Chapter Fifty

The Highwaymen Song
[ a song, country-rock ]

[ NOTE:  The underlined words are titles (some slightly altered) of Bob Dylan albums. Don't Look Back is the title of an early Dylan biographical film and "walkin' on down the line" is a lyric from the The Bootleg Series.  Kris Kristofferson, a member of The Highwaymen country band not mentioned by name here, acted the part of Billy The Kid in Sam Peckinpah's motion picture Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid; Bob Dylan provided the musical score and also had an acting part in this same production.  Johnny Cash, another member of The Highwaymen, is also known as "The Man In Black".  Willie Nelson and the late Waylon Jennings were the other two members comprising The Highwaymen. ]

Well, I got outta jail in Reno and I'm walkin on down the line
Paid enough dues to the one who screws, now I'm lookin' for a better time
Spent some time out of mind under the red sky but me, I don't look back
One day at a time with Billy The Kid, Waylon, Willie and the Man In Black

Done more than my share of freewheelin' and landed on another side
Now I'm bringin' it all back home 'cause I'm tired of the bullshit ride
I followed my heart's desire and ended up revisitin' highway '61
Now I'm down in the groove with my basement tapes tryin' to keep from
     comin' undone

I checked out the Nashville skyline, John Wesley Hardin' and the infidels
Spent time cryin' for a new mornin' with a street legal drug that kills
I looked for a quick shot of love at the steeple under Babylon's whore
Good as I been to you, ya know, I can't take her abuse no more

Got unplugged in south California, where everything was blonde on blonde
Went on tour with Dylan and the Dead and sang my heart out at Budokan
I created a burlesque empire, got knocked out loaded while the planet waved
Now I'm doin' a self portrait with blood on the tracks cryin' oh mercy to the one
     who saved

No doubt the times they are a changin' and a mighty hard rain's a gonna fall
And I'm writin' this biograph before the flood just so I can warn you all
There's a long slow train a comin', you best repent no matter what you did
Or you'll be the essential six feet under like Pat Garett and Billy The Kid

Yeah, I got outta jail in Reno, now I'm walkin' on down the line
Tryin' to stay alive in a world gone wrong, just one day at a time
Didn't have the greatest hits with the wonder boys but me, I don't look back
One day at a time with Billy The Kid, Waylon, Willie and the Man In Black
Caught between Love and theft with Billy The Kid, Waylon, Willie. . . and the      Man In Black

The Woody Guthrie Foundation       World Food Programme

DEDICATED TO:  Woody Guthrie, a powerful early influence on Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan and consequently, on all of modern music and to the late Waylon Jennings, American patriot of conscience and integrity, in honor of The Man In Black (first published prior to the recent passing of America's friend John R. Cash).

Credits (in order used):

"Walkin' On Down The Line" from The Bootleg Series (1991); Time Out Of Mind (1997); Under The Red Sky (1990); Don't Look Back--motion picture (1967); The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (1963); Another Side Of Bob Dylan (1964); Bringing It All Back Home (1965); Highway 61 Revisited (1965); Down In the Groove (1988); The Basement Tapes (1975); Nashville Skyline (1969); John Wesley Harding (1967); Infidels (1983); New Morning (1970); Street Legal (1978); Shot Of Love (1981); Good As I been To You (1992); MTV Unplugged (1995); Blonde On Blonde (1966); Dylan And The Dead (1988); At Budokan (1979); Burlesque Empire (1985); Knocked Out Loaded (1986); Planet Waves (1974); Self Portrait (1970); Blood On The Tracks (1979); Oh Mercy (1989); Saved (1980); The Times They are A-Changin' (1964); Hard Rain (1976); Biograph (1985); Before The Flood (1974); Slow Train Coming (1979); The Essential Bob Dylan (2000); Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid--soundtrack (1973); Live 1966 (1968); World Gone Wrong (1993); Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits (1966); Wonder Boys--soundtrack (2000); Love And Theft (2001).  Source:


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Copyright © August 20th, 2003 by Richard Aberdeen.

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