"Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" is a country music song first recorded by Ed Bruce, written by him and wife Patsy Bruce. His version of the song appears on his 1976 self-titled album for United Artists Records. In late 1975–early 1976, Bruce's rendition of the song went to number 15 on the Hot Country Singles charts.
Members of the Western Writers of America chose the song as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.
The narrator warns mothers not to let their children become cowboys because of the tough and busy life of cowboy culture.
Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson covered the song on their 1978 duet album Waylon & Willie. This rendition peaked at No. 1 in March 1978, spending four weeks atop the country music charts. It also won the 1979 Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. Also in 1979, Nelson's version was featured in the film The Electric Horseman with Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. This version was covered by Alvin and the Chipmunks as "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Chipmunks" for their 1981 album Urban Chipmunk. It is also featured in the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas video game soundtrack, on the fictitious radio station K-Rose, and in a 2015 TV commercial for the Volkswagen Passat.
In 1994, country music group Gibson/Miller Band recorded a cover version on its album Red, White and Blue Collar. This version peaked at #49 on the Hot Country Songs chart, and was featured in the soundtrack for the movie The Cowboy Way. It also appeared on the band's second and final studio album, Red, White and Blue Collar.
Todays tune is with "Willie Nelson & Waylon Jennings" perform "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" at Farm Aid II in Austin, Texas on July 4, 1986. The song was Released as a 7" single on November 15, 1975 and the B-side was "It's Not What She's Done (It's What You Didn't Do)".
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