Ed Bruce’s Only Top 20 Song
It took Ed Bruce eighteen years to finally achieve a huge success in his singing career. “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys” was his first and only top 20 song on the Billboard chart. Ed Bruce and his wife Patsy Bruce wrote the song together. Bruce recorded the song under his record label United Artists in 1975. The song became part of his self-titled album and his best-known song in his entire career.
“Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys”
“Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys” entered the Billboard chart and landed at No. 15 on the Hot Country Chart. His song also entered the Canadian charts at No. 36. This became his only song to enter the top 20. Bruce has other songs that entered the chart but it did not reach as high as his song “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys.”
Three years after Bruce’s version of the song was released, two country artists decided to make a version of this song. Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson collaborated on this song and included it on their album, Waylon & Willie. Jennings and Nelson’s version reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country chart. Moreover, the song places at No. 42 on the Hot 100 chart and No. 33 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
Aside from Jennings and Nelson’s version, the Gibson/Miller band recorded the song in 1994, Deane Carter and Sara Evans recorded it in 2003. Jennings and Nelson’s sons (Shooter Jennings and Lukas Nelson) recorded a version of this song, and it was featured as the theme song of the TV Series The Ranch. Other artists who recorded Ed Bruce song are Lucinda Williams and Adam Brand and The Outlaws.
The Song’s Content
Bruce’s song is about a man who grew up to be a cowboy which means he lives like the way a cowboy lives. He describes cowboys as easy to love and likes to run away.
“If you don’t understand him and he don’t die young
He’ll probably just ride away.”
His song warns mothers to never raise their child to be like a cowboy because it will only hurt them when they grow up.
Listen to Ed Bruce’s “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys.”