Song of the Day #2,861: ‘Highway Man’ – The Highwaymen

highwaymenI can’t write an introduction to today’s Random SOTD that’s as succinct and effective as this one from Genius.com:

“Ever write a song so great that the four greatest Outlaw Country singers of all time named their supergroup after it? No? Well, that’s because you’re not Jimmy Webb.”

Indeed, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson teamed up for three albums between the mid 80s and mid 90s as The Highwaymen, with this song as their inspiration.

Webb spins the tale of four different adventuring souls who might be reincarnated versions of the same hardened bastard or just emblematic of the type. Each singer takes a verse, with Johnny Cash wrapping things up as the spaceman.

As late 80s old man country pop goes, this is hard to beat.

[Willie Nelson’s Verse]
I was a highwayman. Along the coach roads I did ride
With sword and pistol by my side
Many a young maid lost her baubles to my trade
Many a soldier shed his lifeblood on my blade
The bastards hung me in the spring of twenty-five
But I am still alive

[Kris Kristofferson’s Verse]
I was a sailor. I was born upon the tide
And with the sea I did abide
I sailed a schooner round the Horn to Mexico
I went aloft and furled the mainsail in a blow
And when the yards broke off they said that I got killed
But I am living still

[Waylon Jennings’s Verse]
I was a dam builder across the river deep and wide
Where steel and water did collide
A place called Boulder on the wild Colorado
I slipped and fell into the wet concrete below
They buried me in that great tomb that knows no sound
But I am still around, I’ll always be around and around and around and
Around and around

[Johnny Cash’s Verse]
I fly a star-ship across the Universe divide
And when I reach the other side
I’ll find a place to rest my spirit if I can
Perhaps I may become a highwayman again
Or I may simply be a single drop of rain
But I will remain
And I’ll be back again, and again and again and again and again

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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #2,861: ‘Highway Man’ – The Highwaymen

  1. Dana says:

    I guess I would have to have been a country music fan in the 80’s or at any point since to have this super group on my radar. I was not and am not and therefore do not.😄

  2. Rob says:

    Great song … great songwriter. Jimmy Webb is one of the best!

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