July 5

15 Hank Williams Jr. Songs That Show Why He Stands As A Musical Legend

There are three things you will usually find among Hank Williams Jr. songs: remarkable lyrics, hard-hitting guitar riffs, and the ability to stand the test of time. After all, he’s one of the biggest stars in country music, and his crossover appeal is so incredible that even those in the Southern rock community also think of him as one of their own.

Let’s celebrate one of the most illustrious careers in the music industry by looking back on some of Hank Williams Jr.‘s greatest hits.

1. “Eleven Roses”

From: Eleven Roses (1972)

Released as the only single from the album of the same name, the song was Hank’s first No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart as a solo artist. It tells the tale of a man who was apparently sorry and regretful for the wrong things he did to his lover that he decided to give her a bouquet of eleven roses. 

2. “Dixie on My Mind”

From: Rowdy (1981)

Hank attempted to give the hustle and bustle of life in New York City a fair shot in “Dixie on My Mind.” Unfortunately, he ended up feeling more unhappy and frustrated than ever. The worst part is that he can no longer go back home.

3. “All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down)”

From: The Pressure Is On (1981)

With his contemporaries in the outlaw movement started taming their wild ways, Hank no longer had somebody to spend time and raise hell with. And that’s what “All My Rowdy Friends” is all about.

It name-checks his longtime friends George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, and Johnny Cash.

4. “Long Gone Lonesome Blues”

From: Songs of Hank Williams (1964)

Hank made his debut on the country chart – reaching No. 5 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart – with his version of “Long Gone Lonesome Blues,” a song originally recorded by his father, country legend Hank Williams. 

5. “Family Tradition”

From: Family Tradition (1978)

Perhaps Hank’s most famous song, “Family Tradition,” is said to be his uprising announcement – not only about his wild ways but as well as his artistic identity of southern rock fused with honky tonk.

6. “A Country Boy Can Survive”

From: The Pressure Is On (1981)

“A Country Boy Can Survive” is considered as one of Williams’ signature songs. The song promotes the self-reliance of country boys as it signifies the changes of the American lifestyle and civilization as a negative result of the increasing urbanization.

7. “Leave Them Boys Alone”

From: Strong Stuff (1983)

Hank teamed up with Waylon Jennings and Ernest Tubb for “Leave Them Boys Alone” – a song thumbing its nose at doubters of the outlaws’ hard-talking music. It also aims at the development of country-pop and its growing popularity.

8. “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight”

From: Major Moves (1984)

Though everyone in his social circle has settled down, these same old folks are coming by his place out in the woods for a raging party.

Most of us probably know this song as the Monday Night Football theme music as Hank rewrote “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight” in 1989 to boost the matchup. Since then, the singer has appeared in the opens every week with different lyrics customized for the matchup.

9. “If the South Woulda Won”

From: Wild Streak (1988)

Hank sings about what he would have done as President of the southern States had the South won the Civil War. This includes putting his father on $100 bills and making the deaths of Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, and Lynyrd Skynyrd a national holiday.

10. “There’s a Tear in My Beer”

From: Greatest Hits, Vol. 3 (1989)

Originally recorded by Hank Williams Sr. in 1950 but was never released, Hank released “There’s a Tear in My Beer” three decades later with a twist.

11. “Keep the Change”

From: Old School New Rules (2011)

After comparing President Obama to Hitler, Hank sadly lost his job singing the Monday Night Football opening theme. He bounced back with “Keep the Change,” a jab at both television networks and the President’s supporters.

12. “Born to Boogie”

From: Born to Boogie (1987)

With driving guitar licks and honky-tonk piano, you can’t help but dance to Hank’s “Born to Boogie.”

13. “Ain’t Misbehavin'”

From: Five-O (1985)

When Hank released his version of this 1929 classic, fans were absolutely surprised, but it actually helped him earn a Grammy Awards nomination for Best Male Country Vocal Performance.

14. “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound”

From: Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound (1979)

When Hank was asked how he writes country songs, he answered, “Well, I got a good woman at home” – which became the first line of this country hit. The rest was written within ten minutes.

15. “I’m for Love”

From: Five-O (1985)

Hank’s message in the song “I’m for Love” is clear! He’s exhausted from being told what people are opposed to, so he explained what he’s for. Such emotion was pretty common among fans that the song landed at the No. 1 spot of the country charts for a week.

A Lot More Hank Williams Jr. Songs

Here are some more songs of Hank Williams Jr. that have risen above the rest as true standouts.

  • “Texas Women”
  • “Honky Tonkin'”
  • “Mind Your Own Business”
  • “Born to Boogie”
  • “Country State of Mind”
  • “Young Country”
  • “It’s All Over but the Crying”
  • “Cajun Baby”
  • “Pride’s Not Hard to Swallow”
  • “Man of Steel”

Indeed, these Hank Williams Jr. songs show why he’s one that certainly belongs in the Country Music Hall of Fame!


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