Archive for the ‘Songs’ Category

Willie Nelson, “What Ever Happened to Peace on Earth” (Give Peace a Vote!)

Sunday, November 15th, 2015

[Willie Nelson wrote this song in 2003, at Christmastime, when the US was engaged in the illegal war in Iraq.  It was before we all learned that we had been lied to about the reason to engage in that war.  Today, with the violence in Paris, Beirut and around the world, this song is more important than ever.  — LB]

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

I was at a concert this weekend in California to raise money for the National Veterans Foundation. I’m an Air Force veteran, and I have great respect for the military. I like to support the soldiers whenever I can. But I don’t support this war in Iraq.

I was against the war before it started. I always thought it was a terrible decision, badly thought out, badly planned, and then horribly executed.

I want to see our troops come home right away, and so do most Americans. Unfortunately, too many politicians in both parties refuse to listen.

So when will the troops come home? When we won’t put up with it anymore–when we change our government. And how will we do that? By voting the bastards out! On November 7th, you should vote for anyone who’s against the war and vote against anyone who’s for the war. It’s that simple.

When I wrote the song “Whatever Happened to Peace on Earth” (LYRICS) at Christmastime in 2003, a lot of people were for the war, a lot of people didn’t know the facts or the truth. But people are waking up now. They’re learning that they were lied to about the war. They’re feeling lied to about this Mark Foley scandal in terms of who knew what and when. They’re questioning the leadership in this country.

And that gives us new possibilities for November 7th. If we all go out and vote for peace candidates and get our friends to vote, and if our votes are really counted, it’s no contest. There’ll be a change in the Congress, and then we’ll just have to keep building so we can get a president who won’t send our soldiers to fight a war based on lies.

We should have thrown the bastards out years ago. Let’s do it now! Give Peace A VOTE!

Willie Nelson

Congressman Dennis Kucinich with Willie Nelson. Come and visit Video done by Chad Ely.    Willie sang this song at a fundraiser for Dennis Kucinich in Austin, Texas, in January 2004.

Willie wrote this song on Christmas, 2003, and performed it for the first time at the Kucinich for President fundraising concert in Austin, Texas, on Jan. 3, 2004.

There’s so many things going on in the world
Babies dying
Mothers crying
How much oil is one human life worth
And what ever happened to peace on earth
We believe everything that they tell us
They’re gonna’ kill us
So we gotta’ kill them first
But I remember a commandment
Thou shall not kill
How much is that soldier’s life worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth
And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we’ve been told from our birth
Hell they won’t lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liar’s word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

So I guess it’s just
Do unto others before they do it to you
Let’s just kill em’ all and let God sort em’ out
Is this what God wants us to do

(Repeat Bridge)
And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we’ve been told from our birth
Hell they won’t lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liar’s word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

Now you probably won’t hear this on your radio
Probably not on your local TV
But if there’s a time, and if you’re ever so inclined
You can always hear it from me
How much is one picker’s word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

But don’t confuse caring for weakness
You can’t put that label on me
The truth is my weapon of mass protection
And I believe truth sets you free

And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we’ve been told from our birth
Hell they won’t lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liar’s word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

Willie Nelson, “Still is Still Moving to Me”

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015


On the Road Again with Bernie Sanders

Sunday, October 11th, 2015
Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders  speaks during the rally at the University of Colorado's Potts Field on Saturday.David R. Jennings Staff PhotographerOctober 10, 2015For more photos please go to

photo:  .David R. Jennings 

Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again” played before Bernie Sanders’ rally in Boulder yesterday

Willie Nelson, “You Ought to Hear Me Cry”

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015


“Whiskey River” by Johnny Bush (the story behind the song)

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

by David Scarlett
Country Weekley

Johnny Bush’s career as a solo artist was taking off in the early ’70s when he came to a disc jockey convention in Nashville to sign a deal with RCA records. That’s where the Texas native met RCA executive Jerry Bradley, who planted the seed for “Whiskey River,” a song that would blossom into one of the best-loved — and most recorded — in all of country music.

At the time, Johnny had already experienced sucess with a series of hits including, “You Gave Me a Mountain” and “My CUp Runneth Over.” Still, Jerry wanted him to write a very special song.

Johnny picks up the story.

“Jerry told me, ‘Johnny, what we’ve got to do now is, you’ve gotta write a hit.’ And I said, ‘Jerry, with all the songwriters in Nashville — Harlan Howard, Willie Nelson, Hank Cochran, Bill Anderson and people like that we can draw from — you want me to write the song?.”

But Jerry knew Johnny had a hit in him, and put the ball back in Johnny’s court.

