I'm Livin' in Shame

Album: Let the Sunshine In (1969)
Charted: 14 10
Play Video
  • Mom was cooking bread
    She wore a dirty raggety scarf around her head
    Always had her stockings low
    Rolled to her feet, she just didn't know
    She wore a sloppy dress
    Oh no matter how she tried, she always looked a mess
    Out of the pot she ate, never used a fork or a dinner plate
    I was always so ashamed for my uptown friends to see her
    Afraid one day when I was grown that I would be her

    In a college town, away from home, a new identity I found
    Said I was born elite, with maids and servants at my feet
    I must have been insane
    I lied and said my mom died on a weekend trip to Spain
    She never got out of the house, never even boarded a train
    I married a guy, was livin' high
    I didn't want him to know her
    She had a grandson, two years old
    I never even showed her

    I'm livin' in shame, Momma, I miss you
    I know you are not to blame, Momma, I miss you

    Came the telegram
    Mom passed away while making homemade jam
    Before she died, she cried to see me by her side
    She always did her best, ah! cookin', cleanin'
    Always in the same old dress
    Workin' hard down on her knees
    Always try'n to please
    Momma! Momma! Momma, do you hear me
    Momma! Momma! Momma, do you hear me

    I'm livin' in shame, Momma, I miss you
    I know you've done your best
    Momma, I miss you
    Won't you forgive me Momma
    For all the wrong I've done
    I know you have done your best
    I know you have done your very best you could
    But I never understood
    Workin' hard on your knees
    Momma, you were always, always tryin' to please Writer/s: BERRY GORDY JR, BERRY JR GORDY, FRANK EDWARD WILSON, HENRY COSBY, PAMELA JOAN SAWYER, R. DEAN TAYLOR
    Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 4

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 5th 1969, Diana Ross & the Supremes debut their latest single, "I'm Livin' In Shame", on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
    Two weeks later on January 19th it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on February 16th it peaked at #10 (for 1 week) and spent 8 weeks on the Top 100...
    Neither Mary Wilson or Cindy Birdsong sang back-up on the record, that was provided by the Andantes...
    On the same Sullivan show the trio sang "Love Child", which peaked at #1 (for 2 weeks) starting on November 24th, 1968...
    R.I.P. Mr. Sullivan (1901 - 1974) and Diana Ross will celebrate her 70th birthday in two months on March 26th.
  • Ekristheh from Halath, United StatesEither she won a scholarship or Mama had been putting money into a college fund all those years. In either case, Mama was doing something right.
  • Kristin from Bessemer, AlMary Wilson commented in her best-seller "Dreamgirl" that she does not appear on this record. In fact, after Flo Ballard was dismissed from the Supremes, Wilson and new member Cindy Birdsong did not appear on any single releases with Diana Ross, except those releases performed with the Temptations.
  • Howard from St. Louis Park, MnThis was an outstanding Motown storysong. It would also have made a great country song since it reflected real-life.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Tanita Tikaram

Tanita TikaramSongwriter Interviews

When she released her first album in 1988, Tanita became a UK singing sensation at age 19. She talks about her darkly sensual voice and quirky songwriting style.

Modern A Cappella with Peder Karlsson of The Real Group

Modern A Cappella with Peder Karlsson of The Real GroupSong Writing

The leader of the Modern A Cappella movement talks about the genre.

Amy Grant

Amy GrantSongwriter Interviews

The top Contemporary Christian artist of all time on song inspirations and what she learned from Johnny Carson.

Benny Mardones

Benny MardonesSongwriter Interviews

His song "Into The Night" is one of the most-played of all time. For Benny, it took him to hell and back.


PrinceFact or Fiction

Prince is shrouded in mystery, making him an excellent candidate for Fact or Fiction. Is he really a Scientologist? Does he own an exotic animal?

Tommy James

Tommy JamesSongwriter Interviews

"Mony Mony," "Crimson and Clover," "Draggin' The Line"... the hits kept coming for Tommy James, and in a plot line fit for a movie, his record company was controlled by the mafia.