I don't know how I'm gonna tell you
I can't play with you no more
I don't know how I'm gonna do what mama told me
My friend, the boy next door
I can't believe what people saying
You're gonna let your hair hang down
I'm satisfied to sit here working all day long
You're in the darker side of town
And when I'm out, I see you walking
Why don't your eyes see me?
Could it be you've found another game to play?
What did Mama say to me?
That's the way, that's the way it ought to be
Mama said, Mama said, That's the way it ought to stayâ€
And yesterday, I saw you standing by the river
And weren't those tears that filled your eyes?
And all the fish that lay in dirty water dying
Had they got you hypnotized?
And yesterday, I saw you kissing tiny flowers
But all that lives is born to die
And so I say to you that nothing really matters
And all you do is stand and cry
I don't know what to say about it
But all your ears have turned away
Now's the time to look and look again at what you see
Is that the way it ought to stay?
That's the way, oh, that's the way it oughta be
Oh, don't you know now?
Mama said, oh, Mama said, That's the way it's gonna stay