Archive for the ‘Songs’ Category

“Living in the Promiseland,” Willie Nelson

Friday, February 3rd, 2017


When Willie Nelson received the prestigious Gershwin Prize in Washington, D.C. last year,  he sang this song. “I think this is one of the most appropriate songs that we could do for this period in America,” Nelson told an audience of politicians from both sides of the aisle. One year later, the message is truer than ever.

Originally released in 1988, “Living in the Promisedland” is about America’s vow to the world:

“Leave us your broken dreams/
We’ll give them time to mend/
There’s still a lot of love/
Living in the Promised Land.” 

Willie Nelson, “Pretty Paper”

Monday, November 28th, 2016

“Still is Still Moving to Me”, by Willie Nelson

Friday, November 25th, 2016

When people ask me which of the songs Ive written are my favorites, “Still is Still Moving” always comes up near the top of the list.  The band and I play it at almost every concert, and I’ve recorded it countless times, as well, so you have got to figure the song means something important to me.

Sometimes I wonder if perhaps the song is me.

Whether you look at the song from the point of view of ancient philosophies or from the modern knowledge of quantum physics, there is great motion in all stillness, and true stillness at the heart of all action.

The early Chinese philosophers referred to hits in the concept of something called wu wei, which suggests fulfilling every task with the least necessary action.  Two notes are not required when one will suffice.  Twenty words may not say something better than ten, or one.  For me, that word is stillness.

No matter how still I am, the world around me is abuzz with activity, and the world within me as well.  Modern physics tells us that the atoms in our body ” and all the particles and forces that make up those atoms ” are never at rest.  While our bodies and the world around us seem solid, that physical appearance is merely an illusion, for each of our atoms is comprised primarily of empty space.

If your life in this modern world seems to pass you by at the speed of light, perhaps you could consult Einstein, who proved that the faster we travel, the more time is compressed.  That’s right, the faster we go, the less time we have.  So what is your hurry?

This may not mean much to you, but it must be quite traumatic for the atoms.  Would you like to hear an atom joke?  I didnt think so, but here is one anyway:

A neutron went into a bar and says, “How much for a beer?”

The bartender says, “For you, no charge.”


The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart

The Tao of Willie Nelson
by Willie Nelson, with Turk Pipkin

Willie Nelson, “Still is Still Moving to Me”

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

Willie Nelson sings Lyndel Rhodes

Thursday, October 6th, 2016
by:  Alexander Zaslow

At 92 years old, Lyndel Rhodes can now add “songwriter” to her resume.

Rhodes, who lives a few hours from Nashville, recently had a song she wrote recorded by country great Willie Nelson. She’s got her son, Buddy Cannon, to thank for it.

Growing up, Rhodes loved music, and she passed that passion down to her son went on to become a music producer, working with artists like Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire and Willie Nelson.


Lyndel Rhodes with her son, Buddy Cannon. He’s a music producer and arranged for Willie Nelson to record a song she wrote.

A few years back, Cannon was visiting his mom at her home when she showed him some songs she’d written for fun.

One, called “Little House On The Hill,” made an impression.

“[It] stuck in my head all these years, and when it came time to work on Willie Nelson’s new album, I thought it’d be something he’d like,” Cannon, 69, told TODAY



“I wanted to capture her reaction to listening to Willie sing the song for the first time, but she was very emotional,” Cannon said.

More than a million people have now watched her wiggle her feet as she sang along.

Rhodes and Nelson have never met in person.

But, in the ten years they’ve been working together, Cannon occasionally has shared with Nelson videos of his mother-son jam sessions.

This led to Rhodes receiving a special phone call from Nelson a couple years ago telling her how much he enjoys listening to her play the harmonica.

He also invited her on the road with him, saying he’d save her a bunk on the bus.

“Willie is a bigger fan of my mom’s than she is of him,” Cannon said.

