Willie Nelson is truly an open-minded artist when he decided to cover a song that is not usually favored by the country crowd. Back in 2006, Nelson decided to cover a famous gay cowboy song titled “Cowboys are Secretly Frequently Fond of Each Other,” originally performed by Ned Sublette.

Willie Nelson and His Song, ‘Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly Fond of Each Other’

The song came out back in 1981. Then, 25 years later, Nelson decided to be progressive with his music. Also, he probably wanted to spark a little bit of controversy in the country scene. We all know that gay culture does not mix well with the country scene so this would definitely put a question on the fans of the music legend.

willie nelson cowboys are frequently secretly fond of each other lyric

via YouTube

But Nelson is ahead of his time, and he probably wanted to pave the way for country musicians to explore the “taboos” of country music. He said that he used to listen to the tape of Sublette’s version and he often played it with his friends for a good laugh. It must have been an inside joke for country musicians if they are all thinking the same thing: that some cowboys are, in fact, ‘fond’ of each other.

Lyrics Breakdown

Although the song does not contain any explicit words pertaining to the lifestyle of someone who is gay, the song really went in without any reservations. Let us look at some of the lyrics:

And I believe to my soul that inside every man there’s the feminine

And inside every lady, there’s a deep manly voice loud and clear

Well, a cowboy may brag about things that he’s done with his women

But the ones who brag loudest are the ones that are most likely queer

The lyrics do not ridicule nor impose a belief on its audience. Its only intention is to show that it is fine to have the qualities of your opposite sex. For men, they can be feminine and there is nothing wrong with that. For women, they can have the qualities of a typical man and there is nothing wrong with that either. 

Willie Nelson and his Rendition of "Cowboys are Secretly Fond of Each Other" 1

via CTD

Now, for the last two lines, I think the lyrics only wanted to bring out a good laugh by insinuating that when you are being loud, you are most likely queer because it is their stereotyped characteristic. The courage Willie Nelson has is truly amazing and his actions should inspire more artists to break barriers and leave a mark in this world.

Listen to Willie Nelson’s ‘Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly Fond of Each Other’