"Mammas don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys," goes the refrain. Each verse outlines the reasons why and then suggests a "better" choice, "Make 'em be doctors and lawyers and such."
What you may not know is that there's another variation of this song. It did not make it to the top of the country charts but it has still been very successful (over the last twenty years or so) in making its way into the hearts and minds of generations of Americans. The message of this version was not a warning against the hero of the Old West (the Cowboy), no instead it was directed toward another important icon, the Maker. It speaks against the skilled tradesperson, the machinist, the welder, the tool & die maker and anyone who uses tools, their hands and their mind to create something of value.