“He Won’t Ever be Gone” – Willie Nelson records song in tribute to Merle Haggard by Gary Nicholson

Monday, October 3rd, 2016
Gary Nicholson (in the Billy Joe Shaver Shirt) and Buddy Cannon (with the Willie Nelson statue)

Gary Nicholson wrote, “When Merle Haggard passed I wrote a song, ‘He Won’t Ever Be Gone’.” I’m so thrilled and honored that Willie Nelson recorded it, Buddy Cannon produced, and I sang the scratch vocal when they cut the track.  I brought along my Willie sculpture from THSHOF.”

No news on when we get to hear the song.


Willie Nelson, “Crazy”

Thursday, September 1st, 2016


Willie Nelson and Carrie Underwood, “You Were Always On My Mind”

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

The song “Always On My Mind” is not only considered a classic in country music, but in the music industry as a whole. Over time, countless artists have released their own recordings of the iconic tune, but none is probably more beloved than Willie Nelson’s version from his February 11, 1982 album of the same title.

Originally recorded by Gwen McCrae and Brenda Lee in 1972, “Always On My Mind” managed to make its way on the charts, but didn’t exerpeience overwhelming success. The song’s popularity increased in 1972 when Elvis Presley released his version, which peaked at the third spot on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.

But it was Nelson’s version that gained the most attention, and it quickly soared to the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. Nelson’s recording was also a crossover hit, and made its way into the top five on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 2013, Nelson revisited his version of the song for his duet album To All the Girls. For his duet partner, Nelson chose the incredibly talented Carrie Underwood, who was honored to sing the song with him. “It’s just one of those beautiful, classic songs that everybody knows and everybody’s sung…” said Underwood in an interview for Nelson’s YouTube channel. “For me to be able to say I sang it with Willie Nelson is pretty awesome.”

Underwood’s sweet, angelic voice is perfect for the track, and the contrast between her voice and Nelson’s raspy vocals make for a beautiful combination. Even though Nelson and Underwood’s duet was never released as a single, it truly stands out from the other songs on his album. Once you hear the way Nelson and Underwood’s voices sound together, you’ll know why. Read more at:

Maybe I didn’t love you
Quite as often as I could have
And maybe I didn’t treat you
Quite as good as I should have
If I made you feel second best
Girl I’m sorry I was blind

You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

And maybe I didn’t hold you
All those lonely, lonely times
And I guess I never told you
I’m so happy that you’re mine
Little things I should have said and done
I just never took the time

But you were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

Tell me tell me that your sweet love hasn’t died
And give me Give me one more chance
To keep you satisfied
I’ll keep you satisfied

Little things I should have said and done
I just never took the time

But you were always on my mind
You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

“Willie, the Wandering Gypsy, and Me” — Billy Joe Shaver

Saturday, February 20th, 2016

Three fingers whiskey pleasures the drinkers
And moving does more than the same thing for me
Willy he tells me that doers and thinkers
Say, Movin’ is a closest thing to being free

He rosins his riggins laid back his wages
He’s dead certain ridin’ the big rodeo
My woman’s tight with an overdue baby
And Willy keeps yelling, Hey Gypsy let’s go

Willy you’re wild as a Texas Blue Norther
Ready rolled from the same makins as me
Well, I reckon we’re gonna ramble till Hell freeze us over
Willy the wandering Gypsy and me

Well ladies we surely will take of your favors
And we’ll surely warn you there never will be
A single soul living that could put brand or handle
On Willy the wandering Gypsy and me

We’ll dance on the mountains, shout in the canyons
Swarm it ain’t loose herd like a wild buffalo
Jammin’ our heads full of figures
And angles and tellin’ us stuff that we already know

Willy you’re wild as a Texas Blue Norther
Ready rolled from the same makins as me
Well, I reckon we’re gonna ramble till Hell freezes over
Willy the wandering Gypsy and me

Yeah, Willy you’re wild as a Texas Blue Norther
Ready rolled from the same makins as me
And I reckon we’re gonna ramble till Hell freeze us over
Willy the wandering Gypsy and me

