3 Eternal Willie Nelson Songs that Have Stood the Test of Time

The 91-year-old Abbott, Texas-born country songwriter and performer Willie Nelson is synonymous with good music. He, often with his nylon string guitar “Trigger,” has been playing tunes for fans since the mid-1950s and along the way, a number have become timeless hits.

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Here below, we wanted to dive into three of those songs. Three songs that are emblazoned on the psyches of music lovers everywhere, from country fans to pop-music hounds. Indeed, these are three eternal Willie Nelson songs that have stood the test of time.

[RELATED: 3 Songs by Willie Nelson that Will Make Any Country Music Fan Tear Up]

“On the Road Again” from Honeysuckle Rose soundtrack (1980)

Written for the soundtrack for the 1980 the film Honeysuckle Rose, this song will live on for as long as people are touring from city to city. Truly, the life of a musician often means being in a van or bus or car or plane or train and traveling from stop to stop to entertain a new group of fans. It’s drudgery but it’s also adventure. And that’s the sentiment Nelson sums up here in this classic song, which earned him the Grammy Award for Best Country Song. On it, he sings,

On the road again
I just can’t wait to get on the road again
The life I love is making music with my friends
And I can’t wait to get on the road again

On the road again
Goin’ places that I’ve never been
Seein’ things that I may never see again
And I can’t wait to get on the road again
Everybody sing

On the road again
Like a band o’ gypsies, we go down the highway
We’re the best of friends
Insisting that the world keep turning our way
And our way

“Georgia on My Mind” from Stardust (1978)

This song was originally written in 1930 by written by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell. Since then, though, it has become a standard and recorded by some of the best artists of all time. Ray Charles popularized the tune in 1960 and others have followed suit since, from Ella Fitzgerald to Willie Nelson. Indeed, the country star’s intimate rendition was released on his 1978 album of standards Stardust, and the single hit No. 1 on the Billboard country charts. On the offering, which also won him a Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance, Male, Nelson croons with his warbly voice,

Georgia, Georgia
The whole day through
And just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind

Georgia, Georgia
A song of you
Comes as sweet and clear
As moonlight through the pines

Other arms reach out to me
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams, I see
The road leads back to you

“Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to Be Cowboys” from Waylon & Willie (1978)

A classic country song if there ever was one, this track was originally written by Ed and Patsy Bruce, released in 1975. But it was two big names that made the song known worldwide. In 1978, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings covered the song on their duet LP Waylon & Willie, and ever since the track has become a country standard, warning of the future one might have if they grow up to be a cowboy. Jennings and Nelson’s version hit No. 1 on the Billboard country chart and it earned the two a Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. On it, they sing,

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys
Don’t let ’em pick guitars or drive them old trucks
Let ’em be doctors and lawyers and such
Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys
‘Cause they’ll never stay home and they’re always alone
Even with someone they love

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Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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