The 22 Best Willie Nelson Quotes

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

In the grand ol’ world, there are about 4 or 5 people we can all agree that we love. Dolly Parton, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, and maybe one more.

Yes, Nelson is everyone’s favorite musical uncle. With his two long braids and penchant for the pot smoke, he’s put a smile on likely everyone’s face on earth at least once.

Nelson is, of course, also one of the greatest and most acclaimed songwriters of the 20th and now 21st centuries. But what did the musician say and think about life, itself? About love, about the craft of music, and about family?

That’s the very subject of this inquiry. So, without further ado, sit back and enjoy this deep dive into the 22 best quotes from Willie Nelson.

1. “Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”

2. “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.”

3. “If you really want to get along with somebody, let them be themselves.”

4. “You know why divorces are so expensive? They’re worth it.”

5. “We create our own unhappiness. The purpose of suffering is to help us understand we are the ones who cause it.”

6. “Don’t try to change anybody. And they should let you be yourself, ‘You loved me when you met me, so let’s keep going!'”

7. “It doesn’t hurt to feel sad from time to time.”

8. “Cruelty is all out of ignorance. If you knew what was in store for you, you wouldn’t hurt anybody, because whatever you do comes back much more forceful than you send it out.”

9. “My doctor tells me I should start slowing it down—but there are more old drunks than there are old doctors so let’s all have another round.”

10. “I think people need to be educated to the fact that marijuana is not a drug. Marijuana is an herb and a flower. God put it here. If He put it here and He wants it to grow, what gives the government the right to say that God is wrong?”

11. “As long as there’s a few farmers out there, we’ll keep fighting for them.”

12. “I think most art comes out of poverty and hard times.”

13. “I started out really young when I was four, five, six, writing poems, before I could play an instrument. I was writing about things when I was eight or 10 years old that I hadn’t lived long enough to experience. That’s why I also believe in reincarnation, that we were put here with ideas to pass around.”

14. “If a song was ever good, it’s still good.”

15. “I grew up across the street from, you know, the Villarias, which was a great Mexican family there. In fact, there was three houses right across the street from me. So, day and night, I listened to Mexican music, and I’m sure, you know, my guitar playing, singing, writing, whatever, has a lot of Mexican flavor there, but it comes natural.”

16. “I think Ray Charles did as much as anybody when he did his country music album. Ray Charles broke down borders and showed the similarities between country music and R&B.”

17. “Anybody can be unhappy. We can all be hurt. You don’t have to be poor to need something or somebody. Rednecks, hippies, misfits—we’re all the same. Gay or straight? So what? It doesn’t matter to me. We have to be concerned about other people, regardless.”

18. “When I’m driving the highway by myself is when I write best.”

19. “There are only so many notes so there must be only so many melodies.”

20. “I was born in Abbott, Texas, a little small town in central Texas, and I was raised by my grandparents. And my parents divorced when I was six months old, and my grandparents raised me.”

21. “What has changed is that nothing has changed… that’s what has made me more unhappy than everything else.”

22. “But if you think of all the people who don’t like me, just think of all the millions who’ve never heard of me!”

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