“On my way back to Texas from Nashville,” continues Johnny, “I was on my tour bus and when I woke up in Texarkana, I had the idea about ‘Whiskey River.’ And by the time I got home, I had it written.”

Johnny’s recording of the song went on to becoem a Top 15 hit, but his longtime Texas buddy, Willie Nelson, recorded it and made it a huge hit in 1978 — and his signature tune. In fact, Willie has recorded the song over twenty times.

And it’s a good thing. The royalty checks from the song helped sustain Johnny through some lean years that resulted from a rare vocal disorder.

“I’d jsut released ‘Whiskey River’ and it was climbing the charts when it struck,” he recalls. As a result, Johnny’s career took a serious downturn and it would be years before his vocal problem was correctly diagnosed and treated. Now he’s got a new album, Green Snake, and is back working as many dates as he wants to.

But ‘Whiskey River’ and his pal, Willie, were always there for him. Willie even joined Trick Pony in recording the tune for the group’s upcoming album.

“I just hope it makes the cut,” says Johnny modestly. “You know a lot of time songs are recorded that never make it onto the album.”

Don’t worry Johnny. It’ll be there.

— David Scarlett

Vote for your favorite Willie Nelson song

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

by:  Dave Thomas and Hannah Thornby

Last week, Willie Nelson became the seventh winner of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

To mark the occasion, we’ve rounded up just a few of the best of Nelson’s many, many hits:

Old School Willie

Vote on the best Willie Nelson song photo

photo:  Erika Rich

“Night Life” — Written while driving to and from gigs in Pasadena, Willie sold the song to pay the bills.

“Family Bible” — Willie sold this one, too. But Claude Gray made a hit out of it and that encouraged Willie to move to Nashville.

“Hello Walls” — Faron Young took this to the top of country charts.

Classic Willie

“Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground” — You know you’re doing good when Bob Dylan records your song.

“On the Road Again” — Written almost on the spot when it was suggested he needed a new song for his movie “Honeysuckle Rose.”

“Good Hearted Woman” — Written and performed with good friend Waylon Jennings.

Wild Willie

“I Gotta Get Drunk” — “There’s more old drunks than there are old doctors so I guess we better have another round.”

“Shotgun Willie” — Willie got the nickname after a shootout that followed a domestic dispute between daughter Lana and her husband.

“Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” — We can’t imagine how Willie interested Snoop Dogg in a collaboration.

Weird Willie

“I Just Can’t Let You Say Goodbye” — The protagonist strangles the woman who is going to leave him.

“I Never Cared for You” — Willie gives the traditional love song a surreal makeover.

“Devil in A Sleeping Bag” — Inspired by drummer Paul English’s devilish looks and a long road trip from California.

Not Written by Willie

“Whiskey River” — Johnny Bush wrote the song that Willie (almost) always opens his shows with.

“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” — Written by Fred Rose and originally recorded in 1945 by Roy Acuff, it was Willie’s first No. 1 hit.

“Always on My Mind” — Was a big hit for Elvis in the early ?70s, but an even bigger hit for Willie.



What we’re listening to, Willie Nelson! Whiskey River

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015


City Of New Orleans

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

City of New Orleans was written by Steve Goodman. It’s about a train called “City of New Orleans”, the train that runs between Chicago and New Orleans.

You can read the story behind the song here.

The songs has been performed by many artists over the years, this is one of my favourites:

Happy Shoeshine Friday!

Friday, June 26th, 2015

Willie Nelson Hits

Thursday, January 15th, 2015
by Elisabeth Carroll Dawson

The first band Willie Nelson joined played polka. He was only 10, but he brought several years of experience to the group.

His grandparents bought him a guitar from Sears when he was 6, and he started writing his own songs the year after that. He hasn’t stopped since. Almost 300 albums, more than 2,500 songs, seven decades, and countless of miles later, Nelson is one of the most recognized and revered figures in the world, let alone music.Nelson landed at No. 7 as the latest honoree on CMT All-Time Top 40: Artists Choice, a list of the most influential artists in history chosen by country stars themselves. Another honoree is named each week on CMT Hot 20 Countdown.

With such a massive catalog of songs and recordings, narrowing down his accomplishments to a short list is a challenging task, but in chronological order, here are 10 performances that have defined his career over more than five decades:

Nelson was relatively unknown when he wrote “Crazy.” In 1962, Patsy Cline was already a star and delivered the powerfully plaintive vocals we all know in one masterful take. She didn’t immediately warm to Nelson’s demo of the song, in which he monkeyed with phrasing — sometimes jumping the beat, sometimes lagging behind — but Owen Bradley, her legendary producer, heard potential. As for Nelson’s writing, he took country’s tear-in-my-beer sadness, mixed it with pop elegance and jazz irreverence to create an exquisite exercise in self-deprecation as well as one of country music’s most famous songs ever.

