Saturday, January 11, 2014

Billy Joe Shaver - I Been To Georgia On A Fast Train

Image via La Wik
Sometimes the luck of the minute leads to a lifetime.  Billy Joe Shaver lived the life that many young men did, back in post war America.  He served in the Navy, then worked odd jobs, and tried his hand at being a rodeo cowboy.  Nothing clicked.  He lost two fingers in a lumber mill accident, and had to relearn how to play the guitar.

Finally throwing in the towel in Texas, he decided to hitchhike to Los Angeles, but coudn't get a ride headed west.  Instead, he found rides to Nashville where he got a job writing songs.  Waylon Nelson noticed him, and if you've ever listened to Honky Tonk Heros, you've heard Shaver's songs.  There's actually not much else on that album.  It's fair to say that you don't understand Outlaw Country if you don't know Shaver. He may not have sold a lot of albums, but even Elvis recorded his songs. 

Willie Nelson and Charlie Daniels (among others) sang backup on his records.  There's a debate about what the real Country Music is, and while that discussion can get tiresome, there's a case to be made that Billie Joe Shaver didn't just write the purest Country Music, but he lived it.



I Been To Georgia On A Fast Train  (Songwriter: Billie Joe Shaver)
On a rainy, windy morning that's the day that I was born on
In the old sharecroppers one room country shack
They say my mammy left me, same day that she had me
Said she hit the road and never once looked back

And I just thought I'd mention, my Grandma's old age pension
Is the reason why I'm standing here today
I got all my country learning, living and a churning
Pickin' cotton, rasin' hell, and bailin' hay

I've been to Georgia on a fast train honey
I wudn't born no yestday
Got a good Christian raisin' and an eighth grade education
Ain't no need in y'all a treatin' me this way

And now sweet Caroline, I don't guess I'll ever find
Another woman put together like you all
With your wiggle and your walkin', and your big city talkin'
Your brand new shiny Plymouth rag-top car

Yeah it's hurry up and wait, in this world of give and take
Seems like haste makes for waste every time
And I pray to my soul, when you hear those ages roll
You better know I'm gonna get my share of mine

I've been to Georgia on a fast train honey
I wudn't born no yestday
Got a good Christian raisin' and an eighth grade education
Ain't no need in y'all a treatin' me this way

I've been to Georgia on a fast train honey
I wudn't born no yestday
Got a good Christian raisin' and an eighth grade education
Ain't no need in y'all a treatin' me this way

3 comments:

Old NFO said...

Yep, that is real country... Thanks!

thesouthtexaspistolero said...

Great, great song. But the definitive version came out 20 years later, on 1993's Tramp On Your Street. That whole album is great, well worth looking for.

Jim Bravo said...

That is mighty hard to beat. Nice selection.