all he left me was alone
eh! eh! eh! eh..
Papa was a rollin' stone, my son
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died, all he left me was alone

Well, well

Hey mama, is it true what they say
That papa never worked a day in his life

And mama, some bad talk going around town

saying That papa had three outside children and

a new other wife
And that ain't right

Heard some talk about papa doing some store

front preaching
Talking about saving souls and all the time

Dealing in dirt and stealing in the name of

the Lord

Mama just hung her head and said
Papa was a rollin' stone, my son
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died all he left us was alone
Now listen to me...
papa was a rollin' stone
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died all he left us was alone


Hey mama, I heard papa called himself a jack

of all trades
Tell me is that what sent Papa to an early

Folk say papa would beg, borrow, steal to

pay his bill
Hey mama, folk say that papa never was much

on thinking
Spent most of his time chasing women and

Mama, I'm depending on you to tell me the


Mama looked up with a tear in her eye and

Son, papa was a rollin' stone (well, well,

well, well)
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died all he left us was alone
Papa was a rollin' stone
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died all he left us was alone

I said, papa was a rollin' stone
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died all he left us was alone

Click here to submit the Corrections of Papa Was a Rolling Stone Lyrics
Please Click Here to Print Papa Was a Rolling Stone Lyrics
Thanks to michael jones, for submitting Papa Was a Rolling Stone Lyrics.
Not hard to understand | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/3/14

What in the world is the matter with everyone... "all he left me was alone" means just that. Whether he died or just left... SHE was still alone! How hard is that to understand?

Confused | Reviewer: Sam | 12/27/12

Was this song meant to describe how Paul Williams treated his kids and wife after he killed himself in "The Temptations" the ministries I just was confused because half of the things in the song he did like "Killing himself at such a young age where he could have done more important things with his life instead of ending life SHORT

ALONE not a loan | Reviewer: Jack Vigdor | 12/1/12

"To be left alone" is an idiom in American English meaning to abandon, or quit being with someone. the line in the song, "all he left us was alone" is a sort of a put. It is meant to imply that the man had nothing to leave them, that he was a bum, that he was poor. So, he not only left them, he left them nothing.

one of my favorite songs from the oldies | Reviewer: lagrandame | 9/3/12

I believe it is 'ALONE' just because when you take out a loan, per the banks and other financial institutions standards, that loan is not to be passed to other individuals who were not in the contract you have sighed when you took it out. At the time of your death, that loan isn't valid any longer and if there wasn't other co signers who had taken that loan with you, that is just it ... That loan does not exist after you are gone and that is the main reason why there is an insurance taken out at the time you apply for a loan so whatever happen to you, they won't lose out on that loan you had gotten from them. So it is definitely 'ALONE' ... All he left us was ALONE !!!

"left me alone" | Reviewer: Max | 1/15/12

My English is quite bad, so please excuse if I formulate badly.

"somebody left me [...]" could also mean something like "somebody bequeathed to me [...]".
For example "he left me a house".
But usually it means "he abandoned me".

So I guess thats a pun.
After "he left me" one expect to learn what he has bequeathed to her. But he has bequeathed nothing to her. Nothing unless solitude.

Alone | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/3/11

I have been trying to figure out if at any point the lyrics are "All he left was well alone." I have been singing it that way in the final chorus for as long as I can remember, but I was recently questioned. Since then, I've been trying to find accurate lyrics. Anyone heard those lyrics before?

alone/loan: my opinion | Reviewer: rene | 10/19/10

Interesting, recently I had the same discussion with a friend who thought it could be: a loan.
Whether debt is the right word, I don't think that matters in poetry. It can be a play on/with words. Who knows this is also the case this line. The sounds are the same

Although I never saw the lyrics till today, I always thought: alone, loneliness.
The sentence with "alone" comes back six times and I think it is a key sentence.The story of the song is about Kids asking who Daddy is and not how much debt/loans he left behind.
Also the kids are asking mama about daddy and mama doesn't really answer their questions She isn't saying much and she probably wouldn't have told her kids about any loans/debts he left behind either, what makes, in my opinion, the ALONE meaning more plausible.

