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Hank Williams Jr - A Country Boys Can Survive

The song was released as a single in January 1982 and reached a peak of number 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles charts in March 1982. It is considered one of Williams' signature songs even though it never reached number one.

“A Country Boy Can Survive,” a song written and recorded by Hank Williams Jr. for the Elektra / Curb label, was recorded in spring 1981, at Sound Stage Studio, 10 Music Circle South, Nashville, TN. In the recording of the Hank Jr. album, he was accompanied by: Kenny Bell (acoustic guitar), Bobby Thompson (acoustic guitar), Paul Worley (acoustic guitar), Reggie Young (electric guitar and sitar), Billy Walker (electric guitar), Vernon Derrick (mandolin and fiddle), Kieran Kane (mandolin), Mike Auldridge (dobro), Bobby Thompson (banjo), Cowboy Eddie Long and Sonny Garrish (pedal steel), Joe Osborn and Boby Wray (bass), James Stroud (drums), Lisa Silver (fiddle), Terry McMillan [harmonica], Larry Knechtel / Hargus “Pig” Robbins (piano), Mike Lawler (organ), Tony Migliore (synthesizer), Jerry Vinett (clarinet), Terry Mead (trumpet), Irve Kane (trombone) and Boxcar Willie (train whistle). With the production of Jimmy Bowen, it was released on January 18, 1982. On April 17, 1982, it reached number # 2 on the US Hot Country Songs charts, remaining in the charts a total of 20 weeks. It also reached at number # 2 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks charts.

 

The song was included in Hank Jr.'s thirty-third studio album, The Pressure Is On (Elektra Records / Curb 1981), the album was released in August 1981, reaching # 5 on the charts of US Top Country Albums, on October 10, 1981, and remaining a total of 87 weeks on the charts. The album was certified platinum in the USA.

 

About the song:

 

The song, It reflects changes to American lifestyle and society that correspond with rural concerns of the negative impact from increasing urbanization, and exalts the self-reliance of 'country boys'.

 

Shortly after 9/11, Williams re-wrote and re-recorded the song with a patriotic theme under the name “America Will Survive”; the rewrite peaked at number 45 on the Billboard country charts.

 

In early 2007, Williams re-released the original version to commemorate the 25th anniversary of its original release, in addition to creating a music video for it. This re-release peaked at number 45 on the Billboard country charts.

 

Versions:

 

Chad Brock 2000 (Warner Bros.)

CMH Studio Artists 2004 (CMH Records) Instrumental

Jake Worthington & Blake Shelton 2014 (Republic Records)

DevilDriver 2018 (Napalm Records)

Hank Williams, Jr. - Country Boys Can Survive Lyrics

 

The preacher man says it's the end of time

And the Mississippi River, she's a going dry

The interest is up and the stock markets down

And you only get mugged if you go downtown

I live back in the woods, you see

My woman and the kids and the dogs and me

I got a shotgun and a rifle and a four wheel drive

And a countryboy can survive, country folks can survive

I can plow a field all day long

I can catch catfish from dusk 'til dawn

Make our own whiskey and our own smoke too

Ain't too many things these boys can't do

We grow good old tomatoes and homemade wine

And countryboy can survive, country folk can survive

Because you can't starve us out and you can't make us run

'Cause we're them ol' boys raised on shotguns

We say grace and we say ma'am

And if you ain't into that, we don't give a damn

We came from the West Virginia coal mines

And the Rocky Mountains and the Western skies

And we can skin a buck, we can run a trot line

And a countryboy can survive, country folks can survive

I had a good friend in New York City

He never called me by my name just hillbilly

My Grandpa taught me how to live off the land

And his taught him to be a business man

He used to send me pictures of the Broadway Nights

And I would send him some homemade wine

But he was killed by a man with a switchblade knife

For forty three dollars, my friend lost his life

I'd love to spit some beechnut in that dudes eyes

And shoot him with my ol' forty-five

'Cause a countryboy can survive

Country folks can survive

'Cause you can't starve us out and you can't make us run

And we're them ol' boys raised on shotgun

We say grace, we say ma'am

If you ain't into that, we don't give a damn

We're from North California and South Alabama

And little towns all around this land

We can skin a buck and run a trot line

And a countryboy can survive, country folks can survive

Countryboy can survive, country folks can survive


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