Hank Williams, Sr.: Jambalaya (on the Bayou)

There isn’t too much video of Hank Williams on YouTube. There is, for some reason, an almost unbelievable number of covers of his songs. My guess is that the reason is that they are terrific songs–and fairly simple.

Of particular interest is I Saw the Light because of the back story below and the mistake Williams makes at the start.

“I Saw the Light” is a 1948 gospel song written and first performed by Hank Williams, not to be confused with the hit song by Todd Rundgren or the No. 1 country hit by Wynonna Judd.

With poetic lyrics, such as “I wandered so aimless, life filled with sin/I wouldn’t let my dear Savior in,” the song was written about Williams’ religious convictions despite his alcoholic vices. Though the song was not a commercial success upon its first release, it has become one of the songs most closely associated with Williams.

Here are Cold Cold Heart, Settin’ the Woods on Fire, a striped down version of Move it on Over performed for the troops in Germany and Your Cheatin Heart, which was not released until after William’s death.

I’m partial to the great opening rhyme of Honky Tonkin’:

When you are sad and lonely and have no place to go
Come and see me baby, and bring along some dough
And we’ll go honky tonkin’, honky tonkin’.

5 Responses

  1. Soul of Wit

    Many of the roots of rock and roll are found in these links: blues, cajun, country, gospel…

    Reply
  2. Carl

    Great point…and also, unfortunately, a tendency toward a degenerate lifestyle (not universally of course).

    Reply

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