March 7

“Good Hearted Woman” as Interpreted by Jennings and Nelson

Pioneers of the outlaw country music genre Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson had one of their greatest duet performances with the hit “Good Hearted Woman.” They not only recorded the song together but co-wrote it as well. The resulting single topped both the country and pop music charts in 1975, earning both singers their first No. 1 as duo performers. They later scored two more top hits on the country chart.

Apart from that, the song also won the CMA’s Single of the Year Award in 1976. This further pushed the singers to greater fame. Putting aside the commercial success that the song and its artists had achieved, let’s take a closer look at what the song wants to say about women.

Good Hearted Woman, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, International Women's Day
Outlaw country singers Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson | Photo credit:

What Makes a Good Hearted Woman?

First of all, the inspiration behind the song “Good Hearted Wan” was a TV commercial promoting Tina Turner who was a rising actress and singer at that time. While he was casually flipping through the TV channels, Jennings’ attention was caught by the following line used in the commercial. It describes Turner, who would later cover the song herself, as:

“a good woman loving two-timing men.”

Immediately, it struck a chord in him and he went straight to Nelson to pitch the idea. As he found Nelson to be having fun in the middle of a poker game, it was Nelson’s wife Connie who jotted down the lyrics while they exchanged ideas about the track.

Basically, the song talks about a woman who, despite ending up with a wicked man, has remained good and faithful to him. She was once promised a good life that she never actually experienced. And instead of complaining about his wicked ways and the bad times, she tried focusing on the bright side of things. Also, she was able to maintain her optimistic attitude about “all the good times to come.”

What’s more striking about her is that she loves him in spite of being “a good-timin’ man.” In other words, this guy loves going to parties more than spending time with her. But after he comes home to her, she welcomes him as if nothing happened.

Good Hearted Woman, Tina Turner, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Photo credit:

The Relevance of the Song

The female character represents a lot of women in the society who do their best to be with their lovers and keep their relationship despite the tears and pain they go through. These women choose to be selfless and are willing to endure everything in the name of love. They are truly an epitome of strength and power. And certainly, it’s the love that comes from their heart that gives them the ability to face life with all its challenges.

Cheers to all women out there who are like the “good hearted woman” that Jennings and Nelson portray in their chart-topper hit.

To commemorate the International Women’s Day, lets’ listen to the song below.


Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson

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