Watch Willie Nelson Unleash Vintage “Roll Me Up” Performance in Highly-Anticipated Return

Partygoers at Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July picnic had reasons to celebrate that didn’t involve fireworks. The Red-Headed Stranger returned to the stage after missing multiple stops along the Outlaw Music Festival tour for health reasons. Nelson took the stage in Camden, New Jersey, to roaring applause from fans (who had likely been obsessively refreshing his social media pages.) The 91-year-old outlaw legend appeared his usual self, especially during a jaunty performance of “Roll Me Up.”

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Willie Nelson Grins Broadly Through Performance of Iconic Song

Willie Nelson has never hidden his marijuana habit (and nor we would ask him to.) In fact, the multi GRAMMY-winning artist downright celebrated his favorite vice with “Roll Me Up.” Off Nelson’s 2012 album Heroes, the song features guest vocals from Snoop Dogg, Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson. (Guess what those three have in common with the “Always On My Mind” singer?)

Fittingly, “Roll Me Up” dropped on April 20, 2012. It has since become an anthem for the stoner in all of us—as well as a tongue-in-cheek instruction manual for mourning Willie’s death.

Nelson hasn’t been clear on the nature of the illness that sidelined him for eight shows. But on July 4, you could detect a touch of extra defiance in the country giant’s voice as he sang: Hey take me out and build a roaring fire / And just roll me in the flames for about an hour / And then take me out and twist me up / And point me towards the sky / And roll me up and smoke me when I die.

We’ve got our marching orders when we need them—which hopefully isn’t for many, many years.

[RELATED: Review: Willie Nelson Delivers Strong, Emotional Performance at Outlaw Music Festival Tour Show in Bethel, New York]

New Book Tells the History of Willie’s Fourth of July Picnics

Willie Nelson held the first-ever Fourth of July picnic in 1973 in Dripping Spring, Texas. Now a beloved tradition, the festival was not without its growing pains. Dave Dalton-Thomas chronicles all of them and more in his new book Picnic: Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Tradition.

“With those early picnics, there wasn’t an actual address, but ‘turn here and follow the signs,'” Thomas told Texas Highways. People would just abandon their cars and go to the show without any thought of how they would find their car later.”

Featured image by Matt Kincaid/Getty Images

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