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Archive for March 4th, 2009

In connection with my last post, I came across  the lyrics to a song about the death of Hank Williams released by Emmylou Harris. The song is from a 1990 album called ‘Brand New Dance’ which according to Amazon has been discontinued. However the album and song are available as MP3 downloads. Here are the lyrics. 

Rollin’ and Ramblin’ (The Death of Hank Williams) written by (Robin Williams/Linda Williams/Jerome Clark)

Folks in Nashville slammed the door
Said we don’t want you anymore
Find your own way down the road
Pack your fiddle and your guitar
Take a train or take a car
Find someone else to keep you from the cold

Rollin’ and ramblin’
Women loved him half to death
He sang with whiskey on his breath
His heart broke like a child’s.

Rollin’ and ramblin’
The sun has set out on the trail
The hobo’s drifted up the rail
He’s taken his last ride.

Oh, he always sang the blues
Like it was all he ever knew
He didn’t sing at all that night
He was pale and as he dozed
He didn’t know his time had closed
Slumped in the back seat to the right.

Rollin’ and ramblin’
Women loved him half to death
He sang with whiskey on his breath
His heart broke like a child’s.

Rollin’ and ramblin’
The sun has set out on the trail
The hobo’s drifted up the rail
He’s taken his last ride.

So they send him on night train, South
Through the cities and the rural routes
Just one more place to go
Ah, the whistle sang the bluest note
Like it came from his own throat
Moanin’ sad and cryin’ low.

Rollin’ and ramblin’
Women loved him half to death
He sang with whiskey on his breath
His heart broke like a child’s.

Rollin’ and ramblin’
The sun has set out on the trail
The hobo’s drifted up the rail
He’s taken his last ride.

Rollin’ and ramblin’
The sun has set out on the trail
The hobo’s drifted up the rail
He’s taken his last ride.

I’ve always been an Emmylou Harris fan and my vinyl collection has a few of her great albums from the ‘Luxury Liner’ period.

Of course Emmylou had an early relationship with Gram Parsons the late tragic musical figure who headed up one of the greatest Country Music groups of all time, The Flying Burrito Brothers, who fulfilled the legacy of Hank Williams more than any other country artists I can think of right now. I have their double vinyl album from many years ago.

I don’t know anything about these songwriters, but the lyrics to this song pretty much capture the lonely, tragic, and yes  betrayed and abandoned last days of Hank Williams.

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