Why Artists were upset. | Reviewer: Anonymous | 4/26/10

Also along with those reasons Dennis was upset about the long intro of the song. It was noted that he kept asking "When do I come in?" Norman Whitfield was trying to get a unique sound out of Dennis. Then end result......A Classic song!

HOW THE ARTISTS WERE UPSET BY THE SONG | Reviewer: Eric Ebacher | 4/10/10

Many of the group members, primarily Dennis Edwards, Melvin Franklin, and Otis Williams, were upset by the song "Papa Was A Rollin' Stone"; Dennis and Melvin were upset, because of the date listed, the third of September, which was the day Dennis' own daddy died. Norman Whitfield claimed he had no idea that this was the day Dennis' father passed away and that he (Dennis) wanted it changed; Otis was upset about the song in general, because he claimed that it wasn't a ballad and he wanted the whole song changed so it would be.

re: He left them alone, and with LOANS.... | Reviewer: James Sheets | 10/23/09 | Reviewer: Captain Obvious | 12/5/09

Stop with the bible thumping. This is not a historical text OR a biblical source; it is a SONG, written 1000's of years AFTER what youre trying to compare it to. Oh yeah the Temptations already said in an interview that is was 'alone', fyi. google it. peace.

He left them alone, and with LOANS.... | Reviewer: James Sheets | 10/23/09

If you look at this from a BIBLICAL position the FATHER who is the Husband, or bands the house toghether in a cohesive manner, if not in position will leave the family alone, and with loans.... It is the role of the FATHER, who carries the title deed AS FATHER, which means there are deeds that must be carried out with the title of FATHER, and those deeds are to ensure the family is secure financially (NO EXECUSE JUST RESULTS). The Bible states a FATHER LEAVES HOUSES, and RICHES, so if he did not do that as Father, then he was simply a daddy which spits a seed, and splits the scene, where as a FATHER GOVERNS that seed to SUCCESS... What he was suppose to do as a FATHER, he neglected, and operated solely as a daddy, becasue all he did was simply leave them alone, and with LOANS.....

BE OPEN MINDED PEOPLE! | Reviewer: Mattie | 9/11/09

Be open mined people the song is clearly using the word alone as a double meaning to make you think: yes in this situation both alone and loan make sense have you ever sat down and just thought maybe he was really talking about both but couldn't use both words to finish the song so they used what was appealing to the ear and the eye....marinate on that.

My papa was a rolling stone too... | Reviewer: Damon | 6/23/09

And he wore a hat as well. I think there are many people in the world who reflect on their dad when hearing this song. I always wonder why he choose to live like a rolling stone and die because of this unhealty lifestyle. My father became an alcoholic, ended up as a homeless with a hat and died at age 44. All he left us was alone.

Double Meaning | Reviewer: Motown Jimmy | 6/5/09

In my opinion, the lyrics provide an intentional double meaning. Yes, he left them alone, but he also left them in debt with an outstanding loan. For me, the lyrics enhance the impact and poignancy of the entire piece.

really | Reviewer: leah s | 4/7/09

i love this song. it is one of my favortie songs to sing ever. and i agree that this a stupid argument. its alone. although "a loan" isnt unthinkable, why would their father who left them leave them money? that just makes no sense. but a father who left and then died, left them alone for sure. sooo, ya. thats about it. and love this song! whooo! and i also love dreamgirls which doesnt really have anyting to do with this but its one of my favorite movies

Reviews By Pages:   1    2    3   

The following area is only for review, if you want to submit the lyrics or the corrections of the lyrics, please click the link at the end of Papa Was a Rolling Stone Lyrics.
Your Name:
(Important: Your name will be published if you input it)

Review for Papa Was a Rolling Stone Lyrics
------ Performed by The Temptations

Please enter a title for your review:

------ 11/22/2014

Type your review in the space below: