July 1

“Cold Cold Heart:” Hank Williams’ Heartbreaking Song about His First Wife


All relationships go through tough times. Hank Williams had his fair share of the struggles one can have in a marriage. We all know the unfortunate event that happened to the country legend’s first marriage.

In this Hank Williams-penned song, we will understand how his experiences brought him to write this song. We will have some in-depth learning on the personal feelings of the singer that was translated into this song.

hank williams, cold cold heart
via Screengrab from YouTube

Hank Williams’ First Marriage

The song was released back in 1951. It was inspired from his first marriage with Audrey Sheppard. They had a complicated marriage, one with a lot of issues. Their biggest problem started when his wife had an illegal abortion without Hank knowing about it. When he rushed to the hospital, he did not expect to hear what his wife was about to say.

hank williams, cold cold heart
Photo Credits: Billboard

Cold Cold Heart” refers to the treatment he got when he saw his wife laying on the hospital bed. The country legend was blamed for what his wife did. Audrey said that it was he who caused her to suffer like that. Hank thought about this experience while writing one of his most heartbreaking songs.

Lyrics Breakdown

If Hank Williams was not a singer, I know he could be a great painter. The song was written so well that it really makes you hear the pain and sorrow that Hank must be feeling during the time it was done. He was on point with the idea that a memory can keep someone apart especially when it is a sad and painful memory.

An artist can use all of his experiences to have a meaningful work of art. This song is a work of art because of the memories and the story behind it. And with Hank Williams’ rendition, the track became as heartbreaking as the story behind it.

Listen to the song here:


Audrey Sheppard, Cold Cold Heart, hank williams

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