Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday One-Hitter, Vol. 3......

I'm a Hank Williams fan.... who isn't?? I may not have mentioned anything about the crooner here before, but for any fan of country music, it kinda goes without saying. I've also never tried to amass any kind of complete recordings collection of Hank's - I grab a track when I come across one and buy a random CD when I find it. So for that reason, I'm not afraid to admit I first heard today's One-Hitter when it was featured as the theme song for a short-run HBO animated series.

Hank Williams - I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive
buy Hank Williams - 40 Greatest Hits

Now you're lookin' at a man that's gettin' kinda mad
I had lots of luck, but it's all been bad

No matter how I struggle and strive

I'll never get out of this world alive

My fishin' pole's broke
, the creek is full of sand
My woman run away with another man

No matter how I struggle and strive

I'll never get out of this world alive

My distant uncle passed away and left me quite a batch

And I was livin' high until the fatal day

A lawyer proved I wasn't borned, I was only hatched

Everything's against me and it's got me down

If I jumped in the river, I would probably drown
No matter how I struggle and strive

I'll never get out of this world alive

These shabby shoes I'm wearin' all the time is full of holes and nails
And brother, if I stepped on a worn-out dime

I bet a nickel I could tell you if it was heads or tails

I'm not gonna worry wrinkles in my brow

'Cause nothin's ever gonna be all right no how

No matter how I struggle and strive

I'll never get out of this world alive
'I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive' was ironically the last single to be released before the legend's death in January of 1953. That year, the song reached #1 on Billboard's Country Singles Chart. The song was meant to be humorous, and while it is, to this day it remains one of Hank's best-written songs. The simplicity in both lyrics and melody, combined with a classic-country guitar and fiddle riff are a perfect example of the ease that Hank was able to deliver and sell his craft. His natural yodel and use of backwoods vernacular (see below) play on this theme of simplicity, creating what could be considered the quintessential country song. Despite his never-ending run of bad luck, Hank is able to exude an air of positivity throughout the song.

During my Tennessee road trip earlier this year for The Big Surprise Tour, we stopped off at the County Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. As expected, Hank Williams was prominently featured. But to my excitement, the museum was running a complete Williams Family exhibit, spanning from Hank, Sr.'s childhood through to Hank III's current endeavors. After brushing up on my Hank knowledge, I made a personal vow to feature more Hank-related content on this blog. I used to defer to Setting The Woods On Fire for all things Hank and classic country, but as Paul retired from blogging back in May, I might just have get back to more country roots writing over here.


  1. There is a great cover version of this tune by The Little Willies featuring a fantastic tele solo by Jim Campilongo.