This day in Willie Nelson history: “Always on My Mind” named to Grammy Hall of Fame (12/19/2007)

Saturday, December 19th, 2015

Willie Nelson Columbia (1982)
Country (Single)

Willie Nelson’s, “Always on My Mind” was added to the Recording Academy’s Grammy Hall of Fame.  His song was one of 70 recording added to the list that now includes 798 titles. :

“The GRAMMY Hall Of Fame is one of The Academy’s most prized endeavors, spotlighting recorded musical masterpieces that have significantly impacted our musical history,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. “This year’s inductees span nine decades and represent a diverse array of genres from classical and show tunes to blues, jazz and rock and roll.

The selections range from 1905’s “Give My Regards To Broadway”, the Mamas & The Papas’ “Monday Monday,” the Beatles’ “Help!,” Marian Anderson’s “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands,” Cabaret — Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Dionne Warwick’s “Alfie,” Jackie DeShannon’s “What The World Needs Now Is Love,” Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird,” and Louis Armstrong’s “St. Louis Blues.” Other artists with selections include Fred Astaire, Pink Floyd, Etta James, Billy Joel, the Police, Frank Sinatra, Sister Sledge, and Barbra Streisand.

The GRAMMY Hall Of Fame was created in 1973 to honor recordings of lasting significance that were issued prior to the 1958 inception of the GRAMMY Awards. The Hall is now open to any recording that has been in release for at least 25 years.

“Pretty Paper” by Willie Nelson

Saturday, December 19th, 2015


photo:  Michael Ochs

Before Willie Hugh Nelson became Willie, he had to hustle for a living like any musician. As a young singer in Fort Worth, he worked selling encyclopedias and vacuum cleaners door-to-door. Some days, when his work took him downtown, he’d see a disabled man dragging himself along the sidewalk on his hands and knees, wearing kneepads made from old tires. The man would make it to Leonard’s Department Store, sit outside the big glass doors, and sell pencils to passersby from a customized leather vest. At Christmastime, he’d hawk ribbons and gift wrap, calling out, “Pretty paper!”

A few years later, after Willie had moved to Nashville, he was walking around his farm when he had a vivid memory of the street vendor. He picked up his guitar and composed a ballad, contrasting the holiday shoppers’ joy and mirth with the man’s apparent loneliness and misery: “In the midst of the laughter, he cries.” Willie says the song took him only twenty minutes. “It was an easy song to write. The easy ones write themselves.” Soon after, “Pretty Paper” was recorded by Roy Orbison, and it’s been a holiday classic ever since.

Willie didn’t know it, but the man’s name was Frankie Brierton. Born with spinal meningitis, he learned early on to get around on his hands and knees; later he’d drive himself to the department store every day in a car he had outfitted with hand-operated controls. His daughter Lillian Compte says he refused all offers of government assistance. “He didn’t want to depend on anybody. He wanted to be on his own and take care of his family.” Brierton sold pretty paper in downtown Fort Worth for years and died in 1973 having never heard Willie’s song. His daughter says he was anything but lonely or miserable, though. “He was married seven times.”

This day in Willie Nelson history: “On the Road Again” added to Grammy Hall of Fame (12/7/2010)

Monday, December 7th, 2015

On December 7, 2010 single, the Grammy Hall of Fame announced that “On the Road Again,” is one of 30 songs joining the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Other selections include “Lovesick Blues” (1949) by Hank Williams with his Drifting Cowboys and “Steel Guitar Rag” (1936) by  Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys featuring Leon McAuliffe. Honored recordings must be at least 25 years old and be recognized for their “lasting qualitative or historical significance,” according to press materials. Recordings are reviewed annually by a committee of recording industry professionals and final approval is made by the Recording Academy Trustees. The list now totals 881 recordings.

Willie Nelson and Faron Young talk about, ‘Hello Walls’

Saturday, December 5th, 2015

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