Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Good Ole Boys Like Me


 Good Ole Boys Like Me
Lyrics by Bob McDill
Performed by Don Williams
When I was a kid Uncle Remus he put me to bed
With a picture of Stonewall Jackson above my head
Then Daddy came in to kiss his little man
With gin on his breath and a Bible in his hand
He talked about honor and things I should know
Then he’d stagger a little as he went out the door
Chorus:
I can still hear the soft southern winds in the live oak trees
And those Williams boys they still mean a lot to me
Hank and Tennessee
I guess we’re all gonna be what we’re gonna be
So what do you do with good ole boys like me
When I was in school I ran with a kid down the street
But I watched him burn himself up on Bourbon and speed
But I was smarter than most and I could choose
Learned to talk like the man on the six o’clock news
When I was eighteen Lord I hit the road
But it really doesn’t matter how far I go
YestNothing makes a sound in the night like the wind does
But you ain’t afraid if you’re washed in the blood like I was
The smell of cape jasmine thru the window screen
John R and the Wolfman kept me company
By the light of the radio by my bed
With Thomas Wolfe whispering in my head
When I was in school I ran with a kid down the street
But I watched him burn himself up on Bourbon and speed
But I was smarter than most and I could choose
Learned to talk like the man on the six o’clock news
When I was eighteen Lord I hit the road
But it really doesn’t matter how far I go
Yesterday, Michael mentioned in his comment "On another topic entirely, I was thinking of the Don Williams song from 1980, "Good Ole Boys Like Me" and you came to mind. Are you familiar with it? If not, check it out on Youtube."  I'm terrible with putting names to songs, so I took Michael's advice and looked up "Good Ole Boys Like Me" on YouTube.  After listening to the song, it was familiar to me, and I can understand why it would remind Michael of me.  One thing about don Williams is that nearly every song of his reminds me of someone.
Much of it does describe me, but there are a few differences.  Stonewall Jackson did not hang above my head instead it was the painting of a local lake.  Daddy's breath never smelled like gin (he hates gin), but it did often smell of beer.  It wasn't the smell of cape jasmine that wafted in the windows, but the sweet smell of honeysuckle.  I remember Wolfman Jack (his heyday, though, was a bit before my time), but what I fell asleep listening to was Oldies 98, and it seems like every night as I was going to bed I heard Elton John singing "Crocodile Rock."  Oldies 98 played that song all the time.  My best friend growing up didn't burn herself out on bourbon and speed, but she did on men and sex.  As soon as I was eighteen though, I left for college and for fourteen years, I was free, but now I'm back home in Alabama, so it didn't matter how far I went.
 The chorus though is the best past and the most like me:
I can still hear the soft southern winds in the live oak trees
And those Williams boys they still mean a lot to me
Hank and Tennessee
I guess we’re all gonna be what we’re gonna be
So what do you do with good ole boys like me
With the exception of "soft southern winds in the live oak trees," because here we had pecan trees and pines, the chorus could have been written about me.  Hank Williams grew up not far away and was a good friend of my grandmama who used to be his favorite dance partner.  I've always loved Tennessee Williams, whose plays always seemed to speak to me in a special way.  As much as I tried not to be gay growing up, "we’re all gonna be what we’re gonna be," and in my case that would be gay.  "So what do you do with good ole boys like me?"  Well, you need to get to know us and when you do, I think you'll love us.
And here's an extra "good ole boy" just for fun and eye candy.  The preppy boys at the top of the post are more like me, but the one below is what we all dream of when we dream of "good ole boys."

3 comments:

Michael Dodd said...

Glad you found the song. One reason you make me think of it is that it fit me so well when it was popular in the way-back-when. I was 30, on the staff of a small retreat center in East Texas, working on a dissertation (with a totally useless advisor), in love with another member of the clergy (a non-sexual relationship that lasted a quarter of a century.)

We did not have cape jasmine at my own home, but I remember it well from staying with cousins. Their attic fan sucked the hot air out of the house and the cool night air in, loaded with the sweet smell of those gardenias in the hedge.

Jay M. said...

Cool post. I love posts about your life. It's neat to get to know you better.

Peace <3
Jay

Amanda said...

I second Jay! Always love the posts!