Charley Pride performs "Kaw liga"On Grand Ole Opry

"Kaw-Liga" is one of just a handful of songs that Williams wrote with Fred Rose, who produced his records and published his songs through his company Acuff-Rose. Rose often "doctored" the songs Hank composed, making suggestions and revisions, with biographer Roger M. Williams noting that Rose's contribution to Hank's songs was probably craftsmanship, whereas Williams' was genius. Roy Acuff later recalled:


"Hank would come up with the ideas, and Fred would say, 'Well, write it down and let me look at it.' Hank'd bring it to Fred, and Fred would sit at the piano and compliment Hank and say, "Maybe you can express this a little differently, let's change it a little bit,' but Fred never changed Hank's thinking."

Kowaliga is a community in central Alabama on Lake Martin. Named after a legendary Indian for which a wooden statue was later placed near the lake, the song was written by Hank when he was staying at a lakeside cabin that he owned and still stands today.


Charley Pride took a live version of the song to #3 on the country singles chart in 1969. 

Charley Pride - Kaw Liga Lyrics


Kaw-Liga was a wooden Indian standin' by the door

He fell in love with an Indian maiden over in the antique store

Kaw-Liga well he just stood there and never let it show

So she could never answer yes or no

Poor ol' Kaw-Liga well he never got a kiss

Poor ol' Kaw-Liga he don't know what he missed

Is it any wonder that his face is red Kaw-Liga that poor ol' wooden head


He always wore his Sunday feathers and held a tomahawk

The maiden wore her beads and braids and hoped someday he'd talk

Kaw-Liga well he stood there as lonely as can be

Cause his heart was an ol' pine knoty tree

Poor ol' Kaw-Liga...


And then one day a wealthy customer bought the Indian maid

He took her oh so far away but ol' Kaw-Liga stayed

Well he stood there and never let it show so she could never answer yes or no

Poor ol' Kaw-Liga...

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