December 21, 2023

The Fiery Tale Behind Hank Williams’ “Settin’ The Woods On Fire”

In September 1952, Hank Williams released “Settin’ The Woods On Fire” as the A-side of the song “You Win Again.”

The jaunty, lighthearted track that showcases Williams’ unique style and storytelling abilities became a hit almost immediately after its release. It reached No. 2 on Billboard’s Most Played by Jockeys chart and No. 2 on the National Best Sellers chart. 

RELATED: Here Are Hank Williams Songs If You Want To Listen To One Of The Most Powerful Voices In The Industry

Many popular country artists also released their version of the song – including Jerry Lee Lewis, George Jones, Porter Wagoner, and Chris LeDoux, among others. In 2007, an American animated television series, The Batman episode, showed Joker and Harley Quinn causing havoc in Gotham City while singing the song “Settin’ the Woods on Fire.”  

Meaning Behind The Song

Written by Hank Williams’ song publisher and producer Fred Rose alongside Ed G. Nelson, “Settin’ The Woods On Fire” sings about a couple’s passionate and tumultuous relationship. Their love for each other is so intense, wild, and fiery that it could set everything around them ablaze.

RELATED: Exploring Facts About Hank Williams, The Pioneer of Modern-Day Country Music

Interestingly, legend has it that a real-life mishap sparked the song during Williams’ performing days. When he found himself in an area with a shortage of firewood, he asked the audience to gather some from the nearby woodlands. To their surprise, the woods were burned down the next morning, and the locals were looking for payment for the lost lumber. This incident reportedly inspired the song’s fiery lyrics and catchy tune.

“Settin’ The Woods On Fire” is truly a classic example of Hank Williams’ storytelling prowess that defined his iconic career in country music and how his soul-stirring melodies have resonated with audiences spanning generations. Feel free to click on the video below to enjoy the song.


hank williams

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