“Whiskey River”
Its unmistakable percussive guitar and crazed songbird harmonica kick off almost every one of Nelson’s live shows, sometimes in a jazz-inspired rush, other times in a blues-soaked stroll. Nelson always picks the pace. Written by fellow Texan Johnny Bush and Paul Stroud, “Whiskey River” appeared on the 1973 album Shotgun Willie, Nelson’s decisive pivot from Nashville convention and toward the creation of Outlaw country. No, Nelson didn’t write “Whiskey River,” but like so many other songs composed by others that he’s recorded, it’s all his.

“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”
Just a sparse acoustic guitar and an inviting, campfire tenor carry this song, which became his first No. 1, earned him his first Grammy and introduced the world to Nelson as a recording artist. On the watershed 1975 album Red Headed Stranger, the song takes lovers’ separation to especially forlorn depths: “Love is like a dying ember, only memories remain/And through the ages I’ll remember blue eyes cryin’ in the rain.” Elvis Presley, Roy Acuff and others have also recorded the tune, which was written by Fred Rose, but Nelson’s aching rendition is the one that’s hung around.

“Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” (with Waylon Jennings)
If you don’t smile when listening to Jennings join his friend for a song, honky-tonk may not be your bag — or you may just need to check your pulse. The two won a Grammy for this 1978 No. 1 smash written by Ed and Patsy Bruce, wryly admonishing and romanticizing cowboys in a rollicking warning for moms who probably weren’t considering pushing cowpoking as a career in the first place.

“Georgia on My Mind”
In 1978, Nelson also released Stardust, an album that took his flirtations with jazz, rhythm and blues, rock and pop, blended them with his country core and unveiled an entirely new sound that he’d been inching toward for years. He was already an outlaw and a superstar. Now he was an artist on par with the best. His haunting cover of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Georgia on My Mind” — an American classic indelibly sung by Ray Charles — won a Grammy, and Stardust stayed on country charts for a decade.

“On the Road Again”
Legend has it Nelson wrote “On the Road Again” in about 20 minutes on an airplane barf bag. The signature song with a runaway train beat was featured in Nelson’s 1980 film, Honeysuckle Rose. The recording notched him his fourth Grammy, as well as his first and only Academy Award nomination for best original song. These days, he usually winds down most shows with this autobiographical tribute to highways, old friends and new towns — a fitting farewell that captures his undiminished anticipation and love of performing.

“Always on My Mind”
Sister Bobbie Nelson kicks off this No. 1 hit from 1982 on the piano before her brother launches into a list of concessions about falling short as a lover. But, he pleads earnestly, he was thinking about her the whole time. His delivery clinched another Grammy, his fifth, and firmly cemented his role as the outsider insiders love to love. Written by Wayne Carson, Johnny Christopher and Mark James, Elvis Presley offered a moving cover of the song not long after his separation from Priscilla, while Brenda Lee and the Pet Shop Boys have recorded it, too.

“Pancho and Lefty” (featuring Merle Haggard)
One of the greatest story songs ever written, “Pancho and Lefty” paired Nelson with fellow icon Haggard. A genius consistently ranked among the best songwriters to have ever lived, Townes Van Zandt penned the hardscrabble tale about bandits, betrayal and living with decisions made and originally recorded it in 1972. Nelson and Haggard’s definitive version plays like a John Ford film for your ears and climbed all the way to No. 1 in 1983.

“Highwayman” (with Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash)
Along with Kristofferson, Jennings and Cash, Nelson formed the Highwaymen, Outlaw country’s version of the Rat Pack, in the ’80s. The quartet’s single “Highwayman” — a trippy tale of reincarnation written by Jimmy Webb — topped the charts in 1985. All four take a verse with distinct style and swagger, and the result is an anthem celebrating the soul’s immortality that’s taken on an air of heightened poignancy with the passing of Jennings and Cash.

“Mendocino County Line” (featuring Lee Ann Womack)
Nelson is a generous and frequent collaborator. In addition to those on this list, his duet partners have ranged from Ray Charles, Julio Iglesias, Ray Price and Leon Russell, to Snoop Dog, Rob Thomas, Wynton Marsalis and Toby Keith. For 2002?s “Mendocino County Line,” he called on Womack. The dreamy remembrance of long-gone love sweeps listeners away thanks to Womack’s lush vocals. Ultimately, though, the track is grounded in the gritty, glorious Nelson — the eternal, offbeat metronome of American music.

