Papa was a rolling stone

Gracias a bigbrotha, caí en la cuenta de que se me pasó una de las mejores canciones de la Motown en una de mis entradas de hace unos días: “Papa was a Rolling Stone”, de Temptations. Dadle al play y abrid vuestros oídos, motowneros.

Esta genial canción fue escrita en 1971 por los compositores de la Motown Norman Whitfield y Barrett Strong, en principio como un single para la formación de Motown The Undisputed Truth, que utilizaba técnicas de producción propias del soul psicodélico. A finales de 1972, Whitfield convirtió la canción en un maxisingle de doce minutos para The Temptations, que fue Nº 1 en Billboard Hot 100 y ganó tres premios Grammy en 1973. Mientras que  la versión original de Undisputed Truth iba siendo olvidada por momentos, la versión de los Temps se fue configurando como una de las piezas más influyentes del soul clásico. Esta canción también llegó al número 168 de la lista de las mejores 500 Mejores Canciones de Todos los Tiempos de Rolling Stone. De entre las covers de Papa, hay dos que me gustaría destacar. La primera corresponde al verano de 1987, un remix llamado “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone ’87”. La segunda es del cantante británico George Michael, incluida en EP Five Live, que fue sampleada con “Killer“, de Seal.

It was the third of September
That 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, tell me the truth

And Mama just hung her head and said,
“Son, Papa was a rolling stone
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
(And when he died) All he left us was alone”
“Papa was a rolling stone, my son
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
(And when he died) All he left us was alone”

Hey Mama, is it true what they say,
that Papa never worked a day in his life?
And Mama, bad talk going around town
saying that Papa had three outside children and another wife
And that ain’t right
Heard some talk about Papa doing some store front preaching
Talking about saving souls and all the time leeching
Dealing in debt and stealing in the name of the Lord

Mama just hung her head and said,
“Papa was a rolling stone, my son
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
(And when he died) All he left us was alone”
“Hey, Papa was a rolling stone
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
(And when he died) All he left us was alone”

Hey Mama, I heard Papa call himself a jack of all trade
Tell me is that what sent Papa to an early grave?
Folk say Papa would beg, borrow, steal to pay his bill
Hey Mama, folk say that Papa was never much on thinking
Spent most of his time chasing women and drinking
Mama, I’m depending on you to tell me the truth
Mama looked up with a tear in her eye and said,
“Son, Papa was a rolling 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 rolling stone
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
(And when he died) All he left us was alone”

“I said, Papa was a rolling stone. Wherever he laid his hat was his home
(And when he died) All he left us was alone”

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