For years, Waylon Jennings was one of the most prolific names in country music. Even people who didn’t listen to country music were at least aware of his name. For those that follow the genre, he was considered to be country music royalty. Even today, years after Waylon Jennings death, his songs are still immensely popular. Below are 10 of his most popular songs, beginning with number 10 and running all the way to number one. There are also accompanying YouTube links so you can see what each song is about for yourself.
10. I’m a Ramblin’ Man (1974)
It’s important to remember that the songs sung by Waylon Jennings were from a completely different era than what people are used to today. In this particular song, he talks about being someone who can’t settle down. He wants to roam and has trouble with the idea of settling down in a single place or with a single person, for that matter.
9. Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line (1968)
This song isn’t that different from the one in the above paragraph. It talks about not being able to settle down with a single woman and therefore, ending up with multiple children born out of wedlock. Despite that fact, he says in the song that he is the only person that will stand up and be there for those individuals when they need him most, even though he’s not present all the time.
8. Just to Satisfy You (1969)
As the name implies, this is a song that talks about doing virtually anything to satisfy another person. In the song, the person in question goes through all kinds of different trials and tribulations in order to satisfy the person they love. Even though the choices are made willingly, the song seems to hint to the idea that there is a certain amount of frustration about the need to go to such great lengths to make someone happy, almost as if he has to prove his love again and again.
7. Don’t You Think This Outlaw Bit’s Done Got Out Of Hand (1978)
In order to understand the lyrics behind this song, you have to understand the dynamics that went with it. Waylon Jennings was part of what was often referred to as the outlaw gang in country music. He and several other individuals, including Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson, were part of the group. It wasn’t really an official band, per se, but more like an informal gathering that they would sometimes do. This is the song that refers to some of the antics that would often go on behind the scenes, as country music was going through something of a reform during this time. Many of the most popular singers were considered outlaws in the sense that they didn’t follow the rules. In fact, they intentionally went against the grain at every opportunity. This is Jennings’ attempt at asking whether or not some of the antics have been carried too far.
6. Bob Wills Is Still the King (1975)
Again, you have to understand the state of country music in the 70s when the song was performed. Bob Wills was considered to be the top dog in country music. In fact, he was revered by many artists that came after him. This song was written to serve as a way of honoring him.
5. Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way (1975)
Again, this song refers back to the outlaw movement in country music during the 1970s. It’s talking about Hank Williams, Sr. People had got the idea that he sort of inadvertently started the outlaw movement, largely because his son, Hank Williams, Jr., was very much at the forefront of said movement. In this song, Jennings is asking whether or not any of the things happening in country music at that time would have pleased him if he were still alive.
4. I Ain’t Living Long Like This (1979)
This is a song that refers to living a hard life. It talks about drinking too much, smoking too much and not taking care of oneself. It also talks about allowing one’s demons to come to the forefront of their mind, essentially controlling the decisions that they make. The song goes on to speak of the perils of living a lifestyle like that and how that can very easily shorten a person’s life considerably.
3. Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys (1979)
As you might have guessed, cowboys and country music sort of go hand-in-hand. As such, there are a lot of songs that glorify the cowboy lifestyle. This song took things in the opposite direction. Instead of glamorizing it, it talked about how cowboys live a rough-and-tumble lifestyle, how they drink too much and how they’re never at home. It cautioned against falling in love with a person that lives that lifestyle, saying that if you do, you’ll only end up heartbroken and alone.
2. Waymore’s Blues (1975)
This is one of those songs that tends to confuse people quite a bit. It doesn’t seem to have any real meaning. Instead, it seems more like the ramblings of someone who’s had too much alcohol and too many drugs, pouring everything running through their head out on paper at four in the morning. The song itself talks about not being able to go to Heaven unless you die and about how having a good woman by your side just makes you want to love every other woman you see. Nevertheless, fans loved it. That’s why it sits at number two on this list.
1. Theme from “The Dukes of Hazzard” (1980)
This is probably the most widely known song Waylon Jennings ever did. “The Dukes of Hazard” was a popular television show that aired in the late 70s and early 80s. In the opening credits of the show, Jennings is seen playing the guitar and singing the song. It quickly became something that fans associated with both him and the show, which has given it a great deal of staying power.