Nelson dropped the track accompanied by a lyric video, with lush flowers blooming alongside each rollicking line: “I can tell my mama’s short on loving me/I guess that’s why she let me go so far,” he sings. “Mama tried to stop me short of stealing/I guess that’s why I had to steal that car.”
“I’m the Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised” was a 1977 hit for the late Johnny Paycheck, off his album Slide Off of Your Satin Sheets. It written by Wayne Kemp, Bobby Borchers and Mack Vickery.
The ninth track on First Rose of Spring, “I’m the Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised” follows the previously released title track and “Our Song,” a ballad penned by Chris Stapleton. “I can easily say Willie Nelson is one of my biggest musical influences,” Stapleton said. “It just doesn’t get any better than hearing him sing a song I wrote.”
First Rose of Spring is Nelson’s 70th studio album, after 2019’s Ride Me Back Home. Nelson, who turned 87 last month, recently hosted an At Home With Farm Aid streaming concert that included performances by Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews. Following the digital event, he hosted Come and Toke It, a variety show to honor the unofficial weed holiday 4/20.