Robert Ellis cover’s Willie Nelson’s, “Pretty Paper” (never too early for a Chrismas album)

Monday, September 15th, 2014


Listen to Robert Ellis sing “Pretty Paper” at Rolling Stone:

www.Rolling Stone
By Marissa R. Moss

The south may still be saddled with the endless dew of a soggy summer, but it’s never too early to talk Christmas — humidity built the snowman, as John Prine once sang, after all. And Prine — along with Robert Ellis, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, the Band, Nikki Lane, Corb Lund and more — is just one of the heavyweights to contribute a holiday tune to An Americana Christmas, due out October 14th via New West.

While a bulk of the songs are previously recorded classics, like Dylan’s “Must Be Santa” and Cash’s “The Gifts They Gave,” Ellis, Lund and Lane all spun original numbers for this veritable lexicon of folk-country Christmas tunes. Lane’s sassy “Falalaalove Ya” is a raspy ode to an eternal season of mistletoe, while Lund’s “Just Me and These Ponies” is a twang-orchestral bummer about a lonesome cowboy who plays a smart foil to Santa and his reindeers. And Ellis, whose recent LP, The Lights From the Chemical Plant, is one of Rolling Stone Country’s 26 Albums of 2014 You Probably Didn’t But Really Should Hear, gives his spin on Willie Nelson’s “Pretty Paper.” It’s about the joys of the beloved holiday – which, with its green trees and wrapping (rolling?) paper, is also known as “all year” to the Red Headed Stranger.

Premiering exclusively on Rolling Stone Country, Ellis’s track adds a sweet, smooth shuffle to the song first released by Roy Orbison in 1963. “I chose to cut ‘Pretty Paper’ because I love Willie’s version and it’s a lesser-known Christmas tune with a little more depth to it than a story about reindeer — no offense to the reindeer,” Ellis says. “I also thought the song could get by with a more minimal arrangement for my version, which is why we only used one synth, a drum machine and vocals and piano. The lyrics are strong enough that it didn’t feel like it needed a whole lot.”

Though Ellis doesn’t currently have any plans for Christmas – he might visit family back in Texas and spend some time in San Juan — he’s certainly been busy of late. Nominated for several Americana Honors & Awards titles, including Album of the Year, he’ll head to Nashville this week to play a stream of AmericanaFest events. The highlight just may be a revival of his Whiskey Wednesdays at Robert’s Western World (transforming it, naturally, into Robert Ellis’, uh, Western World) with Hayes Carll and Caitlin Rose. He also produced Whiskey Shivers’ upcoming self-titled EP and lent his virtuosic guitar-stylings to up-and-comer Cale Tyson’s EP Cheater’s Wine, out October 28th. And he recently made the move from Nashville to New York City, a welcome change for the singer with a penchant for dancing to Macklemore at night clubs.

“New York City is great,” Ellis says. “I’ve been writing a ton and partying more. I take a notepad out when I ride the subway or ferry and work on new songs. It’s been a really inspiring place to be.”

Known for a style that fuses George Jones with avant-garde jazz and folk icons like Paul Simon – and, of course, Willie Nelson – Ellis hasn’t lost touch with his southern side even though he’s moved up east. “I’m still not sure how much irony is at play,” he adds, “but I get really excited lately when Florida George Line’s ‘Cruise’ comes on the radio.”

Here’s the artists and track listing for An Americana Christmas:

Luther Dickinson – “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”
John Prine – “Everything Is Cool”
Robert Ellis – “Pretty Paper”
Emmylou Harris – “The First Noel”
Johnny Cash – “The Gifts They Gave”
Corb Lund – “Just Me and These Ponies (For Christmas This Year)”
Dwight Yoakam – “Run Run Rudolph”
Bob Dylan – “Must Be Santa”
Valerie June – “Winter Wonderland”
Ronnie Fauss – “Everybody Deserves a Merry Christmas”
Max Gomez – “Season of My Memory”
Ben Keith w/ Neil & Pegi Young – “Les Trois Cloches”
The Common Linnets – “At Christmas Time”
Nikki Lane – “Falalaalove Ya”
Old 97’s – “Here It Is Christmas Time”
The Band – “Christmas Must Be Tonight”

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Seth Rogan tweets plans to use Willie Nelson’s “Time of the Preacher” in new “Preacher” tv series

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014


Seth Rogan has been hired to develop a television series based on the popular comic book, “Preacher”, and he has been tweeting pictures from his story board.   His latest tweet shows plans to use Willie Nelson’s, “Time of the Preacher” for the opening scene.


The Git Go

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Jamey Johnson is singing a duet with Willie on Willie’s latest album Band of Brothers

Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Beautiful song written by Kris Kristofferson

Band of Brothers

Saturday, June 14th, 2014