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Mama Liked the Roses

4.2 / 5

Words & Music: John Christopher

Oh, mama liked the roses she grew them in the yard
But Winter always came around and made the growing way too hard
Oh, mama liked the roses and when she had the time
She'd decorate the living room, for all us kids to see
When I hear the Sunday bells ringing in the morning
I remember crying when she used to sing
Oh, mama liked the roses but most of all she cared
About the way we learned to live
And if we said our prayers

You know I kept the family bible
With a rose that she saved inside
It was pressed between the pages
Like it had found a place to hide

Oh, mama liked the roses in such a special way
We bring them every Mother's Day
And put them on her grave
Oh, mama liked the roses Mmmm
Mama liked the roses

Recordingdate: 1969/01/15, first released on: single (album)


Musicians who contributed to the first recording of Mama Liked the Roses:



(french horn)
(french horn)

*Orchestra, overdubs


Find available albums with Mama Liked the Roses.

Steve V wrote on April 06, 2009
Its sentimental , maybe even corny, but I like it. I actually love it. Great performance.
bastiaanvinke wrote on June 04, 2009
I never understood why did ended up on a christmas album. Anyway it's a nice song.
Great Dane wrote on August 19, 2010
Sentimental indeed.And i think it fits well on the christmas album. 5 stars.
TBG wrote on August 19, 2010
A great song, released as the B-side on Wonder Of You. In my opinion it could have been an A-side, as it's just as good as Kentucky Rain and Don't Cry Daddy. I really love this song. Rumors says that Elvis cried the first time he heard this song, and that he recorded it to his mother who died 10 years before. Don't know if it's true though. All I know is that this is a really great song, under-rated and often forgotten on compilations.
JerryNodak wrote on August 19, 2010
Syrupy, sentimental goo, but I love it. The spoken bridge gives me goose bumps. Great song!
Deano1 wrote on August 19, 2010
An absolutely perfect recording. Great lyrics, great vocals and the emotional spoken bridge is used as effectively as it was in "Are You Lonesome Tonight". The chiming bells and sentimentality of the song make it fit well on the Christmas LP even though the song never mentions the holiday.
JLpResLey wrote on August 20, 2010
It´s a different kind of song for the memphis sessions. I like it, but to release it as a b-side for a single was wrong in my mind. I don´t think it was strong enough for that.
old shep wrote on January 09, 2011
Sentimental maybe but I like it. I remember the Beeb playing the intro over their Christmas TV schedule announcements some years ago.
miked wrote on January 09, 2011
Love this song, remember some time ago an Elvis almost "non believer" heard this and also Miracle of the Rosary and was blown away, yes very sentimental but if it introduces "non believers" into the Elvis fold I'm all for it.
bluesboy wrote on January 10, 2011
One must be made out of stone to be able to reist this.
Gorse wrote on December 31, 2012
Sweeter than honey, sung with seemingly deep feeling, was he perhaps thinking of his mother when he recorded this one. Different from the majority of recordings at these sessions, with its Christmas like touch, it is still a great song in its own right.
sugartummy wrote on April 04, 2013
A bad a song as The Last Farewell, but with that voice, I cannot help but fall for it.
TheMemphisFan wrote on January 15, 2014
A little known fact about the release of "Mama Liked The Roses" in 1970... it was actually issued as the A-side of RCA single #47-9835. "The Wonder of You" was the B-side. The original picture sleeve design and matrix numbers on the label confirms it. There was also a purpose with RCA's release timing of the song, as it was issued April 20, 1970, just 20 days before Mother's Day of that year on May 10, 1970. Even though "The Wonder of You" proved to be the more commercially popular song of the two, I think the single itself offers two fantastic, heartfelt songs and is one of the best 2-sided quality issues in Elvis' career!
ElvisSacramento wrote on March 20, 2014
This is such an excellent, underrated, overlooked, powerful, emotional, unique and heartfelt song and Elvis' rendition of it is a masterpiece. It should have been a big hit for Elvis here in the United States, but sadly it wasn't a hit for Elvis at all here in the United States. It should have been released as an A-side instead of being released as a B-side. I've never skipped this song and I never will.
GEORGE (GK) wrote on March 21, 2014
I too "Love" this song and could never figure out why the song was put on the Christmas albums.
TheMemphisFan wrote on August 03, 2015
Mama Liked The Roses was the bonus song on the biggest selling Elvis album of all-time, "Elvis' Christmas Album" (RCA Camden 1970). The picture sleeve of the 45-rpm single was clearly designed to promote this song... but the flip side, The Wonder Of You, proved to be more commercially appealing.
atomic powered poste wrote on May 19, 2018
Cheasy, sentimental number, hard to stand. The performance is convincing, so i gave 2 stars, but that's already a stretch.
JerryNodak wrote on May 20, 2018
IIRC: The Wonder Of You/Mama Liked The Roses was a two sided hit. Both sides peaked at 9 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Cruiser621 wrote on June 23, 2018
Not one of my favorites for certain; 2-stars. The problem is it sticks in your mind and it won't go away. Still 2-stars or put it this way, a B side.
atomic powered poste wrote on June 23, 2018
A fantastic performance of a lousy, cheasy song. Only 2 stars because of the weak song.
Lex wrote on May 30, 2019
One of the worst non-movie songs, beautifully sung, but what a waste of talent!
Miknik7077 wrote on December 28, 2020
Tearjerker of a song thats beautifully sung. Amazing the range he had during the 69 sessions from rockers like Power of Love to beautiful ballads like this one.
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